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Data Plate swapper pleads guilty

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Data Plate swapper pleads guilty

Old 22nd Jun 2020, 15:45
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Data Plate swapper pleads guilty

I'm not sure if I can recall a previous conviction for this activity, although it has reputedly been going on throughout the industry for years. I seem to recall a story here on PPRuNe about someone selling a 206 data plate and records on eBay recently.

British man pleads guilty to attempted aircraft parts fraud

A British man, who owned a helicopter sales and repair facility in Bristol, Tennessee, has pleaded guilty after authorities said he tried to fraudulently sell a damaged helicopter.

Richard Paul Harper, 67, pleaded guilty Tuesday and will be sentenced in October in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He faces up to 10 years in prison on a charge of attempted aircraft parts fraud.

Harper owned and operated Apple Helicopter International, which had offices in Bristol and Great Britain. He was charged following a lengthy investigation by the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

At one time, Apple held a license from the Federal Aviation Administration. Harper was engaged in purchasing, refurbishing and selling used helicopters and helicopter parts. Apple International’s American office was located on Industrial Drive in the Bristol Industrial Park.

Harper was born and grew up in Norwich, United Kingdom, ran a haulage company in the 1980s, but a love of flying helicopters led him to develop a business buying and selling Bell helicopters, according to a 2012 article in the British newspaper Eastern Daily Press.

When his business took off, Harper moved to the U.S., but later returned to the U.K. by 2012, the newspaper said.

In his plea agreement, Harper admitted to obtaining a Bell helicopter with significant underbelly damage. Instead of performing necessary, costly repairs, the fuselage of the helicopter was switched with the fuselage of another helicopter that previously crashed in New Jersey, the agreement states. The original data plates were affixed to that helicopter.

A criminal complaint says Harper coordinated the fraudulent combination of the fuselage from one damaged helicopter with the nose and tail from the other damaged helicopter.

When doing so, Harper switched or caused the switching of the data plate from one damaged helicopter to the fuselage from another damaged helicopter, the complaint states.

Harper attempted to sell the fraudulently altered helicopter to a fictitious client of a broker, who was actually an undercover federal agent.

The complaint said Harper also sent a fraudulently obtained airworthiness certificate and documentation that misrepresented facts, such as the true age and actual hours of service of the helicopter. The complaint also says Harper used the names of FAA-issued mechanic’s licenses to provide the impression that work on the helicopter had been certified and inspected.

In connection with the attempted sale, Harper solicited the wire transfer of proceeds from the sale to a bank account in the U.K., the complaint states.

“Fraudulent activity of any kind is reprehensible and detrimental, but fraudulent activity of this kind that poses a particular danger to those who fly the aircraft and are on the ground is particularly egregious,” said U.S. Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. “I want to commend our law enforcement partners in this case for bringing the perpetrator of this fraud to justice.”
https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/l...3df68f581.html
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2020, 17:32
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Using the cab of one aircraft and the components of another aircraft used to be common practice in the industry until the FAA changed their mind a while back. But really, what would the harm be? There's no life-limit or even overhaul-interval on the cab. When we look at the "age" of a helicopter, it has more to do with what configuration it's in...if all of the pertinent mods have been done. I used to fly an early-SN 206B that had been a sprayer. And what sprayer hasn't been wrecked at least once? Oddly, it had a late-model instrument panel which was not "period-correct" (as my antique car friends say), and there were a few other configuration changes that made us wonder: Was it the actual fuselage? Did somebody go to all the trouble of cutting out the old instrument panel with the individual push-to-test caution lights and tiny pressure/temperature gauges and go to the trouble to install the late model panel, caution lights and gauges? Hmm.

Again, it hardly matters, because helicopter are a collection of components with various lifetimes. The cab is just the Christmas tree we hang all the ornaments on. So if you could buy a bare fuselage assembly from Bell (I'm sure there's a PN for it), and then stick the old tail boom and a bunch of airworthy components on it, and a data plate from the helicopter all the components came off...what's the harm? You'd have the old helicopter with a new cab. But nope! Not allowed anymore.

Sounds like Harper's case may be a tad more complicated than simply swapping out the fuselage from one 206 to another. Sounds like there's more to this story than that. Sounds like the feds were onto him for a long time - even going to far as to actually buying one of his aircraft. It would be interesting to know the whole story.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 19:24
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It was never allowed and has been actively pursued and enforced by the FAA and various other Agencies for years. If you were flying an upgraded 206, there is a very good possibility it may be a converted 206A as many of these incorporated the factory improvements that came with the evolution of the model. You could have easily checked your aircraft logbook to see if it had been modified in accordance with an STC or by referencing the 337's for any modifications that have been accomplished, and then you would have known the complete status of your helicopter.

