Entry 002: Paperwork Issues

So, I bought an airplane with some issues. I knew it beforehand. Let's just say I like a challenge! I wanted a project that would force me along the learning curve, but also not take a year or two.

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I am excited that one of the previous owners swapped the stock Lycoming O-235 rated at 115hp out for a Lycoming O-320 rated at 160hp. He spent $10k doing it, but he didn't do it right. Even though this is an amateur built aircraft, putting a different motor in is considered a major alteration. That means that since 1 July 2010, this airplane has been flying without a valid certificate of airworthiness. The previous owner told me not to worry about it because the government "never looks under the hood". Well, they don't look under the hood until your airplane is a heap of wreckage in a field somewhere. At that point you can kiss your insurance goodbye, including your liability coverage. He also did not create a new weight and balance report to take the new engine into account.

I know for sure that I will need a new motor mount as the original is not rated for the larger motor. I have notified Transport Canada of the swap and they are certainly grateful I want to do things right. I've got a list of things they need me to show compliance with, after which it will need a test flight. This really just scratches the surface of the issues. We now embark on an adventure like no other!

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