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Thread: Short Wing Piper DER's?

  1. #1
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    Default Short Wing Piper DER's?

    This from the EAA web site.
    EAA proposes ëvintage DERsÃ*
    By David Sakrison

    The Type Clubs tent is behind the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association headquarters at AirVenture. Photo by David Sakrison

    DERs ó designated engineering representativesóplay a crucial role in keeping vintage aircraft flying. When a vintage airplane needs a major repair, a field modification, or a newly fabricated part to replace an original part, the DER is the one who approves the engineering data, certifying that the data are consistent with or superior to the original. The DERs are engineers-for-hire, whose knowledge of a particular aircraft system or structure has been certified by the FAA. Although they are not FAA employees, DERs help to streamline the work of the FAA in approving engineering data and field modifications.

    Vintage aircraft present special challenges for their owners, DERs, and the FAA. "The expertise on these older aircraft is not in the FAA," said H.G. Frautschy, executive director of EAAÃ*s Vintage Aircraft Association. "And that expertise will never again be in the FAA. The guys at the FAA who had that expertise came out of the aircraft industry in the 1930s, Ã*40s, and Ã*50s when it was new," he said. "They and their expertise have aged out of the agency."

    The FAAÃ*s current cadre of DERs is focused mainly on new approvals and engineering work. And they are typically limited to data approvals on a particular system or structure.

    "YouÃ*ll have an engine DER, a propeller DER, a landing gear DER, an airframe DER, and so on," said Frautschy. "And if you want to hang a 90-horse engine on a plane that left the factory with 65 horses, you might need to hire three DERs to get the engineering approvalsóan airframe DER, an engine DER, and a propeller DER. If you want to modify the landing gear on an old Aeronca, you might have to hire the same DER who is an expert in Boeing 747 landing gear struts. For the owner or restorer," he said, "the cost of hiring those DERs can be prohibitive."

    On Wednesday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Frautschy met with Kim Smith, John Colomy, and David Showers of the FAAÃ*s Small Airplane Directorate to discuss the possibility of certifying a "new breed" of DERsó"vintage DERs" whose demonstrated expertise covers an entire vintage airplane. A VDERÃ*s authority would be limited to one make of aircraft, though a single VDER could be certified for multiple aircraft. As proposed by VAA, VDERs would have "holistic" authority to approve engineering data on any system or structure on the specific aircraft.

    "They would still have to demonstrate their expertise to receive VDER privileges," said Frautschy, "but the basic structures and systems designs of these vintage aircraft are covered within the education of any aeronautical engineer."

    "Most of these [vintage] airplanes were hand-built," Frautschy explained. "They contain few if any castings or forgings. They use simple wood or metal structures and relatively simple engines."

    The people who have the expertise on these airplanes are in the type clubs, Frautschy said, and their expertise is broader and more comprehensive than a single system or structure. "It makes sense," he added, "for the FAA to tap that expertise to assist owners and the FAA." A large type club like the American Bonanza Society might have several VDERs with expertise in various Bonanzas or Bonanza systems, Frautschy said. The Piper Cub Club might have a "Cub VDER" with spinner-to-tail expertise on the J-3 Cub. Other type clubs might share one or more VDERs with broad expertise on a variety of similar airplanes. "The idea," he explained, "is simply to make the best use of the vintage expertise thatÃ*s already out there."

    Small Airplane Directorate Manager Kim Smith and her colleagues told Frautschy the idea made sense to them, too. It would reduce administrative review time at the FAA and would also provide for continuity, since the same VDERs would be involved in most of the approvals on a particular type of vintage airplane.

    To learn more about EAAÃ*s Vintage Aircraft Association and about aircraft type clubs, visit the VAA HQ and the Type Clubs Tent, south of Aeroshell Square at AirVenture, or visit online at www.EAA.org/vintage.

  2. #2
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    More from the EAA on Type Clubs

    EAA opens doors for grassroots groups
    By David Sakrison
    More than two dozen vintage aircraft type clubs are represented each year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. "Type clubs offer the expertise, the knowledge base, and the resources to help vintage aircraft owners and restorers to keep their aircraft flyingósafely, legally, and affordably," said H.G. Frautschy, executive director of EAAÃ*s Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA). "EAA works closely with the type clubs on issues that affect a single type or a wide range of vintage aircraft," he said.

    In past years at AirVenture, the VAA hosted an annual aircraft type club "summit meeting" that brought together officers and members of type clubs, EAA and VAA technical experts, and FAA officials. It gave the type clubs direct access to EAA and FAA officials, to identify problems and work on solutions. "Some very positive things came out of those meetings," said Frautschy, "but we didnÃ*t always have time to cover everyoneÃ*s questions or concerns. So this year, the FAA asked that we try something different."

    In early April, Frautschy asked each type club to submit questions or concerns, which he would then forward to the FAA. "That gave the FAA the chance, in some cases, to address issues ahead of time and even to identify solutions before everyone arrived in Oshkosh," said Frautschy.

