Re: Inspections/Inspectors

Rick Hole

The DAR I deal with tells us that the FAA has insisted they become more
detailed, especially in documenting the amateur built status. So they
really want photos taken during the construction process showing the builder
actually building (they'll get suspicious if you wear the same shirt on all
the photos) and may ask a few questions about some construction item. The
person who built the plane has no trouble answering.

But mostly they want the paper work done precisely correct. Little things
like having the info on the data plate exactly to match the registration,
and the data plate displayed in the proper place (in olden times you could
stick them anywhere). "Experimental" sticker the right size and placement.
Everything on the panel labeled. Especially the Passenger Warning sticker.

A recent emphasis is to see seats and seatbelts installed for the number of
places in the paperwork. Can't leave out the rear seats for a 4-place or
they will change you to a 2-place pending modification of paperwork.

Basically, if you have the paperwork right, the plane ready to fly, you can
expect things to go well. The DAR is not there to fail your project. You
might want to have a pot of good coffee brewed :-)

I counsel builders not to go right out and fly the plane that same day.
After you have the "birth certificate" go back and do a very thorough
inspection as if you are going to fly the plane (which you are.) and do not
pressure yourself. Wait for the calm down-the-runway breeze and try not to
have an audience that will tempt you to "get it done" too early. The less
observers, the less pressure you will feel.

I like to take video of the runway hops and first flight. You can get a lot
of data from them, and it makes a good keep-sake.



From: Q-LIST@... [mailto:Q-LIST@...] On Behalf Of
Michael Hilderbrand
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 10:55 PM
To: Q-LIST@...
Subject: Re: [Q-LIST] Inspections/Inspectors

My FSDO inspector seemed to look at the following more than anything else:
work (big one), nuts and bolts politically correct - safety pins if
required, controls are rigged correct - stick left:left aileron goes up,
on gauges and airspeeds marked (even though you have yet to fly the thing to

figure those number out!) (They passed my blinking red idiot light on my EIS
my "limit" indicator.), make sure no gas lines go over electrical wires, and

seat belts work properly.

Couple more things: One inspection they wanted me to start the
engine, other inspection (two airplanes) they did not have me start it.

AND I did not have a compass on my panel. I did go to Walmart and buy one
the inspection for my own comfort.

From what I hear, it seems DARs are a little more hardcore about the
inspection, along with being strong-minded in what they want, regardless
the regs say.

Michael Hilderbrand
Derby, Kansas
Sonex #1017 Flying
Jabiru 3300 w/ Aerocarb

From: "JMasal@... <> " <JMasal@...
<> >
To: Q-LIST@... <>
Sent: Thu, December 2, 2010 9:50:11 AM
Subject: Re: [Q-LIST] 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
and Pipers. Approval required detailed drawings sent to FAA engineering and,
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
were and our manufacturing quality control our parts approval was tedious
only a little frustrating. Once upon a time the engineering dept. head died
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
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
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
question his knowlege of the regs, but dont give him attitude or piss him
You can make an end run around him but you wont like the time and
frustration it


-----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
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
worked if I lost electrical power. Again, I asked (politely) for him to
point to the regulations where this is stated. He tried, but could not find
such requirement, but "strongly suggested I have a compass". This
happened over the phone before the inspection.

So I went to Wal-Mart and bought a three dollar compass and stuck it to the
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
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
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
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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