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FAA Regulations

I am curious as to any exemptions for an Experimental Aircraft/Warbird.    It is single engine trainer with two ejection seats and weighs less than 12,500 lbs Max Takeoff Weight.

A:  If it is equipped with ejection seats, can the Pyro be out of date?  (Exemptions?)

B:  If the aircraft only has parachutes, what are the maintenance requirements on those chutes?  (Exemptions?)

C:  If it does not have an operating auto-pilot, and it is approved for single pilot flight, can an approved PIC fly solo IFR? 


(I think know the answers, but I am following up with some expert opinions.)

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6 Answers

  1. Sam Dawson on Jan 08, 2013

    Let me get this straight. You are supposedly already operating such an airplane under a situation that falls under FAA regulations yet you “think” you know the requirements???? Got it.

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  2. Sam Dawson on Jan 08, 2013

    Personally, I think you are a troll since you already know the class of aircraft you are refering to. But to humor you,
    A. No. Page 13. Must be maintained IAW the applicable manual.
    B. Per part 91. Part 91 parachute inspection applies to all “civilian aircraft”.
    C. Per 91 subpart C. Again, applies to all civilian aircraft, though I would also go through the above listed reference and have a discussion with the classic warbirds society.
    So, where are you operating?

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  3. Nine Lives on Jan 08, 2013


    Thank you for the answers – but I don’t know why you keep heckling me on my posts, I already apologized for trying to tell a story with a sense of humor and even edited that post. Then I posted this serious question, with the same result. We can be friends, honest.

    Like you, I am prior military – but not Army… or helos. I made the transition to the civilian world but decided against going into the airlines. I have a specific skill set that fits nicely into several paramilitary and contract companies operating various aircraft – and I like the $ and the schedule. However, when I started flying for these companies, my eyes were opened to the differences between Mil and Civ flying. (some good, some bad).

    Some of the things they are telling/reassuring me about do not match what I am reading in the FAR/AIMs and I am attempting to figure out if I am missing something before I approach them about fixing the issues I have found. These are just the ones I am 90% sure of, so a second opinion helps. (I like to be right when I get fired)

    We operate CONUS and OCONUS, depending on the contract. I live in Virginia and they fly me to the aircraft if it is overseas or further than I care to drive.

    Thanks again for your help.

    OBTW, if I were a mythical creature, it wouldn’t be a Troll. I would be more of an ogre… who eats unicorns.

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  4. Sam Dawson on Jan 08, 2013

    Geez. Okay, if you are legit then what you are asking is above my pay grade. I would need to see your OPSECs and approval letters from the FAA- you may well have exceptions to the reference I listed though I doubt to the extent that you mention if the aircraft are operated CONUS.
    The transition from military to civilian is tough as far as regulations. I can’t tell you how many FARs I inadvertently violated when I first got out of the military. It took me a while to figure things out and people assumed I knew what I was doing- you are given a commercial pilot certificate and can fly rings around most 250 hour pilots when you graduate from from flight school, but FAR knowledge is weak. Not a slam on you, as I wrote I was in the same boat when I first flew 135.
    I think I know what company you work for though I don’t know much about them. if so be careful- you would not be the first pilot they lost.
    Basically you need to get into FAR 21(experimental), 91 (91 subpart C for inoperative equipment 91.307 for parachute inspections), maybe FAR 119 (though I am not sure with your comapny), the reference above about operating “civilian” military aircraft, talk to the L-39 type organization and the EAA. Your company should have letters authorizing deviations from the FARs and FAA Orders where applicable- perhaps even a LOA with the DOD. If they do not the FAA will normally come after the PIC as well as the company- maybe not even the company as they may well throw you under the bus.
    I am heckling you because your questions are not the normal questions on this board. I guess I assume they are from a 14 year old kid who had his x-box taken away. Sorry if I was wrong.

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  5. Nine Lives on Jan 09, 2013


    Though I would give anything to be 14 again, I am not. I looked at the warbird’s deviation form… Wow – the hole grows deeper. “You don’t know what you don’t know” is all I can say and I’m glad you pointed it out to me. I’m digging deeper into the FARs too.


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  6. Sam Dawson on Jan 09, 2013

    Again, your operation may have deviation letters and authorization, but this is stuff they should have shown you.
    Yeah, FARs were not covered in depth in flight school. Heck, I did not see a sectional or US airspace for 2 1/2 years after flight school. FARs? Did not apply OCONUS. Even when I returned to CONUS I did not bother much with FARs until I left active duty.

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