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Old 09-16-2018, 03:07 PM
GhostRider32 GhostRider32 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Paris, Tx
Posts: 93
Default Steps for buying a homebuilt?

Hello all,

I am looking a buying a homebuilt like a Rv-9 or RV-12 and was wondering, what all steps does it take to do this? I have been reading on EAA's website and there are many forms that they recommend like Aircraft Registration Application form AC 8050-1 and the Aircraft Bill of Sale form AC 8050-2.

Does the builder need to show proof of his construction or anything like that? I believe the Special Airworthiness Certificate should be in the plane along with the Experimental Operating Limitation's paper, is this correct? Anything else I need?

I am not yet a pilot but am looking for a plane to buy and train in and I don't want a 50 year old Cessna so I'm trying to learn all I can about buying an experimental. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:54 PM
charger81 charger81 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 220

Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 09-16-2018, 04:07 PM
DaleB's Avatar
DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,046

Bill of sale and registration. As you'll learn in pilot training, AROW... Airworthiness certificate, Registration, Operating limitations and Weight & balance sheet. That's what you need in the plane to legally fly.

That said... buying ANY airplane is not for the uninformed, and buying an Experimental doubly so. Get someone knowledgeable to help, and be sure you have an instructor AND an examiner who will fly in whatever it is you find to buy.

Oh, and... welcome to VAF!

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:15 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is online now
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 952

Send me a PM with your phone number.
RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual experimental touch screens with autopilot, IFR GPS)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
2019 dues slightly overpaid
Retired - "They used to pay me to be good, now I'm good for nothing."
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Old 09-16-2018, 06:38 PM
mbauer mbauer is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Nikiski, AK
Posts: 344
Default Hope You Enjoy Your Road to the Private Pilot License

Understand why you would want a RV. They are fantastic airplanes!

To learn to fly in an Experimental means searching for a CFI that will instruct in one.

About the only thing an instructor can't do is out brake you, still most like to see a set of brakes on the right side, or in the back if a tandem.

I bought my RV-6 last year. I hired someone to do a pre-buy inspection. Best to do the same, no surprises that way. After buying it and before going down to take possession, had to do some tail wheel training.

Insurance will want major money to protect your experimental, since you will be training in it, best to ask ahead of time to verify you can afford the rates along with maintenance.

For me the purchase was after spending 1-1/2 years learning about which homebuilt I actually wanted. Asking questions here at Vans Airforce is a great step.

I read through the service bulletins, and the great "on-going maintenance issues" threads as well. What about tail wheel vs., nose dragger? Thread for that as well. Avionics? Read what the differences were for Ipad/phone vs actual GPS too. Lots of info here, best to read it all!

After deciding which one I wanted, now the year long search for one that I could afford began. I sent plenty of emails asking different sellers about their RV. One kept catching my eye on barnstormers website. Then the add ended.

Within two weeks it showed up again, I immediately contacted the seller. We hit it off, he answered all of my questions, explained the difference between the RV-6 and his other plane, C182.

I sent a deposit of $5000. pending pre-buy inspection approval, meaning if it had to many issues, the money would be refunded. Fax and email backed up in writing before I sent the money. I used USPS Priority Mail just in case it was Fraud-Federal Crime might be investigated by the Feds-best to have a solid paper trail when spending hard earned money!

Once the pre-buy was complete and a couple of squawks were fixed, I sent the whole purchase price, by bank transfer.

I was lucky, I had an honest seller, and he could tell I was serious about the purchase. Previously had two buyers who either didn't show, or just wanted to go for a ride with no interest in purchasing.

Now that I had the RV-6, next step was meeting insurance requirements, must be signed off as PIC, by a CFI with at least 50-hours in same model. This took a solid 5-hours, never flew anything like a RV before.

Finally a bigger RV grin took place as I left the Jackson, CA airport on my way to Phoenix, AZ leg of my first cross country.

Lots of things you will need to do, research being the most important! Check to verify you can even get insurance to begin with, then a CFI, finally taking the steps to purchase.

