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Buying a 60 year old airframe in the USA and flying it back to the UK

RobertL18C wrote:

which is planned to be Bellingham WA

Why Bellingham? That means you have to cross all of North America within Canada, as the airplane will have legally left the US. I would suggest to look at that carefully. AFAIK there are some Canadian requirements (ELT?) that a N-reg may not meet. Probably no issue on a NA ferry with one fuel stop in Canada, but coming from Bellingham you will have to stop a few times within Canada. Which, btw, may also trigger some sort of Canadian import scenario.

Because I have family in BC

No import risk in Canada that I am aware, and the vast majority of piston aircraft will be making several stops in Canada even if going via Bangor Maine.

What makes you think there is a risk in Canada? Other than ensuring you go through a port of entry?

Also don’t all N reg in the USA carry ELT or has that requirement being rescinded?

Some more items to check :)

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Isn‘t it just a matter of landing at a customs designated airport and saying „hey, I want to pay import VAT for this thing here?

On UK side, that is all there is !

I had assumed this was a few hundred USD, but in fact it will be over $2k

On US side, you need “CBP decall” but it’s 100$, it can be done in the border or ordered online…
Or maybe there is more to it if it’s not trust owned?

Last Edited by Ibra at 27 Apr 19:57
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

@boscomantico you may be right, but all ferry pilots that I know would go through this procedure

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

RobertL18C wrote:

Also don’t all N reg in the USA carry ELT or has that requirement being rescinded?

They do, but not all are the 406 variant, which is mandatory in Canada. You will also need a radio station license for the airplane, something that isn’t required in the US and most planes don’t have, unless they are regularly flown to Canada or Mexico.

I am only aware of these things as I had to stop a trip to Vancouver at, you guessed it, Bellingham a while ago as the aircraft I was flying didn’t have these things. If this is an issue in real life I have no idea, but thought I’d alert you to it. You most likely would also run into issues if on your cross-continent trip you had to re-enter the US for whatever reason. TBH, I would drive to Vancouver (about an hour from Bellingham) and cross the continent within the US. This would also obviate potential mx issues (FAA A&P ?) should anything go wrong.

@172driver it will have a radio licence

Will research the 406 ELT (or is it PLB?) plenty of N reg visit Canada without a problem, eg going to Alaska

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Canadian ELT regulations here

“The general rule in Canada is that the ELT must transmit a signal on 121.5 MHz and be approved to the standards specified below. Transport Canada strongly recommends carrying an ELT that operates on both 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz”

Additional Government info here

Last Edited by Silvaire at 27 Apr 20:22
Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom


And funny. Valiair. That happens to be exactly the company/trust that I have switched to, and that is why I knew about the “export” issue. It seems like this indeed is only an immediate issue if changing over from Aircraft Guaranty. And I don’t even know if other trusts (which took over aircraft from Aircraft Guaranty) also went through these steps at all (don’t know if it was strictly necessary in order to get aircraft “released” from Aircraft Guaranty.

Mind you, Valiair has made a good impression, partly BECAUSE they are being so “throrough” and “correct”.

Do you intend on using Valiair as your trust, too? In that case however, they will do the export thing as part of the service of gaining you as a long-term customer. It is not charged extra. If you are using another trust, I would check if they really insist on this export thing. And even if yes, I would tell them that you expect them to get that sorted for you without extra charge.

There have be thousands of N-regs in Europe today for which the US export procedure has never been completed!

Last Edited by boscomantico at 28 Apr 12:12
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

SAC will be trustee and have paid the first annual fee to get escrow rolling

They are a bare bones trustee as far as I can make out, any question they refer you to a third party specialist

The problem is likely to crystallise if you ever return to the USA and customs treat you as a grey import

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom
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