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Supporting Owners, Builders and Pilots of the Thorp T-18 and its variants.
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Jeff J
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:36 am 
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Hi, I am new around here and to the experimentals overall. I have always had trouble finding what I need in the FARs even in the parts I am familiar with. Can someone point me in the right direction so I can brush up on this topic? I want to go look at a T-18 up for sale but it started life with a Ford conversion and now has a Lycoming. Buying insurance is pointless if the aircraft is not "airworthy" in the eyes of the Feds or the insurance company and it is more of a paperwork thing for them than safety of flight.

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James Grahn
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:52 am 
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Hi Jeff,
You won't find your answer written exactly like that in the FARs. It is in the Operating Limitations of the particular experimental. If you are looking at Norm Paulks airplane, I don't believe it has been inspected and therefore, will not have Operating Limitations yet. I may be wrong.
So the Ops Limits are a form letter in which the FAA inspector lines out inappropriate paragraphs. All experimentals have the same starting letter. That letter has changed over the years. Early ones state that any major change (like an engine change) will invalidate them. The latest one simply says that you have to reenter Phase One flight testing after a major change.
Bottom line is that this is nothing but a paperwork drill.
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Rich Brazell
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:53 am 
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I am going thru a similar situation with a good friends T-18 and the lack of a paperwork trail (I plan to give a brief at the Sedona Fly In on how to cover your arse with paperwork) . The easiest way to see if an aircraft "has a life" is to Goggle the N number and go to the FAA web site . A page should pop up with the current registration and right below that should be the Special Airworthiness Certificate issued for that N number . You better see both documents on file in the registry . :o

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Jeff J
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 7:47 am 
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The one I am looking at is in southern WI for sale by a broker. N3706 was built in 1971 and is day VFR only. Is it hard from a paperwork standpoint to make it legal for night or even IFR?

Unless there is something wrong with the airplane, the only obstacle to the purchase is a checkout. The owner is currently unable to give one himself so I would like to get some time in one before I make the trip to look at the plane. I need to check with my insurance agent to see exactly what I need but he has already told me I do not need a CFI to check me out in the T-18. Is there anyone in the northeast Missouri area that can/would help me with that?

I ordered a set of plans to build the S-18 but then it dawned on me just how far away from having an airplane I would be so I started looking for something to fly while I build.

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James Grahn
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:24 am 
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No it's not hard. You simply call your local FSDO and ask to have new Ops Limits for this bird. They will come out and inspect it (at least they did for me). Then you fill out paperwork and the new ops limits are made. Once you have the current letter, it basically says that you ensure the proper equipment is on board and away you go. For IFR flight, it will need a pitot static cert every two years in addition to the transponder check.
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Ryan Allen
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 12:40 pm 
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+1 for me. Same thing Cubes described when I had my op limits updated.

James Grahn wrote:
No it's not hard. You simply call your local FSDO and ask to have new Ops Limits for this bird. They will come out and inspect it (at least they did for me). Then you fill out paperwork and the new ops limits are made. Once you have the current letter, it basically says that you ensure the proper equipment is on board and away you go. For IFR flight, it will need a pitot static cert every two years in addition to the transponder check.
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rjaeger
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:28 pm 
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Jeff,
I personally know the owner of that plane and it started out with an 0-290 that he flew for years before using the Ford conversion. He then bought Les Conwell's 0-320 and flew off the 5 hours required by the local GADO and entered the change in the logs. He then pulled the engine and had it overhauled in Belvidere, IL, installed a new Sterba prop, new tailwheel and some other minor maintenance planning on flying around the country visiting friends and family until his untimely health condition put a stop to his driving and flying. So I think the paperwork fear is non-existant. If I wasn't almost finished with my project I would have bought it myself before he went with the broker. Check it out and good luck!


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Jeff J
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:51 pm 
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Thanks for the info and the the correction on the engine.

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