It always amazes me when a commercial airplane crashes, the experts are able to determine precisely why the airplane crashed. After seeing plane parts spread all through a large hangar, I imagine that the experts have put the pieces together, like a large jig-saw puzzle, to solve the problem. My view is much too narrow.
It is wonder of living the United States that we have placed such a priority on safety in flying. Every airplane and every part in every airplane flying over the United States is subject to the safety standards of the Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Records are maintained in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration requirements related to every aspect of the manufacture, operation, maintenance and repair of an airplane.
If a problem arises with an airplane, whether a problem with the airplane, with the sale and purchase of the airplane, with the repair of the airplane, with the pilot or anything else related to the airplane, the first question is “show me the books.” The books will normally solve the problem. The books are so important that a perfectly good airplane without books can effectively have no value or have its value lessened by the estimated cost of bringing the books up the to the standards of the FAA.
A number of years ago, a borrower went to his bank to obtain financing for the purchase of an airplane. The airplane was much more valuable the loan the customer wanted and the bank made the loan. The bank made sure that it fully and correctly documented its interest in the airplane.
Unfortunately, contrary the borrower’s agreements with the bank, either by connivance of the borrower or by theft, the airplane was flown to another country. For several years, the bank officer received information about where the plane had been seen flying, the airplane had been a number of countries. Finally, the bank officer was contacted by a man who said he knew where the airplane was located and could fly the airplane back to the United States in return for a fee. Reviewing all the bank’s rights under the loan documents, the bank officer agreed to pay the bounty.
The airplane reappeared in the United States. After resolving various issues with the foreign country, which failed to understand how an airplane could be stolen from its citizen based on the bank’s documents, the airplane sat in a hangar for several years. Among the most serious of the problems was the fact that, although the person with the airplane repaired and maintained the airplane in accordance with the standards of the countries in which the airplane flew, those standards were not as stringent as those of the Federal Aviation Administrative. After several years and the expenditure of sums of money equal to close to the value of the airplane, the bank had the right to sell the airplane.
Dealing with airplanes requires careful compliance with the regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration.