Ask the DAR

Repairman certificate eligibility, who to list as the manufacturer, installing ADS-B equipment.

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Question: I’m thinking of buying a partially completed kit from someone who has lost interest in the project. However, the seller, who is also the original builder, has already registered the kit and listed himself as the manufacturer. Will there be a way for me to get the repairman certificate? I’ll be doing every bit as much work on the project as the original builder.

Answer: The repairman applicant need not meet the entire 51% rule himself. Otherwise, when multiple persons build a kit, no one would meet the requirements. When you apply for an airworthiness certificate, you should list yourself, along with the original builder, on Form 8130-12. To be able to apply for the repairman certificate, you’ll need to show that you are one of the builders and are able to competently perform the condition inspection.

Question: I just acquired a Glasair Sportsman project that went through the “Two Weeks To Taxi” program 10 years ago. The engine and prop are mounted, and the airframe is complete. The avionics are still in boxes. The IO-390 has never been started, and the aircraft has never been inspected nor received an airworthiness certificate.

The builder I bought it from told me he reserved the N-number. In reality, he registered the aircraft with a serial number and himself as the manufacturer. I recently submitted paperwork to OKC to show me as owner, but I have two questions:

1. Should I/can I be shown as the manufacturer at the time of the DAR inspection?

Airshow coverage sponsor:

2. Do you perceive any problems obtaining the airworthiness certificate if the previous owner is not part of the process?

Answer: The builder listed on the registration cannot be changed. When submitting Form 8130-12 for certification, you can list your name as an additional builder. By doing that, you can become eligible for the repairman certificate.

The only problem I see with certification would be if there is not sufficient documentation to show 51% compliance. Personally, I have never been a fan of the “Two-Weeks-To-Taxi” program and would insist on documentation of the build.

Question: I own an SLSA. The manufacturer has gone out of business, so I’m unable to get a letter of authorization to add equipment or make alterations. To comply with the FAA 2020 ADS-B mandate, I need to install a small transceiver, a couple of antennas, a 3-amp circuit breaker, and some simple wiring. I’m an A&P with avionics experience. Is there a legal way to do this simple equipment addition without reregistering the plane as an ELSA?

Answer: Once an SLSA manufacturer has gone out of business, you need to have your aircraft converted to ELSA. The defunct manufacturer can no longer support the aircraft with respect to safety issues and, as you point out, can no longer issue change authorizations.

You will need to contact your local FSDO or a DAR to have your aircraft converted.

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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