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Thread: Certified or not??

  1. #1
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Certified or not??

    I have an honest question, not knocking anyone for their decisions...

    I sincerely wonder why some of you folks keep the certified classification on your plane. I can see it for passenger-carrying public airplanes, but those using planes as an airborne 4X4 truck or flightseeing platform, totally responsible for our own butt, WTF?? It is obviously a VERY expensive way to own a plane, and to haft'a ask permission (get a 337)to change a light bulb & then get someone to sign it off (exaggerated example) would drive me nuts. Now I agree & understand that SOME things we need some adult supervision for, but MOST things are common sense mechanical things, like on your truck or kids' bike.

    If there's something you can't fix, there are the A&Es, and that's a GoodThing, but to do simple tasks shouldn't require so much hassle/paperwork. I ask this because I read LOTS of posts on here about how to keep the plane "legal" when folks want a simple change. Last example was LED position lights.

    There... that ought'a get some eyebrows twitching, & start a lively discussion!

  2. #2
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Logan,
    As you know the rules are much different here in the 'land of the free', yeah, sort of an oxymoron isn't it? Not that simple to convert a certified plane into experimental. I own both types and by far I prefer the AB (Amature Built), I can do pretty much anything I want and don't have to worry about getting it approved by some pencil neck office weeny!
    Keith
    Don't take life too seriously ... no one gets out alive!

  3. #3
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Not every pilot oughtta be changing his own light bulbs, if you know what I mean.

    ..extreme example, yes.

  4. #4
    nanook's Avatar
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    Well if it is certified (or was), you can't just uncertify it.....since I fly certified aircraft for a living, that is almost everyday...I'm sitting in the cockpit going somewhere... I kinda like the idea of someone having actually tested the design, materials, components, and that, certified and trained/experienced A&Ps, make sure that this aircraft I'm strapped into, still meets those airworthiness standards...

  5. #5
    myskyjeep's Avatar
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    I've always wondered why the FAA doesn't just certify the manufacturing companies. If the engineering, manufacturing and testing departments are up to snuff, the company should be able to build away. The system we have now slows growth and adds cost.

  6. #6
    irishfield's Avatar
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    They don't have an owner maintenance Category south of the board Logan, like we do, allowing the registered owner to do all his own maintenance and sign his own logs.

    There's good and bad involved with the category... aircraft is immediately devalued when it goes to OM as you just lost about 90% of the North American market for resale, by removing that certified "tag" from the aircraft and going OM in Canada. Now that devaluation in many cases can be brought back about par, but only if you keep the aircraft long enough to save the cost of having someone do the maintenance/logs for you over a 20 year time frame.

  7. #7
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    I have two certified PA-18 cubs. One flying and the other being put together. All parts have to have a paper trail, signed off and STC ect. I do alot of the work on my planes myself, great way to learn about your cub. Always supervised. About six or seven years ago when experimental planes were about half the value of a certified plane, I noticed alot of new experimental parts were alot better than the certified parts. Now the value of the experimental planes have come up alot. I would want to go experimental next time around. It would free you up alot and get better and newer ideas and part. Walk through CubCrafters and you will see what I mean about quality parts.

  8. #8

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    dave calkins comment 2nded. I even amaze myself alot of times. Alot of people that have no mechanical ability whatsoever, that way things should be right for them to crawl(butt turn) in. Not an extreme example.

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    I probably would not be able to afford the maintenance on a certified aircraft. Mine is Amateur-Built, by someone else, and Canadian regulations generously allow me to do my own maintenance anyway. I'm pretty handy, but I still have a lot to learn.

    Given enough time (and assuming I don't neglect something very critical) I will eventually learn to maintain my airplane very well. I need to be diligent and also buy (and learn how to use) a few specialized tools.

    The fact that I don't have easy access to an AME who could check my work from time to time is something that worries me a little, I must admit. But for me, A-B is the way to go and the loss of re-sale value is something that really doesn't concern me.

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    Nunavut, certified was driving me crazy. Back orders for parts, sky-rocketing costs, maintenance on my 185, SC on 2000s and a Champ, the regulatory regime---I sold all of them, built experimental Bushmaster and wish I had done it long ago. Just to get in and go, to not worry about being delivered into the hands of spotty service hereabouts, makes flying what it should be to me.

  11. #11
    jcrowles's Avatar
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    If your aircraft is used commercially I can understand the need for regulated airworthiness, but for private personal use, It boils down to the Goverment has to control everone ! It all started about 1926 when the Govt' decided it needed to protect everyone !!
    And added thousands of new employees that the taxpayer has to support ! You don't see the Govt. paying anyone involved in an accident. Tax and regulate and get your taxpayer paycheck on payday ! Big Govt. to the rescue !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by myskyjeep View Post
    I've always wondered why the FAA doesn't just certify the manufacturing companies. If the engineering, manufacturing and testing departments are up to snuff, the company should be able to build away. The system we have now slows growth and adds cost.
    Doesn't that describe the current "Delegation Option" some aircraft are certified under?

    See TCDS "Certification Basis".

