First of all, I would like to thank one and all for their support in this situation and the armchair second-guessing of "who is responsible; who's going to make"all the money"! This is going to turn into at least a $30,000-$40,000.00 mess that was started by someone who wanted to sell a $250.00 "boroscope" type tool and a bunch of rubber plugs to all of you, that now, I have to clean up.
Just so you all know, I did not start this. I am being forced by the FAA to implement this since I am the TC Holder. Some one north of Anchorage started this.
As for the Service Bulletin; I just got FAA Approval for the "engineering aspects" TODAY, 04-04-2011 on my SB dated 06-08-2010.
As for the NPRM; I got the notice today about 15 minutes before the editor of Antique Airplanes/EAA emailed me with these same questions.
The SB will/should be posted on my website by tomorrow evening.
If you have other ways of complying with the problem now why did you wait until now. This has been going on for 3 1/2 yrs and I could not put the FAA off any longer; they pretty much demanded conclusion to this. If you need to call the FAA call Eric Wright, Anchorage ACO Engineer; (907)271-2648. He is the engineer in charge of this NPRM.
Every thing that I have done for the Sedan is to improve it, promote it and make your $10,000-$25,000.00 Sedan worth $35-$85,000.00. I've done all this out of pocket. I built 1 part, sold it and made 2 more. Today, I have almost 400 part numbers on the shelf for sale. How many have you bought lately? Or do you subscribe to the "I'll make my own and save money; forget if it is legal or not". Repairs are one thing, manufacturing is another.
There was NO TOOLING, whatsoever, for the Sedan when I purchased the TC. NONE! I have made new tooling, drawn new and improved designs for parts that I can no longer get the same materials for because it is no longer made in this country. I deal with shortages, nonexistent specifications that have to be researched because they changed the name or specs onto a new spec that has no history of what it "used to be". This is an almost daily occurrence.
If you want to get through this with the least amount of down time then you had best support me because the FAA WILL ground the fleet. The inspection doubler/cover kits will cost about $675.00 per plane. Not much considering my gas bill for drive my car and van is almost that every month. Most of you are pretty handy with a hole saw or fly-cutter and can handle a rivet gun pretty well.
So you spend a week-end installing some inspection covers that probably should have been installed at the Aeronca factory. So now, the wing and plane have become more serviceable and valuable. You really have to stop and remember that Aeronca didn't expect these planes to be around for 60+ yrs. either.
I have always priced my parts accordingly. Go ask a Cessna driver what Cessna wants for a new fuel screen for the older 180/182- $800.00. How about a new fuel valve for a 185-$8,000.00. How about a fuselage half of a pilot's door hinge-$485.00. How about a door latch, no handle, for $1,200.00. Top half of an engine cowling, if you can get them to make it, $12,000.00.
FAA guesstimates are just that; a guess. The longest that I have heard for a spar cap replacement was 100 hrs for both wings; 60 hrs for the first wing, 40 hrs for the second. The good news is the spar caps can be available for a very reasonable price. Our original listing was $225.00 for the top cap and $175.00 for the lower cap. Same price as 38-50 gallons of avgas @ $4.50/gal. and that is probably what car gas will be shortly.
This will be my first and last post on this matter until I have final disposition. If you have questions, call me at (907)688-3715.
When all else fails, go to the source. Factory Approved parts and data will get you back in the air.