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View Full Version : EAA and VAA going to bat for maintaining older aircraft



Steve Pierce
02-09-2006, 10:44 PM
Going to be in Steve's home town.

http://www.vintageaircraft.org//news/2006%20-%2002_08%20-%20EAA%20Set%20to%20Advance%20Vintage%20Aircraft%2 0Proposal%20Next%20Month.html

Gary Reeves
02-09-2006, 11:28 PM
I don't know. It looks like a one way trip to the EAA, if you take it.

When I read the EAA announcement ( I think it is the one that Steve has linked in his note) I really wondered if this was a good idea or a trap.
Frankly, I don't know enough about all this to sort it out. I figure there is enough experience and brain power on the maintaining end of the SuperCub fleet to give folks like me a better understanding of what this proposal means.

GR

Steve Pierce
02-10-2006, 08:11 AM
Looks like to me the unsupported A/C out there will have their type certificate data etc become public domain so that we will know how to build parts etc and keep the aircraft flying. This is not the owner maintenance program like they have in Canada.

behindpropellers
02-10-2006, 10:08 AM
This is great news.

Steve-

What do you think will happen with the J-5 and PA-12 models since they were pretty much bought and now there is no support?

WWhunter
02-10-2006, 02:16 PM
I was reading it also and did more reading on the EAA site. It seems to me that there WILL be some type of owner maintaince allowed. Maybe I read it wrong but it sounded like it would be very similar to Canada in that you could put it in owner maintaince but once in that category it would be in that category permanently. I'm no lawyer but that was my interpetation.
Keith

d.grimm
02-10-2006, 02:23 PM
Not sure if I read it right, but, it sounds like no more commercial activity after this. I think a lot of people would be suprised by the number of old aircraft working for a living.

a64pilot
02-10-2006, 03:29 PM
Not sure if I read it right, but, it sounds like no more commercial activity after this. I think a lot of people would be suprised by the number of old aircraft working for a living.
I can tell you from experience that the FAA has that as an agenda, even in restricted catagory aircraft, and honestly there are some aircraft out there working for a living that have exceeded some critical parts lifetimes, I.E. wingspars etc. "aging aircraft" is something they don't have an answer for. kinda like a tar baby for them.

WWhunter
02-10-2006, 04:05 PM
I was reading it also and did more reading on the EAA site. It seems to me that there WILL be some type of owner maintaince allowed. Maybe I read it wrong but it sounded like it would be very similar to Canada in that you could put it in owner maintaince but once in that category it would be in that category permanently. I'm no lawyer but that was my interpetation.
Keith

jgerard
02-28-2006, 11:53 AM
I pulled this from the Taylorcraft.org forum.

Jason
N43643



Please pardon this long-winded post.

I have been following this issue with great interest. As an FAA-DER and 2nd generation antique airplane owner/restorer, I sympathize with all who are suffering through FAA approvals of major alterations. In my opinion, the FAA has really made a mess of this issue. While I applaud the EAA’s effort to bring this issue to the forefront of discussion, I also believe the EAA proposal is short-sighted. Approval authority for certain changes belongs in the field, but not in the hands of the unprofessional public. Owner maintenance will inevitably lead to experimentation and compromised safety. What might start off with subtle deviations from proven design, will inevitably evolve into unknown and unproven designs. There is an appropriate place for such radical design experimentation and a separate “experimental” category for it. But, this way of aviation life has no place with standard category certified airplanes.

The problem is that DERs and other FAA engineers are currently strapped by the complexities created by the FAA bureaucracy. Aviation professionals have been stifled in their efforts to develop available data into an approval for major alterations. On one hand the FAA has delegated the authority for data approval to DERs, and on the other hand they have taken this authority away, by not allowing their own branches to accept this data, reserving it for review at the ACO (aircraft certification office) level. What was designed to relieve the over-taxed ACO offices has brought them even more burden. This has created undue complexity and unnecessary expense to maintaining the airworthiness of vintage airplanes which were originally certified to a more simplistic, yet safe set of requirements.

The problem is not availability of data. The EAA position is misleading. They state that type certification data is unavailable. This is not true. DATA IS AVAILABLE. The data may be difficult to obtain, but it is out there. And it is more available now than ever, due to the internet and activity of various type clubs who latch on to such information and make it available. I recognize that there are several so-called “orphan aircraft” that have no current type certificate support. But these airplanes were originally certified to a known standard. And aviation professionals who understand this standard can reasonably develop appropriate new data if the original type data is not readily accessible.

Prior to the release of FAA order 8130.10 Change 16 in 2003, the FAA’s own flight standards inspectors had the authority to make field approvals. Until this change, DERs routinely and efficiently assisted owners of vintage airplanes to achieve “field approval” and/or “337 with approved data” for major alterations that are now deemed ineligible for such approval means. While the field approval process is still allowed in some cases, it has been largely suppressed for many types of major alterations. By the implementation of change 16 the FAA has recognized that the engineering expertise base no longer exists in the majority of FSDO offices and admits that it is unwise to continue down the field approval path as it is currently defined. We must all face the reality that the FAA may never again hold the experience base among its direct employees to make such approval findings in the field. Along with this change in philosophy, the aviation industry must recognize that there is no lack of engineering expertise in the field. It exists in the private sector. In fact, the expertise flourishes among engineers who have grown their careers in the TC and STC industry.


Appropriate engineering assessment and approval of proposed design changes is an absolute must for ensuring continued operational safety of vintage airplanes. Professional implementation of approved data for returning airplanes to service is also of vital importance. DERs, DARs, and A&P/IAs in performing their roles are bound by the same FAA regulations, policy, and orders governing type certificate changes to which the FAA engineers and inspectors themselves must adhere. These professionals should be held accountable and therefore subject to enforcement of appropriate penalties for improper conduct. Through proper qualification, training, and oversight, experienced aviation professionals can continue the operational safety of vintage airplanes.

Experienced engineers and inspection professionals must continue to fill important roles in the type design change process for vintage airplanes. The vintage aviation industry must be returned to the pre-2003 days when the FAA allowed the professionals in the aviation field make appropriate findings of compliance within the regulations that were applied safely for vintage airplanes for more than 60 years.
1) I urge the FAA to re-define “vintage airplanes” as those originally certified under CAR 3 or CAR 4a.
2) I urge the FAA to re-define the term the “field approval” as it applies to vintage airplanes.
3) I urge the FAA to re-assign the authority for issuing field approvals for major alterations and/or major repairs to those with the expertise to do so.
4) I urge the FAA to accept the approvals made by its own designees.
__________________
Terry Bowden
Consultant D.E.R. Powerplant inst'l & Engines
BC12D, s/n 7898, N95598
Tick Hill Airfield (XA-47)