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skydived19006

Have you ever asked to see aircraft maint loggs?

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I will admit that before I owned the DZ, I had never looked through anyone else's maintenance logs primarily because I trusted the DZO.

But my point is that fun jumpers wouldn't give a care about a USPA inspection result. If the DZ was "dangerous" they would have already known. The instructional staff will know if they're cutting corners in student instruction.

Everyone eventually will figure out that the airplane is dangerous, when pilots refuse to fly it, A&Ps walk away because the DZO refuses to fix things. The duct tape will no longer hold it's own weight (Fandango). Etc.

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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No, I have never asked because I wouldn't know what I was looking at.



And I dont think most of us would. Currently, Faith is all we have to go on. I think it would be great to have independent knowledgeable 3rd party verification that the minimum safety and maintenance standards have been met. Then we at least have a chance of making an informed decision. It would do me no good at all to look at a Maintenance Log. I would not know what I am looking at.

Right now, We have no chance. Trust is all we have. I trust My DZO (And Plane owner.. Two separate people) too but knowing the standards have been met would be nice.

And yes, even if the report said that Bucket of bolts will fall out of the sky tomorrow, many Jumpers would still get in.

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Most people would not know what they were looking for anyway.




I'm not convinced that it even matters! I think that it shows a DZO's willingness to open up and show fourth their maint logs is in many cases, a good sign in the first place. Granted, I'm no A&P, but I can certainly look at the last date an A&P looked at the aircraft. If I asked to see them, and the DZO acted hesitant, then I would wonder... I think it's a sign of trust.
=========Shaun ==========


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As long as I wasn't overly busy at the time, I'd love to show people the log books, and even take the time to help them understand what they're looking at. Right now (annual inspection) we’re replacing all the control cables, and pulleys (read expensive and entirely optional parts/labor!) in my 182 simply because it’s 45 years old, and has over 10,000 hours on it. I really doubt that many of the fun jumpers would be really excited to know this, and have a “really, that’s ferak’n cool!” reaction.

Again, I have a few A&Ps, and more than a few pilots on my instructor rotation, and as fun jumpers. A&Ps know log books, and pilots should, but they also know the A&Ps who work on the airplane, one of which is also flys for me. More than they trust me, they trust that Jeff (pilot, A&P, IA) would walk away in a heartbeat if he weren’t satisfied with the safety of my airplane!

Same holds true with every aspect of the DZ, if you jump "there" on any kind of regular basis you have no idea what you're getting into. In that case I guess you're back to hoping to get above 1000' in a stable airplane, with a competent pilot behind the yoke.

Martin
Experience is what you get when you thought you were going to get something else.

AC DZ

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Since there were two maintenance related jumpship crashes last year in US we know they are out there. I don't know whether the signs were there for the average jumper to see or not.
I have been around the sport quite a while and probably know more about aircraft maintenance than most non pilot jumpers. That said if I were to peruse the maintenance logs of a 182 I would be unlikely to catch anything but the grossest of violations without a several hour study.
The only way for most jumpers to make an informed judgement on an aircraft is to get in it several times. If it is a POS you will notice over time.
The real point about a USPA inspection program is that the inspectors would, I suspect, legally be on the hook to report any wrongdoing to the FAA. If they didn't and the plane went in you know the lawsuit would include both USPA and the inspector. Criminal charges may also be in order.

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In the end it's the pilot in command who officially checks the maintenance log prior the flight and who is responsible for operating an aircraft which is properly maintained. His butt will be on the line if anything happens to anyone on the plane or to someone on the ground while operating an "unsafe" aircraft..

So basically it's " No, because I trust my Pilot"

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In the end it's the pilot in command who officially checks the maintenance log prior the flight and who is responsible for operating an aircraft which is properly maintained. His butt will be on the line if anything happens to anyone on the plane or to someone on the ground while operating an "unsafe" aircraft..

So basically it's " No, because I trust my Pilot"


i have jumped out of many more planes that I had my doubts about the pilot than about the plane. The only one I have ever declined to board (actually declined to board with students is more accurate) crashed a week later while I was in the other plane with a load of students flown by my pissed off DZO.

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Yeah, I asked once, and was told that the airplanes are well maintained, and it just wouldn't be possible to round up all the logs, and I wouldn't understand what they meant unless the mechanics walked me through them, and they didn't have time for that. I also asked several of the pilots if they had looked through the maintenance logs recently, and those that were mechanics said they had, those that were not said they hadn't but that they all trusted the mechanics who managed the maintenance.

