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REFLECTOR: NTSB, FAA on our side



Friends,

The NTSB and FAA are organizations working hard to serve the public.  In
recent years they have made great strides to listen to us and try to
make reforms accordingly.  The extensive meetings the the FAA has been
having with the AOPA and EAA in recent years and the policies resulting
are concrete evidence of this.  As with any large organizations the
filtering down of new policies from the top down to were they begin to
have real effect takes time.

I apologize for "reacting" and causing such a turmoil.  These agencies
are spread too thin so their personnel have to work cases rapidly
requiring any error to favor general public safety.  The FAA's largest
burden is monitoring and regulating commercial maintenance and
operations.  Small planes as ours just complicate their job to keep the
masses safe.  With their work load and responsibilities it is easy to
understand how the "error" favoring general public safety would tend to
cause them to jump to the conclusions that us "non-professionals" have
problems due to pilot error, poor construction or maintenance.

If we don't want the ax to come down hard from above we have to continue
vigilant self monitoring and regulation as a group.  Helping fellow
builders, factory support and interaction with our EAA chapter tech
advisor has been working fine.  Problems arise in our system when
isolated individuals try to work alone.  This is natural because home
builders are very independent people.

I have insight into both sides of the pilot vs. gov problem having been
both a victim of NTSB over reaction as well as best friends with one of
their inspectors.  Early in my flying I was very fortunate to have
received training from and flown co-pilot for Roby J.Green.  He flew for
Pan Am then corporate Lears for a total of over 20,000 hours before
retiring.  Roby earned every certificate that the FAA ever came up with
and always maintained the aircraft he flew.  I remember him telling me
that when the NTSB took him on as an accident inspector in the early
50's all the other inspectors knew nothing about aircraft only trains!

So things are improving and communication is the key......not over
reaction.

Alan Shaw


PS  thanks for the humor Duane.     Airplanes and people are funny.