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Moving to N-reg - why exactly won't people do it?

I get the feeling that many have considered it but thought it would be generally too difficult.

Has anyone decided to not do it for a really specific reason e.g. uneconomic-to-solve certification issues?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I had someone that recently asked me to assist in transferring their French reg’d plane to FAA.

The first problem was the Trust. Since this person didn’t read, write or speak a single word of English, he had to find someone to translate and explain the details of the trust. This alone took over a month.

In preparing to perform an FAA Inspection of the aircraft, we had dozens of conversations where I had to explain every little detail of the FAA regs.

I soon came to the conclusion that unless the owner/operator is able to read and understand the basic FAA regulations, then he/she is NOT in a position to successfully maintain and operate under the FAA regulations.

I ceased assisting this person and suggested that he re-consider. A few months later I saw his plane with N registration, so he obviously found someone else to help him out, but , through this experience, I am now firmly convinced that operating under FAA regulations is NOT for everyone !

FAA A&P/IA
LFPN

I can report from my own experience. It took me a year to find a financing organization that will accept N-reg. It appears that at some point they stopped providing financing for small N-reg planes and only did it for much more expensive aircraft. Then they all started to do it again.

Financing is averse to risk and when word about risk spreads, they all start to avoid the same thing – even if it is based on a rumor.

Another reason might simply be language. English language legalize can be scary ;-)

Frequent travels around Europe

I soon came to the conclusion that unless the owner/operator is able to read and understand the basic FAA regulations, then he/she is NOT in a position to successfully maintain and operate under the FAA regulations.

@Michael that is a very good point. The language thing.

Frequent travels around Europe

The first problem was the Trust. Since this person didn’t read, write or speak a single word of English, he had to find someone to translate and explain the details of the trust. This alone took over a month.

I would suggest a non English speaker will find it impossible to have much personal involvement (even if only supervision) in the maintenance of any GA aircraft. They will have to hand the whole job to a company. All the maintenance material is in English – except I guess Socatas and Robins (etc) have French MMs too. And Yaks will be Russian

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Changing to N-reg involves an FAA inspector coming to the aircraft. That is always a risk. If you aircraft is 30+ years old, there could be god knows and you have no idea whether the inspector only knows Boeings 747 or happens to be an avid GA pilot flying exactly the same model as you.

Changing the tail number of a 30+ year old aircraft with its original paint isn’t great either.

Last but not least, there are avionics devices that do not have FAA approval (ETSO but no TSO or no US STC).

Sure – one could make a general list, and I have one here, but I wondered if anybody could mention specific issues they found.

A 30 year old American plane which is original should transfer easily – even if in what we would call poor condition.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

For a very modest craft like mine there would be little or no advantage, even if it were legally possible. I do be considering moving to the F-register, though.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

It’s a shift of focus from flying to running a scheme like business kind of thing, and the benefit is close to zero all in all, unless you have way more time and money than the average hobby pilot. It’s similar to building your own aircraft, the time used building is just fun, but if you don’t think it’s fun building, then it’s only a very time consuming distraction.

Besides, in Norway N-regs are not allowed for more than 6/12 consecutive months. Only last month did aircraft from other EASA states become legal to operate on a permanent basis. We will maybe start seeing D-regged EASA types here ? D-reg being the most practical and least expensive in Europe.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

D-reg being the most practical and least expensive in Europe.

Unless you have a Cessna… For the rest D-reg is the most liberal and cost effective reg in EASA land, that’s true.

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