Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 44

Thread: PROS and CONS - Building Experimental

  1. #1
    glaciercub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    knik glacier
    Posts
    278
    Post Thanks / Like

    PROS and CONS - Building Experimental

    Not wanting to high-jack the other topic on who's building exp. cubs, I ask this question for all of you to through in your 2 bits (inflation)...

    Give us your pros and cons of going exp. ?

  2. #2
    behindpropellers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    6,697
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: PROS and CONS - Building Experimental

    Quote Originally Posted by glaciercub
    Not wanting to high-jack the other topic on who's building exp. cubs, I ask this question for all of you to through in your 2 bits (inflation)...

    Give us your pros and cons of going exp. ?
    Good topic.

    I'm debating on building up my J-5 experimental. What does it cost to insure a typical experimental cub vs. an experimental one?

  3. #3
    jr.hammack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    north of willow ak.
    Posts
    619
    Post Thanks / Like
    more mods-less feds!!!



    jr.

  4. #4
    glaciercub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    knik glacier
    Posts
    278
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hey Jr. Missed you in Willow this year..... all well with you?

    Fed answer is always big one....but there are many more lets hear them ?

  5. #5
    skywagon8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    9,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    Build your own and get a repairman's certificate to do your own condition inspections. Make your own mods without needing a field approval. Get it approved for LSA gross weight.
    N1PA

  6. #6
    cubdriver2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    9,820
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'm also on the fence, would like to rebuild my pa11 as experimental but don't know if it's possible with most of the parts being certified ?

    Glenn

  7. #7
    skywagon8a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    9,377
    Post Thanks / Like
    You folks seem to be misunderstanding the use of the word "experimental" when it comes to the FAA. Those who build their own get licensed "experimental - amateur built". That means that they built it. It does not mean that they make major alterations to a "Normal category" airplane such as a J-5 or PA-11. If you convert your "normal" airplane to experimental it will be "exhibition" or "research and development" or one of several sub categories. You will then be more restricted than you are now. You will regret it.
    N1PA

  8. #8
    behindpropellers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    NE Ohio
    Posts
    6,697
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a
    You folks seem to be misunderstanding the use of the word "experimental" when it comes to the FAA. Those who build their own get licensed "experimental - amateur built". That means that they built it. It does not mean that they make major alterations to a "Normal category" airplane such as a J-5 or PA-11. If you convert your "normal" airplane to experimental it will be "exhibition" or "research and development" or one of several sub categories. You will then be more restricted than you are now. You will regret it.
    There is a big difference between rebuilding one as experimental VS. re-designing it and calling it experimental.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Clyde Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    T74
    Posts
    156
    Post Thanks / Like
    I finished my J3/PA11 replica in 2002 and have flown it about 700 hours since then. From an operational and maintenance/mods stand point experimental is by far better for me. I will never use my plane for hire, so that is not an issue. Plus I enjoyed the building process. It took just over 2 years to complete.

    My only concern is potential liability if I ever sell the plane.

    A couple of years ago I decided I wanted a Super Cub, and have completed welding the fuselage/tail feathers/landing gear on a Super Cub replica. I got it to the the point were I seriously started thinking about selling my J3/PA11 replica to make room for the new plane, but started worrying about getting sued if someone crashed an airplane that I had built. So for now the new project is hanging from the rafters. I'll finish it up one day if I decide I can accept the risk of liability or come up with a hangar big enough for two cubs.

    I guess I just worry too much...

  10. #10
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Snohomish Washington
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like

    X

    Myself, I would go experimental. They have better parts available, fly as good if not better. You can work on it. The finished value there is not that much difference now between the two. More option's by far as to what you can do with it. As far as liability when selling, I would think if you had a written contract to the buyer, as is where is, you would be okay and not worry about being sued. But, maybe that's something left to the the attorneys.

    Bill

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    wasilla ak.
    Posts
    342
    Post Thanks / Like
    I often wondered if you sold a exp. that you could disassemble and deregister so the buyer would have to re certify as exp and hold the liability.

  12. #12
    Clyde Barker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    T74
    Posts
    156
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by gander
    I often wondered if you sold a exp. that you could disassemble and deregister so the buyer would have to re certify as exp and hold the liability.
    That would be great, except that the new owner would have to make a false statement on the form when he applies for a new inspection and airworthiness certificate, because there is no way he could have done 51% of the building if it was just disassembled and reassembled.

    With all the attention by the FAA lately to the 51% rule I think the new owner would have a tough time getting an airworthiness certificate in that case.

    As far as a contract with the buyer limiting liability, that may help some, but the builders name as manufacturer will stay with that plane no matter how many times it is sold.

    Again, I guess I just worry too much...

  13. #13

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sheridan WY
    Posts
    135
    Post Thanks / Like
    As far as selling an experimental goes I agree that a good solid contract written by an attorney would remove all liability from the seller and or builder, just make sure that it states something about the original builder not being liable for ANYTHING that may happen with the aircraft in the hands of the buyer or ANY FUTURE BUYERS. A contract with the original builder and the first buyer is one thing but unless that contract is worded very carefully and the buyer then sells it to some one else they can then come back and sue you unless your original contract removed the original builder from ANY AND ALL LIABILITY. I think i confused myself, guess that's why i am not an attorney.

  14. #14
    wirsig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Rocky Mount, VA
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like
    I read somewhere that you could not sign away someone elses' right to sue.
    Example:
    I sell my home built to my buddy Matt, he signs an airtight contract then wrecks it and dies. His wife can sue me because Matt does not have the ability to sign away his dependents legal rights.
    This familiar to anyone else?

  15. #15
    DW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    2,066
    Post Thanks / Like
    Same as a guy signing a waver to ride in your plane, his wife didn't sign it or his son or daughter or mom or uncle and so on. (that has happened recently)
    as for selling your exp. some guys are selling them as parts only not a flying plane, but it's all there and the new owner can fly it if he likes.

    Paul are you going to build something and I'm all about exp!!! the only way to go.

    Dennis

  16. #16
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    711
    Post Thanks / Like
    One thing I have learned is that, when you start adding mods on top of mods, you are basically in an experimental situation, even if you are legally certified. Charlie Center spoke of this in an article on the subject. Boy is he right. My wide-body, zero thrustline Super Cub is a very different airplane from the factory-built airplane that I started with. It is fully certified and is built with all STCd parts but is thouroughly different in every regard.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Kenny Lake, AK
    Posts
    30
    Post Thanks / Like
    WELL IT TOOK ME JUST UNDER 3 YEARS TO COMPLETE AND 1330 hrs BUILD TIME AND A COST OF AROUND $37,000.........AND BEING ABLE TO USE JUST ABOUT WHATEVER I WANT DOES MAKE IT EASIER.......THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU DO NOT WANT TO SKIMP ON THOUGH........FLIGHT INST. FOR ONE AND UNLESS YOU ARE AN A&P I WOULD HAVE A PRO BUILD YOUR ENGINE..........BUT BECAUSE I WENT EXPERIMENTAL I WAS ABLE TO BUILD A 4 PLACE THAT PERFORMS AS GOOD AS MOST SUPERCUBS IF NOT BETTER AND HAS A 2500 lbs GROSS WEIGHT..........THE ONLY CERTIFIED PARTS I USED WAS WHEELS AND BRAKES............MY D.A.R. TOOK ONLY 2 hrs FOR THE WHOLE INSPECTION.........ONLY GIGS, PLACARDS............GOOD LUCK

  18. #18
    glaciercub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    knik glacier
    Posts
    278
    Post Thanks / Like
    Dennis, How you be...am going exp. and have most of the stuff gathered up,
    I had paperwork ect. from old one and every once in a while I think about using it....But reading all the input here reconfirms my thinking. When will I get busy on it? as soon as I finish the house and new shop....next summer
    if all goes well, I do have wings ready. Will be down in Oly during the holidays and playing with the champ..My sons coming in from over seas.
    If we can get any good weather we might run down the coast? Guess I'm dreaming ?? Take Care

  19. #19
    DW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    2,066
    Post Thanks / Like
    Keep in touch Paul and when you get to OLY. drop me an e_mail I'll fly up
    or maybe you'll have time to stop in and take a look at my exp. cub project.
    PS I have a lot of extra parts let me know if you need anything.
    take care
    Dennis

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Missoula MT
    Posts
    168
    Post Thanks / Like
    Greenhorn,

    Don't count on a waiver being worth more than the paper it is printed on. It ends up being a state by state issue but, as a general rule, they are not worth much other than evidence that you understood the risk associated with your purchase.
    I don't think there is a definitive answer for those who sell their experimental aircraft. Selling it as parts is attractive but, if it is assembled and flyable when the buyer comes to pick it up, I'm not sure that gets you much. Courts have a nasty habit of looking to the substance, not the form of the agreement entered into.
    Bottom line, don't think a waiver protects you. Likewise, don't think that a game of semantics (i.e. this is parts, not a flying airplane) will absolve someone from liability if they were negligent in the construction of the aircraft.

