Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Banner
Welcome to our forums

Best place to register homebuilt/experimental in Europe

Hi, Apologies for posting here, I can’t seem to post on “Non-Certified” probably because I just created an account. I just found out about this site on Reddit. My question is a more theoretical one – what country is the best one to register a homebuilt/experimental aircraft in Europe? I don’t know if anyone has done the pros and cons of various countries. For example, I’ve heard that DE is hard, as is CH, FR not so bad, NL easy, LT easy, etc. Does know if there is a summary somewhere? Thanks.

Edit: Oops – I see that I can now post in “Non-Certified” – perhaps a moderator could move this there – thanks!

[ done ]

Last Edited by eurogaguest1980 at 21 Jul 17:00
Fly more.
France

Welcome to EuroGA

I recommend a search with e.g.

homebuilt privileges

and you find e.g. this thread and this one

It depends a lot on where you want to fly. If you want to fly only within the country where you are based, the situation is easier. There is a matrix of which countries allow what and which ones need a prior notice. Also some of the regs are hard to find.

For being based in France, this is likely to be very relevant. It seems that you want to look for an F-reg aircraft. Some makes of homebuilts could not go on the F-reg after 1998. @vrh and @ugolin may know more.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Thanks for the tips. I’ve read that thread. My question is more focused on where is the best place to get the initial registration after building the aircraft. For example, in the USA you could register a bathtub if your paper work is fine, and it takes about an hour. In Switzerland and I believe Germany, you have to have lots of inspections, engineering analysis, testing, and paperwork. I’m trying to figure if there is a summary somewhere of what is required for each country. Thanks!

Fly more.
France

In the absence of other responses… I think this may not be the best way to look at it.

Probably the best place to initially register something might be Romania or Bulgaria Look at e.g. this.

But then you probably don’t want to live there. And since, around Europe, most countries operate some sort of variously restrictive climate on long term basing of uncertified aircraft, you need to move it to the local registry, and you get additional issues there. Often, the move is simply impossible. There is a vast amount of info in past threads but one example I recall is France which in certain scenarios requires a dismantling to 51% (whatever that means) and re-assembly.

Accordingly, in much of Europe, a lot of the uncertified community is on non domestic registers and in many cases operates “below the radar” and provided they fly locally, without Mode S, and avoid bigger airports, it works… This is OK so long as you are aware of it, and possible insurance issues if something goes wrong. Existing owners don’t appreciate this type of post but prospective owners are usually grateful for it

If I was to fly a homebuilt I would get something which can go on the local registry without any issue. In the UK, the G-reg one is run by the LAA and they are quite restrictive, but once you are on it, it works fairly well. In Germany there is a way to keep an N-reg one for up to 180 days (various previous threads) and then there is a way to extend that for another 180 days, so Germany has a fair number of N-reg homebuilts, while in the rest of Europe these are really difficult to keep unless you are either very low profile or so wealthy you don’t care, and preferably flying it in the more remote regions.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The basic, IMHO, is to build and register where you live. There are several reasons:

  • You are solely responsible for the airworthiness of the aircraft. You can’t blame anyone. Having a community around you makes life much easier.
  • Language barriers, traditions and similar makes it difficult. Often these things are governed more by culture and tradition rather than “by the letter” regulations.
  • Contact with the local authorities in the matter is always easier when living in the country.
  • Necessary practicalities. Let’s say you build it in France according to Dutch regulations. How are you going to fly the first flights? The French authorities won’t let you fly in France before all the testing is done and all the papers are in order. You have to move it to Holland for initial flying. Lots of similar stuff like this will pop up. Some of them may be easily solved, others could be “impossible” to solve (practically speaking, within reasonable time, cost and grief).

eurogaguest1980 wrote:

For example, in the USA you could register a bathtub if your paper work is fine, and it takes about an hour

It doesn’t mean this is a good thing. In fact it is one of the main reasons EAA was formed. Today Oshkosh (the home of EAA and air venture) is the definitive Mecca for experimental homebuilt aircraft.

