Author Topic: Certificate of Airworthiness  (Read 7788 times)

Bill Poynter

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Certificate of Airworthiness
« on: January 01, 2012, 09:19:23 AM »
Have you checked out your Certificate of Airworthiness?  Prior to about 1956, the FAA issued a new C of A at the annual inspection each year.  At that point they transitioned to having IA's do the inspections and made the C of A's a permanent document.  When this program was first implemented, the existing form ACA-1362 was modified by crossing out the word EXPIRE and adding the wording "REMAIN IN EFFECT AS LONG AS THE AIRCRAFT IS MAINTAINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH PART 43".   This form is no longer legal.  Your FSDO will exchange it for the current form 8100-2.  I've placed an example on the Culver Cadet home page.

The problem comes when your form ACA-1362 C of A is missing.  The odds are really good that there is no evidence that the modified form ACA-1362 was ever issued.  If you can't prove that the aircraft ever had a permanent C of A issued, the FAA wil require a new Conformity Inspection and Application for Airworthiness.  Depending on the workload of your local FAA Inspector, you may have to pay to have an FAA Designee do the work.

If anyone has an issue with their C of A, give me a call and I'll relate my experiences. 
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 12:03:40 PM by billpoynter »

Brett Lovett

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Re: Certificate of Airworthiness
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2012, 12:14:22 PM »
Bill,  I'm curious as to what reason you were given as to why the modified ACA-1362 is "no longer legal".  I've found no documentation that suggests that any Standard Airworthiness Certificate issued without an expiration date is invalid as long as the aircraft is maintained as required by FAR 43.  I have heard a story locally of a FSDO inspector that attempted to confiscate an older airworthiness certificate, claiming that all aircraft had to have an Airworthiness Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration and that any issued by any previous agency were invalid.  I have seen one aircraft that was parked at a fly-in with an airworthiness certificate that included an expiration date and certainly was invalid.

My Culver has an Airworthiness Certificate issued in the 1970s, but if I had an ACA-1362 that was signed, had the correct wording typed in, and had no expiration date (crossed out or otherwise), I'd want to see some FAA documentation (FAR, AC, etc.) explaining why it was invalid before I surrendered or exchanged it.  I would not exchange or surrender it simply on the word of an inspector.  I may have an ACA-1362 in my other airplane.  I'm going to look today.

Bill Poynter

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Re: Certificate of Airworthiness
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2012, 01:36:29 PM »
I doubt that a FSDO inspector would pursue giving you a violation for operating with an ACA-1362 certificate that has been stamped as not expiring.  The problem arises if you lose the ACA-1362 certificate.  It's VERY likely that the FAA has no record of that stamped certificate ever being issued.  That's when you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get a new one.  If you can't prove that it existed, the FAA will probably take the position that the plane has been operated since about 1956 without a C of A. 

Brett Lovett

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Re: Certificate of Airworthiness
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2012, 12:43:51 AM »
Bill,

I did find that I have an ACA-1362 in my other airplane, with a rubber stamp adding the wording for the permanent certificate, and the FAA shows in their records the correct airworthiness date of 5/18/1956.  I also have another project that is missing an airworthiness certificate, but the FAA shows an airworthiness date of 12/09/1957 for it.  However my Culver, for which I have an airworthiness certificate issued in 1977, shows no airworthiness date in the FAA records.  Apparently in my case it's only the new FAA issued certificate that the FAA has no record of being issued.

Brett

Bill Poynter

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Re: Certificate of Airworthiness
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2012, 09:30:18 AM »
The important point regarding ACA-1362 airworthiness certificates is whether there is any supporting documentation that a non-expiring one was ever issued.  If you check the FAA records for both of my Cadets, N34782 and N29392, youll see that the most recent ACA-305a Annual Inspection Reports show expiration dates in section 4, line F that are one year after the date of the inspection.  Both of these planes were actually issued the modified C of As at the time of those inspections.  Youll find links for those records on the culvercadet.com website.  The file for N34782 contains scanned images of both the old and replacement C of A's.  Those documents only entered the file after I exchanged my old one for the new version.  The FAA Inspector mailed the old one and a copy of the new one to Oklahoma City.

Fortunately, even though the last Annual Inspection Reports indicated otherwise, I had the C of As for both of these planes with the non-expiring wording on them.  Had I not possessed those modified C of As, there would have been no evidence that they had ever existed.

The form ACA-305a for Culver N34855 is an example of the form being correctly filled out when the modified C of A was issued.

The bottom line is this; If your C of A is missing, check the FAA airworthiness file to see what the most recent form ACA-305a says.  If it indicates that a continuous C of A was issued, you can make your case with the FSDO for issuing a replacement.  If there is a logbook entry stating that a continuous C of A was issued, that might work too.

Brett Lovett

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Re: Certificate of Airworthiness
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 11:26:21 AM »
Thanks Bill.  I see what you're talking about now.  I'll have to get the disks out for my aircraft and look at the ACA-305a's.