How would you know that your airframe hasn't been crashed and incorrectly rebuilt or repaired? How would you know anything about its history or configuration if you didn't have the applicable records for the aircraft, but had records for another aircraft which was totally unrelated? Why bother keeping records at all? In fact, why license pilots or technicians, why train, certificate and maintain currency. Why not disband the FAA and just have a free for all. You could put any old engine in, perform any structural repair that you thought might be good enough, buy your parts from anywhere, use old parts from crashed machines, corroded old junk, timed out blades, just whatever you felt like and fake the paperwork as required. Rather than follow the carefully established global regulatory network built on years of experience (often bad) why not just throw it all away and join the protests at CHAZ in Seattle in support of aviation anarchy? In fact, if you went to Seattle you could share your opinions with the unemployed former Boeing employees from the 737 MAX program, who potentially shared a similar philosophy to yours.

Your user name might take you directly to an individual that did all of the above, got caught and skipped town. In the meantime, you should offer your services as an expert witness to one of these crooks that got busted - I'm sure the Judge will pay close attention to your opinion!

I personally think it's great when these guys get caught, and they deserve everything they get, as they screw up the entire business, just look at the Bell 204/UH-1 debacle twenty years ago. Why do they do it? To make loads of easy money!

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...r/AC_45-2E.pdf
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 22nd Jun 2020, 20:41
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Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
I'm not sure if I can recall a previous conviction for this activity,
There's been a number of convictions on the rotor-wing side, TRE Aviation and Hansen in Guam to name a couple. And quite a few more on the plank-wing side. Unfortunately, the indictments/convictions of these types are never newsworthy stories. Plus the fact not all are permanently prohibited from aviation as some still operate afterwards. Have seen some really radical stuff out there over the years.

Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
I personally think it's great when these guys get caught,
Agree 100%
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 21:00
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
Using the cab of one aircraft and the components of another aircraft used to be common practice in the industry until the FAA changed their mind a while back.
Swapping components is one thing, swapping data tags between airframes is something completely different. Don't know who told you that, but the FAA didn't need to change their mind as it's been illegal to swap data plates since the original CAR days. It just wasn't enforced effectively until people started dying from it. However, there has always been a legal method to move data plates or rebuild from aircraft salvage if one were to follow it. Unfortunately, some prefer not to follow it and when they get caught it's time to pay the piper. As the rotor turns they say.
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Old 22nd Jun 2020, 21:06
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And as Wrench kindly reminded me last time something of this was discussed here is the link.

BELL 206 DATA PLATE with Log Books
nomorehelosforme is offline  
Old 23rd Jun 2020, 09:44
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A couple of years back, the same company was advertising engine components for sale. We informed them these parts were no longer authorised for use and had been withdrawn by the OEM, yet they continued to advertise them. Suddenly, one of our customers sent the same parts in to us to fit in his engine to save cost. He didn't get his money back and one of the parts is mounted on his desk as a reminder, things are cheap for a reason and not everything is what is seems, so check and check again.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 17:00
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Originally Posted by Chris P Bacon View Post
A couple of years back, the same company was advertising engine components for sale. We informed them these parts were no longer authorised for use and had been withdrawn by the OEM, yet they continued to advertise them. Suddenly, one of our customers sent the same parts in to us to fit in his engine to save cost. He didn't get his money back and one of the parts is mounted on his desk as a reminder, things are cheap for a reason and not everything is what is seems, so check and check again.
Like you Chris P Bacon, many including myself have been watching him for years.

I am sure and hope the UK authorities will want to look at all the other "rebuilt" helicopters he has sold, including all component histories........................if anybody has purchased one of his "rebuilt" helicopters be prepared to be contacted by the authorities.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 19:45
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Originally Posted by PEASACAKE View Post
Like you Chris P Bacon, many including myself have been watching him for years.

I am sure and hope the UK authorities will want to look at all the other "rebuilt" helicopters he has sold, including all component histories........................if anybody has purchased one of his "rebuilt" helicopters be prepared to be contacted by the authorities.
I am sure there will be quite alot for the UK authorities to look at, before his Apple International days he run another company R & M Helicopters in Norwich area, UK selling Bell 206 helicopters. I actually have a list of all the helicopters owned/sold by R & M deep in my heli archives.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 20:11
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R and M international during the 90’s sold more 2nd hand 206’s into Europe than any other company.
Most of them were sourced from Edwards Associates from Bristol Tennessee.
Edwards were the Bell preferred 2nd hand dealer and often carried out one off specialist work.
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Old 23rd Jun 2020, 23:10
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Data Plates

Here is the current FAA order on the subject...


https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/...er_8100.19.pdf

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Old 24th Jun 2020, 15:07
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Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
Long-winded, childish rant removed
Haven't been in the business very long, have you, Cyclic? If you had, you'd know that for eons, probably dating back to the VS-300, helicopters have had their data plates swapped from one airframe to another. It is said there are/were more Bell 47's flying than ever rolled off Bell's assembly lines. Same-same for the UH-1 and 206 series, I would imagine.

Cyclic, there's a lot to unpack in your childish rant that devolved into some political gibberish. But let's try!

First, I never said that the FAA approved or permitted anything. As with all FAR's, they only tell you what you *cannot* do. It wasn't until 2015 that the FAA finally issued the Advisory Circular specifying that -now- you cannot swap a date plate from one aircraft to another. Until 2015 this practice was, as I noted, fairly common. It was not necessarily dangerous or illegal.