  21. #21
    glaciercub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    knik glacier
    Posts
    278
    Post Thanks / Like
    Dennis, Will DO

    when you have time, drop me a list of what you have, if I dont need it I know who would up this way.....

    p

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Clearwater,Fl
    Posts
    2,533
    Post Thanks / Like
    If you are with out an airplane while building and you can't through money at it, that's a big disadvantage.Building it in Alaska will cost more, everything in AK cost more. Everything takes longer than you think. Simple task ends up taking a day or two. If you are building it part time, it might never be done. It is a huge job and bigger than you think. I've had certified and wonder why I started it. It will help alot if you have help. An A and P to help Speeds things up. I'm nearing completion of mine but it's a long haul. Three years so far and won't really fly till next spring maybe a little sooner.

    Plus's are all that have been mentioned. I've build mine for under 50K. It could be done for less if you really tried. A big plus is when you are finished you will have yourself a new airplane. Very nice to have a new airplane.

  23. #23
    DW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    pacific northwest
    Posts
    2,066
    Post Thanks / Like
    Under $50K SH!* I'll be Lucky if I can keep mine under $100k

  24. #24

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    142
    Post Thanks / Like

    Experimental Pros and Cons

    The ability to build an airplane exactly the way you want it is a wonderful thing, and it is truly a joy to be able to maintain and modify your airplane with almost total freedom. Only an experimental amateur built (E/AB) airplane can give you that. I personally also get great pleasure out of the building process itself.

    The liability upon sale issue is one that has been debated for years, but the truth is no one has ever been successful suing an a amateur airplane builder for manufacturer's liability. E/AB planes are sold every day, and most builder/sellers get a hold harmless and indemnification agreement as part of the sale. The EAA and others can help you out with the preferred language.

    The day may come when some builder gets sued and loses, but it has not come yet. So far courts have decided that when people buy experimental airplanes they ought to know that they are not getting the same degree of protection as they would if they bought a certificated airplane. That said, some people are still not comfortable with selling a plane they built, so they disassemble their plane and sell it as parts, or simply destroy it, salvaging parts that they did not build, like the engine and radios.

    Each builder will have to decide what they are comfortable with when it comes time to move on to another plane, and this should be given some thought when the decision to build or not is being considered.

    For me the pros outweigh the cons. I don't think I will ever own another certificated airplane.

  25. #25
    StewartB
    Guest
    I think about building another plane all the time. I've run the numbers. If I bought a Turbine Cub kit and built it like I wanted I'd end up with a very similar investment and a very similar end product to that of my certificated airplane. In the case of my authentic PA-12 I also enjoyed the construction process and found very little restriction by the FAA. In the end my asset value is greater with the certificated airplane and I fully expect it will maintain its value better over the life of this rebuild. I have respect for the guys who are really innovating and experimenting. Gander and his composites, Calkins and his spoilers, Wayne Mackey and his slats. All are cool. None particularly interests me for my desires in an airplane. So for me the experimental option is essentially the kit/clone option, and as I analyze a real airplane against a completed kit? I'll take the real airplane because the overall end product makes more sense for me. But that's just me talking. I harbor no criticism of others whose summary is different.

    SB

  26. #26
    Marty57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Nipomo, Ca
    Posts
    1,378
    Post Thanks / Like
    For me, Exp. is about the fun and satisfaction of building my own plane. Secondary but very important to me is the $$$. I can't afford to buy any type of Cub and still afford to have someone maintain it for me. My 2+2/PA 14 exp will cost way less than anything I could buy. My fuselage is on the gear, tail feathers are ready to cover, engine and prop are sitting in my shop, radios and other parts in the guest room. Wings are about ready to assemble; spars, ribs finished, some metal parts still need fabricating. I can buy parts that I don't want to fabricate; time vs money. Yes, lots of time (1300 hrs so far over 4 years). My cost so far: about $8K. Yes, lots of scrounging. I am shooting for finished and flying for about $15-$20k. Yes, lots of time but that's OK, I like to scratch build. Regarding liability? Well, with the down turn in the economy and the value of my home gone by-by, what lawyer would want to take a case if there is no money to get? Manufacturers have deep pockets, I don't. If you have deep pockets, than you need more protection. For me, the last thing I am thinking about right now is selling my plane. You could always disassemble and sell the parts as "decorative lawn art". There will always be risk in flying, liability is just one of them we need to manage as best we can. Exp. is not for everybody but I think we are already at a point where newly completed experimental aircraft might exceed production certified per year.
    Marty57

