Who signs for what?

Insurance and various paperwork needed for our planes
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Aerco
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Who signs for what?

Post by Aerco » Tue Jun 04, 2013 01:07

I have mostly dabbled in homebuilt aircraft in the past and my L3B is the first type certified airplane I have gotten my hands on. What I was wondering about is this:

Anyone can work on certified airplanes under the supervision of a licensed A&P. I get that. The final inspection and return to service would have to be done by an IA. So what do I need to put into the logs as I am working on this project? Does the A&P have to sign off each and every thing I work on? Legally, does he have to sign anything? Do I have to produce some kind of document that states I had a "supervising mechanic"? I'm lucky that I have several A&P friends (but not IA's) and even luckier in that I seem to have them convinced that I know what I am doing , so finding one to sign for my work isn't a problem. The problem is that they haven't really dealt with a case like this and don't quite know the procedure either.

I am keeping extensive records on everything I do, including pictures, receipts for materials etc and documenting all this in a lot of detail. I was basically going to enter all this work into the logs ("stripped fuselage to bare frame, inspected and repainted with Stits epoxy primer, replaced or repaired wooden parts as necessary..." - that kind of thing) but do I need an A&P's signature for each and everyone of those stages or does it all boil down the final inspection by an IA?

clipperfixer
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by clipperfixer » Tue Jun 04, 2013 07:17

I will take a shot at this.
Unless you are a licensed mechanic you can only sign for preventative maintenance. (assuming you are a pilot) If you go to www.faa.gov and look up AC43-12A it outlines who can do what. You can also take a look at this "handbook" it give some good basic information:
http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies ... 83-19A.pdf
The way I see it everything that you do that is not preventative maintenance your A&P will have to sign for. If the work is major in nature (for instance replacing longeron tubing) you will have to have 337's and an IA's signature to go along with it. If you ask me if your A&P buddies will sign off all your work and file the forms and things that need to be done you have some very nice friends if you are doing a complete restoration.

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Nathan K. Hammond
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Nathan K. Hammond » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:38

It will require an IA to sign off the airplane; there not much an AP can sign off, and realistically it's not practical. Personally, I like to list as much information possible in the logs, but other do not. I would suggest you contact the IA and ask him how much info he needs for the sign off.

I've seen rebuild write ups in logs that take 4-5 pages typed, and others that were one sentence stating "aircraft rebuilt, and recovered."

You can offer to write down everything you have done, and print it onto a 'sticky' (full page, printable shipping labels you find at Office Max.) Then the IA simply inspects the airplane and adds his signature to the bottom of the sticky, and adds an annual inspection sign off.

Regardless of how the IA prefers to sign off the airplane, I typically type out a description of all the work done with important numbers like Paint Codes and add them to the notebook that holds the logs. It's not considered "Official" information in the eyes of the FAA because of it's location outside the logs and lack of an AP or IA signature; but the next owner or guy who has to make a repair will greatly appreciate it. I would also go so far as to add a CD of all the pictures for the same reason.

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Aerco
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Aerco » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:54

Thanks for the responses so far.

Luckily, I have not had to do a single thing that would constitute a major repair; the airplane is in such great shape. I suppose I will have to befriend an IA around here soon. The good thing about these airplanes is that there is nothing that cannot be inspected even once it is fully assembled. I do intend to get an IA over here before covering the wings though. They are impressive in how perfect they are and may give him confidence in that the rest of the structure was just as good to begin with.

I suppose that since even re-covering an aircraft is considered a major repair, a restoration like this, even if no real repairs are carried out, would require a 337, no? Technically, I suppose you could list all the work done on a single 337 and find an A&P to sign it before the final IA inspection? Would this be simple solution?

Thanks for the input.

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hangerash
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by hangerash » Tue Jun 04, 2013 14:17

Peter,

Remember the end product must satisfy the FAA and there are no shortcuts or simple solutions when it involves the overseer of aviation safety.

The recover to the best of my knowledge will constitute a single 337 and the structure must be inspected with a logbook entry noting that it is approved for recover prior to beginning the task. This can be done with an A&P. An IA will need to sign off the 337 when the recover and assembly is completed.

