FAA Safety Hotline Reporting

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TXFlyGuy

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Has anyone ever used this feature to report safety concerns on an aircraft...or even an airline?

I am told the FAA lawyers in Washington are like rabid bloodhounds once they get on the trail.

What's your experience?
 

TXFlyGuy

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More specifically, let's say an aircraft has a known defect. The manufacturer is aware, but chooses not to take action.

Or, let us assume there is an operator with FAR violations. Again, the operator does not make any changes to their SOP.

I would think the above would get the attention of the lawyers.
 

TFF

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Certified or not certified?

The FAA only cares about Certified unless wings are falling off. Vans has a unique situation that the FAA has made them issue service bulletins like certified because of numbers, but in the homebuilt world, the builder is the manufacturer no matter what came out of a box or who you payed.

The FAA has made the statement in the past that they can issue ADs to homebuilts. The reason they don’t is they would have to issue singles on each build. They are not going to issue 5000 RV7 ADs. What they will do is pressure a manufacturer to warn owners with the threat of just removing all airworthiness certificates of that company’s products. If they are going to hurt you. They hurt big. Ihave noticed that the threshold for things like ADs is if you are big enough to financially handle that stress. ECI,Cessna,Lear all have some sort of pockets. By the wayside older designs rarely get ADs because there is no company to pressure.

I have not or do I know anyone who has. The stories though, tend to slam the accuser just as much as accused because they want both sides to prove their innocence. I guess too many blame games. Yes if you have footage of someone putting boxes of O2 canisters in the cargo under luggage, they will want to know. Malice? Incompetence? at best you can prove stupidity. If it’s not threatening, it gets pretty hard.

if you step that way, you need to have your lawyer, hopefully aviation law, ready. I know insurance is a pain today. If it was insured, the company will subrogate if they can. If not, you are essentially doing the same with your lawyer.
 

jedi

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Has anyone ever used this feature to report safety concerns on an aircraft...or even an airline [or manucturer] edit?

I am told the FAA lawyers in Washington are like rabid bloodhounds once they get on the trail.

What's your experience?
You mean like Boeing? See edit above.

I have not used the hotline but have seen some slow and limited results when the FAA should have done much better. Two specific old examples I am familiar with and one more recient that I can not get any specific information about.

I have a difficult time picturing any FAA employee as a "rabid bloodhound"! I would picture them more as a Irish Setter type of unfriendly, but well beaten and mistreated, unhappy till your not happy hot dog.
 

TXFlyGuy

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That makes sense. A friend told me about his experience. The lawyers are relentless once they get going.
And it might not be about an aircraft or manufacturer. It could be about operational violations of FAR’s.
Stuff that falls under the responsibility of being “Pilot In Command”.
 

Pops

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From what I have seen, the person complaining better be more than squeaky clean in all areas. Saw a FBO complain and consequently shut down for a month from the fishing by the FAA.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Yes, they can and will go on a fishing expedition.

That is why if there are any gray areas, it's best to be upfront and honest about it.
 

Vigilant1

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It's a small world. If I reported an FBO (or an A&P, test pilot, etc) to the FAA, I would expect it might be tough to find another FBO, A&P, test pilot etc who would want to provide services to me.
 

TXFlyGuy

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It's a small world. If I reported an FBO (or an A&P, test pilot, etc) to the FAA, I would expect it might be tough to find another FBO, A&P, test pilot etc who would want to provide services to me.
Correct. That is why you ensure that whoever you work with is clean, and above board. You also keep them in the loop, and seek their advice.

Like I was told, if everyone is honest, no one gets hurt. Well...maybe not quite.
 

TXFlyGuy

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Let's be serious...Ok?

Or perhaps that was joke?

I am not talking about an aircraft specifically.

What is your experience?
 

TXFlyGuy

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Not a joke; you seemed to be talking about a specific aircraft and a specific pilot and a specific event with an undesirable outcome.


BJC
Need a little help here...where did I mention a specific aircraft, a specific pilot, or a specific event?

This is pure conjecture and speculation on your part. And that's no joke.
 

BJC

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Need a little help here...where did I mention a specific aircraft, a specific pilot, or a specific event?

This is pure conjecture and speculation on your part. And that's no joke.
I didn't say that you did, but there is this:
This is purely hypothetical...
there is no story.
Flight control system - Flaps Inoperative
Flaps inop, broken flap drive. Will not remain in the down position.
But this appears to have occurred during the test phase, so in this case I would ground the plane until repairs could be made.
That is the response I was looking for.
If the hypothetical test pilot decided to take an airplane airborne with known multiple systems either inop, or seriously degraded in performance, it could fall under FAR 91.13 -
For the sake of discussion, lets just say this is a high performance aircraft. Wing loading similar to a Beech Bonanza.
Lets just say the flaps would travel down, but air loads would blow them back up to the retracted position.
Purely hypothetical discussion, of course.
For example...lets assume the engine quits on your plane.
Let me throw this into the discussion -

1. Flap drive broken. Flaps inop, and can move independent of each other, will not lock down at any setting.

2. Electrical problem. Amps spiking to 49+, after installing engine test equipment.

3. Engine cuts out. A wire in the E&E compartment seems to be shorting.

As a hired test pilot
In addition, the owner is 1200 miles away,
The tension spring in the prop governor is too tight, so the propeller will not go to course pitch unless above 2300 rpm. So if the engine fails, the prop is flat pitch and becomes a massive air brake.
Yes, the PIC (test pilot) has been fired
It's fixable, and we are proceeding to do that now. When completed, the plane will be trucked to Texas for the continuation of Phase One.
That doesn't look hypothetical to me.
My aircraft was completely wired by a first class avionics shop, in Dallas Texas. That is not the problem.
Sorry for your problems, Tex, but drop the charade.


BJC
 

TXFlyGuy

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Again, conjecture / speculation on your part. Nowhere is this found in this thread.

Tell us your story about the FAA hotline. If you have no story, then silence is the best response.
 
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