I found this to be a thoughtful follow-up from Bob Swaim. I've been staying
clear of this thread, in hopes that it would clear itself up. Hopefully it
now has, from all fronts.

It should be pretty apparent by now that I try to help out anyone on BAC and
MML who needs assistance (as do many others, including multiple Bobs). Just
tonight I was on the phone with a member from about 2200 until after 2330.
Then I went out to the shop to go back to work on parts for two other
members, until 0130. I am reasonably sure that fellow owners, Club members,
and MML participants know that all our hearts are in the right place.

There is no question that I have flinched at some of the posts, just as did
Bob on the ones that started this thread. I responded offline to some of
them. Bob Steward, and other experienced technicians, have had the same
reaction; some published, most unpublished. There have been times when I
deliberately did not broadcast a response, in hopes someone wouldn't damage
their plane or hurt themselves, and possibly even blame it on the advice
they received. For example, there is a very effective method of detecting
vacuum leaks and worn carb shafts, that is extremely risky in the hands of
someone inexperienced. I feel like I incur some degree of unprotected risk
just because of the documents I have published and the parts kits that I
send out. I am certain others have experienced that feeling when they
published information. And while I am retired, some others are also sharing
free information to fellow BAC and MML participants; information that they
make their living by selling every day to their on-site customers.

After all, every one of us is capable of "doing something stupid", including
me. Fortunately, I have found my screw-ups (so far) before they hurt me or
did too much damage. It's been all of two weeks since I cut a UF power wire
while planting bordergrass, when I should have known the cable was there.
The worst part was, the other end wasn't connected yet, and the power was
off. It wasn't until I finished the wiring a week after the planting, and
turned the switch on, that the breaker slammed off; clearly a dead short.
Then the fun began, as the wire had just been bricked up into two 5' tall,
26" square columns in the front yard, topped with lights. I had visions of
tearing them back down, etc. Reason prevailed, UF cable is pretty tough,
and I didn't think that laying bricks could have hurt it. I traced the old
UF trench marks that were still visible, noticed that a recent bordergrass
clump was next to it, dug up the planting, saw a big black mark in the dirt,
and then got lucky. No, I didn't bury the UF, and no, I have no clue why it
was only six inches deep. I had clipped it with the edge of a sharp shovel,
while never seeing it. But all's well that ends well. Just goes to show

Having said that, I certainly realize that there are times when a person
won't appreciate the exposure created by what they are asking. No one
should take offense if that is pointed out, though not in an unkind way. It
helps when someone gives some indication of what they intend to do with the
information, who they plan to get involved, their past experience with the
particular project aspects, what other research they have done, what
reference material they have on hand (Shop Manual, IPC, etc), their supply
of materials and tools, and any other preparation they have done before
asking. There are many new owners who as yet have no idea what they can do,
should not attempt, or cannot legally do on their own planes. It may be
legal for an owner to change their oil, or replace a tire, but there are
many decent pilots-owners who have no business attempting the tasks. There
are plenty of good folks out there who can break a crowbar while playing
with it in a sandbox. My long-departed Father was one of them. My
technical gene definitely came from my maternal Grandfather.

Others are perfectly capable (and equipped with manuals, tools, and
supplies) to replace their interior, and to take on other major challenges.
A skilled and well-equipped non-A&P owner might do things like use a
protractor to determine control surface travel, and even check cable
tension. Legalities aside (it would not be legal), he would be wise to
involve an experienced A&P before making any changes in the rigging. If he
has done it before under A&P supervision, and has recorded that in his A&P
log (so he can eventually apply for the tests and Certification), his A&P
may well permit him to tackle the next adjustment, and endorse the owner's
logbook entry. Hopefully, many of our fellow members have begun their
personal maintenance logs, so their activities can apply toward sitting for
the A&P exams.

We all have questions and we all need guidance. All that differs are the
topics and the scope. The more information included in a question, the more
thorough the initial responses can be. If a lot of critical information is
omitted in a question, sometimes it is an indication that the submitter
isn't yet developed far enough to entrust with a "do it yourself" type of
answer. If the submitter asks for info to exchange with his A&P to assist
with more reliable and less-costly troubleshooting, that's fine. That kind
of feedback is usually more "checklist oriented" than "how-to oriented".

Thanks for being patient with another one of my late-night short novels.
I'm hitting the sack, as it is 0255 EST.


From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com]
On Behalf Of Bob Swaim
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 1:32 AM
To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [musketeermail] Re: Brake Problem

All -
I've re-read my post and Steve's right in that I came across too
harsh, so for that I apologize to the poster and the group.
Further, I really responded this strongly to the wrong post, the
frustration was more from the previous person telling about how he
didn't like his A&P, so he wanted to know how to replace his master
cylinder seals, and what type of fluid to use (Class 3 or 4!). So
I'll also apologize for addressing the wrong person.

I also was not saying that these guys couldn't/shouldn't ask
questions. I spent last Saturday showing a guy how to do his own
maintenance and have answered numerous posts here. If a person is
asking so that he can work with his A&P or know what's going on,
fantastic. If things aren't in the list of what's allowed, but can
be done safey, that's up to the owner and I've answered some of
those too.

The difference was that these posts clearly went past that,
especially in up-front saying they wanted to do something illegal
and which can create a problem. How to intentionally avoid any A&P,
not utilize the maintenance manual, or even the owner's manual.

There are a lot of things that are NOT approved for owner mx and
which can create problems unintentionally. Bleeding the brakes and
rebuilding the master cylinders are there. I should've probably
answered more like Don did and nicely added that bleeding brakes
needs to be done with the mechanic. However, bleed your plane's
brakes like you would a car and you'll create not just soft brakes,
but diminish their effectiveness if you think you can try to fly
anyway. (Seen it done) Add Class III or IV car fluid and 5606 will
turn to mud after a little time, locking up a brake. In a similar
vein, I've just spent many hours replacing automotive wiring in the
Sport that I currently am cleaning up, some of which was FAR too
small a gauge for the installation. Ever seen a small electric
bundle short creat so much black soot that it obscured the cockpit

So again, sorry for being harsh and I hope people keep asking
questions. It's a great group.
ps - I'll be on the road for the next week or so. I'll try to catch
up then.


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