FAA Airworthiness Inspection
Last updated 8-13-04

As of 1:30pm (13:13 hours) Friday, August 13th, 2004 - I officially have an airplane!

It's a girl! (name not picked out just yet) 1130lbs./2oz, 192", Birth date: Friday August 13th, 2004. Proud parents both doing well! WHOOHOO!!!!! Cigars, anyone?

I got to the airport a little early this morning to get all the information together and get the plane ready to be inspected. I opened the canopies, took off the canard, opened the baggage door, and assembled the small mountain of paperwork needed to balance the "FAA paperwork scales". All kidding aside, it was a great experience!!

The inspector and his wife, Dave & Pat Eby, arrived at the hangar at about 10:30am and after a short 'meet-n-greet', we got to work. Dave first took me on a cruise through the applicable FARs, logbook entries, required forms, operating limitations, etc. We ran through my logs, EAA technical counselor paperwork and condition inspection checklists. Then he had me fill out the "Repairman's Certificate" application while he inspected the airplane. While examining the plane, he continued to grill me on several of the aircraft's systems, flight operations, maintenance requirements, building techniques, and many other things - all while looking through every nook and cranny. A very through inspection, indeed. We spoke about fuel systems and John Denver's accident (and the lack of vice-grips on my fuel valve), canard flight characteristics, and the like. I got the feeling he already knew all about it, but just wanted to see if I did too. I even got a quiz about how and what tests to perform during the annual inspections and maintenance - and what the regs leave out. Dave was great! Being a CFII myself, I enjoyed how he worked in the "quizzing" into general conversation instead of the general "what's this?".

So, after about 2.5 hours, he said "ok, looks good"...uh..."that's it?", I responded. His response was a bit shocking and humbling at the same time. He quickly replied, "It's quick and easy when I'm working with someone that knows how to do it right." WOW! (I was speechless, but appreciative) He was impressed, I was happy...and the moment I've been waiting for was just about to happen. I asked, "So, I guess there is just one more thing to do, huh." "Yep", he said, "got a camera?" "Damn right, I do!" One little pink piece of paper later, and it was DONE...Berkut #13 was NO LONGER A PROJECT - it's an AIRPLANE! In celebration, I took Dave and Pat to lunch and we had a great time talking about life, airplanes, and aviation in general. Thanks, Dave...I owe you a ride!

Those of you in the FTW FSDO area, I would highly recommend Dave Eby for your inspection as well. He has certainly "been there, done that" in his 69 years of aviation experience. Truely, a star in the local aviation community that we can all look up to and admire - I know I do.

Next up....first flight!

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