Owner Maintenance

General discussion and guidelines
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MikeB
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Owner Maintenance

Post by MikeB »

I haven't had time to read and digest the proposal but at first look it appears to be a step in the right direction. Part of the problem with older aircraft that most of us operate is to find someone with tube and fabric experience. Sending it to the big shop "up the road" only usually means they are learning on your dime (or dollars). Having been a mechanic (diesel) and community colleage teacher for over 50 years and having rebuilt several aircraft I'm quite confident of my abilities. Now having said that: my suggestion would be a required class on older aircraft maintenance similiar to what those 'certified' for light sport go through (with limitations). During my teaching career I used to teach a lot of short courses to various groups and certify them when the requirements were completed. I'd think there should be some limitations. For example, even my IA doesn't rebuild carbureators or magnetos....they go out to a repair center. Some would say "Why not get a A & P license?" I've thought about it but it's a long road and there's no school local in our area. Plus, the course has a lot of content (jet, turbine engines, heavy electrical, etc.) that is of little use to someone who is interested in only maintaining their Champ, J-3, Taylorcraft, etc.

On the other hand at my 'advanced age' this probably won't happen but it's a nice thought.

Mike



"6.4 PRIMARY NON‐COMMERCIAL CATEGORY
The Primary Non‐Commercial Category is intended for the private owner to operate their aircraft in a substantially less burdensome and costly manner by reducing the level of FAA maintenance and alteration requirements to a level appropriate for a privately owned vehicle.
Recommendation: The FAA create a Primary Non‐Commercial Category under 14 CFR part 21.
The Primary Non‐Commercial Category is intended for the private owner to operate their aircraft in a substantially less burdensome and costly manner by reducing the level of FAA maintenance and alteration requirements to a level appropriate for a privately owned vehicle."

Aircraft would be dual category. Owner maintained for non-commercial and A&P/IA for commercial. An A&P inspection for annual inspection would be required. Very closely following E-AB rules.

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies ... Report.pdf

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Paul Agaliotis »

Doesn't look like a good idea for the little guys. None of it applies to aircraft prior to 1958 and some items will require mandatory compliance. It's another overly complex solution to an overly complex proceedure. When you try to re-write history it always makes a mess.
Paul
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MikeB
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by MikeB »

As one might say "The devil is in the details" and my computer is too slow to read the while document. Kinda like "We need to pass this so we can see what's in it".

Mike

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Richard Murray
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Richard Murray »

WOW! Its hard to believe someone woke up and realize technology is better and more reliable than what we had sixty years ago. In the pre-amble they say it all. To paraphrase its ALL or Nothing . All of the proposals need to be accepted as a package or Nothing will work the way the committee envisioned. The owner maintained category certainly offers an opportunity for promoting ownership, but I fear the pitfalls of individuals who shouldn't have a wrench in their hands and unconsciously attempt to maintain an aircraft that you can't pull over to the side of the road if you did something wrong.

Richard
Richard

MikeB
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by MikeB »

Well, that's why I suggested training classes. I used to teach and certify classes such as (I know this is off the basic subject but....) air brakes, air conditioning, annual vehicle inspection, engine condition, precision measuring, etc. At the end there would be a written examination and in some cases a hands on performance test. Hopefully this would eliminate those that 'shouldn't have a wrench in their hands'. Let's face it, these old timers aren't exactly brain surgery and you'd think that if someone could get 'certified' to do maintenance and conditions on some of the new light sports (which are more complex than a Champ or J-3) you'd think someone would realize the same could be true for the light certified aircraft. Wouldn't take a whole lot of effort to develope a good course of study. It would be interesting to know what the track record is in Canada.

I know it isn't going to happen in the time I have left to fly but I can dream, can't I? Kind of like breeding elephants: accomplished with a lot of bellowing and screaming and takes years to get results.

