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Thread: Tradition Ferry Permit issuance method GONE

  1. #1
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Tradition Ferry Permit issuance method GONE

    I received this message from my FSDO PMI earlier this week:

    "I wanted to give you a heads up to some changes happening at the FSDO. In the very near future, ALL SFP’s and air worthiness certificate replacements will be issued by the 2 DAR-T’s in our area. ********** in Plymouth and ************ in New Bedford. The FSDO will no longer be performing that task. We are in the process of updating our website to reflect those changes, I have attached the contact info for all our designees.

    This is being directed from headquarters; we are being instructed to make the utmost use of our designees. To that end, we are also looking into granting the DAR-T’s the ability to perform field approvals. This process is ongoing and may take a while to get all the requirements that they have to meet in place.

    As you know they do charge a fee for their services, the FAA has nothing to do with setting that fee, or regulating it. We do not even know what they charge, nor do I care to know. I know from my days in GA, many owners wait until the end of the month to get their aircraft in for annuals, to get an extra month. I think you might need to inform them of these changes, because I know they will not want to incur any additional cost. Also, you and I know that there will be owners who just fly the aircraft out of annual to get it to a maintenance facility, I can hear it now, “it’s only out of annual by one day”. I can assure you that if someone gets caught flying their aircraft out of annual, they will probably be getting a phone call from an inspector.

    I understand this is a big change, since the FSDO has always done this work for free; but the idea is that we are being freed up from behind our desks, to get out and perform more safety related task. Which most of us enjoy, I really don’t like sitting in my cube 10 hours a day. Contact your Congress person if you have any issues, I think they are the ones who directed this in the first place, but don’t quote me on that one."


    Since forever until now, a ferry permit was a piece of paper which the FSDO issued from the confines of their comfortable office. The A&Ps and IAs were trusted to accomplish the required inspection for the airplane to be ferried for whatever purpose. That trust has been taken away. The A&Ps and IAs are no longer capable of performing their licensed responsibilities without the oversight of a DAR. Can you imagine the unnecessary cost involved to transport the DAR in order to have a wrecked airplane inspected in some remote location? The FAA is squeezing us.

    I have informed my PMI what I think about this. He has not responded, which is not unusual for him.
    N1PA
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    I heard that rumor about field approvals. I got five last week, saving the owners thousands of dollars in DAR-T time.
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    I've got a 337 in at the FSDO for a field approval for 26" Goodyears on my C180--
    a simplemod, done many many times before, and I've got a number of approved 337s to prove it.
    Its going on 7 months now.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Groan.....

    MTV

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    Be polite. Call them once a week, and get a meeting to "discuss." This has been working for me, although some of the brake conversions have taken a year of polite pestering. And, apparently, do it now rather than later.

    They are required to get back to you in writing, and they typically don't want to do that! Gently use that, when pestering fails.

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    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    I think it's past time to remind them who they actually work for. This is way beyond ridiculous!!!
    John
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  7. #7
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Be polite. Call them once a week, and get a meeting to "discuss." This has been working for me, although some of the brake conversions have taken a year of polite pestering. And, apparently, do it now rather than later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardtailjohn View Post
    I think it's past time to remind them who they actually work for. This is way beyond ridiculous!!!
    John
    Bob, This directive seems to have come from further upstairs than from those who we normally communicate with. At our age we would just be banging our heads on the wall, ruining our golden years.

    John, I agree. When the new administrator came from being the chief pilot for one of the biggest airlines, I figured that general aviation was screwed. I just didn't think that it would be this quick. Though this was likely in the works before he came upon the scene.
    N1PA
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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Unfortunately what I see happening is planes that should be getting a ferry permit to fly to a shop are going to get a quick annual and be flown for a year before getting that through annual it really needed.

