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Thread: experimental vs certified

  1. #1
    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    experimental vs certified

    Maybe I'm thinking too hard, but I'm trying to figure out where logic and government regulations meet.
    Heres my question:
    If I have a Certified airplane can I put in an experimental instruments? If a G1000, or a G5 or whatever isn't required in the first place, and I'm not IFR rated and never intend to use it as a "certified" piece of equipment can't I legally install the experimental version in my certified airplane?
    I believe it's the G5 I was looking at where I noticed 2 different prices and options. I can only assume they're the same piece of equipment, but the "certified" version was way more expensive
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  2. #2
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Short answer is yes.

    You can add equipment not required by type certificate. But, you can NEVER replace a required item with a non 'certified' one.

    Web
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    Depends on the IA that has his signature on the annual.
    DENNY
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Depends on the IA that has his signature on the annual.
    DENNY
    If that IA will not sign the log book he doesn't understand the requirements, tell him to call Web to get the straight scoop.
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    The aircraft always has to meet “type design”, and you need to have instruments and equipment required by 91.205. All that stuff has to be “certified” equipment. Beyond that, anything else you install has to function as intended, and can’t introduce any hazards to the aircraft. That last one is the hard one to verify. Without some certification, how do you know if it doesn’t introduce a hazard? Think fire, electrical issues, glass liberated in the cockpit or cabin. The correct way to document it would be with a functional hazard assessment. It can be done, but it does require some thought process.


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    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    So what about lights? I'd like to get all new LED lights and have strobes installed on our Cessna. I don't ever fly at night, and lights are not required for day flight, so lights aren't required equipment. If I only use them for collision avoidance during the day time when lights aren't even required can I buy the experimental lights or do I have to pay 5X more and get the certified versions?
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    Check post #3 Be prepared to remove them if you sell it/change IA's/or a fed gets burr under the saddle. Even in the country of Alaska I had a buddys plane grounded by the feds for using experimental position lights. Seems to change with the weather. Feds went on a Cato spree last year, They did not violate anyone that I know of but did stick on of the do not fly until fixed tags on planes found with a Cato prop.
    DENNY

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    First check the type certificate to see if any lights are required to be installed. Probably none listed which makes it legal to fly day VFR without them installed. Now the wrinkle for lights, specifically, is the requirements called out in FAR 91.205, (c). This calls for 'approved' position lights and 'anti collision light system' for VFR night ops. This is an operational requirement NOT a manufacturing or equipment requirement, which would be found in CAR 3 for this aircraft.

    So, by strict interpretation of the rules you can fly with 'non-approved' nav/strobes as long as you NEVER fly at night. Attaching those lights to the aircraft properly is not against any regulation but operating the aircraft at night or in IFR conditions is. If you go this route sign off the logs as being in compliance with CAR 3 and FAR 91.205 requirements for day VFR only. Maybe put a sticker to that effect on the instrument panel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    So what about lights? I'd like to get all new LED lights and have strobes installed on our Cessna. I don't ever fly at night, and lights are not required for day flight, so lights aren't required equipment. If I only use them for collision avoidance during the day time when lights aren't even required can I buy the experimental lights or do I have to pay 5X more and get the certified versions?
    Going all the way back to CAR 4, every group of regulations require “certified” position lights if they are installed. So your choices are TSO light installation, or STC, or certified some other way (part of the TC), or a DER approved installation.


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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    This is from CAR 3. It specifically states certified or complying with the requirements.

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    Last edited by wireweinie; 06-21-2019 at 11:47 AM. Reason: I STILL can't spell!
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    Part 15 certified of the old CARs is the same as TSO today


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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    'Complying' being the operative word. If the nav light puts out a minimum of 8 candle power, as required, it complies.

    Web
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    'Complying' being the operative word. If the nav light puts out a minimum of 8 candle power, as required, it complies.

    Web
    And have the proper color and field of view.


