homebuilt for bussiness

dbrault17

Well-Known Member
Dont know where else to put this but the boss and I are looking into single engine turbines. He came across an experimental that he likes but is concerned over the liability. Anyone have experience in this? He wants to use the plane for private and getting around to bussiness meetings.

1. If he bought the kit can he hire someone to put it together taking little to no part in the building process?

2. If he bought a used experimental does the builders liability follow him?

3. If he forms an LLC can the LLC buy or build an experimental airplane?

Thats about all
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
Not a lawyer, but here is my understanding. Hopefully, Midlife will see this, and add his opinion.

1. If he bought the kit can he hire someone to put it together taking little to no part in the building process?
No, at least not leagaly. Some companies offer "builder assistance" that crosses over into the "we'll build it for you" teritory. Some people do use these companies to get a homebuilt airplane done ASAP, but the FAA is looking hard at this pratice.

2. If he bought a used experimental does the builders liability follow him?
The builder of a homebuilt is considered the manufacturer, with all the liabilty that implies. However if you bought one already built you assume liability just like you would if you bought a Cessna.

3. If he forms an LLC can the LLC buy or build an experimental airplane?
I've heard of guys starting a "buisness" (useually a sole propritorship) to get better deals from suppliers like lycoming or aircraft spruce, but don't know who they put on the airworthiness certificate.

However I really don't think a LLC would provide much protection, since you personally are the designer, builder, mechanic, testpilot, and everything else.

The saving grace for hombuilt liability is that there is useually only one passenger, and that the airplane's status as "experimantal" is clearly dispalyed.
 

OldTownPilot

Well-Known Member
As for the professional builder thing, I think you can but you lose a lot of the maintenance benefits that comes with a homebuilt by not complying with the "51% rule".
 

WacoFan

Bigly
I believe that you can form an LLC for the purpose of building the homebuilt, and then hire some people to "help" build it. I also think, if the LLC's asset is the airplane, then in the event of a crash the LLC would be the target - not personal assets. The LLC exists as the owner and builder of the airplane, so that would be the extent of the liability. Now, if it is pilot error the victims could probably come after you personally. Not sure but they raise good questions.

I think that as a homebuilder, you can do the maintenance on your plane. If you buy a homebuilt, then you must have a licensed A&P annual the airplane. You would want this for turbine equipment anyway I would imagine. The EAA website would prove hady for your questions I think.
 

teetee

New Member
Home builts end up costing more than what you would think. Not only are you paying for all the materials to build the plane, the first 40 hours are the experiment hours and you are paying for fuel to "experiment" (play) and do all the manuevers in the plane. Only one person can be in the plane during this time and it is a time that you have to do a lot of work to make sure the palne gets the ratings you want and need. You have to figure out the stall rate and different performance speeds.

My father in law is just getting his home built (RV-7) painted but his first flight was about a year ago. He is a certified A&P so he did all the work himself to save money. He is also a corporate pilot and with about every endorsement possible. The plane is an awesome plane but it took a lot longer and more money than he expected it to. In the end, he had to bring in partners to help with the expense. One mis-drill or kleico (sp?) and you may be buying a new panel. The rivets have to be driven just right as well. From talking with my father in law during the process , the EAA requirements are more stingent that the requirements on manufactur built planes.

My FIL always says the money that went into it is for the love and building the plane, not for the financial savings in home built. The time and energy that went into the plane was amazing. This is a common situation that I have heard about after talking with other home build pilots (if you even mention home built you would be surprised to find out what people have in their garages). Home built just end up costing more than you would think and taking a lot longer than planned. My father in law planned no more than 2 years, it took him 5 until he was able to test pilot it. Hope any of this information helps.

On a side note, what airplane is it that you are looking into?
 

WacoFan

Bigly
I think your boss should have one of these built. A Mullicoupe - a cross between a Howard DGA (a little smaller) and a Monocoupe (a lot bigger) - powered with a 450 Pratt and Whitney. 225mph at 10,000 ft and lots of neat P&W noise.
 
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