Pick and Choose?

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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FastEddieB
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Pick and Choose?

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:55 am

I'm spinning this off from the thread about "How to find the real gross weight..." at the professor's request.

I recall an article from one of the flying magazines. It was 20 or more years ago, so I may have some of the details wrong.

The accident's proximate cause seemed to relate to illegally using a handheld to attempt an instrument approach and coming to grief. But the main gist of the article was the pilot's lackadaisical take on maintenance and aviation in general.

A list of interesting facts was laid out. I recall 2:

1) Every year the mechanic doing annuals would find the sump drains rusted shut. Every year he would advise the owner of the importance of regularly sumping the fuel. And invariably the following year the mechanic would again find the drains rusted shut.

2) I'm pretty sure another was that to get the plane started required shooting starter fluid into the carb, and that it had been that way for a while.

I'm reminded of this by the discussion about gross weight, which veered off from a hypothetical benefit from a stronger structure to the implication that there might be safety benefits to knowing how much your plane could really handle.

I mentioned that I try to be a "By the Book" sort of pilot. This means not picking and choosing which limitations are worth considering, and which regulations can be bent just a little. I do not claim perfection, but I do try my best.

We know accidents rarely have a single cause, but often a chain of events that lead to them. In the recent case of USSYorktown, it was suggested his plane was out of annual. If true, this could point to him picking and choosing which regulations he decided to follow. Could lack of an annual have been a contributing factor in his accident? Maybe, maybe not. But with his messing around with his plane's control cable runs, its not unreasonable to think if he had made a mistake, it could conceivably have been caught during an annual, and failure to do so could have led to an accident. Speculation, to be sure, and we may know more if and when a final report is issued.

I think most of us are aware of Light Sport planes being operated above 1,320 lbs, often with no dire consequences. But the willingness of any pilot to do so shows he or she picks and chooses among limitations they decide they have decided they want to follow, and this can, under the right circumstances, lead to problems.

If I ever read of a Light Sport accident where the plane was over gross, it tells me more than just that the pilot chose to ignore this one limitation on this one particular flight.

I had one other thought on the topic, which I'll address next.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
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FastEddieB
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Re: Pick and Choose?

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:09 pm

My other point was to perhaps explain why I might be sensitive on the topic of exceeding gross weight.

In 1996, a pilot rented my rental Citabria and managed to kill himself and the teenage son of his fiancee. Tragically, it was the day after Christmas and the flight was a Christmas gift for the teenager.

Old timers to this forum are aware of this. If any lurkers or newbies want a link to the accident report, I can provide it.

In summary...

1) The pilot chose to fly the plane well over its maximum gross weight

2) The pilot chose to do low-level aerobatics without approval or a waiver

3) The pilot chose to do low-level aerobatics without the legally required parachutes

4) There may have been a mechanical discrepancy involving a wing attachment point

All links in a fatal chain. Its very possible that no single one, or even more than one, would have had fatal consequences. But a cocktail of all four clearly did.

Anyway, the above is why I don't take overloading a plane, or picking and choosing which regulations a pilot wants to follow, lightly.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
CFI, CFII, CFIME
FastEddieB@mac.com

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drseti
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Re: Pick and Choose?

Postby drseti » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:42 pm

I try not to pick and choose my regulations, Eddie, but do tend to pick and choose my friends. I think it's safe to say that the ones still here to tell the tale are the ones who, like you, are inclined to do things by the book.
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Half Fast
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Re: Pick and Choose?

Postby Half Fast » Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:48 pm

OTOH, Eddie, you can be pretty cavalier about which traffic regulations you choose to obey when on a motorcycle. :mrgreen:

(And yes, I say that as a fellow cohort in crime.)
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FastEddieB
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Re: Pick and Choose?

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:43 pm

Half Fast wrote:OTOH, Eddie, you can be pretty cavalier about which traffic regulations you choose to obey when on a motorcycle. :mrgreen:

(And yes, I say that as a fellow cohort in crime.)



Fake news.
Fast Eddie B.
Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA
CFI, CFII, CFIME
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Half Fast
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Re: Pick and Choose?

Postby Half Fast » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:46 pm

FastEddieB wrote:
Half Fast wrote:OTOH, Eddie, you can be pretty cavalier about which traffic regulations you choose to obey when on a motorcycle. :mrgreen:

(And yes, I say that as a fellow cohort in crime.)



Fake news.



ROTFL!!!
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