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Thread: Value of paperwork

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    Value of paperwork

    I got into a disscussion with a builder of a homebuilt SC. Our debate was over the value of the paperwork necessary to make his cub certified, books, data plate and the like. He figured that he would pay a couple thousand. I maintain the paperwork was probably worth the difference between a sales price of a homebuilt vs a certified cub. This number could be substantial. Any Ideas? pak

  2. #2
    StewartB
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    A friend of mine sold the data plate from his wrecked cub for 10K. The plane was a total, there were no parts included. I believe him, since when I bought my new 12 fuselage and was handed the yellow tag, I was told if I lost the tag, I could get a new one....for $10,250.00.

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    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    Where is the sucker who paid 10k for a data plate? Can you give me his number, I've got lots of stuff I need to sell to this guy.

    Be careful building a plane around a data plate, or transfering data plates, documentation is everything, and mechanics have had their license revoked for signing off this kind of stuff.

    If you are building with new certified parts, have a conformity inspection done, and issued a new plate as a new certified aircraft.

    And a new, certified, PMA'ed fuselage would not need a yellow tag. A 8130-3 form maybe, but yellow tags are for rebuilt used parts. All it should legally need is a serial # from the manufacturer. Where did you get your fuselage from? Are they useing S/N's from wrecked fuselages?

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Has anybody built a Super Cub from certificated parts and gotten a standard airworthiness certificate? The regs say you can do it. You just use a serial # that doesn't fall in the originals. Isn't this what Cub Crafters is doing?

    Steve

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    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    That's how CC is building new planes, even though Piper still holds the TC. And yes, it's in the regs, and anyone can do it. That's why used paperwork, data plates really are not worth that much.

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    PA12driver's Avatar
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    The practice of building cubs around the data plate has been around for years. CC among other prominent rebuilders did that as it was "the accepted" practice. Piper has raised holy##$%% to the FAA over the practice and so now from my understanding the "rebuilders are building New airplanes with new serial numbers (as you stated)

    It is the FAA that is left with egg on there face and no real easy way out. I too would like to know who is selling "new" airframes with a "yellow tag" This sounds kinda odd?

    I will wait and here from those that are directly in the process.

    Great topic! will probably go on and on and on and on!!

  7. #7
    StewartB
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    My airframe is by Dakota Airframe. There is an FAA/PMA data plate with a new serial number attached. There is also a paper tag, with the same information, in my log books. The paper is more yellow than white. I don't care what color it is, I just don't want to lose it. As for selling data plates and log books, I'm not going to judge a high-time cub pilot's story that he sold the tag. I think he could sell it again, easily. Is it legal? I don't care. Is the buyer a sucker? He had the money and was willing to pay the price, so it was his decision. It apparently made sense to him.

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    PA12driver's Avatar
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    Stewartb, Tell me more about your Dakota 12 fuselage? I am curious to here the differences between the original (tubing configuration) and what they are selling?

    I am going to be building an "Experimental" licenced 12 or similar next go around, I will most likely start with an PMA, New, or what ever they call it certified carcass!

    Send a PM if you want

    Thanks,

    Tim- PA12driver

  9. #9
    Crash's Avatar
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    Paperwork

    The pilot next door is building a certified PA-18 from PMA'ed parts. It's no big deal. It wil be a __his name__ PA-18. The reason I would not go this route or experimental is I'm a big target with lots of assets (double wide trailer and '71 Ford F100 pickup). When you sell the plane, YOU take on the 25 years of liability if anything goes wrong, pilot error or not. Ten grand is dirt cheap in the scheam of things. The last paperwork I know of that was sold (about 4 years ago) went for $5,000.00. The way Cubs are going up, $10K is not out of line. Hired a lawyer lately? Retainers are $10K and up for a good one, and don't expect to get any of it back. Even if you win, you will spend five times that defending yourself. If you have nothing worth taking then go for it. Crash

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    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Value of paperwork

    I agree with Super Cub MD, a mechanic has to be careful about what he returns to service with "just a data plate" the right Fed comes along having a bad hair day and can instantly vaporize a mechanics certificates.I know of this very incident happing in my area on a Decathlon that is a series of parts flying in formation. As far as the value of paperwork I think it all amounts what the "motivated" buyer will pay. I think probably the best way to avoid the grief is to go out and pay the 50 to 80 grand for a good cub and be done with it. On the issue of liability, to avoid losing my doublewide and my truck I sold my Pitts as "parts" I kept my "N" number and the airplane left my hangar on a trailer. Im sure some lawyer would look for a way to hang my ass but it wasnt flying when it left my place.