You, Cyclic, for some reason automatically assume that everyone is dishonest (as dishonest as you, perhaps?) and would put together an aircraft of unapproved, uncertified or unairworthy parts, assembled by unlicensed mechanics and signed-off by bogus (or perhaps dead) IA's. You and both I know that it has happened. And it's not right, obviously.

But as I stated and as you're aware, helicopters are a collection of many parts with finite life-limits. All such parts need to have Component Historical Record cards that document where they've been and how much time is on them. Suppose you had a helicopter that had been in an accident and the cabin was damaged beyond economical repair? (We'll assume here that the crash was noted in the aircraft logbook.) What would or should stop you from buying a servicable cab and then attaching to it the necessary airworthy parts from the old ship to make it a complete aircraft? Are you saying that when an aircraft crashes, *every* part on it becomes scrap? Again, that's nonsense. As long as the appropritate inspections and repairs are carried out and documented, parts from crashed aircraft can certainly go back in service. Traceability is the key. As long as all the parts are yellow-tagged (serviceable) they can be installed on any aircraft. And finally, as long as the repaired/rebuilt aircraft conforms to its Type Certificate and is certified to that fact by an A&P/IA, then it's good to go. No?

By the way, the guy I worked for (the origin of my SN) did not do any dataplate swapping of any FH1100's. He didn't have to - he owned the Type Certificate. But we did occasionaly see customer aircraft come in that were "hybrids" that had obviously started life as a different serial number airframe. See, Hiller in their wisdom hid other datatags on their airframes and *we* knew where they were! (Back in the 1980's there was a guy down in central Florida who was infamous for building and selling bogus FH1100's, but he did eventually go to jail.)

Point being, "building an aircraft around a data plate" was once common practice with certain types. And it was not immoral or inherently unsafe. But it is prohibited now. I know a guy who, long prior to 2015 bought an old two-seat fixed-wing taildragger from the 1940's that had been crashed - not bad, just tripped up on its nose on landing. My friend did a beautiful rebuild/restoration on it - literallly from the rivets out. Lots of money spent. When he went to re-register it, he discovered that the previous owner had listed it as "Destroyed" and the FAA said, "Nope!" Oopsie! The road back from "Destroyed" is damn near impossible. My friend currently has an interesting piece of (expensive) lawn art. In the past, he would have simply bought the data plate off of a same-model wreck that had not been listed as "Destroyed" and slapped that data plate on his rebuilt airframe. Who would've known and what would it have mattered?

Rebuilding aircraft that have been wrecked is a business that some people have specialized in for many years. As long as everything is properly documented, and airworthy, traceable parts are used, there's usually nothing wrong with it. However there are some "shady" characters out there and sadly, not every aircraft buyer does his due-diligence.
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Old 24th Jun 2020, 18:28
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I guess how immoral and inherently unsafe it is depends on how much the buyer really knows about the “aircraft” they’re buying.
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Old 24th Jun 2020, 21:33
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Originally Posted by FH1100 Pilot View Post
you'd know that for eons, probably dating back to the VS-300, helicopters have had their data plates swapped from one airframe to another. [...] It was not necessarily dangerous or illegal.
Don't know where you keep getting your info, but while you may think it was previously okay to swap data plates it never has been legal for eons as well. You can rant all you want but it doesn't change the facts:

CAR 1.2321 (1938): (a) The identification plate and other identifying information required under the pertinent airworthiness requirements of Parts 04, 05, 06 or 07, as the case may be.

CAR 1.50 (1955): (a) Each product manufactured under the terms of a type or production certificate shall display permanently such data as may be required to show its identity.

FAR Part 45.13(e): No person may install an identification plate removed in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section on any aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub other than the one from which it was removed.

The only thing not done on a regular basis by the CAA/FAA was enforce that rule. The funny thing is that the reason for all the FAA attention to this matter over the past 15 years, to include the recent Order issued in 2018 on salvage/destroyed aircraft, is due to those with your attitude that it's always been okay to swap plates when in fact it never was. Is there a legal way to swap data plates, sure. But it requires FAA approval and in some cases an LOA from the current TC holder. Just as it always has been. Been there and done that a number of times. And yes, for the record, have been in the aviation mx business for a long time and have parleyed the topic of data plates on many different levels over the years. Whether you want to believe or not is of no matter, it is what it is.
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Old 26th Jun 2020, 19:35
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Apologies for the long post here, but this details why you're surmising that swapping a data plate isn't wrong, bad or has any significant impact.



Using the airframe from an aircraft and rebuilding it has never been a problem if you follow the correct processes and is something I am intimately familiar with. The process is straightforward, entirely legal and has always been a part of aviation. There are even processes to build up former military aircraft from parts and issue them serial numbers, likewise for returning aircraft to service if their records are lost and destroyed.

