There are many operational and maintenance advantages to placing your aircraft on the FAA N-Register. It is normally suited to private owner operators (FAR Part 91) - and not those with aircraft leased to flight training providers or in use for any form of aerial work.
The advantages to name but a few:
A) Global resale appeal for the aircraft
B) Instrument Rating is much more attainable on FAA Licence than equivalent EASA Licence
C) Freedom to use FAA mechanics, inspectors and repair stations of your choice
D) Lots of STC modifications that may be difficult to implement under EASA rules
E) Engines and Props can run on condition for piston singles and twins for private Part 91 operations.
F) The required maintenance becomes AD compliance, any maintenance stated in the TCDS or any airworthiness limitations for private Part 91 operations.
G) Service Bulletins (SB’s) and Service Letters (SL’s) are not mandatory.
H) Each year the aircraft must receive and annual inspection by an FAA IA which costs roughly €600.
The disadvantages to name a few:
A) There may be a VAT issue when travelling through France and some other European countries as the aircraft appears to be an imported aircraft, and they will look to see proof that there is no VAT liability outstanding. (See VAT Section of Website)
B) There is an requirement for check every 24 months as per FAR 411 & 413 for pitot static and transponder checks on IFR aircraft. This normally costs £240 or €280 plus VAT at IAE in Cranfield who seem to be the cheapest. RGV in Gloucestershire also provide the same service
C) A record of VOR checks must be kept, and the checks performed by the operator every 30 days for IFR aircraft
D) For non US citizens the most convenient way to own an N-Register aircraft is to place it on a Trust. This has a cost that is discussed elsewhere. (See N Reg Trusts Section of Website)
E) The operator will also have to persist with the perpetual rumour that FRA (Foreign Registered Aircraft) will be grounded or restrained by some new EASA rules. This rumour is as old as the aircraft itself and one is always best to refer back to the ICAO rules adopted at the Chicago Convention. The freedom to operate foreign registered aircraft is enshrined in ICAO Rules.
If you decide to convert onto the FAA N-Register, here is the checklist of items you will require:
1) Aircraft must meet Type Certificate Data Sheet (Airframe and Engine)
2) Must have had a 100 hour inspection completed within 30 days of application for airworthiness certification (This 100 hour inspection can be signed off by a U.S. Certificated A&P, U.S. Certificated Repair Station, or an EASA Repair Station if that Repair Station falls under the U.S. bilateral agreement)
3) Must have a current AD listing for airframe, engine AND accessories
4) Must be properly U.S. registered and have in the applicants possession the actual 8050-3 (registration card (temporary registration pink slips do not count)) OR a fly-wire. Contact for details
5) Current POH or AFM (whatever the case may be)
6) Current Weight and Balance
7) Equipment list
8) Must have an ELT that is in current inspection in accordance with FAR 91.207 d (1) thru (4) (Under U.S. Regulation it only needs to be a 121.5). It must have a current (within limits) battery (this battery expiration date should be listed in the 100 hour log book sign-off)
9) Must have a current IFR/VFR inspection in accordance with FAR 91.411 and/or 91.413
10) The registered owner (or their agent (agent must have an power of attorney from the owner to act on their behalf)) must submit application for Airworthiness Certificate (FAA Form 8130-6).
So if you like the sound of the advantages, but the paperwork seems like an insurmountable nightmare then contact WF Aviation. We provide a “hand holding” service and will do all the running around necessary to get you onto the FAA N-Register. Our fee for this is €1000 plus vat where applicable.