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Experimental Time Building? (and certified avionics requirements)

Hello!
There is a question i have been wondering about for quite some time now, and cannot seem to find the answer to.

Does time flown in an experimental aircraft count towards different licenses and ratings?
Is there a difference between amateur-built and factory-built aircraft?

Thanks!

Israel

@Yardi_z the answer will depends on notional rules, in other places where the NAA is the sole regulator I guess the answer is generally YES to maintain type/class currency, but probably strict NO for approval for ab-initio training or initial licence/rating issue…

For aircraft there are two approval things to keep in mind, “design approval” and “maintenance appproval” (CoFA or PtF), these will decide on what regime the aircraft can fly on:
1) Certified factory build aircraft with current maintenance support are on a CoFA (or PtF if you like)
2) Ex-certified aircraft or amateur built from ex-certified aircraft, some called orphans, have PtF (or restricted CoFA)
3) Amateur built from scratch need to pass some certification process, usually via experimental route as most of builders cannot afford strict factory standards but their “exposure is low”

For category-3, to build an aircraft yourself and get it certified, you may have to be a “experienced pilot/engineer” for the type/class you seek, say ATPL & Part66 tickets and 10y experience (if it has more than two seats, bit of load and weird design you will be really stuck writing technical docs), so not the quickest way for someone to get a licence or build hours

Once the aircraft has a class/type certificate it can be flown with appropriate licence irrespective of the maintenance regime and hours should count for licence currency (EASA-land situation is quit peculiar…) but not sure about “approval for training” (I really don’t see how you can use a single seater Turb for dual training , plus there are zillions of other stuffs: double breaks, accessible throttle, <12y engine …. )

In Europe, the simple route is to get your PPL in an ATO on EASA aircraft and then get hand on something in category-2 for your own, assuming EASA will let those hours count…

ESSEX, United Kingdom

Time flown in non-CofA types must count, otherwise people who own them and don’t fly anything else would see their PPL expire, and they would have to rent a CofA type for 12 hours every 2 years

In fact there was such a proposal, which was going to hit some specific communities very hard. I can’t find the thread right now but it was in France and affected a common aeroclub aircraft type.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It certainly doesn’t for US airman certification purposes. Unlikely to be of interest to the OP but worth noting all the same. 14 CFR 61.51:

(j) Aircraft requirements for logging flight time. For a person to log flight time, the time must be acquired in an aircraft that is identified as an aircraft under §61.5(b), and is—

(1) An aircraft of U.S. registry with either a standard or special airworthiness certificate;

(2) An aircraft of foreign registry with an airworthiness certificate that is approved by the aviation authority of a foreign country that is a Member State to the Convention on International Civil Aviation Organization; [or]

London

I never cease to be amazed at your knowledge of every corner of aviation regulation, Qalupalik

So… you can get a US PPL using logbook time from an N-reg (regardless of whether CofA or not) or from a CofA aircraft of any other reg. So someone flying a G-reg or D-reg RV cannot use his logbook time towards a US PPL, CPL, IR, etc.

Presumably that must also mean that an FAA BFR or IPC cannot be done in the said RV.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yardi_z wrote:

Does time flown in an experimental aircraft count towards different licenses and ratings?
Is there a difference between amateur-built and factory-built aircraft?

It all depends on the country. Homebuilt experimental is defined in EASA “Annex II” (Annex I today). Microlight (or ultralight or UL, or ULM or whatever) is also in Annex I (used to be Annex II). Both can be homebuilt, but if it is an UL, time flown in it does not count in general. It does however count towards obtaining a license, but not maintaining it (currency).

To make it more confusing, the are homebuilt aircraft that can be built and registered as both UL and experimental. The UL version will not count for EASA FCL, but the homebuilt experimental version will, even though both aircraft are identical. Then there are LSA. They are often identical to the UL versions, but again, only the LSA counts.

The simple version is: If you can fly it with an EASA FCL, it usually counts just as an EASA aircraft. If you don’t need an EASA FCL to fly it, then it usually does not count (even though it may actually be flown with an EASA FCL, but it is not needed).

Peter wrote:

they would have to rent a CofA type for 12 hours every 2 years

Or rent 1 hour every two years and do a PC.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Peter wrote:

So… you can get a US PPL using logbook time from an N-reg (regardless of whether CofA or not) or from a CofA aircraft of any other reg. So someone flying a G-reg or D-reg RV cannot use his logbook time towards a US PPL, CPL, IR, etc.

Peter, I’d judge the intent of the FAA regulation is to include any legally flyable aircraft on any national ICAO registry. The context is that the concept of Permit to Fly etc does not exist in FAA regs, they all have a C of A, so the existence of anything else would not have occurred to an FAA regulator or DPE.

If the logbook entry is G-XXXX and the aircraft is an RV-7, there is little doubt in my mind that an FAA DPE is going to accept the time, VFR or IFR – he would likely know and care little about the nuances of foreign airworthiness certification, and is not legally qualified to make any judgement other than the plane is on the national registry of an ICAO member country. And since the logbook is not submitted to FAA, nobody else but the DPE is involved.

(I don’t think there is such a thing as a non C of A N-registered aircraft)

Last Edited by Silvaire at 02 Oct 19:14

Thanks for all the answers!
I’ll detail some more about my plans, maybe this will clarify my question.

I am planning to moving to Germany soon, and doing my PPL there at an ATO, with their aircraft.
After that, I plan on moving forward towards an fATPL. This obviously requiring hour building.

I was wondering if regulation allows me to fly an experimental aircraft (either LSA or GA, if that matters at all), and have that time count.
Can I fly 100 hours in my GA experimental and present those hours for my IR, CPL ect.

Thanks!

Israel

Yardi_z wrote:

Can I fly 100 hours in my GA experimental and present those hours for my IR, CPL ect.

Depends on national rules, in the UK hours on Jodel, Turb, Luton Minor, Monnet Moni… will count for IR and CPL pre-entry hous and maintain currency, tough not a good preparation to the kind of flying you want after (e.g. big airports, complex, night, IFR…) and may impact career perception of your fATPL?

All of these will cost sub-10K€ to buy/maintain but we are talking airplanes placarded with “aircraft does not comply with international standards” and will carry capital/maintenance risks, if you enjoy flying them after building hours it could be your best GA investment otherwise you will struggle “to get out”

Last Edited by Ibra at 03 Oct 11:00
ESSEX, United Kingdom
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