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Can you convert certified plane to experimental

Discussion in 'AviatorChat.com' started by bpu699, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Just got back from EAA Oshkosh.

    Still thinking about buying entry level plane, as a total novice.

    LSA, like a pipistrel, colt, etc, seem to be $100-150k. More than I want to spend on a toy I may not like.

    Even a nice experimental, like a Slinger, etc, hits $100k...

    I see cessnas on bonanzas, that are outdated for $30k...

    Now, if you have to pay someone to update that bonanza with new interior, avionics, etc, etc...it gets to 100k fast...

    Now, if I do it myself, I can fly the plane, add updates, and enjoy.

    But, you can’t do major work on your own certified plane...

    But you can on an experimental...

    So explain it to me... what happens if you buy a bonanza, and spend a couple years restoring it yourself...


    Is it now simply “not certified”?

    Can it be sold as experimental...?

    What, do you goto jail?

    How would this be any worse than building a plane in your garage?
     
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  3. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    Only if you built it. Someone who buys an experimental airplane does not enjoy the same benefits as the person who initially fabricated it. IIRC.
     
  4. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Not sure I understand?

    If you buy a used experimental aircraft you can’t work on it yourself???
     
  5. jcurry

    jcurry F1 World Champ
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    You can work on a type certificated airplane, provide the work is supervised by a licensed mechanic. The same holds true if you buy an experimental category airplane fabricated by someone else. Only the original builder can apply for a repairman certificate (for a specific aircraft).
     
  6. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Well, I keep learning...

    So if I build an experimental myself, I can work on it...

    If a buy someone else’s experimental, now I need to have it all done by a certified mechanic? Am I getting that right?

    Never knew that...

    I always thought the big perk of an experimental aircraft was working on it yourself...

    Otherwise, what’s the point of buying one??? I see experimental planes selling for 400k$.

    What am I missing???
     
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  8. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Rookie

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    The key is to buy a plane that fits your mission statement. I would also consider insurance in this as well. For me flying is about having fun and flying for lunch on the weekends and the occasional longer cross country flying. So I starting looking at 2 place LSA type aircraft as I decided to go sport pilot (color blind, so I can't fly at night). I found several pre built Experimental aircraft in the price I was willing to spend for a hobby (15-40k). The experimental aircraft would cost me as a new pilot around 4-5k a year in insurance. So I looked at Certified and ended up with my Ercoupe for Mid $20's, and insurance of sub $800 year one, and $700 for year two, just renewed for year three at $6xx (I would have to look).

    As far as maintenance as a PPL you can change your own oil, tires and do basic maintenance on any aircraft you own or part own. As a sport pilot, I can only do this on an experimental, I legally can not even change the oil on my certified aircraft. But because I have a good friend that is an A&P, I do the work he monitors and signs the paperwork... costs me lunch on occasion, I also help him with some of his projects.

    So two things, when buying an aircraft like buying an exotic, buy for the mission statement. Just like owning a Ferrari or other exotic in an airplane 9 times out of 10 you will be the only person in the cockpit.
     
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  9. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Learned a lot from your post too...

    So as a sport pilot you can’t do any maintenance at all? Odd. How does 20 extra hours of flight lessons make you a better mechanic?

    Was also thinking Ercoupes are cool... I do wonder if these things have any resale value. All the owners seem to be 70 years old. What’s your experience with them? Seems like a Cessna 150 would be an easy resale...

    Even being color blind, why not get the full pilots license?
     
  10. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Rookie

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    As a sport Pilot I can't do maintenance on a Certified aircraft, and no the extra hours of flight lessons will not make anyone a better mechanic, since you don't learn much about the aircraft other than basic fuel systems (diagrams) and hydraulic system (diagrams).

    Ercoupes will probably lose value if the FAA every changes the Sport pilot rules like they are discussing, but I still enjoy it and this change may be years out yet. The 150 is about the same value as the ercoupe, at least right now.