Mike

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Paul Agaliotis »

This is just another attempt to sluff off the small aircraft from FAA regulations. The COPA and EAA have wanted to be the regulatory body for these planes. If this is promoting safety great! Let the EAA handle the X's and the AOPA handle the LSA's, but leave the Standard Catagory planes alone.
Didn't look like there was much involvement from the type clubs. The EAA and the AOPA were representing Vintage GA, and I don't believe they are qualified to do that.
I don't believe the maintenance costs are the reason we are losing pilots and owners. It's the $6.00 gal gas, pop-up TFR's and the thousands of dollars to be in compliance with the Nex-Gen ADS-B. And while we're at it take down some of those fences around the airports. Maybe some kid will be able to actually look at a plane. The Fed's regulated us to this point and they are the last people to put your trust in, to fix it. I'm sure there are some good people in the FAA, but you have to look a long time to find them.
Paul
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Richard Murray
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Richard Murray »

Mike,

You are correct classes will go a long way to educate those less knowledgeable, but I took the LSA Maintenance course (over a weekend) and am 'qualified' to sign off certain LSA annual inspections. I learned a bit of new information in the course but I rank that right up there with 'staying at a Holiday Inn last night'... :lol:

Paul,

I always appreciate your ability to dissect the FAA regulations and to offer your insightful interpretation.

Fences and six dollar gas are certainly contributing factors to a declining pilot population. Include multiple generations that have witnessed us conquer space who now find video games and simulators more stimulating than the thrill of flying a light plane, and they can do it anytime of the day or night in any weather as long as the power stays on to the computer. The romance, the passion, that was aviation is gone, never to return. They make a 'heads-up' helmet that enables the operator of an RC aircraft to see via a real time display where the aircraft is flying and what's in front of it for under $3000. 'Ask not for whom the bell tolls', it tolls for General Aviation.

Richard
Richard

MikeB
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by MikeB »

Having had and seen a couple of instances of poor or improper maintenance by certified mechanics I feel a lot better doing the inspection and maintenance myself. In one case the front wheel on my Cherokee was left so loose after an annual it damn need shook the fillings out of my teeth when I landed it. In another (I've posted this before) the 'overhauled engine' had standard rings on a .015 piston even though the log said 'ring gaps checked' and the piston was stamped .015 on top. I can think of another where a spark plug was missed on the torque and blew out after an annual inspection or a old time IA really didn't understand how a Cessna Alternator worked. This is not to knock competent mechanics but as long as my tail is up in the air I'd just as soon know exactly what's going on which is why I now always do the owner assisted annual.

Mike

Paul Agaliotis
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Paul Agaliotis »

Agree 100% Mike,
There are far too many maintenance related problems in vintage aviation. Most times this is the fault of the inspectors, not for their maintenance actions but their regulatory actions.
I have been asked on many occasions, to endorse people for their A/P certificate. I always refuse. Their arguement is that "since I spent 10 years building this plane I am most qualified to inspect it." This may be true but the certificate has no limitations. Once you have it you can work on ALL of it. Because you intimatly know a Champ doesn't make you knowelgeable on Cessnas. But the certificate affords this.
Another group is the low time pilots looking for work. They want the endorsement to get the job, not work on planes, but they end up doing more work than flying. And another under-qualified mechanic enters the system. If you want an A/P certificatego to school and get it. I try to put this into perspective for people, it takes 3 years to get an A/P certificate and 40 hours to get pilolts certificate.
I try to give back as much as I can to aviation, we have far too many takers.
It's pretty easy to see the bell tolls for general aviation. But the same people standind up there with a hand to God offering hope, are the Quasimoto's pulling the Bell Rope.
Off my soap box and back to my corner.
Paul
Mailing Adress : Paul Agaliotis 2060 E. San Martin, San Martin,Calif. 95046

jc pacquin
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by jc pacquin »

Ahhhhh....The good old days! Please google. .....don guy crop duster.....a documentary made in the 70's, filmed in rural Mississippi, about a young pilot, doing what he was told so he could build time, handling liquid nerve gas, spraying his "helper" on each pass with the poison, etc. some very commendable flying however in a 450 Stearman, a truly great airplane. Naaaa, we don't need any regulations, got too many of em!

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Richard Murray
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by Richard Murray »

I Googled the film and having been a licensed aerial applicator in the good old days found it wrought with error. READ THE LABEL...enough said.
Richard

clipperfixer
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Re: Owner Maintenance

Post by clipperfixer »

Just attach an iPad to the control yoke, and put an app on their smart phones to talk to the tower and I bet young folks would flock to aviation!

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