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The Bits and Pieces of Bits and Pieces

by Ian Brown, Editor, EAA 657159

November 2015 - There are the odds and ends, the bits and pieces that don’t exactly make an article but are worth mentioning. They go into this editorial, which explains why it may look a bit disconnected sometimes. That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

It’s not clear how seriously the lawsuit by lawyers for the widow and mother of an RV-10 pilot and his two children will be taken, but Van’s Aircraft is under attack. In a recent lawsuit, Van’s Aircraft is accused of “negligently and recklessly mass producing aircraft…while avoiding the certification process intended to ensure that aircraft meet minimum safety standards.”

Having recently struggled to get adequate information about products sold by several companies during the installation of a heated pitot, I can sympathize somewhat with a claim that companies could do more to support their products, but surely Van’s is the gold standard by which others are judged.

The lawsuit is liberally peppered with all sorts of outrageous accusations of negligence and recklessness. If the FAA and aviation authorities all around the world agree that building your own plane is a safe recreational and educational activity, how can the companies providing the means to do this be accused of “negligently and recklessly mass producing aircraft”? It is because they’re successful and have a relatively good safety record that they are able to claim thousands of aircraft on the books.

Let’s all hope that the Van’s Aircraft lawsuit goes where it belongs—in the trash can. No disrespect to the widow, but her lawyer is doing no good. The accident in question was caused by a faulty installation technique and lack of adequate fuel flow testing.

Mooney Aircraft has announced a “certified preowned” aircraft offering, just like car dealers have been doing. They provide an inspection, which is hopefully a guarantee against buying a lemon. If you want to buy a certified aircraft in the United States, maybe this is the way of the future.

Congrats to Chapter 245 - Ottawa on a successful “nonfly-in” on June 21 this year. They were defeated by the weather but managed to make a very successful event of it anyway, with 212 meals served and net revenues of $650, despite having no aircraft actually flying in.

Like many, I’m a big fan of Mike Busch. He’s so darned logical in his approach to aircraft maintenance. I just loved his recent analysis of the FAA aircraft maintenance engineer’s A&P exam, which you will find here. He makes the excellent point that A&P candidates don’t learn the right thing to do, they learn to ace the exam by rehearsing the officially correct responses, right or wrong. Mike makes the point that in some cases the official answer is actually the worst answer.

Recurrency training? Are you current? It’s not a bad idea to do the Transport Canada recurrency quiz, whether you are or are not current by other means. We used to have to make sure that we kept our Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) updates current as soon as they arrived in the mail…and read them! With the AIM available online at no charge, it’s possible that we’re less likely to read the updates than when they arrived in the post every once in a while. You can download the latest Aeronautical Information Manual here and the Aviation Safety Letter that includes the quiz here. Try it—you’re bound to learn something new. I did.

Thank you to all our contributors this month. We can always use more since we rarely have articles in the funnel for upcoming months. Don’t forget to check out upcoming webinars and builders tips on EAA’s main website—www.EAA.org.

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