View Poll Results: Is your Supercub/Cruiser VFR or IFR?

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  • VFR Legal

    85 91.40%
  • IFR Legal

    8 8.60%
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Thread: VFR vs IFR Supercubs

  1. #1

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    VFR vs IFR Supercubs

    It seems that most Cubs I come across are VFR only.
    I'm trying to find out if this also true here...

  2. #2
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Sam,

    The PA-18 is not approved for IFR on the TC, nor is the CC-18-180. It is possible to GET such an airplane approved for IFR, but it requires more than just adding the required equipment.

    I have seen one no-joke IFR LEGAL PA-12, and one PA-18. There may be lots more out there, but the question should be LEGAL IFR, not just "equipped for IFR". There is a difference.

    MTV

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    Sam,

    The PA-18 is not approved for IFR on the TC, nor is the CC-18-180. It is possible to GET such an airplane approved for IFR, but it requires more than just adding the required equipment.

    I have seen one no-joke IFR LEGAL PA-12, and one PA-18. There may be lots more out there, but the question should be LEGAL IFR, not just "equipped for IFR". There is a difference.

    MTV
    Thanks, Mike.
    It seemed counter-intuitive given the number of SC operating in the NW/Alaska.

  4. #4
    Steve's Aircraft (Steve)'s Avatar
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    Got my curiosity up and I checked some T. C. for a specific reference to IFR, because I frankly have not thought about it, or noticed it. Seems all the T.C.s mention basic required instruments all aircraft have to have, however I could not find but one reference of IFR certs. in the Piper series and that was on a placard on some PA-32's. Cessna's were spotty in that 180's / 185's have a note of DAY-Night-VFR-IFR (as applicable), but the 172's / 182's do not. I always thought IFR certification was a specific equipment requirement, not an aircraft certification requirement.



    Steve

  5. #5

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    MTV,

    What is the difference in a Legal IFR certified SuperCub and one that is merely equiped for IFR???

    Please explain?

  6. #6
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Steve,

    You may be right. It can certainly be done, whether or not the airplane's TC calls it out.

    I just looked at a few TC's, and it's a real mixed bag.

    Here's the note from the Top Cub TCDS:

    Additional Limitations: Airframe life limits: Refer to latest FAA approved revision of the
    Maintenance Manual, Document TC10000AMM.
    Kinds of operations: Day, Visual Flight Rules (VFR).

    That is an older version of the TCDS, so night may have been added.

    From the Cessna 172 TCDS, under Applicable to all models: a placard is required, which states...

    Known icing conditions to be avoided. This airplane is certified for the following
    flight operations as of date of original airworthiness certificate:
    (DAY NIGHT VFR IFR)" (as applicable)

    The Cessna 180 has the same requirement in it's TCDS.

    Of course, now I can't find any such notation in the PA-18 TCDS, so maybe it was my imagination at work again....

    The notation I quoted above is on all the Cessna TCDS. The Husky has a requirement in the TCDS which says that all placards called out in the Approved FLight Manual must be installed at all times. The AFM specifies a placard which says to operate as Day/Night, VFR/IFR.

    A couple of other TCDS stated that the equipment required by the FAR's for specific types of operations must be installed, which would imply that it's just an equipment requirement. So, why would some manufacturers put it on the TC?

    MTV

  7. #7
    SJ's Avatar
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    I thought once I hooked the 496 up to the cigarette lighter my top cub was IFR legal?

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------
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  8. #8
    M1's Avatar
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    And here I thought that an IFR Supercub meant I follow roads/rivers/rail roads, or in other words, look out the window.

    M1
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  9. #9
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Steve,

    Nope, you need to have a placard, displayed in clear view of the pilot which states "Garmin GPS 496 must be in "instrument panel" mode at all times when operating in IMC"

    MTV

  10. #10
    Ruidoso Ron's Avatar
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    Just give me enough stuff to do a 360, and get the heck outa here! My 496 and 2-1/4" T&B meet that need. I must admit that I plan to practice the GPS approach into my home field (KSRR). You never know.