Good Luck! I hope you find what you're looking for! Enjoy the experience of learning to fly, hopefully something you will get to enjoy for many, many years into the future.

Almost forgot: Be sure to check out the tail number on-line with the FAA and NTSB for history, shows owners and accidents. Not all sellers are honest. A couple wouldn't let a pre-buy inspection happen.

Best regards,
Mike Bauer
Mike Bauer
N999SN 1998 Syd Nelson RV-6 (purchased 2017)
UTC -09:00 Alaska

Last edited by mbauer : 09-16-2018 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Typos-added blue text on how I sent Earnest Monies
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:57 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is online now
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 952

Mike had a lot of great comments, and not much to add...
* An RV-9A is not an RV-9A is not an RV-9A. Variations in workmanship, electrical systems, engine details, avionics, panel layout, wiring runs, on and on. One RV-9A may have handling qualities much like another, but there's still plenty of opportunities for gotchas. RV-12s are less likely to have variations, especially if it is ELSA;
* I've not always had luck finding folks who know Rotax engines. I had one guy come work on my AirCam for three hours, screw things up, and he never answered my phone calls afterwards. Nor sent me a bill...
* Make sure you have a local support network that knows homebuilts. I've been lucky in my career to be surrounded by knowledgeable folks. Yes, you can work on it yourself all you want, but as Dirty Harry said, a man's got to know his limitations;
* Whatever you buy (EAB) will almost certainly have builder quirks that may well be undocumented and hidden. In fact, most of the systems information will likely be undocumented;
* When time comes to have somebody work on the plane, you are going to be the primary source of knowledge on the plane (EAB). Know that going in.

RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual experimental touch screens with autopilot, IFR GPS)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
2019 dues slightly overpaid
Retired - "They used to pay me to be good, now I'm good for nothing."
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:44 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,542

Slightly off your main question, but related...

My humble opinion is that you should at least get through first solo in a rented plane before getting too focused on buying an EAB.

1. The RV12 may be different, but even the relatively docile rv9/9a is not really a plane you want to be learning to land in. Its really not designed to handle the landing abuse that a Cessna 150/172 is. I still cringe at some of my first landings in the 150!!! Despite your stated misgivings about 50yr old Cessnas, there are reasons that there are 50-yr old Cessnas still around. They are tough to bend or break! Perfect for just-learning pilots!

2. You would not be the first person to think for sure that they really like flying only to find out that they don’t like it or the costs as much as they thought they did. What is the percentage of those who start the PPL actually completing the PPL? Last I heard it is still not high.

3. Until you’ve been a pilot for a while, you don’t really know what you want, for example, in terms of prop or panel. How will you know what you need to buy? Sure, you can always change those things after purchase, but it will be a lot more complicated and expensive, especially if you are not qualified to do the work yourself like you might be had you built the plane yourself.

Not trying to discourage you, just think it might be worth first getting 15 or so hours under your belt before you pull the trigger on purchasing an EAB. Food for thought.

Good luck regardless.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

Donation reminder: Jan. 2020

Last edited by alpinelakespilot2000 : 09-16-2018 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:08 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,332

Steve has some very good advice. Read it carefully and think long and hard. Your first landings are not likely to be "pretty". These old Cessnas and Pipers were designed for student abuse. Homebuilts are not!

Beat up someone else's airplane while learning.
Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA (LifeTime) Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor/Nat'l Test Pilot School
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)Sold
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
Eagle's Nest Mentor
Recipient of Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award
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Old 09-18-2018, 06:48 PM
catmandu's Avatar
catmandu catmandu is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 761

I respectfully disagree with Steve and Mel. RV's can take student abuse with the best of them, my local flight school uses -12's, and I do primary instruction in my -6a. Just like any plane, one needs to instruct folks to respect the limits of the airframe.
Mike C.
Maryland's Eastern Shore
RV-6A bought flying
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:16 PM
GhostRider32 GhostRider32 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Paris, Tx
Posts: 93

Thanks all for the advice.
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