Certified Repair At Your Own Risk

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The FAA needs to issue a new rule that would ensure applicants for a Part 145 repair station certificate have not previously been associated with a repair station that had its certificate revoked, the NTSB said on Monday. The recommendation is based on the NTSB's investigation into the crash of a Beech 95 Travelair in California in January 2003, in which a 2 1/2-foot section of a propeller blade separated from the right engine shortly after takeoff. The airplane rolled inverted and hit a house, killing the pilot. All four of the Travelair's propeller blades appear to have been improperly overhauled, the NTSB said, and the owner of the repair station that did the work had been chief inspector at a repair station that had its certificate revoked in 1998 for performing improper overhauls on aircraft propellers. The NTSB is also concerned that if a shop owner surrenders their certificate -- thereby bringing to an end the FAA's investigation and avoiding revocation -- that individual could then move to a new area and apply to a new FSDO, and no record would be found of the prior facts. The NTSB recommends that in such cases, the FAA should complete its investigation to ensure that the facts are documented and are available to regulators when considering the fitness of an applicant.