Ask the DAR

Registering without builders logs, adjustable prop on an LSA, incorrect N-number placement, repairman certificate for a rebuilt RV-6.


Question: Even though I’m pretty sure of the answer, I still have to ask: Is there a way that the owner of a completed Experimental can get it registered without builder’s logs?

Answer: A builder’s log is a requirement. On the other hand, there are no specific requirements laid out for the log. It simply must show a chronological sequence of the build. It needs to show when the project was started, when it was finished, and points along the way. It also should contain pictures of the project and builder. The primary purpose of the log is to prove to the inspector that you did indeed build the aircraft.

Question: Can an adjustable prop be installed in an LSA aircraft if there is a placard declaring in-flight adjustment prohibited?

Answer: The rules that govern LSA compliance are based on the capability of the aircraft, not by how it is operated. Instrument panel placards are not sufficient to meet those rules.

Question: I’m a DAR, but I’d like to know how you handle a particular situation: What do you do when the aircraft is already beautifully painted, but the numbers are beneath the horizontal stabilizer? I have the applicant run to the nearest Home Depot to buy some lettering and place it in the proper position. If they don’t want to do that, I feel I have no choice but to deny certification.

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Answer: Thank you for your question. And yes, I do exactly the same thing. I also explain the rules and further note that if the “properly displayed” numbers are removed after I complete the inspection and leave, the aircraft will not be in compliance with the FARs.

Question: I purchased a severely damaged RV-6. I have built new wings and control surfaces, including a match-drilled center section for the fuselage. I rebuilt the fuselage including new firewall, seat and baggage ribs, engine mount/landing gear, and about half of the skins. I did manage to salvage the back half of the fuselage (longerons were not damaged), along with the interior, instruments, engine and canopy. All of the fiberglass pieces will have to be repaired or replaced, and I will be installing all new control linkages, wiring, prop, brake and fuel lines.

I have a builder number from an unused tail kit. Can I register this as a new build and be designated as the repairman, since I am doing way more than what a quickbuild kit requires (over 51%)?

Answer: Unfortunately, all your work is considered a repair and not an original build. Therefore it doesn’t count toward the 51% fabrication and assembly. The airplane will also need to retain the original serial number and builder.

As far as being eligible for the repairman certificate, the amount of work you are doing would qualify you, if a repairman certificate has not been issued to someone else on this airplane. Only one repairman certificate may be issued for each E/A-B aircraft.

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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