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  • Stirling
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Mar 2011
    • 19

    Warbird ownership FAA v CAA, America v UK

    Considering viability of future ownership of bottom tier american warbirds in particular stinson l5 sentinel all way up to something like a vultee valiant - both types I believe are orphaned ?

    Having done some analysis and surfing up on cost of operation of equivalents types for the Valiant (chippy and yaks) I'm estimating uk operation ROM costs averaged over 10years at 30 to 50flhrs per year of 30K per annum (all costs inc budget hangarage) assuming aircraft to start with is good restored condition and I'm excluding the unknown costs associated with transfer onto CAA for moment..

    Controlling cost of operation at the vultee valiant end of the scale would be key concern but so is the hassle v benefit factor and the need to avoid costly mistakes and dead ends - so I have 3 scenarios:

    1 buy in america and keep it there under FAA ruling and get scheduled flights to america to operate it periodically (90 day visa)
    2 buy and import and operate uk under FAA ruling
    3 Buy and import and transafer to CAA

    Option 1 appears to have least initial logistics cost hassle solution, hangarage is plentiful and cheap and I'd imagine easier access to maintainers and overhaulers engine shops familiar on type, also when it comes to selling it on again it is still located in the biggest market . And finally exploring america and it's aviation history/flyins is a very good excuse for an aircraft

    option 2 I'm not sure about - is there people in uk doing this on FAA orphaned warbird types - are there UK based FAA maintainers that could work on these orphaned types?

    option 3 have read scare stories of importing FAA GA classic aircraft and transferring to CAA only to find total rebuilds necessary and years of paperwork delay plus future retransfer back to FAA not possible? Would the vultee valiant and stinson sentinel both be CAA permit to fly types?


    Im also after a feel for what level of inspection strip down the CAA would insist and what sort of things they are looking to verify e.g FAA maintenance v actual airframe condition? e.g. The valiant has a wet wing so how do you inspect that without drilling the rivets out so would CAA accept FAA maintenance paperwork that it has had wet wing rebuilt recently in short how can you fully in spec without fully disassembling whole airframe? Is it spot checks at key risk locations ? Any guidance here would be appreciated

    sorry long post and possibly not best forum for all questions but any anybody got any viewpoint on the merits and viabilities of some of the above?

    thanks









  • Human Factor
    Professional Aviator
    • Mar 2018
    • 15

    #2
    If it isn't already on the G-reg and your budget is relatively limited (I operate a G-reg CJ-6, which is probably 15k pa plus fuel), I'd be sorely tempted by Option 1. Bear in mind that you would have to own the aircraft via a US Trust (not a big deal) unless you are a US citizen.

    Option 2 only works if the type is FAA type certified (certain T-6s and some T-28s for example. No idea about Stinson or Vultee.), otherwise you're into limited days in the UK. You can't operate "FAA Experimental" in the UK at all unless you get specific permission from the CAA for a limited period.

    Option 3. Caveat Emptor, I'm afraid. A decent pre-purchase survey should hopefully pre-empt any disasters. Again, no specific knowledge of Stinson or Vultee but they would certainly end up on either a CAA or LAA PtoF, probably the former.
    Last edited by Human Factor; 25th May 2019, 21:25.

    Comment

    • J Boyle
      With malice towards none
      • Oct 2004
      • 9733

      #3
      Originally posted by Human Factor View Post
      Option 2 only works if the type is FAA type certified (certain T-6s and some T-28s for example. No idea about Stinson or Vultee.)...

      After the war it was common for former military aircraft to receive ACTs (Approved Type Certificate) following modifications. Usually, they not that extensive.

      The L-5 (note the correct style: capital L, hyphen and then number)...ATC #764. However not all L-5 s were certified...they could have been operated under Restricted or Limited licenses. So if you take the above advice, make sure the aircraft you are looking at has the paperwork.

      There is an excellent 13 page pdf. on the L-5 available from www.stinsonflyer.com
      There is a paragraph there on the Sentinel ATC. The site has contact details for an L-5 expert who wrote the pdf....(though it is a few years old).

      I'm sure you've already considered this but allow me to point out a couple of potential factors that may influence your L-5 vs BT-13/15 decision:
      -If you don't have a hangar, you might want to remember the L-5 is fabric covered and has wood wing structure. The Vultee is all metal (except for the usual control surfaces).
      -Compare fuel flow for the various engines. P&W for the BT-13, Wright in the BT-15, Lycoming in the L-5. See which one has better maintenance and rebuild support in the UK...I'm guessing the P&W would be better supported than the other two.
      Despite the common horizontally opposed layout of the L-5 engine, I understand it's not as well supported as one might think. It's not something you'll find in your typical Cessna or Piper.

      The aircraft are reasonably rare today (by U.S.antique standards)...with about 125 each of the BT-13 and L-5, and just 14 BT-15s on the FAA register(...and not all may be airworthy or even exist and some may be in museums)..
      Last edited by J Boyle; 26th May 2019, 12:07.
      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

      Comment

      • Lingo Dog
        Rank 3 Registered User
        • Oct 2018
        • 89

        #4
        I'm quite surprised at the stall speeds which are higher than I would have guessed.

