LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
I recently completed my Experimental amateur homebuilt aircraft and was ready to have the Certification Inspection completed. I contacted my local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and requested to have one of the maintenance inspectors perform the inspection. The manager denied the request.
I requested a written explanation for the denial, which reflected on staffing and workload issues, and noted that all aircraft certification services were being directed to persons outside the FAA. In other words, I had to hire a Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR) to perform the certification inspection.
I contacted several other FSDOs in the Northwest to survey their policies. Several responded they can perform certification inspections, but it would depend on workload. They did not have a total denial policy and defer individuals directly to a DAR.
In my opinion a certification inspection should be carried out by the FAA. I understand the economic issues affecting the FAA, however I am opposed to the policy of total denial. The FAA should work with the individual requesting a service and attempt to schedule a visit under mutual agreement. This seems like a reasonable request from a tax-paying citizen of this country.
In the past we would visit our local General Aviation District Office (GADO) to request a written test, a flight exam, a practical test, and a certification inspection. Now we must pay a designee (for all this).
A tax-paying citizen should be given equal consideration when complying with FAA-required regulations, and not have to pay for the services required by the regulations set forth by the FAA.
ROBERT GATHERER, Tekoa, Wash.