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  14. #14
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Of course. That's part of 'complying'.

    The CAR 3 requirements are fairly basic. Research the the specs, measure, and see if it meets them. The test/measure is just checking for minimum candle power at the required angles from the unit. If it does, sign it off as complying with CAR 3 requirements and be done with it.

    Web
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    'Complying' being the operative word. If the nav light puts out a minimum of 8 candle power, as required, it complies.

    Web
    Is there a maximum? Today's LEDs offer such a brilliant white that it is easy to get well beyond 8Cp even through the lens. The light color will change a bit due to how many K the bulb puts out or do we need to select LEDs down in the 3000K range to keep a yellowish hew. Granted one can buy kits but as I move forward I would prefer to make my own nav assemblies.

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Minimum intensities are listed in CAR 3 and FAR 23.1389, 23.1391, and 23.1893. Both call out max allowable intensities but only outside certain angle limits. If you want to fab up your own light assemblies, you'll need to sit down and graph out the angles required and the limits. No way I can describe them without looking at pics of them.

    Also, the specific colors of red, green, and white, are called out in theses sections. Again, if you fab up these lights you'll want to spec your light sources in order to match these requirements.

    Just a tip for anyone looking to do this, a light source that emits a specific color light will be more intense than a light shining through a colored lens.

    Web
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    I will be purchasing the colored lenses. It will be the reflector behind the bulb should I even utilize a bulb since they have become so passé.
    I have no problem with building a dozen assemblies to get the light pattern "right"

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    You should consider LED's of the correct color under a clear lens. Much brighter. If you look at any of the certified stuff, that's the style they've all gone to.

    Web
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    …. But, you can NEVER replace a required item with a non 'certified' one.
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2015/september/23/new-policy-makes-upgrading-attitude-indicators-easier
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2015/september/23/new-policy-makes-upgrading-attitude-indicators-easier
    This doesn't address replacing a required item with a non 'certified' one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    This doesn't address replacing a required item with a non 'certified' one.
    I just re-read both the article and the referenced FAA policy statement,
    and didn't see any mention of a "required" vs a "non-required" instrument.
    It did however specifically mention using the repolacement electronic attitude indicator for both VFR & IFR flight.
    The vacuum attitude indicator in my C180 was not a "required" instrument according to the TCDS or the factory equipment list,
    it was only required by the FAR's for IFR use.
    I suspect the same is true for a lot of other airplanes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    I just re-read both the article and the referenced FAA policy statement,
    and didn't see any mention of a "required" vs a "non-required" instrument.
    It did however specifically mention using the repolacement electronic attitude indicator for both VFR & IFR flight.
    The vacuum attitude indicator in my C180 was not a "required" instrument according to the TCDS or the factory equipment list,
    it was only required by the FAR's for IFR use.
    I suspect the same is true for a lot of other airplanes.

    Depending on the age of the airplane, there may be a Kind of Operation listing. Day VFR, Night VFR, IFR, ICING. If the airplane was certified based on a Kind of Operations list, then there are required pieces of equipment for each Kind of Operation. See the TCDS for Note 2 placards. Everything from 180G and after has a placard for kind of operation.

  23. #23
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CubDriver218 View Post
    …...can't I legally install the experimental version in my certified airplane?
    I believe it's the G5 I was looking at where I noticed 2 different prices and options. I can only assume they're the same piece of equipment, but the "certified" version was way more expensive
    Back in 2016, I installed a Garmin G5 attitude indicator in my 53 C180.
    This was shortly before Garmin came out with the STC'd version.
    Two different inspectors from the local FSDO gave me the go-ahead on it,
    as long as I complied with the provisions of FAA policy statement PS-ACE-23-08.
    http://download.aopa.org/advocacy/PS-ACE-23-08.pdf

    The STC'd version not only costs about $700 more (as I recall),
    but I believe that it doesn't have some of the features of the "experimental only" G5.
    FWIW the opposite is probably true also.
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