Question: As an A&P mechanic that signs off condition inspections on E/A-B aircraft, I often find that my entries are the only items in the logbook for the year. I know the owner is maintaining the aircraft and working on it, but no entries are made. There seems to be a reluctance to enter their work and sign their name to it. I need help on how to advise them on the proper way to make entries, on what type of items, and what to put with their signature.
Answer: Actually there is no requirement for the owner to make entries in the logbook except for the items that are specifically required such as condition inspections, ELT inspections, transponder checks, etc.
On the other hand, you as an A&P may refuse to sign off the condition inspection unless appropriate entries are present. As I’m sure you’re aware, when you sign off the condition inspection, you are releasing the aircraft as “in a condition for safe operation.” The type of items requiring logbook entries would be up to whatever your comfort level is.
Question: I’m the owner of an E/A-B aircraft, not the builder or an A&P mechanic. What items of maintenance, repair, or modification that I do should I enter in the aircraft logbook? How should these items be entered in the logbook, and how should they be signed by me?
Answer: As an owner (not the builder) of an amateur-built aircraft, you may do any and all maintenance on the aircraft. In my opinion, all maintenance items should be recorded. Simply log what and how maintenance was performed and sign. If new parts are used, they should also be listed. No repairman or any other certificate is required, of course, except for the condition inspection.
Question: If you put a single-seat LSA on floats, then put retractable wheels on the floats, does that disqualify it from being an LSA because it now has retractable gear? If you use it as an LSA on wheels, then put it on the floats, does that forever take it out of the LSA category?
Answer: Hey, I get to give a positive answer for once. Really, I get tired of saying, “No, you can’t do that!”
Retractable gear is acceptable with floats. You may change it back and forth. With floats installed, maximum gross weight may be 1430 pounds; without floats it reverts back to 1320 pounds. Of course, on a small single-seat LSA, this probably isn’t a factor.
Question: I purchased an Experimental airplane that has been certified airworthy and has a current registration. However, the airworthiness certificate is missing. How do I get a replacement? Will the aircraft have to be placed into Phase I testing to receive a copy of the original airworthiness certificate?
Answer: You should be able to apply to your nearest FSDO for a replacement airworthiness certificate (FAA form 8130-7). You will need to show proof of ownership. Your current registration should be sufficient. You should not have to reenter Phase I.
You don’t mention if you have the operating limitations. If you have them, they will be beneficial as showing proof of airworthiness. If you don’t have them, you will need to ask for an “amended” certificate instead of a “replacement.” This will give you the latest version of the operating limitations.
Please send your questions for DAR Asberry to firstname.lastname@example.org 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.