VG-21 Squadron

Maintenance Items




  (by Lee Beery)


This Maintenance Item is to give the VG 21 members some insight into the new AD 1020-04-14.  As you recall in the last NL, Max reported the problems found on the vertical stabilizer on several planes.  I will tell you briefly what transpired.


Being a licensed mechanic, I must report such findings to the FAA, which I did, and they promptly grounded the two planes [Brian Tetrault and Lee Beery's] .  The FAA Designated Airworthiness Representative for our area said the repair was beyond his authority and directed us to the FAA Designated Engineering Representative [DER].  The DER wanted $1600.00 for the fix on the primary aircraft and then $800 each for every aircraft that was repaired after that.  This left us with paying a huge price for his service or doing our own design work and getting FAA approval by using a ďone timeĒ field approval, a form 337.  It took four submissions of a 337 and 60 days. The actual time to disassemble the tail, fabricate, and install the doubler, reassemble the tail and check everything out was only about 14 hours.  There has never been so much activity at the Varga Service Center Ė ever!  Tom, of Tomís Aircraft, spent many long hours working on this project.  Steve of Steveís Aircraft Service provided a lot of insight as to how to work with the FAA.  Approval for the second Varga came within another twenty days.


I was told by more than one rep from the FAA that what we achieved was rare and could never be done in less than a year.  Iím sure this would have been true had it not been for Max Bishop who was called upon many times for information and we even called up retired aircraft engineers who I worked with before I retired.  The biggest thanks goes to FAA Engineer Horsburgh as he provided guidance the entire time.  There was a great deal of technical data going back and forth between mechanic ranks and engineering gurus.  Pat, of course, was doing all of the correspondence for me so many thanks to her. 


Max and I collaborated on producing a Service Bulletin for Augustair and I want you to know it was 3 pages long, not the 22 pages that were published.  On the negative side of all this, some individuals feel we created all this just to make this miserable and to spend their hard-earned dollars.  Guess you canít make everyone happy!