        Comment

        • ZRX61
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • May 2005
          • 4731

          #5
          Originally posted by Stirling View Post
          Considering viability of future ownership of bottom tier american warbirds in particular stinson l5 sentinel all way up to something like a vultee valiant - both types I believe are orphaned ?

          Having done some analysis and surfing up on cost of operation of equivalents types for the Valiant (chippy and yaks) I'm estimating uk operation ROM costs averaged over 10years at 30 to 50flhrs per year of 30K per annum (all costs inc budget hangarage) assuming aircraft to start with is good restored condition and I'm excluding the unknown costs associated with transfer onto CAA for moment..

          Controlling cost of operation at the vultee valiant end of the scale would be key concern but so is the hassle v benefit factor and the need to avoid costly mistakes and dead ends - so I have 3 scenarios:

          1 buy in america and keep it there under FAA ruling and get scheduled flights to america to operate it periodically (90 day visa)
          2 buy and import and operate uk under FAA ruling
          3 Buy and import and transafer to CAA

          Option 1 appears to have least initial logistics cost hassle solution, hangarage is plentiful and cheap and I'd imagine easier access to maintainers and overhaulers engine shops familiar on type, also when it comes to selling it on again it is still located in the biggest market . And finally exploring america and it's aviation history/flyins is a very good excuse for an aircraft

          option 2 I'm not sure about - is there people in uk doing this on FAA orphaned warbird types - (2) are there UK based FAA maintainers that could work on these orphaned types?

          option 3 have read scare stories of importing FAA GA classic aircraft and transferring to CAA only to find total rebuilds necessary and years of paperwork delay plus future retransfer back to FAA not possible? Would the vultee valiant and stinson sentinel both be CAA permit to fly types?


          Im also after a feel for what level of inspection strip down the CAA would insist and what sort of things they are looking to verify e.g FAA maintenance v actual airframe condition? e.g. The valiant has a wet wing so how do you inspect that without drilling the rivets out so would CAA accept FAA maintenance paperwork that it has had wet wing rebuilt recently in short how can you fully in spec without fully disassembling whole airframe? Is it spot checks at key risk locations ? Any guidance here would be appreciated

          sorry long post and possibly not best forum for all questions but any anybody got any viewpoint on the merits and viabilities of some of the above?

          thanks
          1) As mentioned: US based trust/501c3.

          2) There's quite a few, I know TFC had one or two before I emigrated, I assume they still do.

          FAA database lists a little over 19,000 foreign based A&P's with 395 IA's. Not sure how many of them are in the UK:

          https://registry.faa.gov/activeairme...il_Foreign.pdf


          There's also this:

          https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certifi..._experimental/

          This bit lists who ya need to sign you off. You might recognize a few names:

          https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certifi...iners_List.pdf

          If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

          Comment

          • Stirling
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Mar 2011
            • 19

            #6
            All Thanks for the info so far, so looking into the FAA certification type for BT-13 I have found the FAA doc 8130.2J chapter 8 Table 8.1 usefully details the Special Airworthiness Limited Type Certificate category aircraft which is mainly all the familiar ww2 types however the BT-13 is not on there...however from what I've read online there are BT-13 on a standard type certificate? , so is there a FAA doc/ list somewhere to confirm this?

            on a broader question the table 8.1 misses off warbird types e.g the Bell P39 - so does this mean that any flying are on now on experimental category or could they be standard as well (Im hypothesising that light lower performance warbirds are mostly standard cat and high performance heavy complex types are either "special limited "or "experimental")

            Comment

            • iclo
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Feb 2012
              • 50

              #7
              Hi,

              Did TFC have some troubles keeping planes too long under the FAA register, with a grounding of one of two planes during more than one heard.

              Comment

              • J Boyle
                With malice towards none
                • Oct 2004
                • 9733

                #8
                Originally posted by Stirling View Post
                All Thanks for the info so far, so looking into the FAA certification type for BT-13 I have found the FAA doc 8130.2J chapter 8 Table 8.1 usefully details the Special Airworthiness Limited Type Certificate category aircraft which is mainly all the familiar ww2 types however the BT-13 is not on there...however from what I've read online there are BT-13 on a standard type certificate? , so is there a FAA doc/ list somewhere to confirm
                on a broader question the table 8.1 misses off warbird types e.g the Bell P39 - so does this mean that any flying are on now on experimental category or could they be standard as well (Im hypothesising that light lower performance warbirds are mostly standard cat and high performance heavy complex types are either "special limited "or "experimental")
                I can't find any record of the BT-13 having an A.T.C....which is why I did not mention it in my first reply.

                My sources for that finding are an internet search and more importantly, a look through my set of the Joseph Juptner books, a nine volume series giving the details of all aircraft with An A.T.C. from 1928 to the late 50s (when the original numbering system was discontinued). If a warbird was going to get an A.T.C., it is safe to assume it would have been issued before 1960 when the aircraft were cheap and plentiful.