  11. #11
    Rob Murray's Avatar
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    IFR Cub

    My Cub came with a bunch of gyros and I used to make full use of them in the days when getting a Special out of Teterboro was both possible and about the only way to get going on a low vis morning. But I've had my butt kicked on enough clear days to convince me this is probably not the right airplane for serious IFR. Has anyone had any experience with ice on a Cub? I'd be interested to hear.

  12. #12
    Cajun Joe's Avatar
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    A good friend has an IFR Cub. He lives in Florida and keeps
    the plane hangared on Amphibs. This Cub was build and
    IFR certified by CubCrafters after much much testing and
    inspecting and delays with the FAA. (Not that there's anything
    wrong with that) She is complete with a 530 and Sandal(sp?).
    She was featured two years ago in SPA's "Water Flying"
    as "The Ultimate Cub".
    So it can be done.

  13. #13
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Rob,

    One day I flew a Cub that was painted all white, except for a single blue stripe down the side, from Fairbanks up to Bettles, AK. Enroute, I did a bunch of radio telemetry work on wolves. This airplane was ALL white, including straight skis. From where I sat, I couldn't see the blue stripe on the side.

    After four hours of moseying around at low level, temps of -30, and a sort of haze, which is not uncommon at cold temps in the north, I went to BTT for gas. The runway there is long, groomed for skis, and there was no wind. I decided to run it on fast for grins, and slide to the ramp.

    The airplane came out of the sky at 65 to 70 as I began to slow. Fortunately, I was close to the ground when it did.

    There was close to 3/4 inch of opaque ice on everything. If I'd looked more closely, I'd have seen things changing shape.

    Duh.....

    MTV

  14. #14
    Rob Murray's Avatar
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    IFR Cub

    Mike, Glad you're around to tell the tale. Guess we can give the Cub a little
    credit too. What you say about color is interesting. My second plane had
    white wings when I bought it, but when I had it repainted bright yellow I was surprised how much faster frost would melt. My present Cub is bright lemon yellow with a dark grey band running along the top of the wing, from the edge of the fuel tank cover to the beginning of the wing tip. I did it for greater visibility, but it also breaks up frost and snow the minute the sun hits it. Darker colors work best in this regard. Trouble is they absorb a lot of heat in warm weather and that's not so good. Having once 'ridden along' in a 206 amphib, as if fell from 6000 to 1700 over Buffalo, NY, with everything iced up - including the windhshield - I haven't had the nerve to repeat that experiment in my Cub.

  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Steve Pierce

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  16. #16
    Grant's Avatar
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    Is that a RAD ALT between the AH and TC?

  17. #17
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Yep, that picture is from the Lockhaven plant 1976-77.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  18. #18

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    AVEMCO agrees that I may fly my SuperCub IFR, IMC, provided my instruments are IFR CERTIFIED, and I am IFR current.

    The FAA examiner has given me IFR check rides in my SuperCub and signed my logbook as IFR current.

    What an I missing here????
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  19. #19
    Cajun Joe's Avatar
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    .

    A heated pitot?

    JL

  20. #20
    Ruidoso Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cajun Joe
    .

    A heated pitot?

    JL
    I have that! Chose not to wire it up during rebuild, but it's there.

  21. #21

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    FLYING ANY CUB IN KNOWN ICING CONDITIONS IS NOT RECOMMENDED!!!

  22. #22
    mvivion's Avatar
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    flyer,

    Did the examiner do so in actual IMC? Did you FILE IFR? People are instrument certified all the time without ever having been in IMC, and there's no requirement to do so in an IFR approved aircraft--you only have to demonstrate your competence, which you can do as long as you have the equipment. We have an IFR approved GPS in the Top Cub, but that doesn't mean it's IFR approved.

    Can you, and have you, flown in actual in the Cub?

    MTV

  23. #23

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    MTV,

    40 hours filed and flown IMC. ILS, VOR approaches.

    Barry Schiff once gave an airline pilot his ATP check ride in an IFR certified SuperCub.

  24. #24
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Mike, The panel above is a factory IFR certified Super Cub.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  25. #25
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    flyer,



    Can you, and have you, flown in actual in the Cub?

