Re-certification of Experimental Aircraft

by John Feuerer
(Kipfenberg, Germany)

I'm from Germany and would like to buy an experimental airplane. The airplane is actually on display in a museum. The museum received the plane as a donation but they are now going to sell it.


Unfortunately the last owner is not willing to give out the certifications and logs for the construction. But I have found the original builder of the plane.

Is there a way to recertify the plane by the guy who once built it?

The plane has a new engine. Is there a way to get the plane recertified with the new engine installed?

What would be the process to recertify that plane?

What should I consider before getting into that process?

The plane will be kept under U.S. registration.

Thank you for your help.

ANSWERS: I am assuming it is an experimental amateur built aircraft. If the certificate is invalid (surrendered or suspended) you would need to re-apply for an airworthiness certificate. To do this, you need to have all of the construction documentation to prove it meets the build requirements of the 51% rule, and obtain a statement from the builder.

Refer to the experimental amateur built section of this website for detailed information about the process for certification.

Experimental Amateur Built Certification

If you are in Germany, it would be best to contact the FAA International Field Office (IFO) in Frankfurt to discuss any special requirements that they might have, and to request their assistance. Their contact number is Phone: 49-69-7535-7700, Fax: 49-69-7535-7751

If the last owner is not willing to provide you with copies of the construction records I don’t think there is anything you can do, unless the original builder is a different person and that person has copies of all construction records including photos and is willing to make a statement of build. But that might be long shot.

Unfortunately, without those construction records you wouldn’t be able to apply for certification.

Being an experimental aircraft, the engine change should not be an issue, if there are documents detailing the change. The FAA will want to know if there was a flight test performed and if there are published operating procedures available.

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