|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : maintenance|
|Function||maintenance : inspector|
|Qualification||technician : inspection authority|
|Experience||maintenance technician : 13|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
maintenance problem : improper maintenance
maintenance problem : improper documentation
maintenance problem : non compliance with mel
non adherence : published procedure
non adherence : far
aircraft equipment problem : less severe
|Independent Detector||other other : 1|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Maintenance||contributing factor : schedule pressure|
performance deficiency : scheduled maintenance
performance deficiency : repair
performance deficiency : unqualified personnel
performance deficiency : non compliance with legal requirements
performance deficiency : logbook entry
Maintenance Human Performance
As a new hire; I was asked to repos a seat in a B55 in order to obtain more room for a passenger position. I assumed that a form 337 would be filed and field approval sought. I was told this modification did not happen if asked and the aircraft was returned to service with no documentation or revised weight and balance. Given that the seat moved is the aft most position in the cabin; this could create an unsafe situation if aircraft is loaded improperly. On 2 separate repairs on beech A36 aircraft the left side sheet metal was replaced on the vertical fin due to cracks. The replacement panels that I was provided came pre-drilled and the holes did not line up. Many of the holes are 1/2 a hole off and many others are completely out of line. This was brought to my employer's attention and I was told to put them on anyway and fill the voids with body filler. What disturbs me about the holes is that on the pre-drilled skin only 1/2 met the existing holes. In my opinion the rivet may not have a good mechanical bond at these points where there is no contact with the skin all the way around the rivet. I believe this could lead to a failure of these surfaces in the future. During an annual inspection on a PA32R-300; I discovered multiple issues which I felt needed to be addressed. First was corrosion on the belly skin of the aircraft in multiple areas. Upon further inspection; in some areas the corrosion was intergranular and abutting structural channels. There is no way of knowing how far this corrosion went without further inspection which would require more extensive work. I was told to dress up what I could see and forget about what I could not. On the same aircraft I determined the left landing gear had parts in the retract mechanism worn beyond limits. When brought to my employer's attention; he made the decision to defer repair until next yr. I feel the need to point out my employer is not a qualified aircraft mechanic and in my opinion should not be deferring any maintenance that could affect the safe operation of this aircraft. Given the extent of the discrepancies that were deferred against my judgement I refused to sign the aircraft logs to return to service. The aircraft logs were then signed by another person not performing the inspection. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter said the FBO was taken over by the son of the original operator and owner who had a fine reputation in the business as doing first class work with no problems. When the son took over things changed and the work was performed to the new owner's specifications and mainly cutting corners. The first thing noted was the good technicians and inspectors began leaving to avoid loss of license. The reporter resigned after the incident with the 4 reported incidents and the reporter's refusal to sign the logbooks.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR REFUSED TO SIGN LOGBOOKS ON 4 LIGHT ACFT DUE TO IMPROPER SEAT ALTERATION (B55) SHEET METAL RUDDER REPAIRS (2 A36); AND A PA32R-300 WITH STRUCTURAL CORROSION AND LNDG GEAR PARTS WORN OUT OF LIMITS.
Narrative: AS A NEW HIRE; I WAS ASKED TO REPOS A SEAT IN A B55 IN ORDER TO OBTAIN MORE ROOM FOR A PAX POS. I ASSUMED THAT A FORM 337 WOULD BE FILED AND FIELD APPROVAL SOUGHT. I WAS TOLD THIS MODIFICATION DID NOT HAPPEN IF ASKED AND THE ACFT WAS RETURNED TO SVC WITH NO DOCUMENTATION OR REVISED WT AND BAL. GIVEN THAT THE SEAT MOVED IS THE AFT MOST POS IN THE CABIN; THIS COULD CREATE AN UNSAFE SITUATION IF ACFT IS LOADED IMPROPERLY. ON 2 SEPARATE REPAIRS ON BEECH A36 ACFT THE L SIDE SHEET METAL WAS REPLACED ON THE VERT FIN DUE TO CRACKS. THE REPLACEMENT PANELS THAT I WAS PROVIDED CAME PRE-DRILLED AND THE HOLES DID NOT LINE UP. MANY OF THE HOLES ARE 1/2 A HOLE OFF AND MANY OTHERS ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE. THIS WAS BROUGHT TO MY EMPLOYER'S ATTN AND I WAS TOLD TO PUT THEM ON ANYWAY AND FILL THE VOIDS WITH BODY FILLER. WHAT DISTURBS ME ABOUT THE HOLES IS THAT ON THE PRE-DRILLED SKIN ONLY 1/2 MET THE EXISTING HOLES. IN MY OPINION THE RIVET MAY NOT HAVE A GOOD MECHANICAL BOND AT THESE POINTS WHERE THERE IS NO CONTACT WITH THE SKIN ALL THE WAY AROUND THE RIVET. I BELIEVE THIS COULD LEAD TO A FAILURE OF THESE SURFACES IN THE FUTURE. DURING AN ANNUAL INSPECTION ON A PA32R-300; I DISCOVERED MULTIPLE ISSUES WHICH I FELT NEEDED TO BE ADDRESSED. FIRST WAS CORROSION ON THE BELLY SKIN OF THE ACFT IN MULTIPLE AREAS. UPON FURTHER INSPECTION; IN SOME AREAS THE CORROSION WAS INTERGRANULAR AND ABUTTING STRUCTURAL CHANNELS. THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW FAR THIS CORROSION WENT WITHOUT FURTHER INSPECTION WHICH WOULD REQUIRE MORE EXTENSIVE WORK. I WAS TOLD TO DRESS UP WHAT I COULD SEE AND FORGET ABOUT WHAT I COULD NOT. ON THE SAME ACFT I DETERMINED THE L LNDG GEAR HAD PARTS IN THE RETRACT MECHANISM WORN BEYOND LIMITS. WHEN BROUGHT TO MY EMPLOYER'S ATTN; HE MADE THE DECISION TO DEFER REPAIR UNTIL NEXT YR. I FEEL THE NEED TO POINT OUT MY EMPLOYER IS NOT A QUALIFIED ACFT MECH AND IN MY OPINION SHOULD NOT BE DEFERRING ANY MAINT THAT COULD AFFECT THE SAFE OP OF THIS ACFT. GIVEN THE EXTENT OF THE DISCREPANCIES THAT WERE DEFERRED AGAINST MY JUDGEMENT I REFUSED TO SIGN THE ACFT LOGS TO RETURN TO SVC. THE ACFT LOGS WERE THEN SIGNED BY ANOTHER PERSON NOT PERFORMING THE INSPECTION. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR SAID THE FBO WAS TAKEN OVER BY THE SON OF THE ORIGINAL OPERATOR AND OWNER WHO HAD A FINE REPUTATION IN THE BUSINESS AS DOING FIRST CLASS WORK WITH NO PROBS. WHEN THE SON TOOK OVER THINGS CHANGED AND THE WORK WAS PERFORMED TO THE NEW OWNER'S SPECS AND MAINLY CUTTING CORNERS. THE FIRST THING NOTED WAS THE GOOD TECHNICIANS AND INSPECTORS BEGAN LEAVING TO AVOID LOSS OF LICENSE. THE RPTR RESIGNED AFTER THE INCIDENT WITH THE 4 RPTED INCIDENTS AND THE RPTR'S REFUSAL TO SIGN THE LOGBOOKS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.