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    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    Liability, yeah, just let me finish signing this pile of logbooks on my desk, and we'll talk about liability. When I rebuild these old ones, my name is in there forever. I'd be better off if I could remanufacture them as "new" planes, then it would go away after 25 years.

    I think it was in AK, a few years ago. A mechanic built a Super Cub up from parts. Instead of certifying it as a new plane, he put on a data plate, and used the paperwork from a wreck. Somehow the Feds got wind of it, no slap on the wrist fine or suspension, they revoked his ticket. He did fight it for all he was worth, I think what they tecnically got him on was falsifying the total time. He used the total time from the data plate/paperwork doaner, but could not establish a time on his pile of parts. But it sounded like they really wanted his ticket, and could have had it on any number of charges.

    On the serial number plate that is on every Piper fuselage, sometimes you have to remove it to do mods/repairs, ALWAYS put it back on. If this plate/number is ever lost you are screwed. This is the fuselage S/N, and is different from the aircraft S/N. Having/knowing this number is more important that having a data plate. I like to write this number in the aircraft log, or somewhere safe, just in case.

  18. #18
    cubdrvr's Avatar
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    Good point Mark...........The data plate was missing from my cub when I rebuilt it. Called Piper.....they said you need the fuselage s/n, but it had, like you said, been removed for a repair. As far as I know there is only one source to find your fuselage s/n if you don't have it and that is Clyde Smith, Jr. ( you can contact him thru Cub Clues). I now have that number on the first page of my logs.

    As far as the mech that lost his license.......reminds me of the saying "You can tell the difference between a mechs airplane and anyone elses 'cuz there is nothing in the logbooks"

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    Value of Paperwork

    TJ that is pretty interesting about having to put the total time of the airframe of the old fuselage and then put in the new total time of the new fuselage when you are talking about one component of the aircraft. Keeping track of major component times is important (fuselage,wings,engine and so on) but the fact is that there is no life limited parts on a supercub. My point is if you rebuild an aircraft with all NEW PARTS and install a data plate from some wreck or where ever you got it from the aircraft total time isn't Zero it is what the data plate carries over even if it 10,000 hours. It's pretty standard to enter the components that where replaced or repaired during rebuild be entered in the aircraft records upon the return to service. The FAA doesn't care about component times unless they are life limited, they only care about total time.

    Matt

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    Value of paperwork

    I knew when I saw this topic it would hit a major "hot button" the idea Im getting from reading the experienced A&P IA's posts is that it sounds like it all depends on your FSDO and who makes the final descision there. The Feds in my area dont know a Super Cub from an Ercoupe when it comes to questions concerning this so they either buy it or call somebody and ask before they buy off on the old data plate attached to a new a/c theory. The "old school" Fed that is familiar with rag and tube rebuilds etc. is getting to be a rare breed.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I agree. My local Airworthiness Inspector is in his mid fifties. I hate to think about having to deal with the kids he's got working for him. They have never worked on an airplane in their life. There oughta be a law.

    Steve

  23. #23
    StewartB
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    In my mind, a good airplane may not be perfectly legal, and a perfectly legal airplane isn't necessarily good. My life depends on my plane, as does that of my family. No one has a bigger interest in the safety and reliability of my plane than me. Not even the FAA. I also am the only one with a financial interest in my plane, so I won't booger it up with illegal mods that ultimately detract from the value, so most of this discussion is theoretical.

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    stewartb, Too bad all A/C owners aren't like you. It would save us much pain and aggrevation trying to figure out what is approved and whats not. I had a guy bring a Super Cub in my shop that had a can screwed to the sidewall under the throttle with a hose leading to the brake cylinders with shut off valves on each cylinder. Good idea and it worked but looked like hell. You see some homebuilts that are imaculate and then you see others you wouldn't get in with one foot on the ground. There is no real answer in my opinion. You just have to do the best you can.

    Steve

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    Lawn Dart's Avatar
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    Stewartb
    You hit the nail on the head. That's exactly how I feel! Good one.

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    Well now, you've got me confused because I have a 1979 Piper PA-18, with the original airframe log not having any mention anywhere of a fusalage serial number. There's an aircraft S/N, but nothing for the fusalage. That's in the documentation that I have from the factory, nothing. Furthermore, I've had the extra cross brace in the ceiling added, and that 337 doesn't reference a fusalage S/N, just a aircraft S/N. Do I have a bunch of sloppy paperwork? Should I care? I'm pretty sure I'm legal because the 337 also has an FAA signature on it from the FSDO.

    Where are the wing serial numbers? My plane has replacement wings. The 337 for the wing replacement (and some other stuff) has part numbers, but no serial numbers. The log entry for the work doesn't mention serial numbers, nor are there any mentions of a serial number other than the aircraft pretty much anywhere (except the engine). So, how would a savy inspector realize that some plane had a replacement fuselage, comparing the one on the dataplate to what? I have an original fuselage, but how would someone know about replacement wings, other than the paperwork?

