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Thread: Phase One Flight Test

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle Boatright View Post
    That stinks.

    What was the (apparent) accident mode? Runway loss of control leading to gear failure? Looks like all 4 prop blades took a hit, so the prop must have been turning.

    Stand by...long answer coming. Don't have time right now.

  2. #22
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFlyGuy View Post
    Question...is there any regulation concerning the overall airworthiness of an EAB aircraft for Phase One? If the subject aircraft has inoperative systems, or installed items that are broken / malfunctioning, is it legal to continue to fly the aircraft without any repairs being made?

    This particular aircraft was inspected, found to be airworthy, and issued a conditional airworthiness certificate.

    At a later date, multiple safety related mechanical problems arose.

    Still legal to fly without repairs made, or illegal?
    It looks like your original question has not been addressed or answered.

    In my opinion....it is legal to fly an aircraft with an experimental airworthiness certificate in any condition. The aircraft doesn't have a type certificate to which it must comply.

    Legal, yes. Prudent, absolutely not.

    Having said that, the FAA could probably interpret several FARs to bring action against the pilot if it could be determined he put people on the ground at risk by flying an aircraft with known and documented safety issues. But this would be action taken against the pilot, not the aircraft.
    Sam Buchanan
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    It looks like your original question has not been addressed or answered.

    In my opinion....it is legal to fly an aircraft with an experimental airworthiness certificate in any condition. The aircraft doesn't have a type certificate to which it must comply.

    Legal, yes. Prudent, absolutely not.

    Having said that, the FAA could probably interpret several FARs to bring action against the pilot if it could be determined he put people on the ground at risk by flying an aircraft with known and documented safety issues. But this would be action taken against the pilot, not the aircraft.

    Two CFR's are in play here, and there is no exemption for EAB aircraft.
    91.213 (a)
    91.13

  4. #24
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFlyGuy View Post
    Two CFR's are in play here, and there is no exemption for EAB aircraft.
    91.213 (a)
    91.13
    FAR 91.213 (a)

    Nope. No instruments required for experimental aircraft operated day VFR. This is per the aircraft operating limitations which are part of the airworthiness certificate package.

    FAR 91.13

    Yep, as I stated above the FAA could bring action against the pilot, but not the aircraft.

    I realize the ambiguity associated with many aspects of the amatuer-built experimental realm are difficult to accept when viewed through the prism of certificated aircraft regulations. But in regards to "safety problems" with this particular experimental aircraft:

    1) The aircraft has a valid experimental airworthiness certificate

    2) It is the pilot's responsibility to determine if the aircraft is in a condition for safe operation.

    Oops....you didn't tell us if the aircraft had a condition inspection in the previous twelve months. If yes, we proceed with this discussion. If not....full stop, the aircraft is not legal for flight.

    3) In regard to components not being safe for flight; what checklist would we use to make the determination if the aircraft is safe for flight? There isn't one because it doesn't have to comply with a type certificate.

    Yes, the experimental realm is sort of like the wild, wild west and is dependent on pilots making good decisions, not an over-arching set of regulations as is found in the certificated universe.

    But....regardless of legality I regret the loss of your beautiful aircraft, hope the pilot was not injured. And whatever I state as opinion has absolutely no importance if the FAA and lawyers are involved.....but you did ask for opinions.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 08-24-2021 at 10:18 AM.
    Sam Buchanan
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  5. #25
    91.213 - Inoperative Instruments and Equipment


    This is the violation. Equipment was broken, not simply inoperative. The equipment that the POH clearly states to use during takeoff and landing. The equipment the POH states to use when making an emergency landing.

    All instruments worked fine. The entire electrical system malfunctioned.

    Sure...if you were the PIC, of course you will argue that even with all of the broken and malfunctioning installed equipment, you thought the aircraft was safe to fly.
    Even a jury of idiots will not buy that. And neither will the FAA attorneys.

    Which brings us right back to 91.13.

  6. #26
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFlyGuy View Post
    91.213 - Inoperative Instruments and Equipment


    This is the violation. Equipment was broken, not simply inoperative. The equipment that the POH clearly states to use during takeoff and landing. The equipment the POH states to use when making an emergency landing.

    All instruments worked fine. The entire electrical system malfunctioned.

    Sure...if you were the PIC, of course you will argue that even with all of the broken and malfunctioning installed equipment, you thought the aircraft was safe to fly.
    Even a jury of idiots will not buy that. And neither will the FAA attorneys.

    Which brings us right back to 91.13.
    No POH is mandated for experimental aircraft. Been flying my RV-6 for 22 years, never had a POH and that is legal. Since a POH is not required I fail to see where a pilot could be bound to a POH even if one had been written for a particular aircraft, it carries no regulatory weight.

    By reading between the lines it appears you want to hold the pilot responsible for flying an unsafe aircraft, my dog is not in that hunt. I'm not taking sides, just discussing the rules that pertain to amateur-built experimental aircraft.

    You asked, I've answered.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 08-24-2021 at 11:51 AM.
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  7. #27

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    I am beginning to 'infer' that there 'could' be an upcoming lawsuit/legal action being pursued against the test pilot in this case? Making commentary about it discoverable down the road in a court proceeding? Everyone has posted their opinion regarding foolishly flying a known unsafe airplane, and no one here is stating a qualified legal opinion, so I really don't know what else the OP is expecting to derive from further discussion?
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by TXFlyGuy View Post
    Two CFR's are in play here, and there is no exemption for EAB aircraft.
    91.213 (a)
    91.13

    2. These operating limitations do not provide any relief from any applicable law or regulation. This aircraft must be operated per applicable regulations and the limitations prescribed herein.

    Please show me where an EAB plane can be operated in total disregard of the above CFR's.

    Court is adjourned. This is my final post on the issue.
    Last edited by TXFlyGuy; 08-24-2021 at 12:39 PM.

  9. #29
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXFlyGuy View Post
    2. These operating limitations do not provide any relief from any applicable law or regulation. This aircraft must be operated per applicable regulations and the limitations prescribed herein.

    Please show me where an EAB plane can be operated in total disregard of the above CFR's.

    Court is adjourned. This is my final post on the issue.
    Well....in that case I suppose there is no point in anyone replying to your query......guess you didn't get the answers you wanted.
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  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    Well....in that case I suppose there is no point in anyone replying to your query......guess you didn't get the answers you wanted.
    Ask a question. Sift through the answers looking for one that agrees with a specific POV. Discount all the others. SOP. ;-)

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