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Changing country of registry on a homebuilt aircraft

Let’s say I have a German homebuilt (a proper plane, with an IO360 or IO540 engine, or even the Lancair Evolution turboprop) and want to move it to another European registry.

I have heard that it needs to be at least 50% dismantled and re-assembled, and the registry acceptance inspection takes place during the reassembly.

That sounds crazy. Is it really true?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Assuming you mean to the LAA here in the UK then no, you don’t have to have it 50% dismantled. You will have to find an inspector to go over it and sign it off. How thorough he wants to be depends on the aircraft, the builder and what build information is available. At least, that was my experience when we brought a US experimental here to the UK.

Forever learning
EGTB
I have heard that it needs to be at least 50% dismantled and re-assembled, and the registry acceptance inspection takes place during the reassembly.

That sounds crazy. Is it really true?

I think you are mixing some stuff here? According to the EAA and most other similar organizations, an experimental can only be registered as an experimental if at least 51% is build by the builder. A “quick built” can only be 49% built by the kit producer. Building by plans only is 100%

This case would be somebody buying a homebuilt that is already built, and wanting to register it in another country. I understand that France requires the dismantling and rebuilding.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It all depends on the specific rules in the country of import and also the country of export. I only know about Norway. Here the CAA will do the final approval. For them to do so, the require the aircraft and the build log. The build log have to be signed by an CAA appointed controller for each step of the build (sign before closing surfaces etc). Most countries have such requirements, except the USA and maybe a few others, South Africa maybe. Importing from the US would be difficult unless the builder has logged his work, and it’s overseen by a certified aircraft mechanic or something. People have imported aircraft from the US, so it’s not impossible. UK and Germany, probably OK? But there could be other details of importance.

Why not build yourself?

UK and Germany, probably OK?

I don’t know about the current status. But some (maybe 10?) years ago a former colleague, then captain with an airline and – one should think – all the necessary connections, bought himself an already assembled homebuilt in Canada. He found it impossible to put it on the German register and rather got himself a Canadian PPL validation on which he flew it for some years before selling it again.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Yes – the other option is to keep it on the old registry. But that then takes you into the situation of having a permanent imported noncompliant (non ICAO CofA) aircraft and having to potentially get a permit all the time.

For example if you bought an N-reg Lancair into the UK and left it on the N-reg you would need a new UK CAA permit every 40 days, I am now informed (actually only if you want to fly it – there is no long term parking restriction – but that is the same thing) which is impractical. There used to be a 360 in “my” hangar" – predictably not for very long!

Maybe an EU registry would be treated differently to a US one, when imported into say France. But clearly any practical scenario must allow indefinite parking and unrestricted flying in the owner’s home country. Outside that country, all bets are off (after all it doesn’t have an international CofA) but it would be good to know about what the permission options are. I recall an (unverified) report of Spain taking 2 months to issue the permission.

The fact that the pilot of an N-reg would need an FAA PPL is a given… Not a lot of use for an IR in a homebuilt (currently)

Last Edited by Peter at 28 Apr 09:52
Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

after all it doesn’t have an international CofA

What exactly is an “international” C of A ? In Europe a C of A is issued by EASA or by each country. A CofA is per def “international” unless there are some blacklisting going on. A Permit (to fly) is not a CofA.

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