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FAA for the win!

If you haven’t already done so, you should subscribe to a few of the many different newsletters that the FAA posts monthly. The information is all free and you can rest easy knowing the folks at the FAA are sending you good data. Here is a recent note that I though would be great to share.

 Special Safety Tip
Notice Number: NOTC3434

Here we have an excellent example of an accident that did not happen!

While an alert IA (or mechanic) discovered the discrepancy, it appears   multiple mechanics and IAs missed “seeing” the incorrect installation.  Initially, someone made the incorrect installation, and an Inspector missed it! This example can serve as a reminder that mechanics and Inspectors need to be diligent in performing their work.

As pilots and owners, we need to encourage mechanics not to shortcut any inspections! Our very lives may depend upon it!

You can review this December Maintenance Alert here: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2012/Jan/2011_12_Alert_BonanzaCableCutterbrief.pdf

You can see pictures here: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2012/Jan/V35A_Pictures.pdf

While the Editor’s comment in the GA Alert seems to praise the IA who discovered this one, the photos clearly demonstrate a failure to have the cable installed properly in the first place. It is possible there were many repeated inspections on this V35A over a number of years without anyone noticing the slow sawing action through the primary control tube. (Investigation revealed this particular airplane did not fly very often.)

We need to ask ourselves what we are relying on as the basis for the GA Quality Assurance program, as it relates to qualifications, training, recurrency, following directions, and performing proper inspections.
This is a systemic challenge for maintenance facilities and individual mechanics alike.

If you are aware of other examples we can share, please forward the details to Airmen@FAASafety.gov; we would be especially interested in any photographs you may have.