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It's A Rental Don't Be Gentle

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Well-known member
Nov 29, 2001
For those of you guys/gals flying "the line"; are leased aircraft treated any differently than company owned aircraft? If so, how?


Not from what I have seen in my limited experience. There's no point in abusing an airplane that you yourself may have to hop back into the next week. Plus many aircraft have parameters recorded that maintenance downloads. It's not too hard to track down which crew was using "Warp 9" when they should have been at "thrusters". Sorry 'bout the Star Trek quotes. I'm a furloughed Scifi geek.
From a corporate perspective i believe that many leases require the aircraft to be returned to the lessor in essentially the same condition that it was delivered in, ie zero-timed engines, fresh heavy checks, etc. Add the fact that these "leased" aircraft may serve the same company for decades, it makes little sense for any deference to be shown.
Never mistreat anything you're butt is stapled to; treat it like your life depends on it, because it does.

Always return a man's equipment in better condition than you received it.
avbug said:
Never mistreat anything you're butt is stapled to; treat it like your life depends on it, because it does.

Always return a man's equipment in better condition than you received it.

this is the same arguement I have offered to some student pilots who say. "Yeah I did a million spins hammerheads and rolls etc etc, and it was a 172 or a cherokee.."

it may not damage the aircraft this time, or next,

but eventually the noise you hear during your flight

... well

that is the wing slapping against the rudder.
Treating airplanes

Be nice to your airplane and it will be nice to you.

We had (at least) one smartass at Riddle who rolled a 172. The techs figured it out by looking at the skins or rivets or something. They weren't born yesterday, you know. The student was shown the door, something unusual for Riddle to do.
In fairness, anything can be rolled without overstressing it (ask tex johnson about the 707). It's not so much the act, as the stress. If damage is done then accountability is in order. In the case of the student, aside from equipment damage, judgement alone deserved the actions taken by Riddle.

When I got my first corporate job in a Sabreliner, I had the short course for groundschool. At the conclusion of the ground element, before the flight training, the instructor asked if I had any questions. I firmly believe that one should never say the first thing that comes to mind, but I'm frequently guilty of doing it. I said, "How does it roll?"

The instructor and chief pilot glanced at each other, and didn't say much. At the conclusion of our flight training, the instructor took the airplane, and proceeded to roll it with the chief pilot kneeling between the seats. Nice, smooth 1G rolls, and it flies beautifully.

It's not so much what you do with it, but how you do it.
my point is more along the line of undetected damage to the airframe. you may not pop rivets, or stress the skin, but after a while of "everyone doing it" you wear it down.

The day I did some spins in a 152, non aerobat it was a riot. the ONLY thing I retain now, is how much more time it takes to recover ( and altitude) you loose when you do more and more, we had done a half dozen revolutions.. and you stress on the airplane in stopping the spin, was apparent to the two of us. Much harder feel on the controls etc…

Having also done an accelerated stall in an extra, that gets your attention fast. Imagine doing it in a 152/172, that can not be a good thing.

Aerobatics in aircraft that can do aerobatics with pilots who can do aerobatics.. are fun.

The rest is chopping away at the integrity of the airframe.
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If you're overstressing an airplane during a spin, you're doing it wrong.

An airplane doen't "know" if it's right side up or down. Most basic aerobatic maneuvers can be maintained at less than 2 G's. I'm certainly not going to advocate that someone does aerobatics in aircraft that are not approved for aerobatics. However, the mere fact that they are conducted does not mean the aircraft has been exposed to undue stress.

The Sabreliner and Twin Commander that RA Hoover flew in the airshow routines were essentially stock (the commander had some minor rigging differences with respect to control counterweights). I later flew a commander used by Hoover, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with the airplane. I did the wing mod AD and had a chance to look that airplane over quite well, in addition to putting a few hundred hours on it, and there was no evidence of stress. However, I would never attept to duplicate Mr. Hoover's routine, either.

The biggest stresses encounteed in spinning, and in any aerobatic maneuver, are in the instruments. Rapid bearing wear is the big issue, with the subsequent early deminse of gyro instruments.

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