Each other major alteration will necessitate a separate 337. Any STC's you incorporate will require a separate 337 as well.
Richard

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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Aerco » Tue Jun 04, 2013 15:49

I'm really not trying to avoid anything here or take shortcuts or hide anything. Otherwise I wouldn't be documenting this to the extent I am. It just seems nobody I have talked to yet has a clear understanding of what is required as far as inspections and paperwork goes. So far the consensus goes from "airplane rebuilt" and a single log entry (as mentioned above) to having every single thing beyond changing the tires listed as a separate operation with its own log entry signed by an A&P, and everything in between. One of my mechanic friends wasn't even concerned about covering the wings before getting an IA over, as long as I had plenty of inspection holes.

Somebody here must have gone through the same process without being an A&P themselves or farming out the whole project - any chance of a step-by-step breakdown how you got a restoration back into service?

Maybe visit to the local FSDO is called for, but I don't open another can of worms.


Slowly getting more confused....

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Paul Agaliotis » Tue Jun 04, 2013 16:40

Peter,
Find an IA that you can work with and follow their directions. You can do all of the work but someone else will have to take the responsibility. He's the guy you need to satisfy.
You're going to need a 337 for the major repair of the aircraft (recover) and if you plan to use a Dacron covering system, unless previously installed, a STC to cover the major alteration by it's use.
Paul
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Aerco
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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Aerco » Tue Jun 04, 2013 16:56

Guess I will be buying beers and lunches for a possible IA's in the near future I suppose.

Thanks everyone.

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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by MikeB » Tue Jun 04, 2013 17:01

Having rebuilt/recovered a couple of Champs I'll toss my two cents in here for whatever it's worth. By trade I'm a (or was/now retired) certified heavy truck mechanic with most ratings including management and inspection. I also taught the subject at the local community college for 30 years which makes me pretty old :roll: . As I'm not a certified aircraft mechanic anything I do other than preventive maintenance has to be signed off by a IA. So once I get the aircraft stripped down, cleaned up and ready for recover I have the IA take a look at it to make sure I haven't missing something. If I find something that questionable while I'm getting the airframe ready he'll look at it and makes a suggestion and I usually document it in my personal log. I pretty much do the same for control surfaces, wings, etc. Anything major requires a 337 which he has to send in. As what to write, I try to do a good job of documenting everything so there's no question about what was done, including part numbers. When we installed the starting system on my L16 my IA thought I was writing a book but the paperwork went right through and came back approved. I think it's neccessary to use a common sense approach when writing log entries. That is, enough to describe exactly what was done without making it so compliated that it confuses the issue.

Mike

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Re: Who signs for what?

Post by Champ Dreamer » Tue Jun 04, 2013 18:13

I have just spent several years on the restoration of my Champ, and hope to fly it within a week. I was fortunate enough to find an IA, who is also a friend, to look over my shoulder. We handled paperwork thusly: I prepared a wing for cover, he inspected it and signed it off as ready to cover (one log book entry). I covered the wing, another log book entry. Same with second wing, same with all control surfaces (one entry), same with fuselage. Each pre-cover entry included details of work done, part numbers, coatings, etc. We are about to make another entry for "Annual Inspection" which is, of course, what is required for a certified aircraft to fly. We are preparing a 337 for recover, with much less detail that the log entries. Also, preparing a 337 for the Sky Tec starter installation and a second one for the Sky Tec starter button (it is covered under a seperate STC). My understanding is that anything with an STC requires it's own 337. The battery installation will require another one, even though there is no STC. We install shoulder harnesses under a log book entry. I prepare the log entries (stick-on) myself and bring them to him for corrections and /or approval. I am working on my A&P license and the paperwork process has been an excellent experience. I added my name, signature and Pilot License number under the IA's signature at every entry (and have done this for years with other airplanes), helps prove experience for the licensing process.

I hope you're are as fortunate as I have been in finding a helpful and knowledgable IA. One word of advice, don't EVER betray his or her trust or assume anything.

Brian Walker
'46 7AC-DC

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