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  • new guy

    Hello,

    I have had my PPL for nearly 2 years and am currently working towards my IFR and tailwheel. I am looking to buy an already built Bearhawk 4 place and gain more knowledge about aircraft ownership. I'd like to hear what people think about the bearhawk 4 place and owning experimental vs certified. Also does anybody fly IFR on their bearhawk and what is the certification process like?

    Thanks

  • #2
    I have owned several certified aircraft and experimentals as well. I would much rather have an experimental that I have built and have the repairmans certificate for than own a certified plane and have to pay them for every bit of repair. I also like the freedom to change a feature or system at the drop of a hat without having to file this or that paper work and get FAA approval.
    Being ifr is as simple as installing an ifr approved navcom and an approved transponder with an ifr pitot static certification. You will need to visit with others but it seems to me like the Bearhawk is more responsive than other more stable ifr platforms. The work load in hard ifr may be a little higher in a Bearhawk.

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    • #3
      I could be wrong, but I believe that in order to fly IFR in an experimental amateur built aircraft, in addition to what Tailwind mentioned, you also need to have your FAA-issued “operating limitations” amended or replaced. If your limitations say VFR-only, they must be updated to legally fly IFR. I could check this with my DAR buddy, but I’m about 99% sure of my facts here.
      Jim Parker
      Farmersville, TX (NE of Dallas)
      Patrol Quick-Build Serial # P312

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      • #4
        Your operating limitations should have a statement similar to, “After completion of phase I flight testing, unless appropriately equipped for night and/or instrument flight in accordance with § 91.205, this aircraft is to be operated under VFR, day only.” This would indicate that as the equipment is added you will be able to add additional privileges. If it were me I would put a safety pilot in the plane and fly 5 hours of simulated ifr while checking out all of the new functions and log it as phase one testing, sign it off and begin to fly ifr. This would provide time to check out the systems and provide time for the pilot to become familiar with the plane and work load before plunging into real ifr.

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        • jaredyates
          jaredyates commented
          Editing a comment
          This is a great answer, and I'd add to also consider 91.411, the two year static and transponder check. If you are buying an airplane and concerned that it might not pass this check, that's a negotiation consideration. If for some reason the operating limitations don't read like Bob's example, ask your FSDO if they are amenable to updating them.
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