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Old July 11th 03, 04:32 PM
Larry Dighera
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2003 02:05:22 GMT, Sydney Hoeltzli
wrote in Message-Id:

Larry Dighera wrote:
On 10 Jul 2003 15:04:35 -0700, (Snowbird)
wrote in Message-Id:

If you were charged with maintaining aviation safety, as the FAA
is/was, would you rely on a parts tracking system that you didn't

Well, now, here's the heart of the issue. If I were charged
solely with maintaining aviation safety, no. I might not only
want a parts tracking system I controlled, I might want all kinds
of "I'm in Charge" stuff like ballistic parachutes and retrofit
stall warning systems on old taildraggers. Damn the costs!


Now suppose I'm charged with "promoting aviation" as well as
maintaining aviation safety. There's a balancing act here
between safety and affordability.

Unfortunately, cost is always an issue.

(Did the FAA's mission change occur under Reagan or Clinton?)

Once bitten by such a lack of records, an aircraft owner soon learns
to obtain copies of repair records AT THE TIME OF INSTALLATION, and
files them with the aircraft log books. The IA is required by FAA to
document all the parts used.

The parts used were documented in the logs. There were copies
of some repair records
The documentation was incorrect. It reflected the installation
of a part which was not, in fact, installed.

That is one explanation. Another explanation for the discrepancy
between the part numbers in the logs and those you found installed is
that someone did some work subsequent to that in the logs, and failed
to enter it in the logs.

Highly implausible. It was a low-time strong engine and there was
no evidence that someone decided to disassemble 4 jugs and change
the piston pins without logging it, and no plausible motivation
for them to do so. The proposed AD only came out as I was considering
buying the plane.

This additional information seems to support your analysis.

I was raised to believe in Occum's Razor and not think of Zebras
when I hear hoofbeats in the street; you?

I witnessed the scenario to which I alluded above. Prior experience
and a dearth of information prompted my suggestion that there may be
alternate exploitations for the facts you mentioned.

Moreover, when the discrepancy was pointed out to the overhaul
shop, the manager couldn't move fast enough to send me a letter
stating that the part in question was not installed (insert
relevant legal) to relieve me of the AD.

If I understand you correctly, the overhaul manager plead substituting
the pins to avoid the AD? And the implication being, that was
unreasonable due to a conflict in dates between the time of overhaul
and the issuance of the AD? I'm just struggling to _correctly_ infer
your implication.


I stand by my point that the FAA's paperwork trail does nothing
to improve the quality of mechanical work nor to protect the
plane owner from human error.

Only innovative cleaver/creative design can attempt to save us from
human error. I haven't heard that FAA is guilty of that. :-) (NASA
on the other hand,...)

To the extent that the paper trail documents the work and source of
parts, and intimidates the mechanic into honestly doing his best, it
improves and protects. If it did not exist, how could ADs recall
parts? How could the FAA attempt to control/track gype/bogus parts?
I have a suspicion, that there's a very good reason for it. Perhaps
the shoddy results you perceive are a result of inadequate FAA
supervision and enforcement?

To the extent manufacturers exploit it economically, it is a burden.

But, think whatcha like,

You have no idea.... :-)