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    Value of Paperwork

    I'll stir the pot some more.

    Rookie when your aircraft was manufactured more than likely the major components had a S/N ( fuselage, wings,engine...) and they also had assembly numbers (also known as part numbers for the individual parts and the whole that they formed) (I know this is as clear as mud) for which the aircraft is built with. As mentioned before the wing (as an example) has one p/n for the assembly that can be purchased for a replacement and installed and be legal. That component will have a s/n and you may or may not know what it is (I use the wing as an example because most of them don't have a " data plate or tag" as the fuselage or aircraft as a whole does.) The purpose of the manufacturing s/n on the components is of course the paper trail for the FAA if problems arise in the future ( AD's) to help those involved track the aircraft that will have to comply. So to answer your question the inspector wouldn't know about the replacement parts unless the aircraft logs were inspected. As long as the p/n's are correct that is all they care about. More than likely the wing s/n is written on the spar some where. (not to be confused with the spar p/n).

    TJ the reason Aircaft manufactures require fuselage s/n for the lost data plate is that is the only sure way they have to track AIRCRAFT s/n. ( they have that on file and sometimes you can't trust registration numbers.)

    If you think about it it's not that confusing. (also helps that I worked in the manufacturing end of things.)

    Matt

  31. #31
    Rookie's Avatar
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    I had another look at my data plate. It says "Piper" at the top, in a nice stylized lettering, the model, aircraft S/N, and a "Plate" S/N.

    It sounds like someone could write a book or three about the evolution of record keeping around aircraft manufacturing. As an owner, and member of the marketplace of aircraft, I'm interested in how the presence or absense of particular paperwork impacts the "value" of a given airplane, but I guess it all just comes down to how much of a check gets written when it's time to shake hands.

  32. #32
    CubCouper's Avatar
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    I've visited with Clyde Smith on this very subject. For all the reasons cited above, there is no correlation between A/C serial number and any of the various part numbers, including the fuselage serial number except for the manufacturing records. Clyde even mentioned that is was common practice for the A/C and fuselage serial numbers to match at the beginning of the production life cycle of a particular model, and then drift apart when an occasional fuselage would be pulled from the assembly line for other purposes (testing, etc.). Sometimes that part would find its way back onto the line, sometimes it would disappear.

    From rumors I've heard, getting Piper to give out those original production records is nigh on impossible... but there is another source. For $10, Clyde will look up that data in his personal records and get you the original Piper production serial numbers, as recorded when the factory released the airplane. I've haven't tried this for my PA-18, but I did get the data for my J4 -- even found out the original colors and dealer that the plane was shipped to. Fun stuff if the history matters to you.

    Clyde still has no electronic access that I'm aware of... snail mail to Clyde Smith, Jr. PO Box 721, LockHaven PA 17745 works.

    Rod

  33. #33
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I had Clyde send me this info on my L18C. It included original weights at each wheel, original engine w/serial no., original prop w/serial no., manufacturing date, roll out date, fuselage frame serial no., wing serial no.'s, paint scheme, special equipment and remarks. It was interesting to me because my plane had none of the original logs from when it was in the Dutch military.

    Steve

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Clyde's no. at the shop is 570-748-3927.

    Steve

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Yea, I agree he is a real asset to the Rag Wing Piper community.

    Steve

  38. #38
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    For Captain Fox.

    If you haven't gotten an answer to your post on the 23rd of Sep.,
    it's pretty easy to get that new Piper data tag.

    I did it for a customer's PA-18 that I finished assembling in June last year.

    I called my Principle Maintenance Inspector (PMI) from the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), who came out to check the small fuselage "tag" welded to the diagonal tube located above the right thigh of the pilot. He wrote a letter stating the registration number ("N" number),the fuselage number, and the a/c serial number. He signed it as an FAA representative.

    I sent this letter and a check to Piper, and received a new a/c data plate.

    Pretty painless for me as the owner wrote the check for the new plate.

    Dave Calkins.

  39. #39

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    Reviving an old thread - would it be odd to you if a Cub that was crashed and rebuilt only had logs from the rebuild and nothing prior? Let's say the books go back 15 years and the serial number goes back 60 years. Ultimately, an airplane is only as good as it's last annual so would something like that scare you off or impact the value?

  40. #40

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    Funny thing, I’m selling a 1947 Stinson project that’s about 75% complete. Have all the logs except the first year and the buyer is balking...... I could understand if it was missing the last year.
    Likes mike mcs repair liked this post

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