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Thread: EXP Exhibition - Less Restrictive?

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    D.A.'s Avatar
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    EXP Exhibition - Less Restrictive?

    I've heard lately that Experimental Exhibition has become less retrictive, is that true? It used to be that you had to notify the FAA in advance of everywhere you wanted to go and when. Ofcourse, guys just blew that off to a large degree. AT-6's have a certain serial number batch that could go right into Certified but others outside that serial number range and most of the SNJ's had to be put into EXP Exhibition. That meant no passengers except required crew (Your girlfriend isn't required crew - LOL).

    I'm understanding that the restrictions may be less now? A few of the high profile Cubs built in the last few years aren't EAB, but Exhibition. When not competing in STOL contests, they're flying anywhere they want with passengers, which I think is great!

    Has EXP Exhibition changed? Is it less restrictive? Is it all in how you word your application?

    Thanks in advance

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSGv5ixPV5A

    Probably should read the FARs carefully, but here is a teaser video
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    D.A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gervae View Post
    ...but here is a teaser video
    Very very cool! Thanks for that.

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    Download a copy of FAA Order 8130.2J, all the operating limitations come out of that order. There are two issues with Experimental Exhibition. First, you have to submit an annual Program Plan that outlines where you will fly, how much, and the events that you plan on “Exhibiting” your aircraft. Second is the limitation in 14 CFR 91.319. Under 91.319 you are only allowed to operate the aircraft for the PURPOSE for which the certificate was issued. That PURPOSE is exhibition which has been interpreted to be to and from those events where you exhibit the aircraft, the events themselves, and necessary proficiency flying. Those are the only legal times you can fly the aircraft.


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    One of the key words that DGA shared which might be interpreted in a number of ways is Proficiency. I believe the FAA allows you to stay proficient in your EXP exhibition aircraft. So if the weather is nice you can go fly for the purpose of maintaining proficiency. My belief is based on gliders w/EXHIT exp certificates that I was around.

    This post might serve to direct more research into this. It's my opinion, has 80% confidence, not based on experience, so it deserves more attention to obtain certainty.
    Last edited by bcone1381; 03-30-2022 at 08:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcone1381 View Post
    One of the key words that DGA shared which might be interpreted in a number of ways is Proficiency. I believe the FAA allows you to stay proficient in your EXP exhibition aircraft. So if the weather is nice you can go fly for the purpose of maintaining proficiency. My belief is based on gliders w/EXHIT exp certificates that I was around.

    This post might serve to direct more research into this. It's my opinion, has 80% confidence, not based on experience, so it deserves more attention to obtain certainty.
    I think FAA has been very liberal with the Proficiency flying. I can't say I've ever heard of anyone getting in trouble flying around except those who were flagrantly violating the intent and selling rides.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    I think FAA has been very liberal with the Proficiency flying. I can't say I've ever heard of anyone getting in trouble flying around except those who were flagrantly violating the intent and selling rides.
    I imagine that "proficiency flights" don't require a crewman, aka wife girlfriend or buddy.
    It sounds like FAA is not enforcing the E-E restrictions, at least for now, which is good for the people who own them.
    That policy could very well change, esp if a high-profile crash puts it in the spotlight.
    So I'd think long & hard before investing my time or money into buying or building one.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcone1381 View Post
    My belief is based on gliders w/EXHIT exp certificates that I was around.
    I own, and used to operate, a racing sailplane which is experimental racing and exhibition. The annual program letter was a nuisance but not a real burden. I listed the major contest I planned to attend and the catch-all for all other flights was FAI awards and practicing for those. It was single seat so never a problem deciding if anyone could legally fly with me. When I retired from racing I stopped submitting the program letter. FSDO hounded me for a few years then accepted it was not flying and left me alone.

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    I’m going to issue an Exhibition and racing certificate on a new Ventus 3i this weekend. Should be a nice sailplane!


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    I have no direct experience (yet?) but I had a long talk with my FSDO. The annual program letter (which isn’t approved or disapproved by the FAA, just received and filed) spells out the operations for your E-E aircraft. That includes any events you’re going to exhibition at and proficiency flights. It’s common practice to give an area for proficiency flights so that you don’t have to list each flight every time. Aside from any other restrictions in the airplanes’ unique operating limitations, passengers are only restricted from actual exhibitions, not proficiency flights.

    An example: my program letter gives me a 300nm area around my home airport for proficiency flying. The weather is good. I want to fly for proficiency and my family lives inside my flight area. It’s legal to pack up the kids to go visit for the weekend.

    Also, if you decide to do something that wasn’t in your program letter, you can amend it and resubmit at any time. The FAA does not have to acknowledge receipt, and again, they don’t approve or disapprove. They’ll just file the new one.

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    Exactly what would be your benefit to go Experimental Exhibition instead of regular Experimental? Why send in a program letter if you don't have to?

    A friend of mine, with the help of the EAA, kind of went to war last year because the local FSDO want him to change his long-standing Experimental certificate on his Pitts S1 to Experimental Exhibition and Air Racing because he raced it and did airshows in it. Both of those are fine in Experimental and the FSDO finally backtracked. Experimental Exhibition has more restrictions, whether the FAA is currently ignoring them or not. If they change their mind, life could get very interesting very quickly. Read the Experimental Exhibition rules, and if you have heartburn on any of them, and you will, stay experimental.

    Relying on the largess of the FAA is just asking for trouble.

    Edit: Good point about the different Experimental classifications. The Pitts in question is Experimental Amateur Built.
    Last edited by Tom Jones; 04-01-2022 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Added clarification
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Jones View Post
    Exactly what would be your benefit to go Experimental Exhibition instead of regular Experimental-Amateur Built? Why send in a program letter if you don't have to?

    A friend of mine, with the help of the EAA, kind of went to war last year because the local FSDO want him to change his long-standing Experimental certificate on his Pitts S1 to Experimental Exhibition and Air Racing because he raced it and did airshows in it. Both of those are fine in Experimental and the FSDO finally backtracked. Experimental Exhibition has more restrictions, whether the FAA is currently ignoring them or not. If they change their mind, life could get very interesting very quickly. Read the Experimental Exhibition rules, and if you have heartburn on any of them, and you will, stay experimental.

    Relying on the largess of the FAA is just asking for trouble.
    Just a heads up and I know you know, when discussing Experimental there are many here who only superficially have been involved in the depths of the FARs. There are several different categories of certification. Experimental is just one, which has several subcategories of it's own all starting with the word "Experimental". When one throws around the word "Experimental" indiscriminately, it tends to lead the partially informed down the wrong path.

    "Experimental Amateur Built" can be abbreviated as E-AB. Please when referring to experimental, include the subcategory so that the poorly informed get the correct information. There are many threads here in which there is a lot of wasted uninformed discussion just because of a few missing words.
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    Correct, there are 9 different “purposes” for which Experimental certificates are issued. Each has their own set of Operating Limitations that are modified based on the type of aircraft under consideration. So many people only think Amateur Built” when we talk about Experimental certificates. Yes, they are the most plentiful and least restrictive, but there is also the limitation that the major portion must be built for education and recreation. If you can’t document that, then you don’t qualify for amateur built.

    Experimental certificates are issued for R&D, Market Survey, Crew Training, Show Compliance to the regulations, Exhibition, Air Racing, Operating Amateur Built, Operating Primary Aircraft, and Operating Light Sport Aircraft. There is no “regular Experimental”, you always need to identify the purpose!


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