What isn't legal is to remove the data plate from one aircraft and put it on another airframe with no approval or record of the change. It never has been - thank you Wrench 1 for your CAR reference. This has been going on illegally for years, and the more of these guys get caught and thrown in jail, the better. The reason it is so prevalent in the helicopter business is the rewards are huge, and in many cases cheap and easily procured military models provide very similar (or even identical) airframes to use as donors. I know who many of these people are, would never touch anything associated with them, but they are good at covering their tracks. I have discovered some of their actions, and have been involved with FAA and FBI investigations of their activities when they are detected, including bogus (timed out, and otherwise modified) blades and components. They remain a major risk to the unwary who may be paying top dollars for a low dollar imitation, that also may have it's C of A revoked if detected.



So, let's take a quick review of the regulatory process in the US, so we can all understand clearly why this is entirely in conflict with the entire FAA Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). We'll go from beginning to end, as some of it will come back to bite you in multiple ways.



We are assuming the initial Aircraft has been appropriately designed, certified and manufactured in accordance with the FARs;

I'll let you reach your own conclusions.


1.

FAA FAR §1.1 General definitions. - Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.


2.

§45.1 Applicability.

This part prescribes the requirements for—

(a) Marking products and articles manufactured under—

(1) A type certificate;

(2) A production approval as defined under part 21 of this chapter; and

(3) The provisions of an agreement between the United States and another country or jurisdiction for the acceptance of products and articles; and

(b) Nationality and registration marking of aircraft registered in the United States in accordance with part 47.

3.

§45.11 Marking of products.

(a) Aircraft. A manufacturer of aircraft covered under §21.182 of this chapter must mark each aircraft by attaching a fireproof identification plate that—

(1) Includes the information specified in §45.13 using an approved method of fireproof marking;

(2) Must be secured in such a manner that it will not likely be defaced or removed during normal service, or lost or destroyed in an accident; and

4.


§45.13 Identification data.

(a) The identification required by §45.11 (a) through (c) must include the following information:

(1) Builder's name.

(2) Model designation.

(3) Builder's serial number.

(4) Type certificate number, if any.

(5) Production certificate number, if any.

(6) For aircraft engines, the established rating.
--------

(8) Any other information the FAA finds appropriate.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, no person may remove, change, or place identification information required by paragraph (a) of this section, on any aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub, without the approval of the FAA.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, no person may remove or install any identification plate required by §45.11, without the approval of the FAA.

(d) Persons performing work under the provisions of Part 43 of this chapter may, in accordance with methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the FAA—

(1) Remove, change, or place the identification information required by paragraph (a) of this section on any aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub; or

(2) Remove an identification plate required by §45.11 when necessary during maintenance operations.

(e) No person may install an identification plate removed in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section on any aircraft, aircraft engine, propeller, propeller blade, or propeller hub other than the one from which it was removed.

5.

§43.1 Applicability.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (d) of this section, this part prescribes rules governing the maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alteration of any—

(1) Aircraft having a U.S. airworthiness certificate;

6.


§43.2 Records of overhaul and rebuilding.

(a) No person may describe in any required maintenance entry or form an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part as being overhauled unless—

(1) Using methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator, it has been disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired as necessary, and reassembled; and

(2) It has been tested in accordance with approved standards and technical data, or in accordance with current standards and technical data acceptable to the Administrator, which have been developed and documented by the holder of the type certificate, supplemental type certificate, or a material, part, process, or appliance approval under part 21 of this chapter.

(b) No person may describe in any required maintenance entry or form an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part as being rebuilt unless it has been disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired as necessary, reassembled, and tested to the same tolerances and limits as a new item, using either new parts or used parts that either conform to new part tolerances and limits or to approved oversized or undersized dimensions.

7.

§43.5 Approval for return to service after maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration.

No person may approve for return to service any aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance, that has undergone maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration unless—

(a) The maintenance record entry required by §43.9 or §43.11, as appropriate, has been made;

(b) The repair or alteration form authorized by or furnished by the Administrator has been executed in a manner prescribed by the Administrator; and

(c) If a repair or an alteration results in any change in the aircraft operating limitations or flight data contained in the approved aircraft flight manual, those operating limitations or flight data are appropriately revised and set forth as prescribed in §91.9 of this chapter.



8.

§43.9 Content, form, and disposition of maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, and alteration records (except inspections performed in accordance with part 91, part 125, §135.411(a)(1), and §135.419 of this chapter).

(a) Maintenance record entries. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, each person who maintains, performs preventive maintenance, rebuilds, or alters an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part shall make an entry in the maintenance record of that equipment containing the following information:

(1) A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of work performed.

(2) The date of completion of the work performed.

(3) The name of the person performing the work if other than the person specified in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.


9.

§43.12 Maintenance records: Falsification, reproduction, or alteration.

(a) No person may make or cause to be made:

(1) Any fraudulent or intentionally false entry in any record or report that is required to be made, kept, or used to show compliance with any requirement under this part;

(2) Any reproduction, for fraudulent purpose, of any record or report under this part; or

(3) Any alteration, for fraudulent purpose, of any record or report under this part.

