N-Number change - paint cost?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Hang 4, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Line Up and Wait

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    Thinking about changing my N-Number. I have one that is all digits, which almost always gets mangled by ATC and it's a bit of a tongue twister. I have reserved a number that has some significance (Wedding anniversary for numbers, mine and my wife's first and last initial for letters) that is a bit easier to communicate.

    What I was wondering, does anyone have recent experience with changing one. Looking specifically at paint cost. My paint is in good shape, a few small spots that could benefit from touch up. What might it cost to just repaint the N-Number? The current one is painted and some colors run behind it. Three colors involved in total.
     
  2. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    You might look at using a vinyl adhesive N number with a background color to cover up the old N number. Have seen it done but don't any more that other than I believe they used Aero Graphics out of CO I think.
     
  3. 3 in the green

    3 in the green Line Up and Wait

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    Piggybacking on - if you have the small N-numbers (I have a 53 170B - they are on the vert stab) - if you change the N-number, do you have to automatically go to the larger size letters?
     
  4. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Yes. Even if you were keep the same reg number and repaint you need to go to the 12" format except certain other aircraft per 45.29.
     
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  5. 3 in the green

    3 in the green Line Up and Wait

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    Looks like I'll be keeping my N-number then :D
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No, you do not need to go the large numbers when you repaint. Bell quotes the right FAR but misinterprets it. He misses the exception under 45.29(b)(1)(iv) which allows older aircraft to comply with 45.22.
    45.22(b) says if your aircraft was built 30 years ago (which your 170 certainly does qualify), then you can get by with 2" numbers.

    The only time you need 12" numbers is if you are going to fly through the ADIZ. In that case you can get by with temporary stick-on numbers.
     
  7. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I went from 12" to 3" numbers back in 2009 when I repainted my 1967 M20E because it fit better with the paint scheme I had done. Carried around a copy of the reg Ron mentioned above because so many people were saying I was wrong and needed to have the 12" numbers to be legal. The so called "experts" were wrong...;)

    The confusion in the reg stems from a rewrite in 1981 (don't quote me on that year though) that specifically said new aircraft had to have 12" registration numbers. Aircraft produced before that date with small numbers were grandfathered until such time that they got repainted (if they were still under 30 years old). Once you reach 30, you can go with anything between 2" and 12".

    Brian
     
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  8. 6t6

    6t6 Pre-Flight

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    IMG_0843.jpg
    I changed and replaced my N-number about a year ago and used vinyl lettering. 11 inches high. Luckily the old ones were vinyl too.
    Took my time and it looks great. Blue with silver shadowing to match to stripes This is my employee number at my company which I've had for 36 years. Rolls right off my tongue
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  9. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    My bad. You're correct. To me "antique" aircraft are Stearmans and T-6s. Not Cessna 170s.
    EDIT: you're good to go on the small numbers. ;)
     
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  10. 3 in the green

    3 in the green Line Up and Wait

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    Haha awesome! Yeah my 170 is a 53. :D
     
  11. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    I was quoted $3500 for painted numbers a year ago. I decided it was not worth it.
     
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  12. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    I have yet to experience ATC getting my tail number correct. I have to read it back to them slowly every time. It's a palindrome. It reads the same forward and backward.
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had a buddy whose N number was like N25000 or something. I thought it was neat but he changed it as ATC never got it right.
     
  14. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Vinyl numbers are good. Cirrus uses them on factory-new planes.

    When I wanted a new number for my Cirrus (I’m the fourth owner), it was easy for the shop to peel off the old, buff, and apply new.

    If had painted-on numbers, I would just have that one small part of the airframe stripped and repainted with the base color, and then apply new vinyl numbers.
     
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  15. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    im going to write this date down, you don't miss one to often bell206. :D
     
  16. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well if anything else I would change it to N25007

    AXB 007 long final traffic in pattern exit or be destroyed.
     
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  17. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Ha. Unfortunately when I miss ones like this, it only further verifies I'm an antique also.;)
     
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  18. Scott MacMoyle

    Scott MacMoyle Pre-Flight

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    I used the vinyl numbers from Sportys when I imported my Grumman. They are holding up well and were cheap. The DAR didnt have a problem with them.
     
  19. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That’s what lots of planes do.

    Mine has a custom number, nice paint, but the N is still vinyl just in case it ever gets changed.
     
  20. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Years ago a telco phone operator (remember them?) read back a phone number to me that had a thrice repeated digit as (in this case) "zero, double zero". I thought that very clear and have tried to use it myself since. No idea if RT convention would allow it and it still results in some confusions and requests for a repeat but as I recall it was a better way to do it. Not as good as a new number though:)