It has showed up in the media that I used my CH801 to support the recent Hurricane Florence Airlift. Also and unfortunately now showing up on the internet is an erroneous report from the GSO FSDO to the effect that I hit a power line with my 801. The FSDO created this report based on a 4th hand hearsay informal report. It was entered into the database before even taking any steps to confirm the information.  In fact the power line was struck one hour before I arrived by a Helio Super Courier. All of this has been confirmed by photos, a video of the strike, FAA ATC tapes support it, and testimony by witnesses on the ground attest to it.  I have a letter from the FSDO to the effect that I am not longer being investigated. But it is not over yet...

But for reasons that I cannot fathom the FSDO allowed the erroneous & unconfirmed first report to be released to the public. I just became aware that it is circulating on the internet this weekend.  And the FAA has yet to correct the erroneous first report in their database - if ever they will. Once on the internet, information - right or wrong- never goes away. I am asking the Zenith community to please help me out by not forwarding such false reports if it comes into your possession and if possible informing those who sent it of the error.  Neither I nor our community need the adverse "press" arising from false information. 

When the bungee on my first 801 failed causing a locked rudder and resulting accident, despite failure analysis and NTSB reports supporting a defective part the FAA found me "guilty" of pilot error and imposed demeaning and expensive sanctions. That on top of the losses on the aircraft and increased insurance.  I would hate to be hanged twice in a row, once in private by the FAA and once in public by the public, while innocent of wrongdoing. Zenith pilots fly a very capable and attention grabbing aircraft with unique capabilities. This enables us to do the things that we do simply because it is a very capable aircraft, not because we are risk takers or daredevils of some sort. So please help me keep adverse "press" from spreading. None of us need the bad publicity. I apologize in advance if my service to  those in need and this irresponsible action by the FSDO results in any bad reflection upon the Zenith pilot community.

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Sam - sorry to hear of such bizarre incompetence by the FAA.

I guess it was too much for Mr.Tim McQuain to actually apologize for his/their very significant error?

But god knows they will come down on you like a ton of bricks for the slightest infraction. I have one word in mind for this kind of governmental arrogance - it starts with an A and ends with an E.

Not Mr. McQuain's fault.  No blame for this goes to him. He was just the person at the duty desk who this got dumped on after the person on the weekend duty desk got this dumped on them, etc.  He at least wrote me a letter.  Due to the compartmentalization, his only concern is that I am not flying around in a damaged plane from hitting a power line, and there his involvement ends. The problem is the mass of bureaucracy and meaningless rules behind the people in the field.  And of course if the people in Enforcement get a sniff, they don't ever give up until they find you guilty of something.  I was told by a non FAA person that the pilot who did hit the wire filed a NASA report, but that it is considered confidential and can't be accessed to clear my record.  Perfectly logical - huh?  So it won't be over until someone is guilty.

And the incorrect information cat is already out of the bag. The incident is on the internet. It's "fact" now. 


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