  27. #27
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Snohomish Washington
    Posts
    1,433
    Post Thanks / Like

    planes

    I had a interesting thought.

    There are thousands of custom Hot Rods built by there owners as well as Harley's

    And Homes built by Home owner's. I don't see any difference between the liability issue's of these compared to a home built airplane ?

    I must be missing something.

    Bill

  28. #28
    Paul Persinger Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    37
    Post Thanks / Like
    Can't stall spin a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch.

  29. #29
    irishfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,957
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Persinger Jr.
    Can't stall spin a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch.
    Happens almost monthly in the Central US tornado corridor...

  30. #30

    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    39
    Post Thanks / Like

    Experimental Liability

    Sorry this thread has dipped off-topic, and now I can not help but contribute.

    Those experimental loans on three bedroom two bath ranches proved: you can stall spin a few homes, perhaps an entire economy.

    Regards,

    Chet

  31. #31
    sharp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    385
    Post Thanks / Like
    With an experimental, you develop more patience, frustration and character. In the end, it's very satisfying and more flexible.

    It's more acceptable if you have another plane to fly on good weather days instead of working in the hangar though.

  32. #32
    jr.hammack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    north of willow ak.
    Posts
    619
    Post Thanks / Like
    jerry,
    durn ya for rubbi'n salt in a open wound!!! can i borrow ya'r cub next month ha!!

    jr.

  33. #33
    sharp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    385
    Post Thanks / Like
    Haha. Sorry about that Jr, it was not intended for you. It was my excuse why I made no progress on the project this summer.

    A&P's have more patience than me! Even a 'new' part has to be fitted. I'm on my 3rd trip to town this week for miscellaneous parts.

    Hopefully it warms up before the snow gets too deep. Then I can fly instead.

    Sharp

  34. #34
    StewartB
    Guest
    On the topic of experimental airplanes and liability, an interesting kit plane to study may be the Zenith 601, which just suffered a sixth fatality accident attributed to in-flight catastrophic structural failure. I'd wager that a few lawyers are investigating experimental aircraft liability right now.

    SB

  35. #35

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Austin TX Ya'll
    Posts
    685
    Post Thanks / Like
    Just my 2 cents, I would only build an experimental if I never intended
    to sell it. Especially if you have any significant assets you want to
    protect. If you still want to build a an Exp and later sell. I'd suggest you put it in some sort of LLC or LLP or some other legal method of shielding or protecting your assets before you even you start to build. A liability
    release at the time of sale is only as good as the paper it's written on.
    And whatever the HELL you do don't even think about building an Exp
    with a partner even if it's your own brother.
    I know a fair bit about liability releases because I used to promote
    mountain-bike and motorcycle races. The only thing a liability release
    might do is slow them down a little but it doesn't stop them from suing.
    That's why you get a good insurance policy. If there is anyone on this
    site that has already sold an Exp, I would suggest that you go and get a
    big old umbrella policy in case the numskull you sold it to crashes it.

  36. #36
    Marty57's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Nipomo, Ca
    Posts
    1,378
    Post Thanks / Like
    A recurring theme that has surfaced here is about liability at sale of an experimental. Who here has first hand knowledge of someone being sued after their sold exp. has been in an accident? Is this really a frequent thing or is it something that we have imagined so much that we now believe it to be true? I just checked the Vans RV site, and there have been over 6000 RV's completed and flying. I bet there have been thousands of sales of finished and partial RV's over the years. So, are they all immune from this liability issue or are we just way to scared here? What are the facts?
    Marty57

  37. #37
    irishfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Penetanguishene, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,957
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by StewartB
    On the topic of experimental airplanes and liability, an interesting kit plane to study may be the Zenith 601, which just suffered a sixth fatality accident attributed to in-flight catastrophic structural failure. I'd wager that a few lawyers are investigating experimental aircraft liability right now.

