My Zenith CH-701.

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Gino Shtirlits, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    I am going to buy the kit and engine but transfer all the stuff to my friend for assembling. Will I have any problem with FAA getting airworthiness or other issues?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If your friend is a non-professional / ammature builder it's not really a problem. Legally you may have an issue getting the repairmens certificate, depending on your local FISDO.
     
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  3. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Gary, could you explain about the local FISDO, please?
     
  4. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Remember that you technically cannot pay your friend if the plane is to be registered as Experimental/Amateur Built! But the FAA does tend to ignore professional builders, it seems, unless something happens.
     
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  5. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Kenny, what means professional builder here? Which builder could be considered as professional and which one as a home builder?
     
  6. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    There are people who put together kit airplanes for customers. They get paid to do this. If it's just your home mechanic buddy, then no harm no foul. Have fun building. If it's an A&P at an airport, it might be a foul, but for the time being the FAA doesn't seem to care.
     
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  7. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    To be called 'amateur built', the aircraft must be built by unpaid amateurs, for their enjoyment and education. A lot of places are professional build sites, and there are individual professional builders, and so far the FAA hasn't cracked down. But if they do, a lot of planes may be re-classified as 'experimental exhibition', which severely limits their use.
     
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  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If the deal is "I will pay you to assemble this" then this is violating the regulations. If the deal is "I will buy the stuff and you can assemble it for the fun of it" than that is consistent with 21.191 g.

    You really want to read: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_20-27G.pdf before you spend money. As in, read the whole thing.


    21.191 Experimental certificates.
    Experimental certificates are issued for the following purposes:
    (g) Operating amateur-built aircraft. Operating an aircraft the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.
     
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  9. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes! We are going to create the CH701 for our education, training and pleasure. But we are going to share the labor and expanses in not equal part. The ownership will not be shared because I will fly but my friend will not.
     
  10. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    That works as long as you pay your friend NOTHING. Not a dime. Zero. And then it's likely that only he can get the repairman's certificate. There should be no exchange of goods and services for other goods and services, either (no barter).
     
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  11. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    You should be okay to build it together and get AWC.

    The trick is if you care to get the Repairman's Certificate. If you plan to do all of your own wrenching and conditional inspections you'll want that. Check those rules. Otherwise you could end up without it, which isn't that big of a deal. You can do anything you want EXCEPT sign off the conditional inspections. You'll need one A&P signature a year to stay legal.
     
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  12. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Sure! Let him get the repairman's certificate! This is his point. I guess my friend will be eligible to make annual inspection for me and others under this certificate.
     
  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    Negative Ghost Rider.

    The Repairman's Certificate is only valid for the exact airframe.

    You might need to do some more reading about all things E-AB before you hand out your CC number.
     
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  14. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    That's what I am doing. Thank you, Ravioli.
     
  15. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Reading FAA regulations is frequently misleading or confusing unless you know the current interpretations. These, and other, forums can help with this, considering the source of course.
     
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  16. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Actually there a lot of stuff to be considered while working with the airplane home building so, of course, the Pilotsofamerica is very useful. Another very difficult thing to take decision is an engine. Searching the engine I have found the mostly recommended Rotax 100hp. Also I have found many auto conversions and one of them seems very seductive to be installed on my CH701. This is Viking 130hp. Thirty horses plus comparatively to the 100hp of Rotax is a good point. But I have found very interesting comment on the forum. Don says:”This is where a lot of homebuilders reach a brick wall and end up quitting on the project. Remember cheap is not necessarily the least expensive way in the end. If you go with something other than what Zenith has engineered you will have to fabricate an engine mount, exhaust system, cowling and figure out baffling/cooling systems etc. It will take you a lot longer to fabricate all these systems than it takes to build the airframe. Then when you are finished will you have a reliable powerplant that actually performs as advertised? In my experience there are very few auto engine conversions that perform as advertised. Most end up heavier and put out less horsepower. Rotax 912 is a well proven performer on the 701 and there are some on the used market since they are so popular. Added to that Zenith has a firewall forward package that makes installation a breeze. I have been building and restoring airplanes for over 30 years and have built a RV7 and a Backcountry Supercub from start to finish along with several other homebuilts and restorations. Just finished a Zenith 750STOL that I did about 80% of the work on and just beginning a Supercub rebuild. I have flown auto conversions, two stroke Rotaxs and several 912 and 914 aircraft so I know what is involved. Good luck on your project and I hope you will post down the road showing us you flying it. Don”
     
  17. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    Is anybody experienced with this ? Please comment.
     
  18. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    There is a Zenith forum on their website, for questions directly related to this build.
     
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  19. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    You'll want to stick to the Zenith forums for this type of stuff. Not a lot people here have them. And people like me, (Vans) can help with the E-AB rules and such but not with questions on your build.
     
