At the fascinating September meeting, famous aviation mechanic and author Michael Busch asked for our help stopping a potentially devastating new FAA AD: FAA-2012-0002-0027. In Mike’s first of several comments on the FAA site he describes how this AD would incur expenses likely to total more than $100,000,000 on a minor problem the AD won’t solve, and would in fact quite likely result in a sharp increase in fatal accidents. It would also all but ensure bankruptcies leading to a reduction in the competition that helps keep flying safe and affordable.
Mike explained how the AD is based on an informal NTSB report on a fatal crash in the Bahamas attributed to pilot error. Taking off at least 500 pounds over gross in warm weather, the pilot ignored backfiring during the runup. After gear retraction, witnesses reported a shallow climb and smoke trailing from the left engine. ATC reported the smoke to the pilot, who then shut down his good right engine without feathering the prop. Running on the affected engine that was producing 5/6 power or less, the pilot attempted a turn to the airport and extended the gear. The resulting crash killed everyone aboard. Mike pointed out that the NTSB recommendations only suggested retiring the affected cylinders at TBO.
If you’d like to consider joining our group’s response to Mike’s plea for help in preserving your right to fly, please take a moment to post a comment on FAA-2012-0002-0027.
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