    The only thing a full PPL gets me being color blind is flying a faster airplane that holds more people and burns more fuel. Since 90% of my flying is alone and around 2-3 hours one way trips, so 4-6 round trip flights, a faster plane would be nice at times, but also raises costs of fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

    Again it really depends on your mission.
     
  11. Tcar

    Tcar F1 Rookie

    My great uncle (in S. Colorado) had an original Ercoupe; flew all over the SW US, mostly solo. No rudder pedals. He Visited us several times.

    I had relatives and friends from Hamilton... nice town.
     
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  13. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    What sport pilot rule change?
     
  14. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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  15. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Thanks, just read it...

    Would be awesome if something like a 172 fell in the weight limit...more practical...
     
  16. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    If you want "practical" then you need to get a private pilot certificate. The point of a sport pilot certificate is that it's NOT practical.

    I would also advise against cheaping out on maintenance. If you enjoy doing your own work, you can do it-- under the certification of a properly trained and qualified mechanic. It won't save you any money, but again, if the point is you enjoy it, then that shouldn't matter.

    If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. I'm guessing you can afford it, though.
     
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  17. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    You can get a waiver for color vision and do anything you want. There are plenty of ATPs flying for major airlines with the waiver.

    The waiver is a little bit of a hassle to get, but once you have it, it's good for life. I have one. Never have to take the color vision test at the AME again.
     
  18. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Rookie

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    You can only get the waiver if you can pass the light test at the tower with an FAA person next to you. I can't pass the test, so no waiver.
     
  19. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    What does this entail? I am partially blue/green color blind. Still don't understand why that's an issue, as I can easily differentiate blue, red, green, etc in a list of standard colors. But on the test, I can get about 1/2 right...

    If you flunk the chart test, what does the tower test entail???
     
  20. Joey4420

    Joey4420 Rookie

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    the Tower test is seeing White/Green/Red lights and stating so. I am Red/Green color blind, so I can't see the lights correctly. Once you pass, it is a permanent sign off and you never have to ask again. Since I know I will fail, there is no point, since it means no night flying ever. And since I don't care about bigger, faster planes I am good :)
     
  21. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
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    Joey, what's the pro/cons of the Ercoupe vs a 150? I want to get something that I can learn on and go somewhere close, maybe do some pilot-n-paws runs. The 172 has run out if my price range lately.
     
  22. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    I kind or researched both...

    The only reason I can think of to get the ercoupe (other than it looks cool) is that it is LSA complaint. The 150 isn't...

    I think the ercoupe looks really cool. But flying a 70 year old aircraft concerns me a bit. I also suspect the 150 has a better glide slope if the motor goes...

    Pipistrel has a motor glider for 100k. That thing is cool. Looks like a 150 with a 50% greater wind span. Would be cool to thermal that thing, and if the motor cuts out...so what? :)
     
  23. Tcar

    Tcar F1 Rookie

    What is the LSA complaint?

    What organization is making the complaint? (LSA?)
     
  24. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    Sorry, LSA compliant... (not complaint)...

    Ercoupe is under the weight limit to fly with just a sports license (LSA) , 150 requires full pilots license...
     
  25. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    You can't pass the light test? Seriously? You can do the light test purely on intensity and pass-- white, brightest, green middle, red dimmest... it is very easy to pass.

    Did you try the Farnsworth Lantern or something and fail? Because that is much, much, much harder than the light test-- and I speak from experience.
     
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  26. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    If you can squeak by on the regular test, that is the best thing to do. The light test is a hassle to set up and do, although it's great once it's done.

    Given BasicMed, if you can pass the color vision test once, you're good forever as long as you comply with the BasicMed requirements.
     
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  27. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Honestly, there is little advantage to doing a sport pilot license over a regular private pilot, especially since you don't need a medical certificate any more under BasicMed.

    American Champion stopped making their light sport (Champ) because demand dried up for it after BasicMed-- the LSA rules are just too restrictive.
     
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  28. bpu699

    bpu699 F1 World Champ
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    So red, green, and white, are the only colors you need to distinguish?

    The standard color test doesn't address or use those colors...
     

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