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Thread: Serial Killer

  1. #11

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    Default Serial Killer

    Lots of problems. FAA will want you to go to Piper Aircraft Inc. in FL. Piper will say they never built your airplane (they didn’t, so they are telling the truth), and FAA will likely say no joy. A lot of people have used forged data plates. If you get caught, it could involve $10k fine and 5 years in prison. My PA-16 has the original data plate, and I had a 2 year battle that went all the way to my Senator and the Associate Administrator of FAA to get concurrence that I actually have the airplane identified by the data plate.

    I would suggest getting together with a MIDO (not FSDO) inspector and talk hypotheticals. See if he may be willing to provide a letter or email authorizing an “owner produced” replacement data plate.

    Clyde Smith has the stamping machine that Piper Aircraft Corp (Lock Haven) used. If you get the OK to make a new one, buy one of the blanks that meets drawing 85411 from one of the many vendors out there, get pictures of several data plated from PA-17s that are close serial numbers to yours, and have Clyde stamp the new one to match, only with your info. Finally, age the data plate so it looks 70 years old, and not brand new.


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    Last edited by dgapilot; 11-18-2020 at 08:15 PM.

  2. #12
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serial Killer

    What is the down side of just forgetting you don’t have a data plate?

  3. #13

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    Default Serial Killer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    What is the down side of just forgetting you don’t have a data plate?
    Unfortunately, when we do an annual, we are stating the airplane is airworthy. The definition of airworthy has two components. First, it meets type design or properly altered state, second, is it in condition for safe operation.

    The second requirement is subjective based on condition, but the first is a legal definition/requirement! If you read the Terms and Conditions on the airworthiness certificate, it says it is only in effect if the aircraft is maintained in accordance with parts 21, 43, and 91. Diving deeper, part 91 tells us what and when to maintain, part 43 tells us who and how, and part 21 tells us to what standard. Part 21 draws in a bunch of other things, the Cert basis (CAR 4 or CAR 3, or Part 23), Part 45 marking requirements, part 39 airworthiness directives . . .

    Part 45 is where it drives to the data plate (for our airplanes, actually CAR 2). If the data plate isn’t correct, then we would be looking at the wrong TCDS, or the wrong section of the TCDS. That model number and serial number keys so many important pieces, Flight Manual, placards, weight and balance, equipment, instrument markings, and the list goes on.

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  4. #14
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serial Killer

    Quote Originally Posted by FarmerJoe View Post
    I don't have the data plate in my possession, former owner is looking. Should it show a re-stamping if converted? I am hoping a records file from OK City will help. Can't bring myself to waste a real Vag
    My Vagabond was converted from a 15 to a 17 in 1950. The FAA registration list it as a PA17 serial number 15-118
    The data plate was re-stamped.

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    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 11-20-2020 at 07:02 PM.

  5. #15

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    Default Re: Serial Killer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbert Pierce View Post
    My Vagabond was converted from a 15 to a 17 in 1950. The FAA registration list it as a PA17 serial number 15-118
    The data plate was re-stamped.

    .
    Surprised they didn’t rest amp the TC to 805.


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  6. #16
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serial Killer

    David, back to your point about about needing to know what the correct TCDS and Model number is to maintain airworthiness I assume the FAA registration would be the governing document in this case.

  7. #17

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    Default Serial Killer

    Since you have a pre October 1955 conversion, the model definitely would be the controlling item for the TC. Not sure about the old guidance, but current guidance says the serial number never changes, so today, changing a PA-15 to a PA-17, the serial would stay as 15-XXX. In your case, there is another PA-17 with serial 17-118, so it is appropriate to have it registered as 15-118. If it were my airplane, I’d try and find a sympathetic MIDO inspector to give you a letter to create an “owner produced” data plate, get a repro blank, and get Clyde to stamp it with all the correct data. The hard part is finding that sympathetic MIDO inspector. I wouldn’t go to the FSDO guys as most of them have no clue about this stuff.


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    Last edited by dgapilot; 11-20-2020 at 07:22 PM.

  8. #18
    Gilbert Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serial Killer

    I was concerned about the serial number change for reason you stated.
    Went back in the records and found where the FAA inspectors had to re-license the airplane every year, up until 1956. The FAA inspector signed off the re-license when the serial number was changed and every relicense from 1950 on so I quit worrying about it. Helps to have the log books back to day 1 and the FAA records CD.

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