|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : 4ak9|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : cfi
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 230|
flight time total : 2300
flight time type : 85
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||observation : air carrier inspector|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The flight to naknek was a cargo only flight with no passenger, and as such was conducted under part 135 of the far's. During unloading of the cargo, a cargo restraint strap became wedged under a seat roller. Since the return flight from naknek to dillingham was going to be empty (no passenger or freight) and could therefore be operated under part 91 of the far's, I decided to remove the seat in order to free the cargo strap. Seat removal and installation is allowed to be performed under part 91 of the far's by the pilot/operator. After I had removed the seat I was approached by an FAA inspector who performed a ramp check of the aircraft. The aircraft and paperwork were in order, but when the inspector saw the seat sitting off the tracks, he stated that I was in violation of the far's. I then returned to dillingham and had a mechanic inspect the seat and sign the aircraft logbooks before it was returned to service. However, for the remainder of the day, I was so distracted because of concern over possible enforcement actions that my judgement was affected causing a loss of safety during subsequent flts. This situation occurs because the FAA is not subject to a system of checks and balances like those in the criminal justice system. Pilots know this and are frequently traumatized by inspectors who flippantly talk about certificate actions. This has an extremely negative impact on safety of the system.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SEAT REMOVED BY PLT AND FAA INSPECTOR NOTED HE WAS IN VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AVIATION REG.
Narrative: THE FLT TO NAKNEK WAS A CARGO ONLY FLT WITH NO PAX, AND AS SUCH WAS CONDUCTED UNDER PART 135 OF THE FAR'S. DURING UNLOADING OF THE CARGO, A CARGO RESTRAINT STRAP BECAME WEDGED UNDER A SEAT ROLLER. SINCE THE RETURN FLT FROM NAKNEK TO DILLINGHAM WAS GOING TO BE EMPTY (NO PAX OR FREIGHT) AND COULD THEREFORE BE OPERATED UNDER PART 91 OF THE FAR'S, I DECIDED TO REMOVE THE SEAT IN ORDER TO FREE THE CARGO STRAP. SEAT REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION IS ALLOWED TO BE PERFORMED UNDER PART 91 OF THE FAR'S BY THE PLT/OPERATOR. AFTER I HAD REMOVED THE SEAT I WAS APPROACHED BY AN FAA INSPECTOR WHO PERFORMED A RAMP CHK OF THE ACFT. THE ACFT AND PAPERWORK WERE IN ORDER, BUT WHEN THE INSPECTOR SAW THE SEAT SITTING OFF THE TRACKS, HE STATED THAT I WAS IN VIOLATION OF THE FAR'S. I THEN RETURNED TO DILLINGHAM AND HAD A MECH INSPECT THE SEAT AND SIGN THE ACFT LOGBOOKS BEFORE IT WAS RETURNED TO SVC. HOWEVER, FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY, I WAS SO DISTRACTED BECAUSE OF CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS THAT MY JUDGEMENT WAS AFFECTED CAUSING A LOSS OF SAFETY DURING SUBSEQUENT FLTS. THIS SITUATION OCCURS BECAUSE THE FAA IS NOT SUBJECT TO A SYS OF CHKS AND BALS LIKE THOSE IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYS. PLTS KNOW THIS AND ARE FREQUENTLY TRAUMATIZED BY INSPECTORS WHO FLIPPANTLY TALK ABOUT CERTIFICATE ACTIONS. THIS HAS AN EXTREMELY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON SAFETY OF THE SYS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 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.