Registration finally arrived in the mail on Jan 17th. On the same day, I filled out all my airworthiness application paperwork and sent it to Ted (the DAR - Designated Airworthiness Representative). He pointed out several errors; most notably my tail numbers. According to the FARs, they must be horizontal (or vertical), not angles like mine. Doh!

These were stickers I purchased from Stiker Mule and there was no way they were coming off in one piece. So rather than buy new stickers and wait for them to come, I decided to cut my own from left over vinyl. And while I was at it, I could get creative. So I found the Transformers fort and made some larger two-tone numbers that would blend right into my design. The next day I installed them, proudly took a picture and sent to to Ted.

He calls me that evening to tell me that the FAA does not approve. He had show them to his contact and they did not like them. The two-tone effect had to go, and the aspect ratio of the characters was incorrect. Bah! Vogons!

First Two Tail Numbers

This next version of tail numbers is approved by the FAA.

Final Tail Numbers

Airworthiness Inspection

With all the paperwork complete and corrected, Ted meets me yesterday to do the airworthiness inspection. First thing he does is walk around the airplane looking for something. Then he asks me “Where’s your data plate?” My shoulder drop as I sigh… “What’s a data plate?” So you know, it’s a fireproof (steel) plate riveted to the side of the aircraft with data etched (engraved) into it: Make, Model, Serial Number. Ted was kid enough to continue the inspection but was unable to issue an airworthiness certificate without seeing the data plate installed with the correct information.

I raced around to get it done. I got the steel cards from grumpy sheet metal machinist near the airport. A local trophy shop engraved it for me. Then I went back to the airport, riveted it in place and sent a picture to Ted. He came back the next day and…. viola… I got my airworthiness certificate.

Data Plate