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Thread: Exp exhibition/racing conditional insp question...........

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2022
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    2

    Exp exhibition/racing conditional insp question...........

    I'm having a conditional inspection done and a question has come up that we are contemplating.
    The ops limitations say the inspection is to be done per ac 43 appendix d.
    This document says to inspect seatbelts for condition and security.

    The MM for the European built ship calls for replacing the belts every 10 years.
    There are no entries in the logbook for the belts ever being changed on this 15 year old ship.
    The ops limitations document does not say the ship will be maintained per the AMM.

    So... do the seat belts, which look like new, have to be changed?

    The tow hook has the same issue and questionable action requirement.

    Can anybody shed some light and provide direction to written guidance concerning these issues?

    Thanks, new member, JustJoe
    Last edited by JustJoe; 03-05-2022 at 06:33 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Tehachapi, CA
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    I'm having a conditional inspection done...
    No, you're having a "Condition Inspection" done. There's no such thing as a "conditional inspection" - the inspection is not "conditional" on anything - it's checking the "condition" of the aircraft.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    The MM for the European built ship calls for replacing the belts every 10 years. There are no entries in the logbook for the belts ever being changed on this 15 year old ship. The ops limitations document does not say the ship will be maintained per the AMM.
    And that's the rule in the US - whatever the OL's say. If they say "per 14 CFR Part 43 Appendix D" (as almost all OL's do), then 43 (A) rules - not the AMM.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    So... do the seat belts, which look like new, have to be changed?
    When I do CI's on Experimental aircraft, I note that the MFG's of seatbelts generally recommend replacement or refurbishment at 10 years. Most seat belts, on planes that are stored in hangars, will be in pretty good shape after 10 years. So _I_ do not require seatbelt replacement at 10 years - I recommend replacement on-condition. If there's any deterioration of the stitching or if the belt material is getting stiff, I'll recommend replacement, and require it before the next CI. But unless the belt is obviously torn or damaged, I won't refuse to sign the CI.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    The tow hook has the same issue and questionable action requirement.
    The A&P in an Experimental Aircraft CI has extreme latitude in deciding what's "In a Condition for Safe Operation" or not. They should use the AMM (if there is one) and 43 (A) as reference for making decisions on what's safe, but unless the OL's specifically require it, you don't have to do it merely because it's in some MM.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJoe View Post
    Can anybody shed some light and provide direction to written guidance concerning these issues?
    I don't think you're going to find anything in writing about these specific issues - the A&P is left with the judgement call on just about everything on an Experimental Aircraft.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,316
    If I may offer some insight on seat belts - I think that almost all seat belt owners never wash them. They accumulate dirt sweat etc which make them stiff. As a parachute rigger I find that simply washing in warm water and dish soap restores most webbing to like new condition. Fraying, excessive fading, missing TSO tags are indications that a belt is not airworthy. I will suggest that mere stiffness is "repairable".

    And then there was the time that a bag of urine burst in flight and soaked a parachute. A call to the manufacturer confirmed that a wash in warm water and mild soap, followed by air dry, was all that was needed to return the parachute to service.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    FAA Senior Parachute Rigger

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2022
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for your input Marc and Wes.

    Joe

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