    They are really promoting aviation safety


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Our local FSDO still does them one day a week but they have made it a huge PITA. Easier to go inspect and sign an annual and then fly it to the shop. They want a letter from the owner authorizing the flight even if the person obtaining the permit is the owner. I feel for them with all their responsibility and heavy work load. Since I follow one of my local inspectors on Facebook there seem to be a lot of travel to meetings and vacations. They also spend a lot of time doing the Wright Brothers award and the Taylor award. They did finally hire a guy from GA at our local FSDO, curious how he fits in with all the retired military guys.
    Steve Pierce

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Bob, This directive seems to have come from further upstairs than from those who we normally communicate with. At our age we would just be banging our heads on the wall, ruining our golden years.

    John, I agree. When the new administrator came from being the chief pilot for one of the biggest airlines, I figured that general aviation was screwed. I just didn't think that it would be this quick. Though this was likely in the works before he came upon the scene.
    Actually I know Steve Dickson personally and I can tell you he is as much a GA guy as he is an airline guy as he is a military guy. He hangs with the CA and homebuilders at KFFC quite frequently. He has however a red hot poker on him. That is called the B737Max. He is under enormous pressure by Congress and the President to protect the reputation of the USA's #1 exporter and the world's premier aircraft manufacturer. That means putting bodies in place at Boeing and he needs to show the count. Inspectors are not made overnight and he needs qualified inspectors in place at Boeing and to a lesser extent Airbus in Mobile who is opening a new line. In short he has to protect the family jewels and our cows and sheep have to be protected by us. Given the value of what is at stake we should have seen this coming.
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeBee View Post
    Actually I know Steve Dickson personally and I can tell you he is as much a GA guy as he is an airline guy as he is a military guy. He hangs with the CA and homebuilders at KFFC quite frequently. He has however a red hot poker on him. That is called the B737Max. He is under enormous pressure by Congress and the President to protect the reputation of the USA's #1 exporter and the world's premier aircraft manufacturer. That means putting bodies in place at Boeing and he needs to show the count. Inspectors are not made overnight and he needs qualified inspectors in place at Boeing and to a lesser extent Airbus in Mobile who is opening a new line. In short he has to protect the family jewels and our cows and sheep have to be protected by us. Given the value of what is at stake we should have seen this coming.
    If he needs to offload some of the work at his organization, just let the we 'humble' A&Ps and IAs do our jobs as per the intent of the FARs. If we perform shoddy maintenance or don't submit the correct documentation, then hold us accountable. Seems easy enough. They can stop TRYING to do our jobs and stick to safety of flight issues.

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    cubflier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post


    I understand this is a big change, since the FSDO has always done this work for free; but the idea is that we are being freed up from behind our desks, to get out and perform more safety related task. Which most of us enjoy, I really don’t like sitting in my cube 10 hours a day. Contact your Congress person if you have any issues, I think they are the ones who directed this in the first place, but don’t quote me on that one."

    In the same sentence that he claims the FSDO does work for "free" he pisses and moans about his 10 hour a day cubical job.

    Priceless.

    Jerry
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    If it looks rough...it is!!
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    In the same sentence that he claims the FSDO does work for "free" he pisses and moans about his 10 hour a day cubical job.

    Priceless.

    Jerry
    What was not said in this Email which he has said in the past, is that he also complains about having to go into the office. And apparently doesn't do that, a lot. As he has said not to call him on the phone as he is likely not going to be there. He wants all communications to be by Email.
    I miss the days when you could just go to the airport, walk into the FSDO (or GADO depending on how old you are) and talk to someone. Now their office is in an industrial park behind security guards and you need to have an appointment to be allowed in the building with a special permit to be allowed in the parking lot.
    N1PA
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    Slightly off topic but the last time I was in FSDO for my exp (mid summer 2019) my inspector gave me his cell # and told me to put it into my contacts so I could get in touch should I ever need anything. Nice guy. Good customer service.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    Slightly off topic but the last time I was in FSDO for my exp (mid summer 2019) my inspector gave me his cell # and told me to put it into my contacts so I could get in touch should I ever need anything. Nice guy. Good customer service.
    In my many years in dealing with the FAA I have found that you people in Alaska have the best group of FAA people anywhere. They truly are there to foster and promote aviation.
    N1PA

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    If you read the letter it is clear this is Congressional direction.