I also asked to see the insurance paperwork to learn what pilot limitations and training requirements we had, but was told the airplanes were uninsured so there was no paperwork to look at. I'm not sure if I believed that we were uninsured, or if the insurance actually mandated pilot training that we didn't provide.

At another point I asked several of the pilots if I could see a weight and balance calculation for the aircraft at takeoff and at exit with a group floating, and take off performance charts at max jumper load on a hot day. I was told no, because "you really don't want to know about that." The pilots said that all jump planes are operated out of weight and balance at some point, and it would just be better if I didn't know anything about those issue. This request followed a stall on jumprun, so it was pretty apparent that the Otters were being operated outside of their limits, at least on jumprun, and possibly at other times. It was also pretty apparent that take off performance for at least one of the Otters was suspect.

This was all at a multiple Otter DZ when I was S&TA. There wasn't much I could do about it. It is worth noting that I am no longer S&TA, and now fully support FAA inspections and intervention on behalf of jumper safety.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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I know a DZO that at one point only had ground insurance on his plane. He said the costs of covering it while in the air were so high it wasn't worth it.
Stupidity if left untreated is self-correcting
If ya can't be good, look good, if that fails, make 'em laugh.

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Logbooks are just pieces of paper.

You will learn far more by looking over the airplane.
For example, if you look under a piston engine before the first flight of the day, a small puddle of clean oil is a good sign.
Dirty oil means that it has not been changed recently.
Dirt anywhere on an airplane is a bad sign. Dirt means that it has not been inspected recently.

Inaccurate instruments are another sign of poor maintenance. For example, if an artificial horizon is installed, it should read accurately. If it is not accurate, it should be removed, because it will only confuse a pilot on a hazy day.

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The pilots said that all jump planes are operated out of weight and balance at some point ...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Bad idea!

That pilot was too young to understand aircraft design concepts.
Sure, you can get away with over-loading a new airplane, but only an idiot pilot would over-load an airplane older than themselves.
Sure engineers design margins-of-error into new airplanes, but some of that margin-of-error disappears during the first hard landing, because that first hard landing may have made a microscopic crack.
Every time you operate that airplane outside of its placarded limits, that crack grows a tiny amount.
It is called metal fatigue.

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The pilots said that all jump planes are operated out of weight and balance at some point ...

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Bad idea!

That pilot was too young to understand aircraft design concepts.
Sure, you can get away with over-loading a new airplane, but only an idiot pilot would over-load an airplane older than themselves.



My sense was that on jumprun with floaters the airplane was out of balance. I wondered by how much, and if limiting the number of floaters or stationing additional jumpers forward would make a difference. I never got an answer.

We had both conventional Otters and Super Otters on the line. I had a sense that with a full load on a hot day the regular Otters were probably outside the limits for takeoff on our short (2,800')runway, but that the Super's were probably fine. That's what it looked like to me watching the aircraft take off, but I wanted technical specs to be sure, and to use as limitations. I never got that data.

As for your other post about checking general condition, and instruments of the aircraft, that's also a point of concern, and what originally made me suspicious of the paperwork. The panel was a mess, and we regularly flew with half a dozen heavily frayed seatbelts, but didn't have replacement parts (for a whole season). Those issues drove me to question the weight and balance, take off data, and insurance information. It probably shouldn't have surprised me to get non-answers to my questions.
Tom Buchanan
Instructor Emeritus
Comm Pilot MSEL,G
Author: JUMP! Skydiving Made Fun and Easy

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Agreed!

Seatbelts?
Didn't Cessna publish a 15 or 20 year life on seatbelts?
How many of us trust parachute harnesses (made of the same type of nylon) that have been in service for 20 years?

Seatbelts, paint and instruments are always the last thing to get fixed, which makes them "quick and dirty" ways to measure the seriousness of a maintenance program.

It is also a way to measure how the DZO values his airplanes. Wise DZOs like Farrington and Flanagan see their airplanes as their retirement, ergo they "over-maintain" by overspending on paint, instruments, etc. Ergo, they don't have to worry about their airplanes corroding.

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Our DZO keeps "hours untill next inspection" on a whiteboard handy for most to see. At least he used to. And most regular jumpers knew when the plane was gone for inspection.

What I can't remember right now is if it is in a staff only area, of which there are few. Only one really.. the rigging loft, and customers will go in there all the time to talk to the rigger, inspect gear etc.