    MTV
    Mike-

    I have a close friend who has a top cub. It is IFR and he does fly it IFR and shoots approaches...etc...all certified...its even got an HSI in it. I can get you a picture of the panel if you want?

    Tim

  26. #26
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Tim, et al.....

    I am NOT doubting that Cubs have been approved for IFR. If you READ my first post, I noted that I personally know of one that was, and I'm sure that there are a number of others.

    As to a Top Cub being approved for IFR, I only posted what is on the TYPE CERTIFICATE, fer cryin out loud. Can anyone explain how an airplane which is specifically restricted to Day/VFR on its certification basis can then be approved for IFR?

    The other question, with "Top Cubs": Is the airplane actually a CC-18-180, or a CC modified PA-18? I hear a lot of people referring to "Top Cubs" when in fact they are talking about a modified PA-18.

    Nevertheless, I am simply questioning what the certification process is--I don't know at this point.

    I do know that the TC for some aircraft essentially precludes IFR certification, unless there is some other basis, which I assume would have to be an STC or field approval for IFR operation??

    I seriously doubt that ANY airplane that's properly EQUIPPED for IFR would ever be questioned by the FAA, except after an accident, perhaps, and probably not even then.

    My question is what others have asked: What is REQUIRED in the regulations for LEGAL, squeaky clean, IFR certification?

    MTV

  27. #27

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    MTV,

    Would it help to read the FAR pertaining to your questions????????

  28. #28
    Torch's Avatar
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    I have all the instruments in the Torch. They have come in real handy a couple of times. I know of a few Super Cub pilots that just had basic VFR instruments in their planes and they inadvertently encountered IFR conditions. When I walk to the AC store in Kotzebue I walk by one those pilot's grave site. My airplane may not be legal for IFR and I don't intentionally fly IFR but I have had to get out of some tough spots a couple of times. I don't mind the weight in the cub.

  29. #29
    Darrel Starr's Avatar
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    Our Super Cub, N18SY, is definitely VFR only but I have a friend with an IFR amphib Super Cub also based at KANE that has an awesome IFR panel as shown below -- HSI, Garmin 430 & 330. Built up by Bob Schefter in Fergus Falls with Avionics help from Wipaire.


  30. #30
    mvivion's Avatar
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    flyer,

    Ok, please cite the regulatory guidance which pertains to IFR certification on TYPE CERTIFICATES. I know what the equipment requirements are. My question is why do some TC's specifically provide for IFR, some don't, and others are silent on the subject?

    Again, I am quite familiar with the EQUIPMENT requirements. That's not my question, and I'm not sure that's the only issue that has to be addressed, but it may be.

    MTV

  31. #31

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    MTV,

    Did you read the FAR pertaining to your question?

    If not why not????

  32. #32
    Cajun Joe's Avatar
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    OK after reading this tread for the past two weeks I had to get an answer
    from some one who has had actual IFR Cert experience. I've known Mike Vivion
    to be a bulldog when he feels he is correct but also quick to understand
    differing opinions. I then sent a copy of the above thread to my friend
    in Florida who I mentioned has the IFR Cub with the proper TC. This
    is exactly Mike's very valid point.

    The following is Ron's response:

    Joe, Vivion is correct. This was the point I tried to make about my airplane,
    that the equipment alone does not make an airplane legal to fly under IFR.
    It must also be FAA certified IFR. Some airplanes have this approval on
    their TC, mine does. Others IFR legal planes do not. This is because mine,
    like others, received the IFR certification during manufacturing.
    Others received IFR certification after manufacture through a Supplemental TC,
    usually through a "Field Approval". Since the original Type Certificate,
    without IFR, has already been "printed", the approval is issued on another
    piece of paper called a Supplemental Type Certificate, along with the
    Form 337. To be IFR legal, it must have the equipment, the airplane,
    and the installation all approved on one or the other type of certificate.
    Wishing it were otherwise so you could have an IFR airplane doesn't make it so.

