Re: Inspections/Inspectors


Now here's the scary part: FAA inspectors are HUMAN (they all have different axes to grind) and they are Gummint employees (some wear Jackboots if you get my drift). I once worked for a company that made approved plastic parts for Cessnas and Pipers. Approval required detailed drawings sent to FAA engineering and, if blessed, followed by an on site inspection to see that the production part matched the drawing and it fit on the aircraft make and model. We made many different parts and sold thousands.
Due to a loooong history with a couple engineers and inspectors who knew who we were and our manufacturing quality control our parts approval was tedious but only a little frustrating. Once upon a time the engineering dept. head died and a woman engineer (equal opportunity program)
was brought in from back east. Suddenly the game changed.
There is a small exit hole for rudder cables on the aft fuselage side of SE Cessnas. It is covered by a bulged out small plastic triangle to keep out the rain. We made it identical to Cessna's and in 7 months I hadn't gotten it approved before I left. I ain't speculating why, but you can.

The SW Region FAA became a pain in the ass to get PMA approvals while up around the Indiana area (I guess Great Lakes FAA) our manufacturing friends were getting far more complex parts approved with far less fussiness.

So... if an inspector asks for some easy something, be polite, as Paul sez... even POLITELY
question his knowlege of the regs, but dont give him attitude or piss him off. You can make an end run around him but you wont like the time and frustration it takes.


-----Original Message-----
From: Fisher Paul A. <fisherpaula@...>
To: Q-LIST <Q-LIST@...>
Sent: Thu, Dec 2, 2010 7:01 am
Subject: RE: [Q-LIST] N240JS Inspection

(sorry Sam - one more data point)
On my last inspection (15 months ago) the FAA inspector (yes, FAA from the local FSDO) insisted that I have a compass. I asked for an explanation because I had a Dynon with the remote compass and he said I needed a direction indicator that worked if I lost electrical power. Again, I asked (politely) for him to please point to the regulations where this is stated. He tried, but could not find any such requirement, but "strongly suggested I have a compass". This conversation happened over the phone before the inspection.

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought a three dollar compass and stuck it to the dash with double sided tape. Problem solved. During the inspection he noticed that I did indeed have a compass and he let it go. I have no idea how accurate the compass is, I have never looked at it, nor do I intend to. That's not the point. The inspector wanted one, so I put it in.

So as Sam said - just buy a cheap compass, put a correction card on it and move on to the important stuff.

Good Luck Joseph, please keep us informed!

- Paul

-----Original Message-----
From: Q-LIST@... [mailto:Q-LIST@...] On Behalf Of Sam Hoskins
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 06:08
Subject: Re: [Q-LIST] N240JS Inspection

Joseph, don't worry about it too much. Just get a compass card and stick it
on your panel. Write some numbers on it.

No worries.

When I had my inspection, the FAA examiner (yes, FAA) noted my compass card
with no numbers on it, and signed off the inspection.

Don't worry about it and let's not spend another 100 e-mails auguring the

Sam Hoskins

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