Ask the DAR

Repairman certificate, test-flight areas.


Question: I recently purchased a Mini-Max project that I expect to complete as E/A-B. The original owner kept meticulous time and photo records, a practice I plan to continue. When the plane is finished, I think I can fairly claim a majority of the assembly, but maybe not the most time. What must I do to ensure I qualify for the repairman’s certificate, and is it possible both of us could qualify?

Answer: To qualify for the repairman certificate for an Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft, one only has to be listed as a primary builder of the aircraft and show that he/she has sufficient knowledge to competently perform the condition inspection. Unfortunately, only one person may obtain the repairman certificate for each aircraft.

Question: Can I register a T-Bird as an Experimental that had the registration and airworthiness certificate surrendered? It needs to be reassembled and reinspected. It is reassembled enough to get a repairman certificate.

Answer: You don’t say why the registration and airworthiness certificate were surrendered. If they were surrendered by the original builder to avoid liability, then you have a problem.

Once an Amateur-Built aircraft is certificated, the builder remains the same forever. That can never change. A subsequent owner may not re-certificate the aircraft with a new builder. Also, reassembly of an aircraft does not count as building.

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As mentioned earlier in this month’s column, only one repairman certificate can be issued to each Amateur-Built aircraft. The applicant for the repairman certificate must be listed as an original builder of the aircraft.

Question: I have built three airplanes and each time, the DAR designated an area around the airport at which the plane was inspected in which the 40-hour test time was to be flown. I am nearing completion of another plane which is located quite a distance from my home. May I fly a portion of the tests (say ten hours) in the area around the airport at which the inspection will take place and then make a ferry flight to another designated area for the remainder of the test time? I recognize that the ferry flight would have to avoid densely populated areas.

Answer: This scenario comes up quite often, and it depends on several factors.Most DARs are given considerable latitude on flight test areas as long as it is kept reasonable. If the place where the aircraft is inspected and the test area you are wanting to relocate to are within a reasonable distance, and are both located within the same MIDO jurisdiction, it can usually be worked out.

If the two locations are within different MIDO jurisdictions, then it would have to be approved by both MIDOs. If the two areas are very distant apart and/or cannot be transitioned without flying over densely populated areas, then it probably won’t work.

Another thing to consider is that the “home-base” airport does not need to be centrally located within the test area. An example of this is that I often give a test area favoring one direction or another because the “inspection” airport may be located right next to Class B airspace.

Work with your DAR. He/she, in combination with the MIDO, will have the final answer.

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.


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