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I realize your bone was with NTSB but I think most of us lump them with the
FAA in the attitude department.
Something I never thought I would do, was to defend the FAA but May 15 I was
PIC on a IFR flight to Palm Beach and was involved in an "occurrence" (Ed
Morales  the FAA  inspectors words ). At Jacksonville I saw the owner , a
rated pilot  "dipsticking" the fuel tanks on his  1975 C182 and ASSUMED he
put the fuel caps on properly (he was co pilot due to IMC and a VFR rating).
Just after  we were descended to 5000 feet and out of the soup we noticed a
fuel gauge reading half full and the other fuel  gauge reading empty.The
wings felt balanced we had a half a tank and only 30  minutes to PBI so I
decided to continue. Eight or ten miles south of Stuart the engine got quiet
, I declared an E word and was given vectors to Stuart. The headwinds would
not permit that long a glide so I opted for an industrial park 2 miles short
of the airport. I had to fly around a tall light pole at a ball field and
over some power lines in which I could make out the individual strands
in.The plane got cocked on  touchdown (right gear hit an embankment
first)and was heading for a pond but still had rudder authority  so I kicked
it around and put it on the empty road I had been aiming for.
The lieutenant from the sheriffs dept ignored the fact it was the airport
manager turf and insisted the plane could not be flown out until the FAA or
the NTSB released it.
Ed Morales had to drive up from Miami. He talked with his bosses on the way
up who told him it absolutely could not be flown out even though we had 1550
feet of straight road and 2000 more feet to a 50 foot object. Ed apparently
disagreed with his bosses but respected their authority. Anyhow the airplane
was tugged 2 miles down various roads including A!A to the airport and
inspected next morning  and we continued to the Bahamas.
Ed inspected the plane called it an "occurrence"  observed where we had duct
taped the tailcone I cracked during landing and said " ah just cosmetic". He
noted the crack in the landing gear fairing and said  " Hmm that could have
been where someone's foot slipped off the step and and caused that ding".
The man was very courteous and when I got my "letter " he just said  "you
stated during the investigation that the cap came off during flight due to
it not being fully secure. This is a violation of  FARs.  We have concluded
that the matter does not warrant legal enforcement action.  This letter will
remain in your record for 2 years and then be expunged."

It could have been a lot worse for me  but Mr. Morales was reasonable -not
what I expected from the FAA.

Needless to say I don't trust any one to put on fuel caps check oil etc. on
any plane I get in even as a rear seat passenger.

Now if Cessna would just put check valves from each tank feeding the fuel
selector so one loose cap couldn't suck both tanks dry and something to keep
the bladder from sucking closed and picking up the fuel gauge float arm to
indicate a half tank  I might forgive them.

Wayne Owens

----- Original Message -----
From: Alan Shaw <wingco@iu.net>
To: <reflector@awpi.com>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 1999 5:11 PM
Subject: REFLECTOR: NTSB insult

> Friends,
> Note how the NSTB conveniently eliminated the word PRESSURE after the word
> from Donald's radio transmission.
> This is typical of the treatment that I received from the NSTB.
> It's a mind set they have about all of us "non-professionals" .
> Beware.  The fact is since he was solo, not a flight for hire, not a
> certified aircraft and not over highly populated areas they don't even
> jurisdiction.  He doesn't have to let them see his airplane or tell them
> anything.   But it is all over now.  It's insulting.  It is just easier to
> along, play there game and hope they don't find some technicality for
> suspension of a good conscientious pilots ticket.
> Alan