--------------------------------------------------
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ~ Thomas Jefferson

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Yeah, I asked once, and was told that the airplanes are well maintained, and it just wouldn't be possible to round up all the logs, and I wouldn't understand what they meant unless the mechanics walked me through them, and they didn't have time for that. ...



I'm guessing their response to an FAA inspector would have been different ...

Bob

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But my point is that fun jumpers wouldn't give a care about a USPA inspection result. If the DZ was "dangerous" they would have already known.



I think everyone missed your point when they started debating records.

If the USPA's inspection was "pass/fail" on 20 or so items, jumpers could understand, and DZOs would be motivated to earn passing ratings.

Second - I disagree about jumpers knowing about dangers. We as jumpers and instructors can do everything possible to be safe and provide quality instructional work to our students. However, corners cut in a rigging loft or A&P's workbench are not exposed. I have watched the "fuel guy" (meaning no cert) strip down the engine of an otter and fix it at a boogie, and this otter came from a well known DZ with many otters. When the DZO, who rented the plane, asked me to not watch from a distance what was going on, I knew exactly why we were caution taped away from the crime scene... I talked with the visiting pilot, he told me that the guy was not an A&P, that they did not know why the engine would not go to full speed, but just taking it apart and putting it back together fixed it...

I left, that DZ is no longer in business, but the aircraft still flies...

I trust my home DZ. I have seen them do some real expensive upgrades to the aircraft that go beyond the "bare minimum". But when I travel, I have no way to know...

Hence, I think the USPA could do some good with an inspection program, just like AAA rates hotels for lack of bugs in the beds...

Of course, you will just inspire the cheats to cheat the system better... But to cheat a system, typically it takes work, and people find out when certain things "disappear" on certain days, etc.... So nothing is fool proof, but it could help.

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Second - I disagree about jumpers knowing about dangers. We as jumpers and instructors can do everything possible to be safe and provide quality instructional work to our students. However, corners cut in a rigging loft or A&P's workbench are not exposed. I have watched the "fuel guy" (meaning no cert) strip down the engine of an otter and fix it at a boogie, and this otter came from a well known DZ with many otters. When the DZO, who rented the plane, asked me to not watch from a distance what was going on, I knew exactly why we were caution taped away from the crime scene... I talked with the visiting pilot, he told me that the guy was not an A&P, that they did not know why the engine would not go to full speed, but just taking it apart and putting it back together fixed it...



How would a USPA inspection program have prevented that particular type of situation? There is already a system in place to deal with this type of problem. Why didn't you call the FAA?

;)

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The logbooks for an aircraft are worth their weight in gold. If you don't believe that, go find someone who has had to go through the process of recreating logs for an airplane because they were lost or destroyed.
If its my airplane, the only ones who are going to be handling those logbooks are the mechanics who make entries after work is done, or the FAA or NTSB, who have the right to demand to see such paperwork.
If the USPA sent a crew out demanding to inspect my jump operation and airplanes, I'd run the SOBs off at gunpoint.

When WHO died a short time back, I predicted that the USPA would self-destruct within 5 years due to internal power struggles ... seems that prediction was an optimistic one.
Zing Lurks

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As far as the FAA is concerned the logbooks are the only thing that matters, whenever I deal with them thats all they look at, sometimes they never even look at the plane beyond a visual display of airworthiness certificate, or if they're bored they might look for the afm, equipment supplements, etc. The only time the actual parts of the airplane get checked by the FAA is during a post crash inspection.

Most jumpers might not know what they are looking for in an aircraft logbook but you could still ask to see them, if they have a problem now, tell them you would be happy to come back later. If they never can do this for you they might be too busy or maybe hiding something. If they do let you see the logs, and you cant make sense of them, stare at the pages for a bit with a serious look, thumb through some pages, then hand them back, say thanks, and be happy that they were open with you.

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After seeing that terribly sad video of the fire tanker C 130A shedding its wings over Yosemite CA, I looked into the maint records of Earl Cherry's C 130A before jumping it at WFFC. A lucky web connection with an Aussie who documents ex RAAF aircraft histories yielded PDF copies of extensive wing box inspections and rework by Lockheed USA shortly before it was sold surplus. I felt safe jumping it. The C 130A center wing box structure is FAR weaker than subsequent models so the caution was justified. Lockheed thinks C130As have outlived their safe airframe life and will not support them as they will later models. Two air tanker C 130As have lost wings in flight, but air tanker service pushes airframes to their limits.
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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So what would be a way for USPA and/or jumpers to learn about the way that the aircraft they jump from are maintained?
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke

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