(b) The commission by any person of an act prohibited under paragraph (a) of this section is a basis for suspending or revoking the applicable airman, operator, or production certificate, Technical Standard Order Authorization, FAA-Parts Manufacturer Approval, or Product and Process Specification issued by the Administrator and held by that person.


Appendix A to Part 43—Major Alterations, Major Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance

(a) Major alterations—(1) Airframe major alterations. Alterations of the following parts and alterations of the following types, when not listed in the aircraft specifications issued by the FAA, are airframe major alterations:

(i) Wings.

(ii) Tail surfaces.

(iii) Fuselage.

(b) Major repairs—(1) Airframe major repairs. Repairs to the following parts of an airframe and repairs of the following types, involving the strengthening, reinforcing, splicing, and manufacturing of primary structural members or their replacement, when replacement is by fabrication such as riveting or welding, are airframe major repairs.



10.

Appendix B to Part 43—Recording of Major Repairs and Major Alterations

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this appendix, each person performing a major repair or major alteration shall—

(1) Execute FAA Form 337 at least in duplicate;

(2) Give a signed copy of that form to the aircraft owner; and

(3) Forward a copy of that form to the FAA Aircraft Registration Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, within 48 hours after the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance is approved for return to service.

(b) For major repairs made in accordance with a manual or specifications acceptable to the Administrator, a certificated repair station may, in place of the requirements of paragraph (a)—

(1) Use the customer's work order upon which the repair is recorded;

(2) Give the aircraft owner a signed copy of the work order and retain a duplicate copy for at least two years from the date of approval for return to service of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance;

(3) Give the aircraft owner a maintenance release signed by an authorized representative of the repair station and incorporating the following information:

(i) Identity of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller or appliance.

(ii) If an aircraft, the make, model, serial number, nationality and registration marks, and location of the repaired area.

(iii) If an airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance, give the manufacturer's name, name of the part, model, and serial numbers (if any); and

(4) Include the following or a similarly worded statement—

“The aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance identified above was repaired and inspected in accordance with current Regulations of the Federal Aviation Agency and is approved for return to service.

Pertinent details of the repair are on file at this repair station under Order No. ___,

Date
Signed

For signature of authorized representative)

Repair station name) (Certificate No.)

____________.”

(Address)

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this appendix, for a major repair or major alteration made by a person authorized in §43.17, the person who performs the major repair or major alteration and the person authorized by §43.17 to approve that work shall execute an FAA Form 337 at least in duplicate. A completed copy of that form shall be—

(1) Given to the aircraft owner; and

(2) Forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Registration Branch, Post Office Box 25504, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, within 48 hours after the work is inspected.

(d) For extended-range fuel tanks installed within the passenger compartment or a baggage compartment, the person who performs the work and the person authorized to approve the work by §43.7 shall execute an FAA Form 337 in at least triplicate. A completed copy of that form shall be—

(1) Placed on board the aircraft as specified in §91.417 of this chapter;

(2) Given to the aircraft owner; and

(3) Forwarded to the Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Registration Branch, , Post Office Box 25724, Oklahoma City, OK 73125, within 48 hours after the work is inspected.


11.

§21.182 Aircraft identification.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each applicant for an airworthiness certificate under this subpart must show that his aircraft is identified as prescribed in §45.11.


§21.173 Eligibility.

Any registered owner of a U.S.-registered aircraft (or the agent of the owner) may apply for an airworthiness certificate for that aircraft. An application for an airworthiness certificate must be made in a form and manner acceptable to the FAA, and may be submitted to any FAA office.


§21.175 Airworthiness certificates: classification.

(a) Standard airworthiness certificates are airworthiness certificates issued for aircraft type certificated in the normal, utility, acrobatic, commuter, or transport category, and for manned free balloons, and for aircraft designated by the FAA as special classes of aircraft.


§21.177 Amendment or modification.

An airworthiness certificate may be amended or modified only upon application to the FAA.



§21.179 Transferability.

An airworthiness certificate is transferred with the aircraft.


§21.181 Duration.

(a) Unless sooner surrendered, suspended, revoked, or a termination date is otherwise established by the FAA, airworthiness certificates are effective as follows:

(1) Standard airworthiness certificates, special airworthiness certificates—primary category, and airworthiness certificates issued for restricted or limited category aircraft are effective as long as the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with Parts 43 and 91 of this chapter and the aircraft are registered in the United States.

(i) The aircraft meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft;

(ii) The aircraft conforms to its original configuration, except for those alterations performed in accordance with an applicable consensus standard and authorized by the aircraft's manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;



12.

§21.182 Aircraft identification.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each applicant for an airworthiness certificate under this subpart must show that his aircraft is identified as prescribed in §45.11.

(For reference)

§45.11 Marking of products.

(a) Aircraft. A manufacturer of aircraft covered under §21.182 of this chapter must mark each aircraft by attaching a fireproof identification plate that—

(1) Includes the information specified in §45.13 using an approved method of fireproof marking;

(For reference)


§45.13 Identification data.