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    Just 2 weeks ago I walked into my local FISDO in Fargo unannounced to talked to one of the head guys there to get started on some paperwork. Had never met him before but ended up bullsh!ting with him for almost an hour about rag and tube planes, plus what I went in for and he was the most helpful person. My normal guy at the FISDO is also from GA and is just as great to deal with, things may not get done how I’d like but it’s not the inspectors they are trying to help me as best as they can. Have also called registration in OK a few times lately and had good interactions with them too.
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    so you don't just call them 7 days a week anymore and have them FAX you one??

    guess it's been years since I needed one....

    they used to have weekend on call person the phones would go to......

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    mike, this seems to be a rolling phase-in project at the FAA. We in New England first became aware of something amiss when the Portland Maine FSDO refused a ferry permit for an annual inspection in early August. They had issued one in June. Now this notice from the Boston FSDO effective in September. My PMI suggests talking to Congress, though that may just be his way of passing the buck. If this had been something mandated by Congress you would think that all of the alphabet aviation groups would have been all over it before now. They have been silent. All of my "good guy" contacts with the FAA are long retired so the "pull" which I used to have is gone.
    N1PA
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    The entire process of the Flight Standards “Reorganization” has been kept really quiet, if not secret. I’ve asked questions about it, including a couple to folks at high levels and gotten essentially zero information on how the new “system” is supposed to work.

    I gave up on it some time ago.

    MTV
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    As a DAR, I was told by the Baltimore FSDO to expect that they would no longer do ferry permits and expect an increase in requests. I donít mind the extra business, but itís not like itís hard for them to email a ferry permit. Maybe this will open up an opportunity for more guys to apply to be DARs.


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    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    As a DAR, I was told by the Baltimore FSDO to expect that they would no longer do ferry permits and expect an increase in requests. I donít mind the extra business, but itís not like itís hard for them to email a ferry permit. Maybe this will open up an opportunity for more guys to apply to be DARs.


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    I tried that a couple years ago and got shut down by my fsdo, I "don't have the practical experience needed and they are way too busy to babysit me"

    That was as far as i got and figured I didn't need another headache to deal with so I dropped it
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    Will they do as with DPEs and have everybody go to OKC at their own expense, maybe even for yearly conferences? Will you have to flunk half the applications?

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    As a DAR, I was told by the Baltimore FSDO to expect that they would no longer do ferry permits and expect an increase in requests. I don’t mind the extra business, but it’s not like it’s hard for them to email a ferry permit. Maybe this will open up an opportunity for more guys to apply to be DARs.
    Thanks for piping up on this dgapilot, I was wondering whether you had been briefed on this. By the same token how hard can it be for the FSDO guy to just fill in a few blanks on his computer and send the A&P an Email? I already know of one airplane which got an "annual" in order to be ferried to a place where the real annual could be performed. I do not begrudge you DARs an opportunity to make a few extra $$. Let me ask you a question about what would happen if an airplane was damaged waaay out in the boonies enough so that it needed a ferry permit in order to move to a suitable repair shop? What would that cost the unlucky airplane owner in additional to having his A&P get it ready for the flight? I know of several damaged ferry jobs which I've done over the years which would have incurred a considerable travel expense to have included a DAR in the equation.
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    Tradition Ferry Permit issuance method GONE

