The aircraft originally had a U. S. airworthiness certificate then was exported to Brazil. It is now being sold to a company in the U. S. for U. S. operations. Can this aircraft be issued an "N" number and Ferry Flight permit for the purpose of returning to the U. S. where an application for U. S. Airworthiness Certificate and permanent registration will be pursued?
If the aircraft was taken off the US registry and registered in Brazil, the answer is no. You have to reverse the process to put it back into the US registry, and until it is, you can't ask for a ferry permit from the FAA.
For the benefit of those who may not know the process:
- A request is made in Brazil to deregister the aircraft, with a note to send a copy of the deregistration certification to the FAA. The seller needs to request this in Brazil; the buyer cannot make the request, neither can the FAA. Processing of this request can take anywhere from two days to several weeks, particularly if the aircraft is registered to anything other than an individual and/or if there are any registered liens on the aircraft.
- The Brazilian government sends a notification to the FAA that the aircraft has been deregistered.
- A registration form with either a previously reserved N-Number or by default letting the FAA assign one is sent to the FAA, along with a valid bill of sale. If the bill of sale is from Brazil, it must be notarized by a Brazilian notary and apostilled (certified) at at any public notary office (cartório). If it is in Portuguese, it must be translated by a certified public translator, a list of which may be obtained from the Junta Comercial of any state in Brazil. If you don't do these last two steps the application could be rejected. Better to use the FAA form for the bill of sale.
- Once the FAA receives the registration request, it verifies that it has received the deregistration confirmation from Brazil. No registration will be issued until that happens.
- A registration certificate is issued and mailed to the person or entity on the registration form.
You can then make arrangements for a ferry permit, but keep in mind that the procedure to request a special flight permit (the official name for a ferry permit) has other requirements, including sending a copy of the current airworthiness certificate, portions of or all of the logbooks, etc.
Also, if the aircraft has any outstanding AD's that have not been complied with, and the AD notice makes no allowance for ferrying the aircraft to a location for the purpose of achieving compliance, the ferry permit will not be issued. You will have to bring the US mechanic to the airplane (or find a local FAA-licensed mechanic, possibly an IA as well depending on the nature of the AD) to take care of it.
Bottom line is talk to your local FSDO first before any money changes hands to avoid any unpleasant surprises. The process above can be applied to an aircraft in any country, just change the references to Brazil.
(If you see an error in this explanation, or something that needs clarification, please add a comment so I can correct it or further clarify it.)