Is this Trike a Lawn Ornament?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by LowPass, May 18, 2014.

  1. LowPass

    LowPass Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello,

    I’m new to flying and wonder if you can answer my question.

    I’m about a half way through ground school and finally want a sport pilot ticket. I don’t have a ton of money so I have to be very frugal. I have this unexplainable “need” to fly and frankly if you don’t have deep pockets you can’t be too fussy about what you fly. I’d take just about anything with wings or rotors.

    Right now I’m being offered a two seat trike for a little bit of nothing. It’s not in bad condition but hasn't flown in years. The main problem is it doesn't have an N number. It did once carry a British G number but that was cancelled by the Brits long ago.

    It would need just about every nut and bolt replacing and probably a new wing but realistically, since it doesn't have an N number are its legal flying days over?

    Thank you…
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  2. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Does it fit under part 103? If so, no N number required.

    103.1 Applicability.

    This part prescribes rules governing the operation of ultralight vehicles in the United States. For the purposes of this part, an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that:
    (a) Is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant;
    (b) Is used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only;
    (c) Does not have any U.S. or foreign airworthiness certificate; and
    (d) If unpowered, weighs less than 155 pounds; or
    (e) If powered:
    (1) Weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation;
    (2) Has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons;
    (3) Is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight; and
    (4) Has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.
     
  3. LowPass

    LowPass Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for your reply...

    It does not fit part 103 because it's a two seater. I suppose if I pulled out one seat and replaced the gas tank it would comply but my reason for going Light Sport is to be able to take a passenger. That is important to me.

    Would getting an N number be an impossible mission?

    Thank you...
     
  4. Jetwrench

    Jetwrench Pre-Flight

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    He said it has two seats, so right from the start it does not qualify for 103. If you remove a seat and put a 5 gallon tank on it, it is possible, but unlikely, able to meet 103 weight requirements.

    There are ways to still get a cert of airworthiness for it, but most are pretty shady.

    There is also the experimental exhibition route to get it airworthy again, but that is highly restrictive, and most FSDO's are not willing to go that route.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Jetwrench

    Jetwrench Pre-Flight

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    Getting a N number is easy....mail your money in and reserve it. Being able to use that N number on a plane that has a certificate of airworthiness is a completely different animal.
     
  6. LowPass

    LowPass Filing Flight Plan

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    Okay so maybe I asked the wrong question.

    Please can you tell me what would be involved in obtaining a certificate of airworthiness?
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A truck full of money.

    Trying add a little humor without being mean. It will require an airworthiness certificate (and any repairs or mods needed to gain US conformance). Then registration with the US, including a bill of sale & documentation that it's been deregistered elsewhere.

    This is a link to the AOPA summary on the process. A good A&P/IA can give you more details on the cost. http://www.aopa.org/Pilot-Resources...ication/Importing-and-Exporting-Aircraft.aspx
     
  8. Jetwrench

    Jetwrench Pre-Flight

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    You could apply as a builder for an experimental amateur built C of A, but that would require builder logs and being able to prove you built the trike.

    You could also go the experimental exhibition route, but that is very restrictive, and you would need to find a DAR (Designated Airworthiness Representative) that has the function code to issue that type of C of A. The best bet would be to call your local FSDO and inquire, as most are unwilling to do this.

    I suggest getting in touch with your local EAA chapter and seeing if they have any more insight.
     
  9. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    What kind of airplane are we talking about?
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What kind of airworthiness certificate would it qualify for?

    Chances of convincing the FAA that it is experimental amateur built seems slim if it was an "ultralight kit" and is already flying.

    The window to convert "fat ultralights" to e-lsa has long been closed.

    You may be able to do something given the fact that it has some kind of certificate in the UK. But I don't know what.
     
  11. Lindberg

    Lindberg Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, that. Did I miss something in the OP, why is everyone assuming there's no airworthiness cert?
     
  12. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If it needs every nut and bolt replaced and you document it perhaps you could get it numbered as experimental. Add the time and money and you will probably be in for more then you could find a functioning one on Barnstormers.
     
  13. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    You will not be able to get an airworthiness cert for that airplane period. The FAA had a grace period for converting two seat ultralights to LSA in around 2004-2006. After that the planes that hadn't been done are as you say lawn ornaments. There are very specific rules about changing a certified airplane to Experimental or Experimental Exhibition. Once in those categories it makes operations very restrictive.Save your money and buy something that is already airworthy. Trust me it will be much cheaper in the long run. Don
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There's no requirement that the person applying for an experimental--amateur built certification be the person who actually built it, only that it was built for recreation or education by SOMEONE.

    The bigger issue is whether it would qualify for an experimental certificate even in the condition it is in even if he had built it.
     
  15. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    This was a flying airplane so does not qualify. Any DAR would be able to see this was a flying airplane at one time. Don
     
  16. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    from what I've read through other people's experiences, you may come out ahead to get a plane that is in better shape that has flown regularly. Planes don't do well when they sit around. Engines and airframes corrode, especially when it's been out in the elements. Even if it were hangared, I'd be worried about the condition of the motor. You could end up spending more.