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  20. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    IIRC you can't join the Zenith forums until you actually buy at least part of a kit.
     
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  21. Gino Shtirlits

    Gino Shtirlits Filing Flight Plan

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    I guess my next question relates to the E-AB rules much more than previous one. Is there any FAA limitation for trading home built planes?
     
  22. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Nope. You can build it and sell it. Something to consider though. You (or whoever builds the thing) will be the manufacturer. Should the aircraft be involved in an accident, any injured parties can claim the aircraft was manufactured incorrectly and sue the manufacturer i.e. you (or your buddy). If you'r'e poor you're probably OK, but if you've any kind of estate this could really wreck it.
     
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  23. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Pattern Altitude

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    Your Zenith kit will easily fall under the 51% rule, meaning the assembly of the kit by any amateur or group of amateurs is a non-issue and you won't have a problem getting a DAR to issue airworthiness. As mentioned the repairman's cert is a different bird and only needed for the annual condition inspection on that particular air frame/plane. If you're not heavily involved then you probably shouldn't march down to the FSDO to try and get this. If your buddy feels he'll know enough then he can do that but really the only upside is he can then do the condition inspection on it... otherwise it has to be overseen by an A&P IA. So farm it all out and get your plane built and airworthy, just don't try and get the repairmans cert.

    Now you'll hear lots of opinions, mine included, on how to define amateur vs professional. Bottom line is the FAA doesn't do a clear cut job of defining this, other than saying for education and recreation. Be it paying someone or not, they're most likely learning something or maybe they just enjoy doing the work even if they're being paid. So pay people to help you, the FAA has never made a clear ruling on this or how to define a 'professional builder'. If they had a heartache with it then "builders assist" programs wouldn't be a thing. Under the same premise you wouldn't be able to have school programs which build planes, teachers typically are compensated. So have your friend or other people help you, buy them beer, pizza or give them cold hard cash. Just make sure that someone involved with the building is there to answer question for the DAR when they come inspect the plane.

    On kit plane specifics you have to go off the knowledge of previous builders. Everyone will tell you adding/changing items from the plane will involve more time, complexity and typically money. If there's a mod out there for an RV-10 chances are I either have it or at least considered it for my build. You should be able to find reviews of both the Rotax and Vikings engines. More HP isn't always better since it affects weight, heat and a number of other factors along with additional horse power. Remember it's your project so build or get it build how you want.

    Lastly I think by 'trading' you mean buying and selling or maybe you do mean straight up trading someone airplanes. Once the plane is airworthy and have completed all test flights it is treated as any other airplane. You sell or trade it that new owner still has the airworthiness it had before. I don't put much stock in the liability argument, not saying it's impossible to get sued because frankly you can sue anyone for anything.... however the chances of actually being help liable for some type of negligence is slim, especially if it had a good number of safe hours prior to sale. You could go as far as have them sign a release of liability to make yourself feel better, in reality you can't sign away your right against someone for negligence. If I was ever to sell my RV-10 I would draft up a release of liability and be very specific about the accepted risks.
     
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  24. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    "Being poor" is never an excuse to possibly endanger others. And that judgement stays with you if you don't satisfy the thing. Having it can even cost you job opportunities.
    My neighbor has a huge judgement against him; he can never sell his house, or that will go toward it (his son thinks he will inherit; ha!)
     
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  25. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah and an asteroid could hit us tomorrow and wipe us all out. Both scenarios are possible but unlikely. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a used E-AB market which of course there is.
     
  26. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Oh my goodness, ignorance strikes! Are you aware of how many lawsuits claim defects of perfectly functional aircraft that pilots have inadvertently crashed? News flash, it destroyed the GA manufacturing sector in the 80's, which didn't come back in any form until Congress made it illegal to sue aircraft manufacturers. The law is called the General Aviation Revitalization Act, or GARA. It is the only law of which I am aware that keeps you from suing someone. I'll bet it's unconstitutional, thankfully no one has yet tested that. You can't sue an aircraft manufacturer after the aircraft has been in service 18 years.

    Thus our valiant OP could build and sell his aircraft, and 17.5 years later a pilot could through his own misadventures crash said airplane, perhaps into someone one the ground. The widow of the pilot and anyone connected to the innocent person on the ground can now sue our OP claiming he bolluxed the manufacturing of his kit airplane. Of course there will be lots of expert testimony, and in the end the jury will believe the guy with the biggest hair.

    The only insulation against this is poverty. If the OP hasn't deep pockets the lawyers won't go after them. Lawyers know better than to sue poor people, they like getting paid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  27. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As opposed to claiming that the crash was caused by an improper, perhaps undocumented, repair (or damage not documented or repaired) on a type certificated aircraft?