    A half dozen type clubs requested face-to-face meetings with FAA officials at AirVenture. Frautschy and FAA officials worked out a schedule of brief private meetings between type club officers and officials from the appropriate FAA offices. The American Bonanza Society, the Fairchild Club, the Short Wing Piper Club, Cessna Pilots Association, the Taylorcraft Foundation, and the Eastern Cessna 190/195 Club, each met privately with VAA and FAA officials to share their concerns and identify possible solutions.

    "The response to this new approach has been very positive," said Frautschy. "For the folks from the type clubs, it has opened doors to a much closer working relationship with key FAA officials at the regional and national level." Some of the clubs assumed that all their questions and concerns had to go through their local FAA FSDO (Flight Standards District Office), he said. "They have discovered here at AirVenture that there are folks at the middle and upper levels of the FAA who are willing and able to work directly with them to help them keep their airplanes flying safely and affordably. The clubs are very excited about that." Frautschy said conversations started here between type clubs and the FAA will continue long after AirVenture 2008 is over.

    The FAA officials who took part in the meetings were equally enthusiastic. Kim Smith, Small Aircraft Directorate manager, spoke for many of her FAA colleagues: "This year, each of the 15-minute conversations with the type clubs was more productive than the entire two-hour summit last year."

    EAA has a strong and positive working relationship with the FAA, said Frautschy. "We donÃ*t agree on everything but we recognize that finger-pointing and table-pounding donÃ*t solve problems. ItÃ*s much more productive to sit down together and work cooperatively on solutions. And when EAA and VAA can use that relationship to open doors for other grassroots aviation groups, like the type clubs, thatÃ*s exciting."

    To learn more about EAAÃ*s Vintage Aircraft Association and about aircraft type clubs, visit the VAA HQ and the Type Clubs Tent, south of AeroShell Square at AirVenture, or visit online at www.EAA.org/vintage/.

  3. #3
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    This is certainly a step in the right direction and I hope everyone really gets on the bandwagon to voice support. The one question I have is why the Vintage Airplane Expert is not being groomed to be a DAR, (Designated Airworthiness Representative). The example in the writeup about hanging a new more powerful engine on a plane is a prime example of the need for Airworthiness determination as opposed to the need for engineering applicable determination data. As a DER I can get you engineering applicable data out the wazoo but it may be incomplete or deficient for the determination of the airworthiness of the total modification. The engine expert (DER) has engine expertise amd can tell you that the installation will have no adverse affects on the operation of the engine in the new structure, but he doesn't necessarily have the needed aircraft performance, structure stress, aerodynamics, or fabric tensile strength expertise that a DAR would have. Anyway, the concept is great, and we should support pressing on with it. On another aspect of this, I have never been really involved with the EAA simply because of there only being 24 hours in my day, but if they are being looked at by the FAA as a focal agency for pulling this together, I am thinking that maybe there should be some closer ties established with the EAA for the Type Clubs (SWPC included) to get the "one voice, one contact" aspect in place for this activity.
    Last edited by Webmaster; 08-03-2008 at 06:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by webmaster View Post
    The one question I have is why the Vintage Airplane Expert is not being groomed to be a DAR, (Designated Airworthiness Representative).
    My impression from talking to a person who was in this meeting is that the intention is draw the DER's from experts within the type clubs.
    My impression is that a DAR issues new airworthiness certifications for conformity, expermiental AW Certificates etc.I am not sure what role they play in field approvals. All my field approvals have involved a DER and or FAA FSDO ASI's.
    Last edited by Gilbert Pierce; 08-03-2008 at 10:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    That has also been my experience except once. That was when I was getting an airworthiness on a PA22 that was re-entering the US after an extended stay in South America. I was working with a DAR for the airworthiness, and there were three issues which hung it up because the DAR said that he needed DER input before he could determine airworthiness of a modification. I ultimately got him enough available information and some previously approved data to satisfy him, but for a couple of weeks we were looking at a big bill dollars wise for a DER to be brought on board to consult with the DAR. (Wouldn't that be a real treat to have to deal with ?)

  6. #6
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    I met with six FAA and two EAA officials on the Aging aircraft directorate. I voiced the concerns of the SWPC as indicated from the comments submitted by the SWPC Technical committee, my Dad, and myself. The just of those concerns were the inconsistencies in the field approval process, the lack of knowledge on the FAA's own procedures concerning Field Approvals and the issues concerning orphaned STCs and Type Certificates. Another was my personal concern for the lack of FAA inspectors knowledgeable with older aircraft. That is when I was informed of the Field Approval DER program. This combined with the "Parts and Materials Substitution for Vintage Airplanes Draft" tell me the FAA is aware and getting involved in the problems of maintaining and updating these older airplanes. I intend to stay involved and hopefully we can all work together to remedy these problems.

  7. #7
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    This is all very good to hear and encouraging.

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