    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Thanks for piping up on this dgapilot, I was wondering whether you had been briefed on this. By the same token how hard can it be for the FSDO guy to just fill in a few blanks on his computer and send the A&P an Email? I already know of one airplane which got an "annual" in order to be ferried to a place where the real annual could be performed. I do not begrudge you DARs an opportunity to make a few extra $$. Let me ask you a question about what would happen if an airplane was damaged waaay out in the boonies enough so that it needed a ferry permit in order to move to a suitable repair shop? What would that cost the unlucky airplane owner in additional to having his A&P get it ready for the flight? I know of several damaged ferry jobs which I've done over the years which would have incurred a considerable travel expense to have included a DAR in the equation.
    Tough question! Keep in mind that as a DAR, Iím not permitted to do ďmaintenanceĒ on an airplane Iím also going to do certification work on. Given that, your assertion of having your mechanic do temporary repairs is correct. That said, your mechanic doesnít need to make a ďsafe for flight determination, that is what the DAR does, and if it isnít safe in his estimation, he may require additional repairs. Like everything in aviation, we all have different risk tolerance! When I was working for a repair station, I used to bring a mechanic with me, he would do the repairs, I would inspect the repairs with my RS hat on, then issue the ferry permit with my DAR hat, and then fly the airplane home myself, and send the other mechanic home in the truck, or if we flew in with the company airplane (he was also a pilot) he would fly the A36 home. Iíve been flying broken airplanes for about 40 years, so I have a pretty good idea of how to get them home, but every now and again you get surprised. Again, risk management is key, retract with gear lashed down, multi engine with a double prop strike, bent up sheet metal all adds to the risk!

    Forgot about cost, each DAR sets his own price. I charge $100 an hour and expenses, if itís an overnight trip figure $1000 a day. Most times still less expensive than trucking it home, and less likely to have additional damage from hauling it.


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    ...Most times still less expensive than trucking it home, and less likely to have additional damage from hauling it. .
    in a land where you have roads....

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Given that, your assertion of having your mechanic do temporary repairs is correct. That said, your mechanic doesn’t need to make a “safe for flight determination, that is what the DAR does, and if it isn’t safe in his estimation, he may require additional repairs. Like everything in aviation, we all have different risk tolerance!
    Back in the days when I went to A&P school, DARs did not exist. We were trained to make a determination that the plane was safe for flight or for a particular flight. The FAA man gave us, or mailed us a piece of paper authorizing the flight during a certain period of time, we made any repairs which we deemed necessary, signed the log book and either flew it or had it flown home. Not a big deal.

    This new policy appears to be telling me that the FAA personnel are more dumbed down than they used to be, that the A&P schools are not training the mechanics to be mechanics with responsibilities anymore or perhaps this is just government making work where work doesn't need to be done. Government is good at that.
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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Back in the days when I went to A&P school, DARs did not exist. We were trained to make a determination that the plane was safe for flight or for a particular flight. The FAA man gave us, or mailed us a piece of paper authorizing the flight during a certain period of time, we made any repairs which we deemed necessary, signed the log book and either flew it or had it flown home. Not a big deal.

    This new policy appears to be telling me that the FAA personnel are more dumbed down than they used to be, that the A&P schools are not training the mechanics to be mechanics with responsibilities anymore or perhaps this is just government making work where work doesn't need to be done. Government is good at that.
    The FAA is run by lawyers, if you don't do anything there is no risk, no risk mission accomplished.

    An experimental float plane flipped over in the water a few years ago. The owner called me because the FAA required him to get a ferry permit to fly it out after they got it ready to fly. My take was he was the owner/builder and he could deem it airworthy, no FAA involvement needed. I think Dave Caulkins helped them with it.
    Steve Pierce

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Two thumbs up for what skywagon and Mr Pierce said. Where I would disagree slightly is in regards to A&P/IA/FAA functions and responsibilities. The FARs have not changed in that regard. Our mandates to perform proper maintenance are still spelled out. What has changed is these 'policy letters' that would appear to try to remove much of these responsibilities and move them to personnel in the FSDO. This means that FSDO personnel are being tasked with inspection duties instead of the FAR mandated supervisory duties. What I see as the key to the long term fight against the erosion of our rights/responsibilities is the difference between 'policy' and the FARs. 'Policy' is just that. It's a way to perform WITHIN the rules. The FARs are, literally, 'the rules'. Remember that FARs are actual federal law. Policy is NOT. While non of us willingly get into a large Richard contest with the feds, it may take just that to restore what is legally the duties of actual maintenance personnel.
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  30. #30
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    The way I always looked at a ferry permit was it was the signing mechanics responsibility that the airplane was safe for the intended flight. To many lawyers writing mandates, they are not regulations
    Steve Pierce

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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    . . . mandates, they are not regulations
    Spot on.

