D.C. Notes

April 1, 1999

D.C. Notes

By Stan Mackiewicz

April 1999

Stan Mackiewicz is the president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). An element of the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) is studying ways for the FAA to revise future Airworthiness Directives (AD) to include all the necessary information to perform the inspection. ADs often cite manufacturer's Service Bulletins (SB) in the body of the AD. This makes the SB a legal document and raises the question about the legal status of the AD if the manufacturer revises the SB. It is a double-edged sword. For example, Hartzell eliminated recurrent mandatory inspection intervals (77-12-06) in 1992 for some of their propellers, significantly reducing costs to aircraft owners. Sometimes it can go the other way.

Set To Announce Goglia Support
PAMA is preparing to announce support for a second term for John Goglia as a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) member. This is the highest post in the government aviation community held by an Aviation Maintenance Technician. Goglia brings a high measure of technical ability to the NTSB in evaluating underlying causes of aircraft accidents. Often outspoken, Goglia has rankled some members of the established commercial aviation community.

FAA Budget Cuts
Garvey has announced severe budget cuts across the agency. In addition to a hiring freeze, no new non-safety activity contracts can be awarded, no new facilities nor space leased, and all non-operational and non-training travel is prohibited. Such severe cuts are attributed for the most part to negotiated pay raises given to air traffic controllers that must be funded out of this year's budget and the inability of the FAA to implement user fees. Prohibitions are effective until further notice. These cost-reducing programs will cut into Airworthiness Safety Inspectors ability to surveil the industry and other safety related programs.

Father of Aviation Maintenance
A Charles Taylor Memorial is being discussed with top Smithsonian officials. The memorial would be located at the National Air and Space Museum Dulles Center, a $130 M facility being constructed on 176 acres near Dulles airport outside Washington, DC. The site is scheduled to open in 2003, in time to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight. The memorial is envisioned to be a part of a permanent display commemorating the aviation maintenance industry and would be co-located with approximately 180 aircraft and 100 space artifacts. Restoration activities will move from the Garber Facility in Maryland to the Virginia site. Fund raising plans are being formulated with PAMA and the Professional Aviation Maintenance Foundation key players. Additional recognition of Charles Taylor's contribution to the aviation maintenance industry is being discussed for Kitty Hawk and Dayton, OH celebrations and exhibits.

Repair Station Panel Proposed
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), has introduced S-82, a bill to establish an Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Advisory Panel to review issues relating to use and oversight of aircraft and aviation component repair and maintenance facilities located within or outside of the U.S. The 10 member appointed panel does not include General Aviation. The proposed panel contains three union representatives, one cargo air carrier, one passenger air carrier, one aircraft and component repair station member, one aircraft manufacturer and one other aviation industry representative plus two government representatives. The legislation requires foreign repair stations to submit data, looks into drug and alcohol testing and requires specific information on work done on U.S.-registered aircraft. This bill does not contain some of the provisions of HR 145, which died in last year's Congress. Evidently, some people in Congress do not know that Repair Stations also maintain and inspect general aviation aircraft.

Data Collection
The FAA is set to propose that A&Ps with Inspection Authorizations collect data on aircraft usage. The FAA Administrators emphasis on the Air Transportation Oversight System (ATOS) creates a need for more exact data on General Aviation activity. Current methods do not give as accurate a picture as possible. The proposal would ask, (or maybe require), inspectors to fill out a card that showed the usage of the aircraft over the year, what equipment is installed, and other data. The FAA is concerned about the sensitive nature of the data and possible resistance from owners and operators who may not want the inspection status of their aircraft brought to light.