    This is why I made an "issue" that, as far as I know, N117RB is the only PA18
    that is IFR approved on the TC. All others, and I believe there are very few,
    got them through the STC process. That is a major reason that my PA18
    cost me so much money and took Jim Richardson so long to finish
    manufacturing the plane - FAA and paper work. I believe this is also
    why he refuses to build another one IFR legal. It is also why I named
    it Ultimate Cub. Now Jim is using that "name" to describe one of his
    models. They however are not IFR legal, even with the equipment.
    Ron





  33. #33
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Thanks, Joe. I sort of suspected something like that might be the case.

    Even with the appropriate equipment for IFR, your pitot/static system and transponder/encoder/altimeter have to be checked to IFR standards, rather than VFR standards. That alone can be a tough test on a Cub, unless someone did a really good job during construction or rebuild.

    As I mentioned before, you can fly IFR every day in any airplane and as long as nothing bad happens.....

    You can take an instrument checkride in VFR conditions in a VFR only airplane with the appropriate instrumentation and radio equipment. That doesn't necessarily mean the airplane is legal for IFR.

    MTV

  34. #34
    behindpropellers's Avatar
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    Joe-

    That makes two part 23 Top Cubs that are certified IFR. The other one is Crazy Bobs.


    MTV-

    I can't find where it says I can or cannot certify a 1957 172 IFR or a 1957 PA-18?? Am I missing something here?

    Our 172 is IFR certified, has no heated pitot and venturis for vacuum. I took my instrument checkride in it.

    Tim

  35. #35
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Tim,

    Look at the 172 TC. As I noted earlier:

    From the Cessna 172 TCDS, under Applicable to all models: a placard is required, which states...

    "Known icing conditions to be avoided. This airplane is certified for the following
    flight operations as of date of original airworthiness certificate:
    (DAY NIGHT VFR IFR)" (as applicable)"

    If you don't have that placard displayed prominently in view of the pilot, your airplane isn't legal for ANY flight. This too may be one of the most violated FAR's when it comes to airworthiness. My airplane didn't have most of the required placards.

    So, all models of the 172 are approvable for IFR, IF they are properly equipped.

    There is nothing in the regulations which requires a heated pitot for IFR flight, and in fact, a lot of IFR approved airplanes didn't come with one. Venturis are an approved means of providing vacuum to gyro instruments.

    Here's a link to CFR 14 Part 91.205, which describes required equipment:

    http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text....3.7.3&idno=14
    Finally, as I pointed out earlier, there is a significant difference in certification between a Top Cub (model CC-18-180) and a PA-18. The airplane pictured above is a Super Cub, model PA-18, NOT a Top Cub (though I realize CC has muddied the waters by calling many of their rebuilds "Top Cubs"). From Landings.com:

    N-number : N117RB
    Aircraft Serial Number : 9930CC
    Aircraft Manufacturer : PIPER/CUB CRAFTERS
    Model : PA-18-150
    Engine Manufacturer : LYCOMING
    Model : O-360 SERIES
    Aircraft Year : 2002

    MTV

  36. #36

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    Let me take a stab at this one. As far as Part 23 planes it is rather simple. The type of operation will be specified on the tc, and the approved AFM.

    23.1525. The kinds of operation authorized (e.g., VFR, IFR, day or night) and the meteorological conditions (e.g., icing) to which the operation of the airplane is limited or from which it is prohibited, must be established appropriate to the installed equipment.

    The approved flight manual will have... 23.1583 (h) A list of the kinds of operation to which the airplane is limited or from which it is prohibited under Sec. 23.1525, and also a list of installed equipment that affects any operating limitation and identification as to the equipment's required operational status for the kinds of operation for which approval has been given.

    Car 3 planes or you 18 drivers

    TYPES OF OPERATION

    § 3.750 Types of operation. The type of operation to which the airplane is limited shall be established by the category in which it has been found eligible for certification and by the equipment installed. (See Parts 42 and 43 of this chapter.)

    And i forgot to add that you as a pilot will operate the AC IAW FAR 91.9 " ..no person may operate a civil aircraft without complying with the operating limitations specified in the approved airplane or rotorcraft flight manual, markings, placards, or as otherwise prescribed by the certificating authority of country or registry.

