Re: Conditional inspections and checkouts

Jon Finley

Hi Fred,

The holder of the repairman certificate can perform a condition inspection regardless of ownership. As you said, any A&P can also perform the condition inspection.

An aircraft goes thru the FAA/DAR inspection and is issued an airworthiness certificate once. As far as I am aware, there is no reason to go thru that process a second time. That includes typical changes such as avionics, engine, prop, etc. as well as major repairs such as a replacement wing/canard.  However; some of those changes may require you to put the aircraft back into phase 1 testing for a certain number of hours.  This is largely dependent on your operating limitations - the wording of them have evolved over the years.  The interpretation has also changed over the years. Of course, there is always a fair bit of confusion about the details and sometimes different information depending on who you talk to at the FAA. "Major change" is the key phrase in all of this and that generally means "significantly changes the W&B and/or the performance envelope of the aircraft." 

Given your description and assuming the aircraft completed phase 1 testing; I would guess that this aircraft needs only re-assembled and a condition inspection to be 'legal.' However; it is never that simple. I would treat any aircraft that I did not build as newly constructed and unproven aircraft. Disassembled/reassembled would make me even more suspect. Depending on the length of time that it is has been sitting, it may need lots of work (like an engine/carb overhaul, glass repairs, brake system overhaul, fuel system overhaul, etc.). None of this is a bad thing if you are looking for a project for the next year or two and with which you will become intimately familiar. On the other hand, if you are looking to tighten up a couple bolts and fly across the US, well... probably not a good thing.

Jon Finley
Flying an RV-4 - Truth or Consequences, NM

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