March 1996

Volume 16, Number 3


Chapter 724, Experimental Aircraft Association

Merritt Island, Florida

Mailing address: P. O. Box 320923, Cocoa Beach, FL 32931


Officers Technical Counselors

President: John Murphy 783-1515 Ted Yon 783-7966

Vice President: Eric Kennard 631-3264 John Murphy 783-1515

Secretary/Treasurer: John Soukup 783-7128 Young Eagle Coordinator

Newsletter Editor: Fred Mahan 452-5797 Tony Yacono 459-0080

Flight Advisor

Tom Hennessy 452-4021


The next meeting will be the second Wednesday of March

March 13, 1996, 7:30 P. M.

in the CAP Hangar at the southwest corner of Merritt Island Airport







EAA Chapter 724

P. O. Box 320923

Cocoa Beach, FL 32931



Calendar of Events and Places to Go

Mar 16 Gilbert Field, Winter Haven, Pancake Breakfast and Big Band Music

Mar 15-17 Tico Warbird Show

Apr 6 Chapter 977 breakfast, Lake City, 904-755-4760

Apr 14-20 Sun Ďn Fun

May 4-5 Athens, GA, 3rd Annual air Show, 706-613-3420

May 11-12 Ď96 Shell Air & Sea Show, 954-527-5600, ext 88

May 19-25 Vero Beach, 12th Annual Great Southern Air Race, 1-800-247-1006


Regularly Scheduled EAA Fly-Ins Across Florida

Every Saturday, Cannon Creek Airpark, Lake City

Every Second Saturday, Charlotte County Airport, Punta Gorda, 813-575-6360

Every Third Saturday, Dunn Airpark, at the parachute center, 407-269-3660

Every Third Saturday, Sebring Airport, Chapter 803 pancake breakfast

Every First Sunday, Ft. Myers Airport, Chapter 66 pancake breakfast, 941-947-1430

Every Second Sunday, Naples Airport, 941-775-1661

Every Third Sunday, Kissimmee Municipal Airport, west side of the field, 9 am on.

Every Fourth Sunday, Bob Lee Airport, De Land, Fly-In Lunch, bring your own, 904-985-5373


Annual Chapter 724 Banquet

Donít forget, the annual banquet is coming up next month. As usual, itís the Friday before Sun Ďn Fun, on April 12. John Murphy and Frank Caldeiro are working on a guest speaker for us, but no one had been selected at "press time." Perhaps we can get a report from them at the meeting. Ticket price is $15, which includes prime rib or fish dinner. Call Eric or Cindy Kennard for tickets at 631-3264.


Februaryís Meeting

Fifty-three flying enthusiasts attended the February Chapter 724 meeting. Discussed were administrative actions being taken by the Brevard County Airport Authority, particularly at Merritt Island. Alan Shaw brought a model of his BIG homebuilt project and described his harrowing escape when he ditched his velocity at night.



Does your newsletter label have a red dot on it? It does? That means you havenít paid your annual dues (dues are due when theyíre due, which was at the January meeting!). Theyíre still a bargain at only $12 per year. See John Soukup, our Secretary/Treasurer, at the March meeting, or mail your check and application form to our post office box printed on the masthead. This will be the last newsletter youíll receive "gratis."


Small Automobile Alternators

From the AeroElectric Connection

Q: Iíve got a very small, Japanese alternator for my RV project. It has a built-in regulator. I know lots of pilots are flying this product but my A&P buddy says I shouldnít use it. Can you help us out?

A: The little automotive alternators are fine examples of how technology develops in an unregulated, competitive market. The built-in regulators in automotive alternators have amazing track records in cars but I cannot recommend them for airplanes. First, Iíve not seen an internal schematic for any of these products so that I can do a proper failure mode effects analysis and to determine whether or not they can be controlled externally should over voltage occur. Built in regulators have no voltage adjustment; the new gas recombinant batteries like to run a little hotter bus ... about 14.6 volts. I recommend you keep the alternator, but modify it to accept an external regulator and OV protection.



The newsletter editor needs project and activity reports. Write or phone, please!


A Pilotís "Ramp Rights"

EAA Technical Counselor News, Fall 1995

Ramp checks are one way the FAA enforces safety. Conducted at random, they can increase a pilotís stress factor (especially if the pilot is a student). But this need not be the case if pilots clearly understand their rights and have a pre-established course of action should such a situation arise.

First, failure to adhere to two FARs can set your ramp check on the wrong heading. FAR 61.3(h), Inspection of Certificate, states: "Each person who holds a pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, medical certificate, authorization, or license required by this part shall present it for inspection upon request by the Administrator, an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, or any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer."

FAR 61.51(d), states: "A pilot must present his logbook (or other records required by this section) for inspection upon reasonable request by the Administrator, an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board, or any federal, state, or local law enforcement officer."

If pilots always have their pilot and medical certificates on their persons when they fly, they will generally not have a problem, unless their medical has expired. Pilots need not have their logbooks with them when they fly, unless they are students on a solo cross-country(or recreational pilots flying in circumstances listed in FAR 65.51 (d)(3).

In other words, pilots holding private certificates or better need not present their logbooks on the spot. Students and recreational pilots should have their log in the situations described in FAR 61.51, and they should have the proper flight instructor endorsements.

With the above in mind, keep the following checklist in a convenient place, and instructors might consider giving it to their students.




1. ATTITUDE: Donít panic. Be polite and cooperate. Belligerence has never helped anyone.

2. AUTHORITY OF REQUESTER: Ask the inspector to present his or her FAA identification for your inspection, and copy the information on it. Inspectors donít wear a uniform, so their ID is the only way you can verify their authority to conduct the ramp check.

3. WITNESSES: If at all possible, have one or two witnesses present to listen and to observe the ramp check, in case there is some future dispute about what actually occurred during it.

4. INQUIRE: Unless the information is volunteered, ask why the ramp check is being conducted and what the inspector will be doing during it.

5. NO WARRANT NECESSARY: Keep in mind that an inspector does not have to have a warrant to conduct a ramp check, but he or she must observe that you are pilot of the aircraft. There is no "Miranda Warning." These proceedings are civil in nature.

6. DONíT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION: If questioned, cooperate with the basics; give your name, acknowledge that you are the pilot, and show the required documents the inspector is authorized to request. You need do no more, and babbling on has turned many a ramp check around for the worse.

7. AIRCRAFT INSPECTION NOT INCLUDED: The investigator does not have the right to touch or board your aircraft. If he or she is about to, courteously ask him/her to refrain.

8. NO RETALIATION: If you feel youíre being harassed, treated discourteously, or discriminated against, keep your cool and remain courteous and cooperative. After the ramp check, you and your witnesses should immediately and independently document what happened. Then seek legal advice to protest the inspectorís actions. The inspector must be reasonable and you should be caused no undue or inappropriate burden.

9. NO LOSS OF CERTIFICATE CUSTODY: Inspectors have no right to confiscate or retain your pilot certificate. They only have the right to "inspect" it. You need not give up your certificate.

10. CONTINUED AIRCRAFT OPERATION: Finally, do not allow the inspector to ground you or your aircraft based on a ramp check. Take the inspectorís advise into consideration, but the final decision is yours.

Thatís it. These are your "RAMP RIGHTS". All pilots should be aware of their responsibilities and obligations, as well as their rights. Every airman should be aware of the limits to a ramp check as a part of safe aircraft operation.


By John Scott Hoff, flight instructor and attorney, and Theodore J. Young, law student at Loyola University.