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Buying a used vari or long-ez....


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I have always dreamed of owning a vari or long-ez, and am finally ready to make the jump. I want to purchase an already flyable one, but wonder how difficult it will be for me to find someone to maintain it, since I cannot because I am not the builder. Am I authorized to do any preventative maintenance at all (brakes, oil changes, etc)? I am relocating to the Tacoma, WA area once my deployment is over here in Iraq (90 days to go..woohoo) and will probably purchase after I arrive there. Does anyone know of any good A&P/IAs available that are familiar with the vari or long, in the Seattle/Tacoma area? If I can find someone that can do a pre-buy and perform the maintenance, my last obstacle will be overcome. I look forward to any advice or contacts you can supply.



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There are several answers to your question here are some FAQ's


Repairman Certificate

How to get your Repairman Certificate


Frequently Asked Questions


When should I apply for my Repairman Certificate?


Make application for a Repairman Certificate (experimental aircraft builder) at the time of original certification of the aircraft.


What are the requirements?

You must:


Be a U.S. citizen or an individual of a foreign country who has been admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

Be 18 years of age or older.

Be the "primary builder" of the aircraft.

Be able to demonstrate to the FAA inspector your ability to perform condition inspections and to determine whether the subject aircraft is in a condition for safe operation.


What does "primary builder" mean?


FAA does not define this term. EAA considers the primary builder to the person who's signature is on Form 8130-6, block III attesting to the airworthiness of the amateur built aircraft.


I am building my aircraft with a partner and we each have put in the same amount of time building, can we both receive a Repairman Certificate?


No, only one person is eligible for a Repairman Certificate for a specific homebuilt. Therefore you will have to decide who gets the Repairman Certificate. That person's name should be listed on FAA Form 8130-6, block III attesting to the airworthiness of the amateur built aircraft.


I am thinking about buying a 95% complete project from another builder, will I be able to get a Repairman Certificate?


If you, as the final builder, can convince the FAA or DAR inspector that you have the requisite skill necessary for determining whether the aircraft is in condition for safe operation, the inspector should give you the Repairman Certificate.


Our EAA Chapter is building a Kitfox as a group project, who will be able to get the Repairman Certificate?


When a Chapter (or school, club, or partnership) builds an aircraft, only one individual will be considered for a Repairman Certificate for each aircraft built. Typically, the designated project leader will be the one who applies for the Repairman Certificate. The project leader should also be the on who signs for the airworthiness of the aircraft on FAA Form 8130-6 block III.


I have an A&P, should I bother applying for the Repairman Certificate on the plane I'm building?


Yes! That way if you allow your A&P license to lapse, you will still be able to inspect and sign off the condition inspection of your homebuilt.




Non-builder Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions:


I am going to buy a used homebuilt, what work can I perform myself?


FAR Part 43 specifically states that the rules of that part do not apply to experimental, amateur-built aircraft. Therefore, any work (not just maintenance) on an experimental aircraft can be performed virtually by anyone regardless of credentials. (This does not apply to the condition inspection). Let common sense be your guide as to what maintenance you conduct yourself.


What is a Condition Inspection?


A condition inspection is the equivalent of an "annual" for a type certificated aircraft. Although FAR Part 91.409©(1) specifically states that experimental aircraft do not require annual inspections, the operating limitations on your homebuilt will include the following (or something similar):


No person shall operate this aircraft unless within the preceding 12 calendar months it has had a condition inspection performed in accordance with the scope and detail of appendix D to part 43, or other FAA-approved programs, and found to be in a condition for safe operation. This inspection will be recorded in the aircraft maintenance records. Condition inspections shall be recorded in the aircraft maintenance records showing the following or a similarly worded statement: "I certify that this aircraft has been inspected on (insert date) in accordance with the scope and detail of appendix D to part 43 and found to be in a condition for safe operation." The entry will include the aircraft total time in service, and the name, signature, certificate number, and type of certificate held by the

person performing the inspection.


See the condition inspection checklist for use in conducting annual condition inspections under the Operating section of this web.


Since I don't have a Repairman Certificate, who must perform the Condition Inspection?


