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Reportable Incident ?

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Mar 7, 2004
The following happens;

Pilot bounces airplane several times on the runway.
So severely it taxies clear of the runway but has some serious firewall/ gear damage and it takes 4-6 months before it's back on line again.
Reportable incident or not?
I definitely think so but can't come up with a FAR answer.
§ 830.2 Definitions.

"Aircraft accident" means an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft which takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.

"Substantial damage" means damage or failure which adversely affects the structural strength, performance, or flight characteristics of the aircraft, and which would normally require major repair or replacement of the affected component. Engine failure or damage limited to an engine if only one engine fails or is damaged, bent fairings or cowling, dented skin, small punctured holes in the skin or fabric, ground damage to rotor or propeller blades, and damage to landing gear, wheels, tires, flaps, engine accessories, brakes, or wingtips are not considered "substantial damage" for the purpose of this part.

§ 830.5 Immediate notification.
The operator of any civil aircraft, or any public aircraft not operated by the Armed Forces or an intelligence agency of the United States, or any foreign aircraft shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (Board) field office \1\ when:
(a) An aircraft accident or any of the following listed incidents occur...

Not enough information is given regarding the damage to the airplane. The number of weeks or months required to make the repair is irrelevant.

If the firewall was buckled, one needs to visit Appendix A of 14 CFR Part 43, to determine weather the repair/replacement of the firewall constitutes a major repair. In most cases where the firewall has been buckled, the engine mount will need to be removed and bead blasted and inspected, and most likely repaired. Damage to the engine mount, and the subsequent repair, is a major repair. Additionally, often the nosegear is attached at this point, and suffers damage, as well as the flight controls adjacent to and behind the firewall. The forward attach points for the Longerons are usually the attach points for the engine mount, and often these may encounter damage or will be displaced, if the firewall is buckled. Any or all of the following excerpt may be applicable to your question.

43xA.b Major repairs
(1) Airframe major repairs. Repairs to the following parts of an airframe and repairs of the following types, involving the strengthening, reinforcing, splicing, and manufacturing of primary structural members or their replacement, when replacement is by fabrication such as riveting or welding, are airframe major repairs.

(xii) Engine mounts.

(xiii) Fuselage longerons.

(xiv) Members of the side truss, horizontal truss, or bulkheads.

(xvi) Landing gear brace struts.

(xx) Parts of the control system such as control columns, pedals, shafts, brackets, or horns.

(xxi) Repairs involving the substitution of material.

(xxii) The repair of damaged areas in metal or plywood stressed covering exceeding six inches in any direction.

(xxiii) The repair of portions of skin sheets by making additional seams.

(xxiv) The splicing of skin sheets.
Don't you only need to report it if requested?

Which part of "...shall immediately, and by the most expeditious means available, notify the nearest National Transportation Safety Board (Board) field office when An aircraft accident or any of..." is unclear?

Shall doesn't mean "if requested." Shall means you will, as in mandatory, as in must. Shall report, and this is emphasised by the use of the phraseology, "...immediately, and by the most expeditious means available..." to ensure it's understood.

Nope my understanding is, you honor system yourself out of a career.

You understand incorrectly.
BushwickBill said:
Nope my understanding is, you honor system yourself out of a career.

Well, we all have to make choices in our life.

I know a DE and a student pilot who crashed an aircraft during a private pilot exam. They (and the school) did not tell the FSDO or report the accident. The FSDO found out, the DE is no longer a DE. The student had another exam (the first one did not go so well so the FSDO did the exam). The owner of the aircraft was not happy (he was told about it by the FSDO) he took his damaged aircraft and stoped the lease. The other owners took away their lease back aircraft. The flight school closed shortly there after (the flight school knew because they kept the damaged pieces in the back of their hanger). The school did have enough insurance to cover the repair.

I have meet many pilots what have had accidents and incidents and are still flying for a living.

Recently I utilized the rescue trucks and facilities at an airfield, after experiencing a system failure on board. I requested a closed runway be opened (which it was), that men and equipment be moved (they were), and support be standing by (it was, in spades). The matter was attended by the news media, the FAA, agency personnel, etc. I was never even contacted by the FAA over the matter.

Conversely, within the same week, another airplane contracted to the same agency failed to communicate or take any action when he developed some power problems after departure. 20 minutes later he showed up and landed, but faced some tough questions and some unhappy personnel.

In both cases no system or aircraft damage occured, but the responses to the two scenarios, both involving the same type aircraft, were very different.

The first thing I did was notify the agency dispatch of my situation, and requested that they contact the tower at the airport to which I was headed, and request a truck be standing by. I then requested that they contact our own personnel and get them headed to that airport, which they did. The entire event was handled without incident, and went like clockwork. A little communication goes a long way. Conversely, trying to hide things can only cause you grief.

One isn't self reporting ones self out of a career, by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the contrary, one may well be saving one's career by fullfilling one's legal obligations.

In my case, this is the third time in my career I've had the rescue trucks on the runway, the second time being just a few months ago. Not one of those three times has resulted in any punitive action or difficulty. Communicate and don't hide or hold back. Being forthright will do far more to protect you than any paranoid fear of reprisal for proper legal handling of a legitimate event.
Nope it's not my student, but I had to hold outside the airspace as this was taking place.
Plane is back on the ramp being operated with no report on the NTSB database.....
Depends on the plane- C152s mount the nosegear on the engine cradle, while C172s mount it to the firewall. A student at my school porpoised a 152 and bent the engine cradle, but not the firewall- no airframe damage. Someone did a number on a 172, and buckled the firewall- airframe damage. As the chief mechanic explained it, they didn't have to report the 152, since it wasn't the actual airframe that got bent. But, I'm no expert, so I can't claim this is absolute truth.

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