Ask the DAR

Function Code 33 and flight test.


Question: I have been trying to buy a BD-5B. Only five of 40 test hours have been flown off. The current owner is not interested in flying off the remaining test hours. The aircraft is located in southern Missouri, and I am located in northern Minnesota.

In the November 2010 issue of KITPLANES, you talked about amending Experimental aircraft limitations at Function Code 33.

The specified flight test location is the city airport ofNevada, Missouri,listed on a separatedocumentfrom the airworthinesscertificate. Can the flight-test location be changedusingFunction Code 33 or some other function code? The new proposed flight-test location center is in Hibbing, Minnesota,with a range of all of northern Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin, and from the north edge of the Minneapolis Class B airspace to theCanadian border, excluding restricted airspace of course.

No other changes have been made to this aircraft, so keeping the existing airworthiness certificate seems important; I want to avoid or minimize any paperwork changes.

Answer: First let’s look at what Function Code 33 does. It allows a DAR to Issue amendments/replacements for standard or special airworthiness certificates if the proper documentation can be obtained from the applicant. The DAR will only be allowed to issue an amended airworthiness certificate on an aircraft for which he has the authority to issue an original certificate. In your case, the DAR would have to hold Function Code 33 and 46, Function Code 46 being for Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft.

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Any DAR holding these function codes has the authority to amend your airworthiness certificate and operating limitations. The airworthiness certificate would have to be amended because a special airworthiness certificate contains the date of the operating limitations. So if you amend the operating limitations, you must also amend the airworthiness certificate.

The DAR would also have to coordinate this action with the Minneapolis FSDO because the new flight-test area would be within that jurisdiction.

My suggestion would be for you to approach the Minneapolis FSDO first, as it can do the requested amendment at no charge. A DAR would charge you for the time and paperwork involved. And it is also possible that the DAR might want to inspect the aircraft. If so, this would add even more to the cost.

Withregard to the flight-test area, that would have to be approved by the local FSDO. It sounds like you are asking for quite a large area.I would suggest that you ask for something in the neighborhood of a 75-n.m. radius from the home airport. Thats much more likely to be approved. Idoubt that anyone would issue adual flight-test area, as that would surely be opening a can of worms, especially betweenFSDOs in twodifferent states. You would also have to arrange to transport the aircraft to Minnesota, as I’m sure no one would authorize a flight of that distance.

Please send your questions for DAR Asberry to with Ask the DAR in the subject line.

Mel Asberry is an experienced Designated Airworthiness Representative specializing in Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft. He and his wife, Ann, have built seven amateur-built airplanes including two ultralight types, a Moni Motorglider, a Dragonfly Mk2, two RV-6s and a Zenair CH 601HDS. They are currently building a scratch-built biplane.


  1. Mel, I am trying to determine what modifications cause a reentry into Phase 1 testing for an experimental aircraft. As I understand it, a major change to the aircraft that may affect operating limits or performance characteristics can cause a new Phase 1 flight test. Things such as a modification to the rudder, adding a supercharger or turbo, modifying from plain flaps to Fowler flaps, etc. would cause a new Phase 1 because they fundamentally change the operating characteristics of the aircraft. However a local A&P claims that changing from a vacuum-driven HSI to a new Garmin G5 also causes new Phase 1 testing. I do not believe that is correct. Can you comment on that subject please?


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