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BACK IN THE DAY


Prior to the 1970s, when it came time to repair an aircraft it was nothing to grab a wing here, or a tail boom there, and fix it, especially when the aircraft was an older tube-and-fabric airplane or a tube-framed helicopter. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a Boeing Stearman or a Bell 47 that was 100% original, or one that had not been “repaired” from a single structural tube cluster. “Parts are parts” has a familiar ring to it.


Regardless, when it came to the aircraft data plate, the previous CARs and the current FARs state the data plate will remain attached to the original aircraft it was certified with. However, the enforcement of these rules back then was generally subjective


58 July/Aug 2019


to the local CAA(Civil Aeronautics Authority)/FAA offices. In most cases, if the work was documented correctly – or in a few cases not documented at all – it was no problem to get a new AWC issued on a repaired aircraft.


But things started to change when aircraft production moved toward monocoque construction and the use of honeycomb structural panels. The ability to repair individual aircraft became a bit more complex and sometimes required the use of several aircraft salvage sources. In some cases, the number of salvage aircraft parts necessary to repair the original core aircraft exceeded the number of original parts.


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