August 1999 Issue

A Matter of Trust

Faith in the mechanic is essential, yet accidents show that sometimes that trust is misplaced.

Pilots and even aircraft owners have a tendency to take airplanes at face value. If a friend or acquaintance asks you to go flying, do you ask to see the maintenance logs, check the applicable ADs, or even tag along on the preflight?

The fact is that the FARs put the onus on the airplane owner to maintain the aircraft in an airworthy condition, and most people trust that the rules have been followed. And when someone asks you to go flying with them, odds are you accept that personís piloting skills as a given without even asking a few simple questions.

The last flight of an Aero Commander 500-B shows just how misplaced that trust can be. The aircraft was being positioned from Lancaster...

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