Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 27, 2006 16:43:48 GMT 12
A while back Bruce was telling me of the various rules under which a home builder can build his own aeroplane or helicopter in the Experimental category. From what I could gather the rules were significantly relaxed, and basically anyone can build anything within reason, but to fly it, and take passengers, it's always at your own risk.
I may not have put that as succinctly as Bruce did and he may want to clear that up, but the main question I have is, if you've built a plane to your own design, and flown it yourself at your own risk, are you allowed to sell that plane onto someone who has no prior knowledge of the build and design?
I mena you can sell on a production aircrfat (Cessna, etc) like selling a second hand car. But are you actually allowed to sell something you built yourself, if you have no engineering qualifications or design degrees? Is it once again at the buyer's risk?
Under the Experimental category rules, Stage inspections are no longer required, and CAA themselves wont do them. It is a wise idea to get a knowledgeable person to double check your work, however they do not have any legal responsibility for anything - everything is at builders own risk. SAANZ are encouraging participation in a mentoring programme, using expeienced builders, but this is not mandatory. The main checks come when applying for the experimental flight permit when CAA check that build quality is satisfactory and the aircraft has the appropriate equipment to conduct safe flight. Experimental aircraft also get their first Annual ispection by a Licensed engineer at this stage. This is the main difference between experimental and Microlight classes - Experimental aircraft require a PPL to fly and a LAME to maintain them, unless the builder (and only the builder - this is important) obtains a maintenance approval - which requires sitting an exam and completeing 3 x 100hr inspections under supervision of a LAME. SAANZ regular run courses to obtain the maintenance approval. Microlight builders can carry out thier own maintenance. After the initial permit issue, CAA usually require a period of flight testing by a suitably experienced nominated pilot for up to 40 hrs. At this point subject to CAA being happy with everything, a permanent Experimental category flight permit is issued. For own design aircraft, the only additional requirements are a wing static load test and an undercarriage drop test to a minimum strength standard. If the structure meets the specified standard, thats all thats required. To operate in experimental category a minimum of 51% of the aircraft must have been built by the owner for the purposes of eduaction and recreation. The only exceptions are prototype factory aircraft undergoing testing for the purposes of issuing a full type certificate (e.g PAC 750XL). Experimental aircraft can be sold, and the new purchaser takes on the "own risk" aspect, therefore they must have reviewed the aircraft logbooks and satisfied themselves with the condition and safety of the aircraft. Once test flying is completed, there is no difference whatsoever between say a kitbuilt aircraft, and an own design machine. neither has been constructed in the controlled manner regulated and expected of factory manufacturers (in practice most are built to higher standards, but not documented as such) Every homebuilt aircraft , whether built from kit, plans or as an own design, is essentially treated as a prototype. NZ is one of the best countries in the world to build a homebuilt aircraft. The regulations allow more freedom than the UK and many European countries, but relies on "self regulation" and builders being responsible. In practice this works extremely well, no-one in thier right mind takes stupid shotcuts if they themselves will eventually be flying the machine. Most recorded structural failures in NZ homebuilts occurred in the "old days" of Civil Aviation Stage inspections. I guess this sounds hideously confusing (I did have a clearer explanation prepared, but it slipped my mind) but I'm happy to explain the specific areas of rules if you need clarification as I'm asked these questions a lot.
If it was supposed to be easy. everyone would be doing it...
Post by Dave Homewood on Apr 27, 2006 23:44:20 GMT 12
Thanks Bruce. Yes it does seem clear, and not so startliung second time around like it did when you first explained it. I did love your comment first time round that you can legally build a 747 if you had the plans. Cool.
And it has cleared up my question about on-selling too. Cheers.