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Getting Paperwork Right for Your Homebuiltís Final Inspection

Isn’t it amazing how we persevere through all types of building difficulties and challenges on our homebuilt, and then when all the building work is finally completed, draw a mental blank and a major dose of angst when faced with the paperwork requirement to reach that certification goal? So let’s make this challenge simple and easy!

First, let’s list the items that you must have ready for your Minister’s Delegate – Recreational Aviation (MD-RA) Inspector on the day that he arrives for your final. (The package that you receive from the MD-RA office will list these requirements and will also include the appropriate documents for you.)

Here’s what you’ll need to have ready and available:

  1. Three copies of Form 24-0079, Initial Application for a Special Certificate of Airworthiness for Amateur-Built Aircraft. This form usually causes most of the concerns since it requires some simple mathematical calculations. More on this later.

    Inspection form

  2. Equipment list: The intent here is to list those items that are installed on the aircraft, but that may be changed at some time during the life of the aircraft. Such items might include instruments, radios, Emergency Locator Transmitters,etc. This information would be important for any rework of weight and balance calculations.

  3. Photocopies of:
    • Permanent data plate with name of builder, model, and serial number of the aircraft. No other data is necessary nor desired on this data plate.
    • Certificate of registration. (The inspector isn’t allowed to carry out the inspection if the certificate hasn’t been obtained.)
    • Logbook entries: Amateur-built aircraft are required to carry a journey log. Technical logs aren’t required if all appropriate entries are made in the journey log. Note that the following entries must be entered in the exact wording as shown below:
      1. I certify that the magnetic compass was calibrated. Signature and date.
      2. This aircraft will be maintained in compliance with Canadian Air Regulation 625, Appendices B & C. Signature and date.
      3. I certify that this aircraft complies with all the requirements of Appendix A of the exemption from Section 549.01 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations and Chapter 549 of the Airworthiness Manual, and is safe for flight. Signature and date.
      4. Note: In the case of an imported aircraft, a fourth logbook entry is required; the logbook must show that the aircraft has received its annual inspection and has been found safe for flight. This inspection and sign-out must have been performed after the aircraft was imported and prior to the import inspection date.

  4. Weight and balance report: This should show the “normal”, “most forward”, “most aft”, and “gross weight” centre of gravity (CG) locations. Needless to say, all CG locations must lie within the manufacturer’s specified range. The calculations should be made with the equipment in place and should reflect the baggage compartment weight limitations.

  5. Fuel flow report: This report should show the actual test results of the fuel flow test. It should show the actual fuel flow from each tank independently and should also show the calculated fuel flow requirement for the specific powerplant. (Note: Calculate your required fuel flow requirement as follows: Fuel flow rate (in pounds/hour) = 1.25 x 0.50 x hp (for a low-wing aircraft with an auxiliary fuel pump) or 1.50 x 0.50 x hp (for a high-wing aircraft with a gravity flow system).

    For example, a low-wing aircraft with a 160-hp engine will require a fuel flow rate to the engine of: 160 x 0.5 x 1.25 = 100 pounds/hour. So if your measured fuel flow through your system is 10.95 pounds collected in 4 minutes and 20 seconds, your actual rate of flow would be: 10.95 x 60/4.33 = 151.7 pounds/hour, obviously well above the 100 pounds/hour requirement.

Have all of these documents ready for your inspector, thereby saving yourself the cost of an additional inspector call-out just on account of incomplete paperwork.

Back to the first item above, Form 24-0079 causes the most confusion for those of us who hate paperwork. But follow these steps and things will go just fine.

Boxes 1 through 3 are self-evident. Just enter the appropriate information.

In Box 4 you should mark the “no” check box if you haven’t made modifications that affect the structural design of the aircraft. If you have ventured into areas other than those of the kit manufacturer, these modifications and/or changes should be listed after marking the “yes” check box.

Boxes 5 and 7 are again self-evident. A word of caution here: Make sure that your name and address appear the same as on your certificate of registration as well as on all documentation. John F. Doe isn’t the same as John Franklin Doe!

Box 6 requires a ¾ side view of your completed aircraft. Please ensure that your call sign is clearly seen in the photograph.

Box 8 lists the location from which you intend to operate for the first 25 hours of flight time. The location should clearly state the name of the airport as well as the airport identifier. Name one location only. If you intend to ferry the aircraft from an initial location to another and then conduct the first flights from this second location, this should be so stated and the minister will consider this request.

Boxes 9 and 10 are self-evident.

Box 11 should show the fuel capacity as determined by the kit manufacturer. If you have modified the fuel system to include additional fuel, show the total fuel carried. Note that in this case this modification should be noted in Box 4 above.

Box 12 is self-evident.

Box 13: This information should be available from the kit manufacturer. If not, then calculate the wing area by multiplying the wing chord by the wingspan. Note that the wingspan is measured from wingtip to wingtip and includes that portion through the cabin or cockpit. If the wing is tapered, or has a varying chord or wingtip, calculate the average.

Box 14: Again this information should be available from the manufacturer. If not, measure the distance from the leading edge of the flap to its trailing edge in a straight line. Then multiply this flap chord and the length of one flap for this value. Notice that if the flap is tapered, you need to again calculate an average value.

Box 15: Measure the total angular deflection of the flap from its “neutral” or “flaps up” position to its “flap fully down” position in degrees.

Box 16 requires our first major calculation and applies to both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

          W(eMax) = W – {175 + (175 √a) + 0.5P}   where: W = Box 19  
                                                                               a = number of passengers
                                                                               P = engine horsepower

So if the maximum weight requested is 1800 pounds, the number of passengers is one (in addition to the pilot), and the engine-rated hp is 160, this calculation is:

          W(eMax) = 1800 – {175 + (175 x 1) + (0.5 x 160)}
 
            = 1800 – {175 + 175 + 80}

            = 1370 pounds

Box 17 indicates the actual empty weight from your weight and balance calculation.

Box 19 from kit manufacturer (recommended) or from builder.
 
Box 20: Leave blank; no longer applicable.
           
Box 18: Multiply values of Box 13 by Box 20.

Box 21: Divide values of Box 19 by Box 13.

Boxes 22 and 23 are self-evident.

Box 24 requires our third major calculation. Note the constant 0.018 applies to a monoplane. For a biplane, use 0.023 for the constant.  

          Hp(MIN) = (0.016W) + (0.018 + √W3/wing span)    where: W = Box 19 = 1800
                                                                                        wingspan = 25

          = {(0.016 x 1800) + (0.018 x √18003/25)}
                                                    
                   = 28.8 + 54.98

                   = 83.78 hp

Note: If your calculator can’t find 18003, take the square root of 1800 or 42.426 and multiply that by itself three times to get 76,366. Then take this number, divide by 25, and multiply by 0.018 to get 54.98.

Box 25 from engine manufacturer.

Box 26 is self-evident.

Box 27 from prop manufacturer.

So that wasn’t any harder than any one of the thousands of components built during the construction of your homebuilt, was it? Take a little care of the paperwork before seeing your inspector for final, and things will go much smoother.

And finally: Ensure that you have met all the requirements for an amateur-built aircraft regarding your call sign size and locations, your instruments marked for ranges of operation and for control identification and operation, and especially all required placards. Please note that the “Passenger Warning” placard must be in both official languages while all others can be in either the English or French language.

Jack Dueck, EAA CC 

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