                Your theory about "lower performance" warbirds is, as far as I know, incorrect.
                An A.T.C.basically certified a type for commercial use. I don't believe the U.S. CAA (later FAA) made any differentiation based on performance.

                More to the point, why would someone go to the trouble and expense of getting a A.T.C. For a single seat fighter that has no civil application (photography, racing, cloud seeding, crop spraying, film use, etc.) that couldn't be done with an Limited, Restricted or Experimental license?

                There were a couple of BT-13s converted into multi-seat passenger types, I don't know if they were ever approved. Even then, that approval would be for those modified aircraft, not the Vultee series as a whole. I can't imagine an ex-military type not based on a civil design (like the C-47/DC-3 or the Stinsons, Howards, Beech 17s and the Cessna Cranes/Bobcats) receiving a standard type certificate. But I learned a long time ago to never say never in this hobby.

                If you want practical advise on whether to purchase a Vultee or Stinson (to learn about operating costs, etc), setting aside the licensing issues, I'd suggest you pose a question on the America-based Warbird Information Exchange (WIX), as I believe members there operate both types.
                Last edited by J Boyle; 27th May 2019, 14:32.
                There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                Comment

                • ZRX61
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • May 2005
                  • 4731

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Stirling View Post
                  All Thanks for the info so far, so looking into the FAA certification type for BT-13 I have found the FAA doc 8130.2J chapter 8 Table 8.1 usefully details the Special Airworthiness Limited Type Certificate category aircraft which is mainly all the familiar ww2 types however the BT-13 is not on there...however from what I've read online there are BT-13 on a standard type certificate? , so is there a FAA doc/ list somewhere to confirm this?

                  on a broader question the table 8.1 misses off warbird types e.g the Bell P39 - so does this mean that any flying are on now on experimental category or could they be standard as well (Im hypothesising that light lower performance warbirds are mostly standard cat and high performance heavy complex types are either "special limited "or "experimental")
                  https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...er/8130.2G.pdf



                  If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

                  Comment

                  • Ant.H
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jan 2000
                    • 3049

                    #10
                    There was a Vultee Valiant operated in the UK back in the 80's before donation to Cosford, might be worth chasing up to see how it was operated? ID was N58566 and It seems to have stayed on the US register while it was flown over here.
                    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

                    Comment

                    • Stirling
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2011
                      • 19

                      #11
                      So am I right in thinking the key benefit to operation under FAA jurisdiction in UK is that you avoid the potential cost and delay of transfer to CAA?
                      Can it be assumed the subsequent day to day costs of operating under FAA v CAA remit in UK are comparable and that orgs that can work on these airframes are in similar abundance?
                      What is the benefit of transferring to CAA in reality ?

                      I recall reading an opinion somewhere (but may have been different class of aircraft) that once transferred to CAA then retransfer back to FAA is not possible , is this the case or not for a CAA CofA / PtF aircraft?

                      Comment

                      • Auster Fan
                        Dreaming of my PPL
                        • Dec 2003
                        • 1530

                        #12
                        Theres an L-5 on the American register (I think) based at Priory Farm in Norfolk, restored by Black Barn Aviation...
                        Last edited by Auster Fan; 4th June 2019, 08:24.
                        I like being grey - it means I can worry without it showing!

                        Comment

                        • ZRX61
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • May 2005
                          • 4731

                          #13
                          There's a huge amount of aircraft with N#'s apparently all registered to one address in Bungay
                          If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

                          Comment

                          • ZRX61
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • May 2005
                            • 4731

                            #14
                            Take a look here:
                            https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinq...M++++&PageNo=1
                            If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

                            Comment

                            • Auster Fan
                              Dreaming of my PPL
                              • Dec 2003
                              • 1530

                              #15
                              And the problem with that is...? Nothing strange about it at all, as the link shows:
                              https://www.southernaircraft.co.uk/Why

                              I like being grey - it means I can worry without it showing!

                              Comment

                              • ZRX61
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • May 2005
                                • 4731

                                #16
                                The only strange thing is that one company has a near monopoly. I only posted it to give an idea of how many US reg'd aircraft there may.. (or may not) be in the UK. Friend of mine flies some little bug smasher with an N# in Suffolk
                                If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: It's all balls. RJM.

                                Comment

                                • Hooligan
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Mar 2017
                                  • 434

                                  #17
                                  I suspect Southern are the only UK-based trust company recognised by the FAA. I know other UK-based US-registered aircraft are registered to trust companies in Delaware.

                                  It appears that some of the Fighter Collection's aircraft were owned by people such as John Crocker and Steve Hinton and operated by TFC while they were US registered; the Bearcat was owned by B&S Advertising until it became G-RUMM. The unfortunate Don Bullock A-26 was owned by Duane Egli.
                                  Last edited by Hooligan; 5th June 2019, 06:15.

                                  Comment

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