We've all been there done that..... or at least thought about it or heard of somebody who did it....
It's a beautiful summer day and coincidentally the 'ol family reunion is going on at the lake. While everybody else is visiting, eating hot dogs and drinking down cold beer, you are at the airport pulling out your Pitts. After a thorough pre-flight you launch and head to the lake with a grin on your face. The weather is crispy clear and the wind is light...not a bump in the sky.
After a few minutes of flying you spot the lake and the unexpecting crowd of family members...cousins, uncles, Mom and Pops....this is going to be great! Smoke on, roll to inverted and you scream over the beach, roll upright and pull up into the vertical. You add a couple of vertical rolls and then back you go for another onslaught as the smoke from your first pass settles over the hot dogs and buns. Knife edge, engine screaming, you're really low on this one and then the four (4) G pull up and you're outta there! Your heart is pounding and your adrenaline is surging...man it is great to own a Pitts!
Later, at the lake you greet your family members with the knowing smile of the expert aviator. You surely impressed everyone. Grandpa has almost recovered as he sits over in the shade with a moist towel over his head......two (2) of your uncles are almost dry after they leaped into the lake during your performance. Well, some people enjoy aviation and others don't.
Two (2) months later you receive the following in the mail:
[Ed. Note: Don't know what happened to it. You can bet it was a letter from the FSDO]
What do you do now?....do you have to respond to this letter?....are you already busted?...
In the next few safety articles we will go over some of the questions you might have if you ever receive one of these letters. Sooner or later no matter how safely and prudent we fly, each and every one of us run the risk of being violated in one way or another whether we are guilty or not. The pilot in the above example will undoubtedly receive a violation (he deserves it!) but what can he do to minimize his penalty and what rights do the rest of us have if we feel we have been unfairly victimized with the threat of a violation? What happens if we fill out a NASA report?.....does this get us off the hook? I plan to cover these questions and more as we look into VIOLATED! part two.
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