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    I wonder what percentage of ferry permits are for annuals?

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    Yet another reason to go experimental. The FAA really needs to provide an exit path to allow private operators to flip to experimental. We'd be out of their hair and they'd be out of ours. Win win.
    Last edited by stewartb; 09-02-2019 at 12:43 PM.

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    I hear what a lot of you are saying, but a ferry permit is a certification under Part 21, not maintenance. As A&Ps and IAs, we work in the Part 43 world, not the Part 21 world. The person signing the ferry permit (Special airworthiness certificate under 21.197 has the responsibility to determine ďsafe for flightĒ. In the past, FAA deferred that determination to the A&P in the operating limitations. A DAR does not have that option and must make that determination themselves.


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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Why the change, does it take that long for a PMI to read, sign and email back a ferry permit?
    Steve Pierce

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    The person signing the ferry permit (Special airworthiness certificate under 21.197 has the responsibility to determine “safe for flight”. In the past, FAA deferred that determination to the A&P in the operating limitations.
    So, what did the Baltimore FSDO tell you the reason was for taking away something which had been entrusted to A&Ps for well more than half a century? What changed, which rendered the judgement of those A&Ps invalid? I take this as a personal insult to my integrity. Something which I have strived to be the best I could be for the 60 years which I have held an A&P certificate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Why the change, does it take that long for a PMI to read, sign and email back a ferry permit?
    Good question Steve. I would think it takes longer for them to go into DMS (the software for designer oversight) click all the boxes, then go in to PTRS ( the tracking software for all inspectors) and check those boxes the it would for them to issue it themselves. Seems all inspectors do is click boxes on the various computer systems. Kind of like doctors today, the last couple doctor appointments Iíve had, they spend about 3 time the amount of time on the computer as they do looking at the patient!


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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    So, what did the Baltimore FSDO tell you the reason was for taking away something which had been entrusted to A&Ps for well more than half a century? What changed, which rendered the judgement of those A&Ps invalid? I take this as a personal insult to my integrity. Something which I have strived to be the best I could be for the 60 years which I have held an A&P certificate.
    They havenít taken anything away from the A&P, they shifted what they did to designees but they didnít allow us to do fax or email ferry permits. We have to issue an actual 8130-7 special airworthiness certificate.


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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    They haven’t taken anything away from the A&P, they shifted what they did to designees but they didn’t allow us to do fax or email ferry permits. We have to issue an actual 8130-7 special airworthiness certificate.
    I guess that depends on which hat you are wearing, whether something is taken away or not. It seems that it is the FAA which is shirking their established responsibilities.
    N1PA

  40. #40
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    I hear what a lot of you are saying, but a ferry permit is a certification under Part 21, not maintenance. As A&Ps and IAs, we work in the Part 43 world, not the Part 21 world. The person signing the ferry permit (Special airworthiness certificate under 21.197 has the responsibility to determine ďsafe for flightĒ. In the past, FAA deferred that determination to the A&P in the operating limitations. A DAR does not have that option and must make that determination themselves.


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    Issuing the permit may not be actual maintenance, but if the FSDO rep has to physically inspect the aircraft, he is then performing a maintenance function. Part 43 calls out the systems to be examined in order for an A&P and/or IA to determine the airworthiness of an aircraft. Nothing in Part 21 calls out criteria for determining airworthiness of an existing type certificated aircraft.

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