    SB
    Flutter.. from not following the instructions for elevator cable tension...but apparently counterbalances and an entire carrythru reinforcement kit coming out for all builders.

    Chris will give the lawyers the total assets (rivet gun AND the keys).

  38. #38
    this would be a title NimpoCub's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Nimpo Lake, BC . . . AKA "the Floatplane Capital of BC"
    Posts
    3,024
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by sharp
    In the end, it's very satisfying and more flexible.
    THAT'S what it's all about!

    It's more acceptable if you have another plane to fly on good weather days instead of working in the hangar though.
    THAT would be the ultimate situation!
    I decided to buy a ratty, timed out Cub because that's the one I could afford, then put in the sweat equity. I also realized I wasn't qualified, AND paying for signatures along the way would be another expense. Fortunately I was/am surrounded with qualified adult supervision, as well as the knowledge amassed here.

    It was a wonderful learning experience, and for the most part I enjoyed the work. THere WERE days tho! Now, after having refurb'ed my plane, it really feels like MY plane, not just something I bought. That does feel really good.
    Nimpo Lake Logan... boonie SuperCubber
    200mi (300km) from nearest stoplight... just right! - "Que hesitatus fornicatus est"

  39. #39

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Missoula MT
    Posts
    168
    Post Thanks / Like
    Marty 57,

    I am not aware of any experimental builder that has been sued where there was a reported decision. I am aware of kit suppliers who have been sued (rotorway for example). No lawyer who owns a plane and watches this site will likely chime in on this with any definitive answer for one simple reason: The answer varies by state. As a result, there is NO one size fits all answer.

    A few things to keep in mind with regard to experimentals:

    1. Generally, a release isn't worth the powder it would take to blow it up. It often can be used as evidence that a person knew what they were getting into. That's pretty much it.
    2. A person cannot insulate themselves from their own negligence.
    3. If you have significant assets that are not otherwise protected, you should either find an insurance policy which covers you without an exclusion that defeats coverage related to the homebuilt you just sold (unlikely) or not sell it. I guess you could sell it as parts but I already addressed that in an earlier post.

    Is liability on these planes a demon the homebuilder's community has created due to over thinking the problem? Maybe.
    The problem is that the loved ones of the deceased, who are left behind, often push hard. Injuries and death are difficult. People who do not understand the nature of homebuilding will be in control of any case that is brought. If you failed to safety a turnbuckle, swage a cable, weld a joint properly, torque a bolt, etc, and it causes the plane to auger in, you may have a problem. I wish there was another answer but there is not. If the plane is older than a certain age (cant recall right now) GARA (an Act) could conceivably protect you but in most cases we are discussing, that act will not come into play.

    Also, it is worth mentioning that Avemco (and likely others) have denied coverage based on major alterations to aircraft that were done without FAA approval. In one reported case the plane crashed because the homebuilder modified the fuel system after it was initially certified. The builder failed to notify the FAA and the major modification actually caused the engine to become starved of fuel. Avemco denied coverage based on an exclusion which required all major modifications to be reported to the FAA. Moral of the story: The FARS still apply even though the plane is experimental and, read your policy.

    The bottom line is that most homebuilders will not be sued. Despite that fact, the costs of defending a case would financially ruin most people. If you have real assets, someone might pursue the lawsuit - and recover.
    There is risk in everything that relates to aviation. Insure the risk if you can, accept the risk as being worth the reward or avoid the risk. Those are the options.

  40. #40

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nova Scotia
    Posts
    891
    Post Thanks / Like

    PROS and CONS building experimental

    For me, experimental seemed the only way to go. The possibility of being sued has a gnat's eyelash of influence considering the hassle of flying and maintaining a certified aircraft. To go along with it was to be corrupted by it. Back-orders, the gouging, red tape and bureaucracies were exhausting. My patience wore out. Flying is freedom, not being chained and shackled to systems managers.

Similar Threads

  1. Jackscrew Vs. Trim Tab Pros and cons?
    By pipercubnut in forum Modifications
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-03-2010, 10:09 AM
  2. Widebody Pros and cons
    By Jeff in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 02-18-2007, 02:59 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •