An opinion in search of a lawsuit

Builders:

It is often hard to make sense of something you read until you better understand the motivation of the person writing it. Let me share with you an insiders understanding that will allow you to better evaluate why some people write aviation articles that on the surface make little sense. What many of these people are doing is making a small investment with great hopes of a very lucrative future payday. Some people think that this is unethical,  and raises the cost of everything in aviation, and does nothing to promote ‘safety’.

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What these people are doing is writing a story to say that they are aware of some ‘safety issue’ that is going unaddressed by others with deep pockets. They are expressing an opinion, that often sounds OK, but doesn’t hold up to statistical analysis, in hopes that they will later be called, as a well paid expert witness in any later civil trial. Even if they have to assist in creation of the issue in that trial.

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To get a better understating of how this deceitful system functions behind closed doors and away from the eyes of rank and file homebuilders, please take 5 minutes to read this story: Expert Witnesses in civil Aviation trials. There are builders who dislike the fact I use the actual names of men they have respected for other deeds, but reality is that the men I name actually engaged in promoting lawsuits that they were later paid gigantic amounts of money to act as expert witnesses in. I wrote that story almost two years ago, it has been read by thousands of people, and not one single person has emerged to debate the truth of what I wrote. Pointing out something that is unpleasant about a man isn’t wrong if it is true.

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Here are two more articles, recently published by the EAA, our membership organization,  that many people couldn’t make heads or tails of, but they set off my personal alarm, and it is my strongest suspicion, particularly the article by Busch, is an attempt to foment a lawsuit, that he will later be paid for.

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Mac McClellan, the EAA editor published this story last week: http://macsblog.com/2014/11/stick-force-is-a-safety-issue/

From a practical and engineering perspective, it is a joke. He is promoting the idea that light stick forces in planes are a significant source of fatal accidents, and he falsely claims that experimental planes have not addressed this, and have not all been made to conform to his idealized control force ratio, ignoring the idea that there is no such thing as an ideal stick force. Be suspicious of any story that ignores training and CG issues, focusing on manufactures’ design. No one got rich suing a dead pilot or a broke CFI, but plenty of people have made money off the deep pockets of manufacturers. Again, his opinion doesn’t hold water to people who know anything about planes and know that every experimental plane, by law, must have a placard on the panel stating that the plane does not conform to federal standards. It was probably not written as much for aviators as it was for 12 people sitting in the jury box on a lucrative civil trial.

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The other EAA published article that raised many industry people’s attention was the June article by Mike Busch titled  “Cylinder work : Be afraid. ” you can read it here:http://spirit.eaa.org/apps/magazines/eaa_articles/2014_6_08.pdf

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I flat out state that my belief is Busch is solely trying to foment a giant civil lawsuit against Lycoming or Continental. The very title “Be afraid” goes against everything I think about aviators: We train people to be Alert, not Afraid. Scaring people doesn’t promote rational actions, but it is a great way to make money. I have been an A&P for almost 25 years, and I don’t know a single mechanic who agrees with Busch’s statements. Again, when reading it, note how he ties the claim to unspecified fatal accidents, but it isn’t the mechanics he is after, it is the deep pockets of the manufacturers. If I am wrong about this, let Busch put directly on his website that he has never, and will never, act as a paid witness in a civil aviation trial. I have no issue men who have opinions, even controversial ones, it is the money for sworn truth I take issue with, and anyone who is telling people to “Be Afraid”.

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A large part of my  objection to the above two articles is these men being paid to write them by our membership organization, having them published in our magazines, and then potentially turning around and getting a giant payday from telling the membership to “Be Afraid” of a boogey man they made. It is vile enough when people act as paid expert witnesses in lawsuits they drummed up, but I find the very idea that anyone might do this while employed by the EAA repugnant.

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Spend a moment reading this story: Speaking of Paul Poberezny to understand how much I respect the life work of Paul Poberezney.  He wrote many articles speaking in anger over pointless lawsuits in aviation, and said a few individuals were profiting while great damage was being done to aviation.  He wrote that “Our grandparents heads would have burst with indignation” at the very concept of the evasion of personal accountability in pursuit of a payday.

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Today, we are direct beneficiaries of decades of honest and hard work that made homebuilding possible, and protected it, awaiting our arrival. It has been given to us for free, by good men, most of whom you will never be able to thank.  It is now your watch, your hour of duty, and I ask, “Where is your indignation?”

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“This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.” -T.R. 1905.

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On this eve of Thanksgiving, I am most grateful for the fortune of being born in a country that has the rule of law, not a police state. As imperfect as it is, America is my home and by luck of my birth, my life has had the great blessing of happening in a land where men are to be judged by the content of their character.

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It is not our faith, color, money, size, brains nor natural resources that make our society different; many other lands have appreciable amounts of these elements. But here, we have a fundamental belief in justice and fair play, as T.R. said “No man is above the law and no man is below it.” We do not settle these matters in the media, at the altar, nor in the private rooms of the privileged. We settle them in courts, in a flawed system that still functions, just as long as people entering it are doing so to speak the truth and bear honest witness. When they enter the halls of justice to seek fortune and offer lies for money, they are to be regarded as vermin, corroding the very quality that our fathers toiled their entire lives to bequeath to us. To be tolerant of the abuse of the justice system for personal gain is to admit that one didn’t deserve to live under it’s protection in the first place.-ww.

Our main site will be back up in 12 hours:

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Builders:

I had several calls today mentioning having difficulty accessing our main site, Flycorvair.com today. Having just spent a joyful afternoon on the phone with host and domain people, I am assured that it will be back in action in 12 hours.

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 Above, Bernard Pietenpol, first man ever to fly a Corvair, stands in front of his own Corvair powered Aircamper. His lifetime did not overlap the existence of the Internet, and I can say with some certainty, his life was not diminished by missing it. If he could come back for a few hours for a look at the world today, he might happily return to his own times. Tonight I go out to the shop to put in an hour on my own simple plane which will allow me to follow Mr Pietenpol to a simpler place that will always be right where he left it for us on the last day he went flying. -ww.