With homebuilts, local is King. Lots of exceptions I’m sure, but I cannot imagine anyone that makes life easier. Importing an already built and tested homebuilt is another matter, as this may or may not be put on local register and may or may not be kept on the old register depending on lots of obscure reasons.

Eurogaguest – here’s an intro to the UK situation:

http://www.lightaircraftassociation.co.uk/Beginners%20Guide/main.html

but probably only relevant if you’re building in the UK.

Importing an existing type is possible; importing a non-existing type (in the UK) could be a weapons-grade challenge.

Last Edited by 2greens1red at 23 Jul 09:18
Swanborough Farm (UK), Shoreham EGKA, Soysambu (Kenya), Kenya

eurogaguest1980 wrote:

I’m trying to figure if there is a summary somewhere of what is required for each country.

I’m afraid there is no such thing. But when you are from France and I assume you speak French then – why not register it just there? France isn’t bad for Experimentals from what I’ve heard. I know a Belgian who registered his homebuilt in France, which was a lot cheaper than Belgium back then. With a french registration you can fly an Experimental through most european countries without hassle (same goes for many other registrations as well) on the basis of bilateral agreements between the states. No problems with the insurance either btw. Hey, several homebuilts flew around the world

I’ve bought an Experimental in England back in 2011, registered it in the Netherlands (in the same year) and my homebase is in Germany. Yes, there was paperwork and sometimes the process appeared to get stuck a little. But it is very doable and sometimes so simple that you can’t believe it Once you’ve finished the registration process, renewal of the special airworthiness certificate is easy.

I can also recommend to get in touch with the community of the aircraft type you fell in love with. The homebuilt scene is very enthusiastic and owners are happy to help you where they can. They will also know the pitfalls at “their” CAAs.

EDLE

LeSving wrote:


eurogaguest1980 wrote:
For example, in the USA you could register a bathtub if your paper work is fine, and it takes about an hour

It doesn’t mean this is a good thing. In fact it is one of the main reasons EAA was formed. Today Oshkosh (the home of EAA and air venture) is the definitive Mecca for experimental homebuilt aircraft.

Actually EAA helped create and maintain the original and existing US regulatory regime for Experimental Amateur Built (E-AB) aircraft. That a group of individuals was successful in beating back preexisting Federal restrictions and has been successful in preventing additional interference over a 66 year period of more general regulatory growth is an amazing achievement. The historical background is that as US aircraft certification and registration came into being starting in 1926, the opportunity for homebuilts was pushed aside except in a few states (notably Oregon) where essentially unregulated homebuilt aircraft continued under state laws that had preceded Federal involvement. Nothing developed until after WWII but EAA’s formation in 1953 was a key part of the negotiations that led to the Federal law as it is now being created in the early 1950s, and it has changed little since. EAA has no direct role in regulating E-AB aircraft but is instead a private organization that has helped maintain the relatively unrestricted FAA E-AB regulations, including lobbying for membership interests and efforts to promote (not regulate) safety.

The Oregon role in E-AB planes and people BTW created a lineage directly to Van’s Aircraft today – there is a connection between the original ‘Oregon Outlaw’ homebuilders and Richard Van Grunsven, who is RV.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 23 Jul 18:06

Again, see previous threads. The answer depends on the country and the type. Sometimes the country of registry requires the manufacturer to deliver some data, which the mfg either won’t deliver (because Europe is a miniscule market compared to the US) or is no longer around.

For example an RV is generally easy. A Lancair is generally not easy. Sometimes there are other reasons e.g. due to performance you would be very hard pushed to put a Lancair Evolution on the LAA G-reg

What aircraft type is being proposed?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Silvaire wrote:

Actually EAA helped create and maintain the original and existing US regulatory regime for Experimental Amateur Built (E-AB) aircraft

Yes, well, nothing essential comes out of registering a bathtub as an airplane, it’s still a bathtub. That’s where the EAA comes in. Instead of registering a bathtub, why not build a real airplane that flies really well and register that instead?

16 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top