AVSIG: 709 letter wwswsigarch.jpg (7236 bytes)

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Steve Stombaugh (IND)
Public Guest


Reged: 05/01/04
Posts: 1962
Loc: Indiana
Re: 709 letter [Re: John Gaitskill, 0A7]
      #414204 - 08/22/15 04:00 PM

Quote:

Thanks for that info.

I met with the pilot today. This situation began when he landed in a field after the engine quit because fuel flow in his Cessna 150 was interrupted due to a clogged vent. The emergency landing was successful without damage in a valley surrounded by mountains of western North Carolina.

After cleaning out the vent tube, checking the fuel flow and running up the engine, he taxied to a nearby road for the take off. He said a cross wind caught him and he clipped some trees, but managed to keep it flying and landed at the airstrip at his home.

The FAA apparently feels that the successful emergency landing in the field and the subsequent departure, keeping it in the air after the wingtip clipped the trees somehow casts doubt on his competence as a pilot. Unfortunately, he didn't send in an ASRS form. So he's still working on scheduling the 709 ride with the FAA sometime in the next couple of weeks. Here's the NTSB report http://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/hitlis...F8682E29232BB14 with a couple of photos.


John,

I'm not wearing my FAA hat when I ask these questions, but as a 15,000 hour pilot who has learned a LOT of lessons along the way....

A couple of things that stand out.... in his statement to the NTSB he doesn't mention his cleaning out the vent tube (it is mentioned a mechanic checks it after landing back at his strip). Also, I'm trying to figure out how he got the left wing-tip and the right stabilator...?

I did have to chuckle to myself at the statement (paraphrase) 'if I hadn't been the pilot I am, I wouldn't have been able to successfully fly home after the crosswind and impact with trees'. Hmmmm. I had a guy hire me once, who commented 'with your vast experience you can get us out of all kinds of bad stuff'. I shook my head and replied 'uh, well, I hope WITH MY EXPERIENCE level, I'll keep us out of bad stuff'. Hindsight, old age and experience, have taught me a lot of lessons. Hope your student has a long flying career and learns more.

Do I take it by your tone, sic, you don't think he 'deserves' a 709 ride? BTW, the ASRS has nothing to do with whether he'll get a 709 ride or not.... it only affects the possible sanction if there is a penalty (fine or suspension).

Glad no one was hurt.


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Bruce Gorrell [EQY]
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 7864
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Re: 709 letter [Re: Dave Siciliano (ADS)]
      #414224 - 08/22/15 09:13 PM

Only for Tinker Belle!

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John Gaitskill, 0A7
Top Gun


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 1412
Loc: hendersonville, nc
Re: 709 letter [Re: Russell Holton]
      #414235 - 08/23/15 07:56 AM

He got it home, so no more ferrying needed. The insurance company totaled it and he bought it back for salvage. So he may use it for spare parts for his other 150.

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John Gaitskill, 0A7
Top Gun


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 1412
Loc: hendersonville, nc
Re: 709 letter [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #414236 - 08/23/15 08:17 AM

Quote:


Do I take it by your tone, sic, you don't think he 'deserves' a 709 ride? BTW, the ASRS has nothing to do with whether he'll get a 709 ride or not.... it only affects the possible sanction if there is a penalty (fine or suspension).




Does the FAA order 709 rides for most accidents such as this one? If I understand everything correctly, the threat of certificate action is if he ignored the order to take the 709 ride, not for the accident. He still has his certificate. It seems to me any future certificate action would be based on his performance on the 709 ride not the accident. I flew with him for his flight review last November and my notes say he did well. So he should be ok on this ride. We had hoped to fly together a bit before the ride, but our schedules and the weather haven't allowed that. Hopefully, in the next day or so. We did review the logs and documents for the plane he plans to use for the ride.


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Steve Stombaugh (IND)
Public Guest


Reged: 05/01/04
Posts: 1962
Loc: Indiana
Re: 709 letter [Re: John Gaitskill, 0A7]
      #414238 - 08/23/15 10:21 AM

Quote:

Quote:


Do I take it by your tone, sic, you don't think he 'deserves' a 709 ride? BTW, the ASRS has nothing to do with whether he'll get a 709 ride or not.... it only affects the possible sanction if there is a penalty (fine or suspension).




Does the FAA order 709 rides for most accidents such as this one? If I understand everything correctly, the threat of certificate action is if he ignored the order to take the 709 ride, not for the accident. He still has his certificate. It seems to me any future certificate action would be based on his performance on the 709 ride not the accident. I flew with him for his flight review last November and my notes say he did well. So he should be ok on this ride. We had hoped to fly together a bit before the ride, but our schedules and the weather haven't allowed that. Hopefully, in the next day or so. We did review the logs and documents for the plane he plans to use for the ride.


Disclaimer - I'm not answering on behalf of the FAA..... 8-)

For some inspectors, especially, it seems, air carrier inspectors, they default to the 709 ride. It's been interesting, sitting on the other side of the desk, and seeing some of the discussions amongst the pilot community. We've all seen it - as soon as there is an accident, we all jump to our conclusion. Look at Asiana, look at the Jack Rousch crash at OSH, or this year's Meridian crash at OSH - as soon as the dust settles, the pilot community starts judging. The smart ones stand back and wait for the factual report, but a lot of the community start in with 'he's not safe, take his certificate away' or 'no big deal, why is the FAA coming down on him?' Now, move to the FAA inspector's role and he/she is the one that HAS to make that JUDGEMENT call, after investigating the accident/incident/pilot deviation.

(Insert aside here - now imagine the pilot 'lawyers up'. The inspector STILL has to make a determination, still has to use his/her judgement, and still has to come to some determination on how to proceed, often now WITHOUT the pilot's statement. Some mistakenly think getting a lawyer is going to STOP the investigation, or that they can stonewall the nasty FAA.... LOL Wonder how that works with the IRS?)

The inspector has guidance that says how he/she will evaluate the accident/incident. There are 'informal actions' they can take - verbal or written counseling, they can require remedial training, and there are 'administrative actions - a letter of correction or letter of warning (think warning ticket you get for speeding). And, there is the 709 ride. The FAA 'gives' you a certificate, saying at one point you possessed the skills to 'hold' that certificate, now they question whether you still hold those skills. The point of the 709 ride is not to 'take away your certificate', but to judge whether you still have the skills you once had. If you kid hits another car parallel parking, damaging both cars, are you not going go out with him/her and see if they have an issue? Depending on the circumstances, you might go out and practice with them, or you might, if it was so bad, not let them drive your car anymore.

As to certificate revocation, again, each inspector is different (obviously the agency has had some bad ones - aka, Bob Hoover, etc), that is not the purpose of the 709 ride. But, like you kid, at some point, if you refuse to demonstrate your skill level, or you just plain suck, the person who 'gave' you that license may feel you, and the public, or safer if they take it back. Again, not speaking for the FAA, but I believe most get a second chance if they fail. Unless they suck SO badly to be a major risk to themselves, someone who fails will be issued a temporary only allowing solo flight. If they fail again, they perhaps it might go toward certificate revocation.

Last, once the inspector makes his determination, it goes to his boss, then to the FSDO manager. Sometimes it goes to the regional office for review. That works both ways. Sometimes the inspector gets to do what he wants (good or bad), and sometimes he is forced to take a heavier hand that he wants (unless you're our current president, we all answer to someone).

The BEST thing someone facing a 709 ride can do is be prepared. Take some time, brush the cobwebs off some skills they haven't used in a while, make sure they're up to date on regs, etc. Typically, the inspector is looking at areas related to the accident/incident - but legally, he has the right to test any of the skills/knowledge areas the pilot is authorized to exercise. That being said, for a gear-up landing, the inspector is looking to make sure the applicant puts the gear down, obviously. The inspector also knows the applicant has already suffered embarrassment, cost, and some angst over the 709 ride. But, he needs to feel comfortable that the applicant takes the issue seriously. HAVE THEY LEARNED ANYTHING from the incident??? Have they developed any new habits or 'tells' to make sure it doesn't happen again? In your student's case, my guess is it will all be about ADM - aeronautical decision making. The 709 ride might focus on crosswinds, but I imagine the inspector really wants to know if the guy will repeat his actions again, or mitigate the risk next time.

It does sound simplistic, but the FAA is tasked with aviation safety. Each inspector (and flight instructor and examiner, etc) have to constantly evaluate 'is this person safe'. I've been fortunate in my career to not have a student of mine get hurt. As an inspector, I'll be looking at each applicant as to whether they're safe to carry passengers and operate without harming the general public.


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Bill Bridges - 9S1
Top Gun


Reged: 05/17/04
Posts: 6008
Loc: 9S1
Re: 709 letter [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #414250 - 08/23/15 02:09 PM

I saw the "Bob Hoover" case mentioned and have been confused about this. I read an article in AOPA with Mr. Hoover's attorney and an interview by AVWEB with the FAA about the case. Guess what, the stories were almost 180 degrees out which is understandable when there is a difference of opinion.

I have two questions, (1) what in his psychological exam caused the FAA to pull his medical? (2) What was the results of the Federal Appeals Court hearing?

I saw where the NTSB sided with the FAA. Is there more to that than meets the eye?

the other bill


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Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
Top Gun


Reged: 01/11/03
Posts: 20065
Re: 709 letter [Re: Bill Bridges - 9S1]
      #414268 - 08/23/15 06:12 PM

Bill -- Glad to see the Aviation Consumer interview is still being read. <G>

I didn't read the FAA enforcement file (no surprise there), but did read the medical file. From memory, notes now are gone, there were some significant cognitive deficits shown on a variety of tests. Whether those would be enough to cause a material degradation in flight safety, compared against his obvious experience and skill, I can't say. But there were some areas that on the face of it were concerning in the psych testing file.

My recollection is also that the D C Circuit affirmed the NTSB determination.

(Added later: indeed, here is the per curiam order: http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/F3/43/712/553039/ )


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Bill Bridges - 9S1
Top Gun


Reged: 05/17/04
Posts: 6008
Loc: 9S1
Re: 709 letter [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #414272 - 08/23/15 07:41 PM

Thanks Scott,

This has made for very interesting reading.

the other bill


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John Gaitskill, 0A7
Top Gun


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 1412
Loc: hendersonville, nc
Re: 709 letter [Re: Steve Stombaugh (IND)]
      #414280 - 08/23/15 10:05 PM

Thanks for the detailed explanation. Weather precluded us flying together today (Sunday). Hopefully we can fly a bit Monday. I think he and the inspector have set a date sometime in September.

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Randy Sohn
Gradn Exlated Ordre of teh Fyling Fingres


Reged: 08/31/01
Posts: 23187
Loc: Savage, MN - U.S.A.
Re: 709 letter [Re: Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]]
      #414304 - 08/24/15 10:38 AM

Quote:

Bill -- Glad to see the Aviation Consumer interview is still being read. <G>




I see that Rickoshay is the editor there.

best, randy


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