An E-AB in France
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I'd like to fly my E-AB (experimental) aircraft on a round-trip from the US through Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the UK to France.  Is that even possible to do legally, and what do I need to do to make it happen?

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1590 Posts

@Kenneth Hunziker
Here's something sent to me by a German pilot who's made the crossing a couple of times in Grumman Tigers, although it doesn't explicitly address the E-AB issues.

not as easy as being communicated on Social media. Definitely not for the faint hearted and emergency procedures should be well prepared for the new scenarios.

Doable, but needs quite some extensive preparation, equipment and arrangements. Most private pilots in the US have no idea about ICAO, paper requirements in Europe or even the full FAA requirements.

This can be learned however. Heck, there where LSA-pilots with no dinghy, survival gear etc who survived. But that’s lottery.

Expensive too. If it’s his life goal and he’s got the proper experience, preparation, time and funds - go for it.  But most people aren’t aware of the expenses, e.g. fuel and hotel prices along the way. Survival gear - buy or rent.

And when the weather doesn’t play ball (it always turns unexpectedly sour).  Some are consequently pressed to avoid another $300 or $400 per hotel night (or more) plus some hundred to hangar the plane or preheat the engine (mostly winter and spring) and lower their safety margins. Bad call on this route.

The key is time. Plenty of it. Saving money should not be a factor in lowering your survival chances.

From the professional ferry pilots about three die per year. Not at home. En route.  And there really aren’t hundreds of us. Rather a limit number.  Pretty high death rate percentage-wise even by those who’ve done this more than once. Tells you a story.

If he simply wants his plane for use in Europe, I’d recommend finding a pro who’s knowledgable and has it done before.  However only a few of us even touch experimentals.  Disassembling and shipping is mostly easier with an experimental and the builder can even do it without getting an expensive mechanic involved.

Another European pilot said that you may have to show liability coverage of up to $5M.  AOPA provides international flight information which you might want to check.

Transatlantic Flights - AOPA

 

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1590 Posts

@Ronald Levy
And on the E-AB issue…

It’s perfectly fine. Nothing to worry about, he obviously needs to carry his aircraft documents with him but the US, U.K. and EASA member countries are ICAO contracting states. It’s slightly different if the N-Reg aircraft is permanently based over here, although there are plenty of N-Reg aircraft and A&P/IA mechanics in Europe. 

However, another Euro pilot says there may be issues for E-AB's with “entry permits” for each country.  I'm checking further.  Also, from another transatlantic pilot…

I flew my N-Reg Mooney in Europe (based in Belgium) for a few years without any major problems. However, there are a couple things that I had to document which might be more difficult for an experimental.  First, is a noise certificate (especially in Germany) and the second is a VAT receipt, I had to present this a few times, mostly in France.  If you can prove the airplane is not permanent in the EU, you might be able to finesse the VAT.  The German Noise certificate will potentially limit access to some airports and increase your landing fees. 

Don't know if you're flying to Germany, but the French VAT issue would affect you.