Ask the DAR

Two engines, one prop; ownership without a sales receipt; ultralight registered as E/A-B.

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Question: Is an E/A-B with two engines moving a single constant-speed propeller considered a single- or multi-engine aircraft? Could it be a single engine with two crankshafts? Soloy has an engine called a Dual Pac that operates this way. What kind of license does the FAA require to fly it?

Answer: In my opinion, if the engines are operated individually, i.e., each one has its own throttle, mixture, etc., then it would be considered a multi-engine aircraft. The Bell Twin JetRanger comes to mind. If the engine has a single set of controls, I think it would be considered a single engine. Keep in mind this is my opinion. I don’t know this as fact.

Question: I was given a PIK Vasama (a non-certified Finnish glider) in need of repair. As it turns out, the glider was sold by one person to another person as spare parts (the second person had an identical airplane and thought having spare parts was a good idea).

The second person, after many years, gave the glider to me for possible restoration. No actual sales documents were generated. I now have a plane that I cannot do anything with. I cannot rent a hangar without title or insurance, and I cannot get insurance without ownership. The original owner, who was the person who actually registered the plane with the FAA, cannot be found or located. Is there any way to acquire ownership of this aircraft without a sales receipt from the first owner?

Answer: Not that I’m aware of. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

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Question: I am preparing to build my first scratch-built aircraft, a legal ultralight of conventional layout and operating characteristics. I eventually want to work my way up through Sport Pilot and then Private Pilot. This seems to be the least expensive route due to the lower operating cost. I am hoping that the ultralight time will translate into quicker learning at the Sport Pilot level, and that I will be able to log Sport Pilot solo time in the same craft. If I register my ultralight as E/A-B and get an N number, can I perform the Phase I flight testing with just my USUA training and later do my Sport Pilot solo training in the same craft? I’ll have 20 pounds or so to spare for the additional instrumentation and a handheld navcom. Also, if I register it as E/A-B, will it lose its ultralight status?

Answer: Unfortunately ultralight time is not loggable toward any pilot certificate. Yes, the experience will help, but not “officially.” Probably your best route would be to get some dual time in a Light Sport airplane, up to solo. Then, if you can certificate your ultralight in the Experimental/Amateur-Built category, you can log time in it.

But remember, to fly the E/A-B aircraft solo, you must have an instructor’s log book endorsement. So hopefully, the instructor who signed you off for solo in the LSA will also sign you off in your E/A-B.

And yes, if you register it as E/A-B, it will no longer be an ultralight.

Please send your questions for DAR Asberry to editorial@kitplanes.com 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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