    Sooo.... like said. You may have all the req equipment to fly IFR but unless IFR is specified for that Aircraft as a kind of operation permitted then you would not be legeal to fly it as such.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion
    Thanks, Joe. I sort of suspected something like that might be the case.

    Even with the appropriate equipment for IFR, your pitot/static system and transponder/encoder/altimeter have to be checked to IFR standards, rather than VFR standards. That alone can be a tough test on a Cub, unless someone did a really good job during construction or rebuild.

    As I mentioned before, you can fly IFR every day in any airplane and as long as nothing bad happens.....

    You can take an instrument checkride in VFR conditions in a VFR only airplane with the appropriate instrumentation and radio equipment. That doesn't necessarily mean the airplane is legal for IFR.

    MTV,

    When my SuperCub was certifiewd IFR, the Pitot Static system, transponder/incoder/altimeter were all tested and certified to IFR standards by a certified shop. That is the standard for IFR certification by a FAA qualified shop. They "ARE" part of the required equipment. OTHERWISE no airplane is IFR certified, be it a Cub or Bonanza.

    It is not a tough test, as you suggest, to have that equipment functioning in a Cub as compared to any other aircraft.

    To my knowledge there is no such thing as an instrument check ride in a VFR only airplane in VFR conditions. I do not think the FAA examiner would provide you with an instrument rating under such conditions. I assume you understand the role of a "Visual limiting device" or hood as used by the FAA examiner.

    Your hard questions are welcomed by me. I sincerely believe the IRF CERTIFIDATION/equipment and rating can save lives in the Cub as in any aircraft. I will be most appreciative of any factual information YOU COME UP WITH. If I am laboring under any misconceptions concerning legality or insurance coverage I really do need to know.

    I WELCOME A CONTINUED DIALOGUE ON THIS SUBJECT. We learn every flight or it is time to ground ourselves.











    MTV

  38. #38

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    mvivion
    (DAY NIGHT VFR IFR)" (as applicable)"

    If you don't have that placard displayed prominently in view of the pilot, your airplane isn't legal for ANY flight. This too may be one of the most violated FAR's when it comes to airworthiness. My airplane didn't have most of the required placards.

    So, all models of the 172 are approvable for IFR, IF they are properly equipped.
    The placard (day night VFR IFR) is not on all 172 aircraft. That one does not start tell you get to the 172L model. If you want to find the type of operation for the early 172's you need to look at the flight manual.

  39. #39
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Rallyer,

    Yep, you're right. Man, this stuff is convoluted, and now the FAA has introduced the EVEN DIFFERENT certification requirements of the LSA class.

    I just went back and looked at the CC-18-180 TC, and it still lists Day/VFR only, by the way.

    MTV

  40. #40
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    I made an agreement with myself, when I bought my PA18 a number of years ago, to keep to VFR only, keep it simple and to buy a handheld gps for navigation only. I fly a different aircraft with my business, and get all the ifr I want in it. Things were just right until I flew into Sky Harbor airport in Duluth VFR early in the day, planning on leaving in the afternoon, well ahead of weather predicted to move in.

    That was fine until I took off from Sky Harbor, a beautiful little airport sitting on Lake Superior, having received a briefing an hour before calling for 1500 ft ceilings at Duluth International (DHT). During the climbout I was enjoying the beauty of the North Shore with great visibility when all of a sudden I found myself in the soup. All I had was the altimeter, a compass which is pretty much useless (at least in my cub), airspeed indicator, a turn indicator and my Garmin 195. I immediately put the nose down and reduced power and got out of the soup, but that feeling was very, very unsettling! I came back and after speaking with the folks at the airport decided to put in an electric turn and bank indicator to at least make it a bit easier to know if my wings were level.

    I did come back and do some work with a great instructor, shooting an approach with the above-mentioned equipment, and it was a handful doing so in the supercub. Not even close to the workload in a CT210! Staying competent in the aircraft, regardless of what is in it, is of such huge importance, it seems to me!
    Likes Colorguns liked this post

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