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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:33 AM
gbrasch gbrasch is offline
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Default Why Argue? Call the FAA FSDO.

In reading a recent post, I am reminded of all the conflicting advice that at times goes on here. What comes to mind is a simple solution when people have that occasional reg question, why not just go to the horses mouth and call your local FSDO? (No, I don't work for the FAA). In my nearly 40 years of being a pilot, I have called them on several occasions, and they are always willing to help. On a recent call, I had an obscure question that I could not find an answer to in the regs (another excellent source of info, imagine that!). It pertained to lighting at a private heliport. The FAA person did not know, but took my info, researched the question, and got back to me. Just my .02 cents.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
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Unfortunately, this totally depends on the FSDO. They seems to have their own personalities. Some are homebuilt friendly, other cannot be bothered. Some support GA, other see GA as a dying part of aviation and the quicker it dies the better. Less paper work for them.

A month and 1/2 ago we had a FSDO inspector ramp check one of our EAA members during a flyin breakfast. Put a chill over the whole airport. The attendance at the next fly in breakfast (this last Saturday) we had was 1/2 of what it was the previous month. Nice.
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Last edited by Geico266 : 08-17-2009 at 12:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:15 PM
Christopher Murphy Christopher Murphy is offline
 
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Default good luck

Sounds like your FSDO is pretty friendly. I don't talk to those guys unless I have too. Take a poll sometime of how many have asked the FSDO a simple question that turned into a can of worms or a nightmare. I got a real taste of how they operate when I tried to get a simple waiver for a race last year. After submitting the paper work 3 times to 3 different inspectors and having them citing the FAR I wanted to waive as the reason for denying the waiver I lost any respect for that office. Follow the rules and ask someone else for help if you don't know what they are... ie EAA AOPA etc.

Good Luck,

Chris M
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:24 PM
gbrasch gbrasch is offline
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Maybe the answer then is to find one that is friendly (mine is Scottsdale), and not give them your name.......
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:05 PM
N131RV N131RV is offline
 
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Default Ask the FSDO? Good Luck.

I can reiterate that if you call the FSDO and talk to three different people, you will often get three different answers to the same question, often in conflict with the other answers.

I speak from experience.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:38 PM
JDRhodes JDRhodes is offline
 
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If you can get anyone to even answer the phone.

Here in Atlanta, more often than not, you get " press 2 to speak with xxx - " "xxx is not in the office, press 0 to speak with an operator..." "The operator is not available, if you know your party's extention, enter it now" "the party you are seeking is not available - goodbye."

The FAA at "work."

It's like calling the IRS for help on taxes. No thanks...
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Last edited by JDRhodes : 08-17-2009 at 01:42 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2009, 02:00 PM
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kevinh kevinh is offline
 
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A couple of times I had cause to talk with the Oakland FSDO, both times they were great. In fact, after I had my homebuilt inspected by them, the manager for the department called me a few weeks later asking for feedback on how the process went and just to check if I was a happy customer.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2009, 02:05 PM
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LettersFromFlyoverCountry LettersFromFlyoverCountry is offline
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I think people are missing the point of Glenn's original post. If you call an FSDO and you get an answer, at least you have something you can point to and say "this is what (name of person) said to me" regarding this.

If you post a question on, say, a bulletin board, what do you have? An answer from someone on a bulletin board.

So why not go to the source?

BTW, this same scenario is true, from what I understand, with the IRS. You can call their help number on a tax problem and you can get several different answers. But when the audit letter comes, I'd rather have a response from an IRS person as my reason for doing something, than some second-hand person who dabbles in tax policy on the side.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2009, 02:10 PM
gbrasch gbrasch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Collins View Post
I think people are missing the point of Glenn's original post. If you call an FSDO and you get an answer, at least you have something you can point to and say "this is what (name of person) said to me" regarding this.

If you post a question on, say, a bulletin board, what do you have? An answer from someone on a bulletin board.

So why not go to the source?

BTW, this same scenario is true, from what I understand, with the IRS. You can call their help number on a tax problem and you can get several different answers. But when the audit letter comes, I'd rather have a response from an IRS person as my reason for doing something, than some second-hand person who dabbles in tax policy on the side.
Thanks Bob, I should have known this would lead to an argument!
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2009, 02:14 PM
JDRhodes JDRhodes is offline
 
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Default Point of the follow-ups

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Collins View Post
I think people are missing the point of Glenn's original post.

So why not go to the source?

Yes- it would be great to get the story straight from the horse's -uh, mouth, but the theme in most of the first responses are that many find the FSDO completely un reachable and unhelpful.

If you want a good answer in lass than 30 days, a reputable poster on a good forum is better than a govt. official's voicemail - and as accurate in most cases.
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