  13. #13
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    DC's comment thirded. I agree that there are plenty of folks who need A&E's (& etc) & that's why there'll always be a demand for them. There will always be Pastors too. I didn't realize that it was not an option So. of the 49th to drop the certification. That majorly answers my question. Again, I don't want to ruffle any feathers, just honestly wondering.
    I was fortunate to have a wealth of adult supervision when I decided to go OM, I wouldn't have done it otherwise. I've learned a lot, and have you guys and my neighbors to ask the questions. Like Nunavut, I'd not be able to afford the maintenance, etc, if I had to pay someone else to do it. The (only) local A&E is far too proud of himself (price wise). Also, I didn't buy the Cub as an investment, it's just another toy. If the value depreciates because I rebuilt (using almost all cert. parts, BTW) so be it, but I'm not convinced of that either. It's all documented, just not a trained professional doing the work, but I think I'm fairly handy, which is a GoodThing 'cuz the girls don't find me handsome.

    Informative, and again a great array of opinions. I'm just happy that I had that option.

  14. #14
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    Trust me, I wish we had that option down here too!!! It's ironic, the Feds don't want to be "bothered" by GA, but want their thumb on it explicitly.......
    John

  15. #15
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    EAA and the Type Clubs are the reason we don't have Owner Maintenance. They don't want to see the oder airplanes butchered.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  16. #16
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Butchered?? Sorry to hear that you feel that way.

  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Cause if'n I had the same certification(non) as you, I could not fly across the border without falling out of the sky!!!!!

    There are good mechanics that can be trusted, (Dave C I consider one, Steve Pierce and a few others), and there are those that should not have any license to work on planes...

    I hope that by requiring a certified mechanic I have fewer of the latter working on planes I fly/purchase...

    But I do have designs on commercial work.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Logan, There are a lot of people who have taken a certified airplane and butchered them. There are also a lot of purists in the type clubs. As with everything, I am sure there are good and bad OM airplanes just as there are good and bad certified.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  19. #19
    nanook's Avatar
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    I don't think it is that hard to keep a certified aircraft airworthy. The problems arise when owners want to rebuild, restore and not follow the type design... Instead of asking you ( the IA ) before they "modify it" .... They want you to somehow annual the aircraft after it no longer meets the type design... I've seen more than my share of owner devalued ex-certified, now pirate category, owner maintained/modified aircraft... These types of owners should have bought or built experimental category and not butchered a perfectly good certified airplane....

  20. #20
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    For the most part, I agree with Steve and Nanook...but with a certified plane, in our present system, you can play 9 kinds of hell just trying to keep things safe sometimes.....that's where I'd love to see some improvement. The OM category has some holes in it too...but what doesn't? Like has been said, the owners are already doing lots of their own mods, and some of them sure aren't any good....but I've also see LOTS of stuff that came from certified mechanics and IA's that was just as bad or even worse.... so no matter what we do, there'll be someone that wants to abuse the priveliges they grant us.

  21. #21

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    About 30 years ago, I was banquet speaker at the first Atlantic Region Aircraft Maintenance Conference. I told a story that was as relevant then as it is today. At the time, one of my activities was chairman of a union-management deep-sea trawlermen's training program which rewarded with incentives (promotions and money) for improving skills. It also militated against those who couldn't do their work responsibly. Trawling in the North Atlantic and North Pacific is dangerous activity, requiring a disciplined working environment. Trawlermen couldn't screw up on one vessel and take their demonstrated incompetence to another. They worked to a higher standard than those in the aviation maintenance industry. The program, voluntary, non-government, initiated bottom-up without bureaucratic interference, ended with the collapse of the deep-sea fishery.

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    What do the numbers say?

    You would think this would be a no-brainer in a sane world. Here we have an example of doing things in a more non-regulated manner (Canada). Now a simple study (by the former land of the free (just a joke, just a joke)) should show if there is a statistical safety problem or not. 2 months to study and then either justify the regulations or throw them out. No middle ground. But noooo, we gotta think of all the jobs, the investments etc. Same with the medical. But I'm a dreamer... My business and training went through all this back in the eighties when the FCC removed the need for a license to work on two-way radios. I was all worried about my schooling, investment etc. After de regulation nothing changed. Customers could work on their own radios but few really chose to. Rates didn't drop, work didn't become less. Nothing changed in the business. Some under qualified people did move in for a while but they were weeded out pretty fast. De regulation would probably bring many more people into the ownership fold and after they are in no matter what their original intentions they would probably still seek qualified help after a while. JMHO?

  23. #23
    NimpoCub's Avatar
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    Well, like I said, I sure don't consider myself qualified to do everything, but there is MUCH of it that is just common sense wrenching/building/repairing. Also, I wouldn't have started down this path without some skills, the wealth of excellent adult supervision around here & the willingness to learn before I did stuff. I am confident that my plane is better, safer, stronger than when it rolled out'a the factory. This is due to all the mods & technology that has come to be since 1956.

    Somewhere on the COPA website, in the OM info section, is stated that there was a fear of devaluation for decertified planes, but that has failed to show after many years of having the OM category, and the insurance companies charge the same rates as for cert. planes, I think that says something. Yep, there's good & bad in everything, even granola bars.

    I really don't understand the difference in my OM plane & one that was kit/scratch built, or experimental, etc. We ALL did "our own thing" & are responsible for our own butt.

  24. #24
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NimpoCub View Post
    Well, like I said, I sure don't consider myself qualified to do anything, ...
    Just had to let that out there, didn't you Logan!

    I think the big problem comes from the political area being hassled that the union jobs will go away, as will the FAA 'control'.

    The long and short, some have the knowledge and ability to get help when needed, others don't. Ones that don't will cause problems. Truth is though, they can get an A&P and be a problem anyway!
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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