A recent Aviation Maintenance Alerts published by the FAA highlights a problem that should never, ever come up in aerospace: a design that allows mechanics to install something opposite the way intended. In this case, according to AC 43-16A No. 407, mechanics installed the elevators on a Piaggio P.180 Avanti upside down. After doing so, the mechanics were even able to rig the elevators according to the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) instructions. Although installed upside down, the twin-turboprop was able to fly, and it did. According to the FAA’s Alerts, “During flight, this reversed elevator installation greatly influenced elevator trim authority—additionally causing the airplane yoke to be in a noticeably different longitudinal position.” The Alerts goes on to note that Piaggio has added a note to the AMM, warning mechanics about this potential problem. The FAA added, “A very simple way to ensure the correct elevator is installed on the proper side is to verify the location of the static wicks—they must be on the upper surface of the elevator.”
AIN’s editors offer their opinions, observations and thoughts on everything aviation.
The eagerly awaited proposed changes to the FAA’s Part 145 rules that govern repair stations domestically and abroad are finally out. Talk about years in the making! Twenty-three years if we go back to the first public hearings in 1989, a mere 13 from the 1999 issuance of the original NPRM that first proposed many of these same requirements.
Recently, my wife and I attended a college-planning event at our son’s high school. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that Andre was 5 and we were taking notes at an orientation session for parents of new kindergarteners, but here we are. He’s 17 now and, with a little luck and a lot of our money, he’ll be heading off to college next year.
Saturday was a nice day in Chicago. The temperature and humidity belied what should normally have been the front end of the hot, Midwest summer season. It was simply beautiful and BC, my two-year-old Harley Fat Boy, was projecting a subconscious message to me, “Let’s go ride, writer-boy.”
Like most professionals of advancing years, I get fairly inundated with offers of newsletters from financial advisors and stock pickers. One of them is Stephen Leeb’s The Cash Cow.
Florida congressman John Mica is still tilting at the Transportation Security Administration’s windmills, but time may be fleeting.
My relationship with rock and roll—which began when I was in grade school and watching American Bandstand in the 1950s—deepened in the next decade as the music and I hit our teenage years. I started collecting records, attending lots of concerts and eventually writing about popular music for magazines and newspapers. I loved the sounds of rock and—being a typically rebellious teenager—I also loved the attitude.
Quick, what was New York City’s first municipal airport? If you answered Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, give yourself a pat on the back as not many people would know that. Fewer still appreciate the patina that the former airport, located at the southernmost tip of Flatbush Avenue, has accumulated over the past 80 years. As a teen I lived less than a mile from the site, and I scarcely knew anything about it.
“Tranquility Base here, the Enterprise has landed.”
While it might not have been as dramatic as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touching down on the moon, for New York City, April 27 was known as the day the city got a space shuttle.
The first scheduled commercial airline service was operated on Jan. 1, 1914, with a flight between St. Petersburg and Tampa, Fla., in a Benoist biplane flying boat.
That’s what Wikipedia would have us believe. And the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum agrees. There’s even a plaque marking the event in St. Petersburg.
- AIN Blog: The FAA Is Out of Control
- AIN Blog: 1940 Air Terminal Museum: A Trip to the Past at Houston Hobby
- AIN Blog: Why You Might Not Need Business Jet Traveler's 2014 Buyers' Guide (and Why You Probably Do)
- AIN Blog: 9 Great Songs about Travel
- AIN Blog: Torqued: Malaysia Air Flight 370 Shows Refresher Needed in ICAO Protocols