The inspection can be performed by any licensed A&P mechanic, an FAA Approved Repair Station, or by the original builder of the airplane provided the builder has a "Repairman Certificate" for that aircraft from the FAA. Note that unlike an annual for a type certificated aircraft, the A&P mechanic does NOT have to have his/her "Inspection Authorization". Sometimes, if you are lucky, you can include as part of the purchase that the builder will continue to perform the condition inspections.


I am having trouble finding an A&P to perform my Condition Inspection, any ideas where to find one?


The best place to find a local A&P willing to work on homebuilt aircraft is through your local EAA Chapter. Many EAA Chapters have A&Ps who are chapter members and will help you out. Usually, the Technical Counselor is the best person to ask. If that doesn't work, see if someone else in the chapter owns a homebuilt he did not build and find out who he is getting to perform his condition inspection.



These are direct excerpts from the EAA. I hope it answers a few of your questions. In todays world Web research will answer a majority of your questions. The EAA (www.eaa.org) is a great place to start. :D


Long-Ez N81HM

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks Kilo42

That was quite informative. It is nice to see feedback from a Long EZ pilot on the forums and validates why this forum is such a great resource. StuckInTikrit dont forget Barnstormers.com as they have some nice LEZ's for sale. Also check http//www.ez.org as that is the home of Central States Association and it is another great organization for canard drivers with an excellent classified section. Membership there is cheap and information is plentiful as well as support from other builders/flyers. I have been told three must have memberships are AOPA (legal lobby and fantastic web access for flight planning, weather etc), EAA and CSA. You are so short you could change the oil on a crickett standing up! Keep your head down and get home safely. I am getting ready for a second tour in Afghanistan so I know the feeling. Good luck, stay safe and get home soon! Sully

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Thanks for the information. I forgot that the EAA can offer referrals. I am headed to their site now.


Greetings Stuck


Some good news.


Unlike store bought aircraft, the owner or anybody else for that matter has full authorization to do any maintainence, rebuilding, modifying or virtually anything on the aircraft,--- with the exception of the conditional inspection. That must be done by the person that has the repairman's certificate, specifically for that airplane, or someone with, at minimum, and A&P license. Of course the new owner must abide by the limitations in the issued airworthiness certificate.


If you are buying an existing craft, look closely at the limitations of that aircraft. These are generally custom done (from a basic template) and the ones for the aircraft in which you are interested, may be onerous to you.


Get your wrenches, paintbrushes, epoxy and old expendable clothes ready!!!

I Canardly contain myself!

Rich :D

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Unlike store bought aircraft, the owner or anybody else for that matter has full authorization to do any maintainence, rebuilding, modifying or virtually anything on the aircraft,--- with the exception of the conditional inspection.

I never knew that. Until now I had thought that if I bought a Long-EZ, for example, that I wouldn't be able to do the maintenance myself. This is much more flexible than what I had thought.


The 'conditional inspection' is "the annual", right? How much does that run?

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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A "condition inspection" is like an "annual" for a certified aircraft. The EAA has a recommended "condition inspection" checklist available for just about every homebuilt out there. It consist of a list of items compiled over time that "should" be checked during the inspection. For my Long the "condition inspection" checklist is two pages of small print that covers everything from nose to tail. Once complete, a very detailed inspection of the entire plane has been accomplished.


As far as how much? Well that depends. If you are not somewhat familiar with your aircraft maintenance then it would be advisable to find an A&P that has knowledge of EZ aircraft. How much would he charge? If he's your friend, it might cost a six-pack. If not, then it will most probably be an hourly rate. The owner can participate in the "condition inspection" and any maintenace that needs to be done may be accomplished by the owner which saves even more money. Your log-book will have a "condition inspection" statement signed by your A&P and then a line that reads, "Owner performed the following maintenace", listing the maintence accomplished.


THE GOLDEN RULE: If you did not build your plane, know your maintenance (MX) limitaions!!!


Do not be afraid to go and ask for help. Most of the answers are readily available if you do some research. The internet is a goldmine of info. Don't be afraid to call manufactures. The ez.org (www.ez.org) website has a wealth of information. The "Non-builders guide" in the articles section is a must read for ez non-builders. Let me repeat, the "Non-builders guide" in the articles section is a must read for ez non-builders.


The "Canard Pusher" link on the ez.org website is a must read too.


Long-Ez N81HM

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