Where to place the N number

Previously, if you owned a WSC aircraft without a fuselage, a stick trike, and were preparing for an airworthiness inspection by either the FAA or a designated airworthiness representative (DAR) you ran into a problem - where to place the N numbers? On a trike without any fairing there was no place to put the 3" registration numbers horizontally as required by the FARs. To get around the problem required a justification, in writing, to the DAR. This happened here with 2 aircraft that went though the registration process. To make these aircraft acceptable to the DAR required pouring through the regulations and writing a coherent justification asking for a variance. It was granted but all that paperwork was passed on to the FAA.

Now the problem has been fixed. FAR 45.27 specifically addresses where the registration markings on a weight shift control aircraft should be placed. 45.27 (e) states: “Powered parachutes and weight-shift-control aircraft. Each operator of a powered parachute or a weight-shift-control aircraft must display the marks required by §§45.23 and 45.29(b)(2) of this part. The marks must be displayed in two diametrically opposite positions on the fuselage, a structural member, or a component of the aircraft and must be visible from the side of the aircraft.”

So instead of horizontal marks no specification is made, so marks can be horizontal or vertical. This allows the rear landing strut or the mast as a place for N numbers on stick trikes. As per FAR 45.29 the letters must be a minimum of 3” high and 2” wide but these will fit vertically on the main rear strut. Life would have been so much easier if this had been in place when 9 aircraft were taken through the system.

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