(a) The identification required by §45.11 (a) through (c) must include the following information:

(1) Builder's name.

(2) Model designation.

(3) Builder's serial number.

(4) Type certificate number, if any.

(5) Production certificate number, if any.

(For reference)

§45.10 Marking.

No person may mark a product or article in accordance with this subpart unless—

(a) That person produced the product or article —

(1) Under part 21, subpart F, G, K, or O of this chapter; or

So now, let's get down to operating your bogus aircraft;


13.

§91.7 Civil aircraft airworthiness.

(a) No person may operate a civil aircraft unless it is in an airworthy condition.

(b) The pilot in command of a civil aircraft is responsible for determining whether that aircraft is in condition for safe flight. The pilot in command shall discontinue the flight when unairworthy mechanical, electrical, or structural conditions occur.


§91.9 Civil aircraft flight manual, marking, and placard requirements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, no person may operate a civil aircraft without complying with the operating limitations specified in the approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual, markings, and placards, or as otherwise prescribed by the certificating authority of the country of registry.

(b) No person may operate a U.S.-registered civil aircraft—

(1) For which an Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual is required by §21.5 of this chapter unless there is available in the aircraft a current, approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual or the manual provided for in §121.141(b); and

(2) For which an Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual is not required by §21.5 of this chapter, unless there is available in the aircraft a current approved Airplane or Rotorcraft Flight Manual, approved manual material, markings, and placards, or any combination thereof.

(c) No person may operate a U.S.-registered civil aircraft unless that aircraft is identified in accordance with part 45 of this chapter.

(d) Any person taking off or landing a helicopter certificated under part 29 of this chapter at a heliport constructed over water may make such momentary flight as is necessary for takeoff or landing through the prohibited range of the limiting height-speed envelope established for the helicopter if that flight through the prohibited range takes place over water on which a safe ditching can be accomplished and if the helicopter is amphibious or is equipped with floats or other emergency flotation gear adequate to accomplish a safe emergency ditching on open water.


§91.203 Civil aircraft: Certifications required.

(a) Except as provided in §91.715, no person may operate a civil aircraft unless it has within it the following:

(1) An appropriate and current airworthiness certificate. Each U.S. airworthiness certificate used to comply with this subparagraph (except a special flight permit, a copy of the applicable operations specifications issued under §21.197(c) of this chapter, appropriate sections of the air carrier manual required by parts 121 and 135 of this chapter containing that portion of the operations specifications issued under §21.197(c), or an authorization under §91.611) must have on it the registration number assigned to the aircraft under part 47 of this chapter. However, the airworthiness certificate need not have on it an assigned special identification number before 10 days after that number is first affixed to the aircraft. A revised airworthiness certificate having on it an assigned special identification number, that has been affixed to an aircraft, may only be obtained upon application to the responsible Flight Standards office.

(2) An effective U.S. registration certificate issued to its owner or, for operation within the United States, the second copy of the Aircraft registration Application as provided for in §47.31(c), a Certificate of Aircraft registration as provided in part 48, or a registration certification issued under the laws of a foreign country.

(b) No person may operate a civil aircraft unless the airworthiness certificate required by paragraph (a) of this section or a special flight authorization issued under §91.715 is displayed at the cabin or cockpit entrance so that it is legible to passengers or crew.

(c) No person may operate an aircraft with a fuel tank installed within the passenger compartment or a baggage compartment unless the installation was accomplished pursuant to part 43 of this chapter, and a copy of FAA Form 337 authorizing that installation is on board the aircraft.

(d) No person may operate a civil airplane (domestic or foreign) into or out of an airport in the United States unless it complies with the fuel venting and exhaust emissions requirements of part 34 of this chapter.


§91.403 General.

(a) The owner or operator of an aircraft is primarily responsible for maintaining that aircraft in an airworthy condition, including compliance with part 39 of this chapter.

(b) No person may perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alterations on an aircraft other than as prescribed in this subpart and other applicable regulations, including part 43 of this chapter.

(c) No person may operate an aircraft for which a manufacturer's maintenance manual or instructions for continued airworthiness has been issued that contains an airworthiness limitations section unless the mandatory replacement times, inspection intervals, and related procedures specified in that section or alternative inspection intervals and related procedures set forth in an operations specification approved by the Administrator under part 121 or 135 of this chapter or in accordance with an inspection program approved under §91.409(e) have been complied with.


§91.405 Maintenance required.

Each owner or operator of an aircraft—

(a) Shall have that aircraft inspected as prescribed in subpart E of this part and shall between required inspections, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, have discrepancies repaired as prescribed in part 43 of this chapter;

(b) Shall ensure that maintenance personnel make appropriate entries in the aircraft maintenance records indicating the aircraft has been approved for return to service;


§91.407 Operation after maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration.

(a) No person may operate any aircraft that has undergone maintenance, preventive maintenance, rebuilding, or alteration unless—

(1) It has been approved for return to service by a person authorized under §43.7 of this chapter; and

(2) The maintenance record entry required by §43.9 or §43.11, as applicable, of this chapter has been made.


