Matt Throckmorton's ("DocThrock") Team Rocket F1 EVO Kit Plane Construction Pages
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Team Rocket F1  Certification  Page       Last Modified: 
  
On This Page:  Registration      Airworthiness Application     Airworthiness Inspection

Registration

This is easy as pie. Picking a tail number was a little tough. For the first couple years I thought I would go for  132Tango Romeo, but in the end went for 540Mike Tango. Yes, I'll give me credit, not Team Rocket.

I preregistered an N-number for three years. Finally, within about 6 moths of finishing the plane, I paid my 5 bucks and in about 3 weeks had my registration back. Now that I have the white paper, I have EXACTLY what I am supposed to put on the data plate. This is important. When you get an inspection, the data plates and the paperwork have to match EXACTLY.

Airworthiness Application

I emailed my FSDO and told them I was ready to get the Rocket's airworthiness inspection. They told me to use/get my packet and follow the directions. I called for a new packet. In the packet is a checklist that you fill out and sign. With it, you send the documents specified. Couldn't be much easier.

Don't forget to send in your repairman application with your airworthiness application!

Forms for FSDO (Applicant Program Letter Special Airworthiness Certificate):

FAA Form 8130-6 is the top of the FAA paperwork. You can fill it out online and print it out from a PDF file. Very nice. Just do sections 1, 2 and 3. Make sure the information jives EXACTLY with what your engine, prop and registration card show.

There always needs to be a 3 view rendering of the airplane to be certified. Mark provides one in the builder's manual. You can also take pictures, but I'm sure the 3 view drawing is preferred for "the file".

AC Form 8050-3 is the OFFICIAL white aircraft registration card that you MUST have available during the physical inspection of the airframe. In fact it's a good idea to get one of those little holders and just mount it above the EXPERIMENTAL placard on the turtledeck/back seat bulkhead.

FAA Form 8130-12 is the affidavit that you must fill out and have notarized stating that YOU (owner/builder) are actually THE owner and builder of the aircraft. You have to swear you can prove you own it and that you built it, and be prepared to show documentation.

Construction logs have to be maintained for the project, including pre-covering photograps on major components. They actually don't want to come over and pysically inspect stages any more, so you have to doucment the big steps. The log entries should include "inspection" notes along the way.

Placards have to be in place. EXPERIMENTAL in 2 inch letters, data plate under the horizontal stabe permanently affixed (and permanently stamped/etched with EXACTLY the correct information), and the N number/registration marks on the plane... permanently (if even in primer!). CHECK!

Passenger Warning placard in full view of the rear seat passenger. Check. I put mine on the seat back directly in front of the  rear stick at eye level.

IFR instruments (or VFR/Night) according to FAR part 91, section 91.205 have been installed and appropriate to IFR (or VFR) operations. CHECK!

Instrument Range markings. I hope the batteries stay charged. My Rocket is total electric, no steam gauges, so the EFIS is the only place to see a "6 pack". GRT allows you to customize green, yellow and red zones on meters and dials. Sweet. Must comply with FAR Part 91, section 91.9

ELT per FAR part 91, sction 91.207. Check. Annunciator with switch in panel, too.

Weight and Balance. This is about the last thing I'm doing. That is actually going to happen after I contact the FSDO by mail, but hopefully before scheduling the inspection. The Team Rocket manual has a pretty nice section on performing and calculating the W&B.

Powerplant test run for at least an hour of ground operation, and checks of systems to ensure safe and proper functioning. Check.

Aerobatic flight limitations. Hmmmm... almost forgot that. Time to get out the label maker and print out some tape and stick it on the panel.  -3, +6

Finally, the form asks you the number of seats. Well, I only have two. Or a front seat and cargo bay for 2 dogs. How should I mark that? Hmmmm.....

After checking off the list of pre-inspection items, you are asked where the kit is located and how to get there. Also there is a place to tell FSDO where you want to test fly the plane. They state you can have only 25 miles radius for testing. I'm asking for at least 75. We'll see if I get it. I want to take the plane to an airfield with an avionics shop during testing, and none are very close. Fortnately there's no hugely populated areas between my base and the avionics shops, one at KLAF and the other at KEVV. KEYE is another choice, but it's under Indy's class C, so I figure that's out. Kinda densly populated over there. Think I'll avoid that one.

The Inspection

My special airworthiness inspection went off with narey a hitch. The assigned inspector called me and set up and inspection for A SATURDAY! I was of course getting close to Christmas, and I can imagine that he wanted a comp day near the Holiday. At any rate, he took the time to give me a sort of check list to be prepared for his arrival. The morning of Dec 1, 2007, he showed up promptly, we exchanged pleasantries and went to work.

He went over the airframe with mirror and flashlight, and made a few constuctive comments. Always good to have another pair of trained eyes to go over your work and give suggestions. Didn't seem to have a problem with the way I put it together. In fact, he paid Team Rocket and Mark Frederick a huge compliment, saying the Rocket kit was probably in the upper 5% of experimentals. He was very impressed with the airframe (not necessarily my work). I have to agree, it sure is a great airframe.

I had to jump in, run the flight controls around, he did more checks. He had a couple checklists of his own, and made sure I had all the data plates, placards and necessary markings.  After that, it was paperwork time. Lots of pages to sign. He even was required to read me the Phase 1 and Phase 2 test plan documents! Good thing he read them, it was easier to absorb the information. And I had to sign a BIG document that said I was read them. That exercise is to let you know that those documents have to be in the aircraft and you are only allowed to do certain things in certain places based on your individual restrictions.

I was a little disappointed that I was only able to get a 50 mile test box. And that's just in Indiana, within the confines Indy FSDO territory. So I have about 10 miles to the west and 50 miles to the east. It's a small test box for a plane that can do 200 knots. Oh well, it's only for 40 hours.

The inspection was a good experience. The inspector was personable and helpful, and even took the time for a few extra questions at the end. That's saying a lot considering it was freezing rain outside and freezing in my hangar. My propane heater had the audacity to croak in the middle of the inspection, and with the freezing gusts outside it took very little time for the heat to get sucked out of the hangar. I was glad when the inspection was over, not because of the anticipated harrowing inspection process, but because I was freezing my ass off!

Begin Test Phase 1 !!!