Saturday, September 08, 2012

Federal Aviation Administration Inspects Private Planes Yearly

KWQC-TV6 News and Weather For The Quad Cities -  

The FAA inspects planes applying to take part in air shows. 

 But the day after a local air show tragedy another major aviation event landed in the QCA.

The National "Stearman Fly In" .... in Galesburg....featuring 80-year-old World War II training planes

Safety is a concern for pilots of all aircraft and the FAA requires yearly inspections for general aviation aircraft. Trying to keep the skies as safe as possible.

Before powering up his plane for a lunchtime flight Bill Hertel examines it from back to front.

"Everything is pretty much where it's supposed to be, everything is hooked up, nothing is dripping any oil."

He says he looks the plane over every time he flies.

"Do a pretty thorough walk around inspection, check all controls and bearing connections for security and make sure fasteners are in position."

He's been around planes since the sixties. And bought his first Stearman during mechanics school.

"Leaking, that would indicate you might have a problem, they look good."

But his pre-flight checks aren't the only ones done on his plane. The FAA inspected his plane top to bottom just over a week ago. And can do spot checks on any plane at any airport.

"Two parts, airframe, and the power plant section and additionally if there are any safety issues that come up with a particular aircraft in a year, there is a service bulletin."

He says bad weather or pilot error cause most crashes. And even with plenty of flight experience, Hertel keeps the worst case scenario in the back of his mind.

"Nobody likes to hear about anyone getting hurt, it's just a darn shame, but it's something you do know, that's why you've always got to be thinking about it."

But even knowing the potential danger, Hertel says pilots feel a certain pull.

"There is something that talks to you through the flight controls."

A pull to be in control of the sky.

The fly in continues in Galesburg through Saturday night.

And is open to the public.

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