§91.417 Maintenance records.

(a) Except for work performed in accordance with §§91.411 and 91.413, each registered owner or operator shall keep the following records for the periods specified in paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) Records of the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alteration and records of the 100-hour, annual, progressive, and other required or approved inspections, as appropriate, for each aircraft (including the airframe) and each engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance of an aircraft. The records must include—

(i) A description (or reference to data acceptable to the Administrator) of the work performed; and

(ii) The date of completion of the work performed; and

(iii) The signature, and certificate number of the person approving the aircraft for return to service.

(2) Records containing the following information:

(i) The total time in service of the airframe, each engine, each propeller, and each rotor.

(ii) The current status of life-limited parts of each airframe, engine, propeller, rotor, and appliance.

(iii) The time since last overhaul of all items installed on the aircraft which are required to be overhauled on a specified time basis.

(iv) The current inspection status of the aircraft, including the time since the last inspection required by the inspection program under which the aircraft and its appliances are maintained.

(v) The current status of applicable airworthiness directives (AD) and safety directives including, for each, the method of compliance, the AD or safety directive number and revision date. If the AD or safety directive involves recurring action, the time and date when the next action is required.

(vi) Copies of the forms prescribed by §43.9(d) of this chapter for each major alteration to the airframe and currently installed engines, rotors, propellers, and appliances.

(b) The owner or operator shall retain the following records for the periods prescribed:

(1) The records specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be retained until the work is repeated or superseded by other work or for 1 year after the work is performed.

(2) The records specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section shall be retained and transferred with the aircraft at the time the aircraft is sold.

(3) A list of defects furnished to a registered owner or operator under §43.11 of this chapter shall be retained until the defects are repaired and the aircraft is approved for return to service.

(c) The owner or operator shall make all maintenance records required to be kept by this section available for inspection by the Administrator or any authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In addition, the owner or operator shall present Form 337 described in paragraph (d) of this section for inspection upon request of any law enforcement officer.

(d) When a fuel tank is installed within the passenger compartment or a baggage compartment pursuant to part 43 of this chapter, a copy of FAA Form 337 shall be kept on board the modified aircraft by the owner or operator.


§91.419 Transfer of maintenance records.

Any owner or operator who sells a U.S.-registered aircraft shall transfer to the purchaser, at the time of sale, the following records of that aircraft, in plain language form or in coded form at the election of the purchaser, if the coded form provides for the preservation and retrieval of information in a manner acceptable to the Administrator:

(a) The records specified in §91.417(a)(2). (Reference above)

(b) The records specified in §91.417(a)(1) which are not included in the records covered by paragraph (a) of this section, except that the purchaser may permit the seller to keep physical custody of such records. However, custody of records by the seller does not relieve the purchaser of the responsibility under §91.417(c) to make the records available for inspection by the Administrator or any authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2020, 07:18
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Good Question
Posts: 75
Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
Apologies for the long post here, but this details why you're surmising that swapping a data plate isn't wrong, bad or has any significant impact.

Using the airframe from an aircraft and rebuilding it has never been a problem if you follow the correct processes and is something I am intimately familiar with. The process is straightforward, entirely legal and has always been a part of aviation. There are even processes to build up former military aircraft from parts and issue them serial numbers, likewise for returning aircraft to service if their records are lost and destroyed.

What isn't legal is to remove the data plate from one aircraft and put it on another airframe with no approval or record of the change. It never has been - thank you Wrench 1 for your CAR reference. This has been going on illegally for years, and the more of these guys get caught and thrown in jail, the better. The reason it is so prevalent in the helicopter business is the rewards are huge, and in many cases cheap and easily procured military models provide very similar (or even identical) airframes to use as donors. I know who many of these people are, would never touch anything associated with them, but they are good at covering their tracks. I have discovered some of their actions, and have been involved with FAA and FBI investigations of their activities when they are detected, including bogus (timed out, and otherwise modified) blades and components. They remain a major risk to the unwary who may be paying top dollars for a low dollar imitation, that also may have it's C of A revoked if detected.

So, let's take a quick review of the regulatory process in the US, so we can all understand clearly why this is entirely in conflict with the entire FAA Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). We'll go from beginning to end, as some of it will come back to bite you in multiple ways.

We are assuming the initial Aircraft has been appropriately designed, certified and manufactured in accordance with the FARs;

I'll let you reach your own conclusions.
And potential customers wondered why after over 35 years I and numerous others stopped carrying out pre purchase or engineering surveys.............................the older (45 years plus) the ships got the harder it was to verify the identity of parts and components after having been on numerous foreign registers and had numerous owners. For example, what Rolls Royce (Allison) did by identifying high value engine modules with simple screw on identification plates is beyond me, I lost count of the amount of wrong ident plates on engine modules I found on surveys.

