Homebuilt aircraft ban?

I read this on Wikipedia while looking up performance specs for the Sorell Hiperbipe:

Huh? I was not aware that experimental aircraft had ever been banned. (I know there are regulations for their operations of course.) When did these alleged statewide bannings happen, if they did?

Seems alive and well here.

2014 Buyers Guide Can somebody gift me a SubSonex? I’ll assemble it. :smiley:

I wasn’t aware they had ever been banned either, though I’m not a pilot and I definitely don’t know a huge amount about the industry. But I was curious and went googling.

This is what the wikipedia page on homebuilt aircraft has to say:

The wikipedia page on the Sorrell Hiperbipe says it was introduced in 1973. That makes me wonder if the author of that section of the article really meant to say that Oregon was perhaps the last state to lift the ban on experimental aircraft.

Something definitely doesn’t make sense here.

This site says the home-built bans were prior to WWII, but with no specific citations or any indications when the Federal rules went into effect overruling state laws.

Another source I found said that every state except Oregon banned them shortly before/after WWII. I’m guessing Oregon followed suit later. If that assumption is correct, technically Oregon would have been the last state to ban them. But it’s not relevant at all to the Hiperbipe nor anything else these days.

Before I existed, then. Weird that the Hiperbipe article would include that, since Sorell’s first design was 1957 and the Hiperbipe is from 1973 – a period when I first noticed kitplanes being popular (because dad was building a BD-5A).

Something incorrect/misleading/you-name-it on Wikipedia? Shocker!!

My cousin’s husband was killed testing a home-built gyrocopter. Lifted up about 80 feet off the tarmac, and then fell straight to the ground.

What did the NTSB determine?

I’m wondering if these “bans” aren’t of operating or owning a finished airplane, but rather are (or were) bans against marketing the kits under the guise of consumer protection.

During the heyday of kit-built airplanes in the 1970s there were also a lot of kit sellers that were little more than con men. Lots of deposits were taken but somehow the plans and kits just never happened. Many thousands of would-be aircraft owners got taken.

Sometimes it was just that aviation is a tough business. Others were much closer to deliberate pyramid schemes where the first 500 deposits went to the “entrepreneur’s” pocket, the next 5000 were hoped to be used to raise money to actually begin designing the product they hoped to deliver, and the 5000 after that would be used to build a factory and start making the kits. But of course they only ever got 400 deposits before the market tailed off after word got around.

I could sure see some angry would-be pilots with connections to the state legislature getting laws passed banning these sales scams.
E.g. A lot of well-informed commentators thought Jim Bede was only slightly more honest than Bernie Madoff turned out to be 30 years later. And Bede was one of the most successful promoters in terms of numbers of actually buildable and flyable kits delivered more or less on the advertised timeline.

They are probably referring to the ban on homebuilt aircraft in the 1930-40’s. It was against the federal rules, but Oregon allowed it anyway. Know in the homebuilt community as the “Oregon Outlaws”. Found these two articles in a quick google search:

Suprised I can’t find anything on EAA’s website.

As I said, my dad was building a BD-5A. He was 80% done, with meticulous craftsmanship when (as I remember it) the German engine maker suffered a bankruptcy. (Zenith? ISTR they’re still building engines.) Dad had paid for the engine and driveshaft, but never received them.

Dad had a friend who had access to a small turbojet engine (off of a drone or something). He offered to provide a jet engine to my dad in exchange for 50% ownership of the completed aircraft. Dad contacted Jim Bede and asked whether the BD-5 could accept a turbine. Bede told him unequivocally, ‘No. Can’t be done.’ So dad declined his friend’s offer. A couple of years later, Jim Bede introduced the BD-5J. :dubious:

In the mid-'70s dad was transferred. He paid for extra insurance on his uncompleted BD-5. The moving company had a couple of trucks. One driver needed the long ramp from the truck carrying dad’s stuff, so they took it – and tossed their 200-pound short ramp on the flat spot in dad’s trailer; the flat spot where the disassembled airframe was. Crushed it. Dad didn’t want to start over, and he got an estimate of how much it would cost for someone else to get him back to an 80%-complete airframe with the same quality of workmanship dad put into it. $10,200. The insurance company paid off, and dad took the settlement and bought a six-year-old Cessna 172K for cash. He said he had the only flying four-seat BD-5 in the world.

This was about 16 years ago. I personally don’t know the outcome of the regulatory investigation, but death was instantaneous and due to gravity.

This was the outcome of their report: *The pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control during the takeoff/initial climb. A factor was the pilot’s lack of recent experience in the type of aircraft. *

The NTSB’s investigation of lightplane accidents seems to be about 5 minutes of considering the usual [del]causes[/del] clichés, followed by shelving their instant decision for 12 months. Then quietly entering the final “probable cause” paragraph into the public database.