Even found the completely wrong engine fitted on a twin in the UK that was for sale, it would have been sold with the correct engine data plate (somebody changed it...), but not the correct engine or any engine documentation, the original engine was hidden in the back of the hangar with metal generation, it should be unbelievable but I had taken another Licensed Engineer with me to help inspect the records and he witnessed it for himself. Potential customers want surveys carried out while they are looking at the machine, on a high, having a coffee, thinks the inspection takes a couple of hours, only want to pay for a days work. But they will not hesitate to take you to court 6 months later after they buy the ship and find something wrong during heavy maintenance that they think you should have found wrong...........been there, an expensive experience.
PEASACAKE is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2020, 09:41
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,274
Originally Posted by PEASACAKE View Post
And potential customers wondered why after over 35 years I and numerous others stopped carrying out pre purchase or engineering surveys.............................the older (45 years plus) the ships got the harder it was to verify the identity of parts and components after having been on numerous foreign registers and had numerous owners. For example, what Rolls Royce (Allison) did by identifying high value engine modules with simple screw on identification plates is beyond me, I lost count of the amount of wrong ident plates on engine modules I found on surveys.

Even found the completely wrong engine fitted on a twin in the UK that was for sale, it would have been sold with the correct engine data plate (somebody changed it...), but not the correct engine or any engine documentation, the original engine was hidden in the back of the hangar with metal generation, it should be unbelievable but I had taken another Licensed Engineer with me to help inspect the records and he witnessed it for himself. Potential customers want surveys carried out while they are looking at the machine, on a high, having a coffee, thinks the inspection takes a couple of hours, only want to pay for a days work. But they will not hesitate to take you to court 6 months later after they buy the ship and find something wrong during heavy maintenance that they think you should have found wrong...........been there, an expensive experience.

Also my experience.

One 206 sold on by a UK company sat in our hangar and had what appeared to be an unusual rivetting pattern on the R/H side of the fuselage below the engine. A comparison with another aircraft showed a difference. Going in through the man hole in the baggage bay revealed an interesting sight. The aircraft had clearly had an air conditioning system fitted which had been removed. There was no record of this in the aircraft documentation. It and all the related doublers had been removed and the aircraft side had been reskinned without the missing structure being replaced. When contacted the seller claimed "it wasn't like that when it left here"!!!
I felt it was probably a ringer fuselage but couldn't prove it. Cost the owner a bit to have it repaired.

ericferret is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2020, 14:51
  #18 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Beyond the black stump!
Posts: 1,220
The situation with the Bell 204, and later the Bell 205 got so out of control in Canada, that Transport Canada just threw their hands in the air and declared that they had no idea if anything was real or fake anymore, and that they would just accept everything as good so long as it stayed in Canada - a true conformity inspection would only be carried out upon application for an Export C of A. The FAA took a much more direct approach, and investigated every Bell 204, and revoked the C of A of any aircraft that could be clearly identified as having a direct UH-1 airframe heritage. This now left the entire aircraft and parts in a serious dilemma, as they were no longer eligible for installation on an aircraft as they had an unknown configuration having been flown on a now uncertificated product, neither a Standard Category nor Restricted Category aircraft, neither Bell 204 or UH-1. A number of people got seriously burned in that episode! There are plenty of great conforming aircraft around, but because of the accepted unknowns agreed by TCCA, many would never go through the Export process for fear of being detected. https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/avi...ns/msi-36.html
Cyclic Hotline is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2020, 19:30
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 373
Originally Posted by ericferret View Post
Also my experience.
Same here. It got to the point that I'd only do a pre-buy or conformity check for a select group of people as they filtered some of the BS ones out first. Unfortunately not all though. One of my favorites involved walking into the hangar and seeing a familiar N number. Figured someone had it reissued. However, about 30 minutes later walked back out with a previous logbook and told the prospective buyer it's junk and told the broker he could call the FSDO or I would. Long story short, he called and got the data tag pulled. Don't recall what happened to the owner. The logbook I found had my name it a number of times and was a M/R strike that ripped the roof off and was sold as salvage by the insurance company. Needless to say I wasn't too pleased of my name getting involved. Unfortunately as some here have mentioned, it's not always this convenient to find one.
wrench1 is offline  
Old 27th Jun 2020, 21:02
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: England
Posts: 1,274
Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
Same here. It got to the point that I'd only do a pre-buy or conformity check for a select group of people as they filtered some of the BS ones out first. Unfortunately not all though. One of my favorites involved walking into the hangar and seeing a familiar N number. Figured someone had it reissued. However, about 30 minutes later walked back out with a previous logbook and told the prospective buyer it's junk and told the broker he could call the FSDO or I would. Long story short, he called and got the data tag pulled. Don't recall what happened to the owner. The logbook I found had my name it a number of times and was a M/R strike that ripped the roof off and was sold as salvage by the insurance company. Needless to say I wasn't too pleased of my name getting involved. Unfortunately as some here have mentioned, it's not always this convenient to find one.
Nothing seems to change. Friend of mine gets a phone call. Hi X when did you actually leave company Y.
End of June,why? Well you signed for a compass swing in August according to the log book I'm looking at.
ericferret is offline  

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