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Concord CFO Convention 2003

Special thanks to Duane Allen for the pictures for this report.

The Western CFO convention was held in Concord, California, with a few adjustments this year that worked out well.

The technical sessions were held in the hangar of Sterling Aviation, who were excellent hosts for our group. We had access to their facility for the entire weekend.

The event started with a hangar discussion, a great place to hold up some broken parts and share the things we've all learned since the last time we got together. Ron Magnus and others brought recently replaced parts so we could look at the failure points.

Part way through the presentation, Keith joined the discussion after his commercial flight from Chicago. There was no shortage of topics as we burned the midnight oil.

Bright and early the next morning we gathered again and started our ramp walkaround. One member was in the midst of some interior modifications and a number of areas of the airplane were more visible than usual, so we spent quite a bit of time reviewing the visible Cardinal.

In our usual routine, each member had a chance to talk about their airplane and discuss any unusual or unique details. A few also described problems they were seeing and got the benefit of the group's wisdom in that area.

As we walked around a few details came to eye: a missing door spring, a loose wire hanging in the elevator arm, interesting installations of intercoms and headphone jacks.

We usually find a couple of stabilators which are loose enough to give everyone a sense of what that feels like. Sometimes we come across a bent nose gear hook to talk about. Always there are very nice interiors, uphostries, paint jobs, a wide range of very nicely maintained aircraft.

Paul and Harry outdid themselves with lunch, an excellent mix of BBQ and other options that really hit the spot.

Over lunch we heard from our CFO insurance contact Bob Leuten, who brought us up to date on trends in valuation and insurance, and answered questions about the many details and variations of insuring Cardinals. He also let us know that he has been able to get instructor riders for CFO members who are flying with Guy Maher at no extra charge, an excellent arraingment. Clearly we're doing some good by bringing all our CFO insurance business together.

We also had invited a very friendly and personable person from the local FSDO to talk about the Field Approval process, which has been a source of concern, consternation and press of late. Unfortunately that person was unable to come, and even more unfortunatly he handed the invitation over to a far less friendly and personable FSDO employee.

As a result the last part of our lunch took an interesting turn, as FAA Dennis first filled us in on the field approval process (which still does exist), then offered printouts of the Cardinal Type Certificate, then headed off into the deep weeds.

This part of the discussion started with his list of 'life limited parts', an exhaustive summary of items that he compiled, evidently from a wide range of aircraft. It was interesting to see the range of parts with limits in certain applications.

Unfortunately his comments seemed to suggest that this list applied to the Cardinal. This was questioned directly, leading to a discussion that ended with a clearer understanding: We are limited only by our Type Certificate (which lists no life limited parts) as modified by any ADs which are issued to modify it. Few if any of the parts listed in his document are not impacted by AD on the Cardinal.

The question remains as to whether we should be concerned about these parts. Some are common parts, such as oil line hoses. Concern for some of them are relevant and are a source of frequent discussion in the CFO forums. Others are a matter of design: Bonanzas must worry about wing bolts, but our design is different. It is a subject for which the context is critical.

In the end everything worked out, although we were quite aware of the continued presense of Dennis through the remainder of the day. Paul tried to do a good thing, and it did not work out as planned. Lesson learned, we will not be inviting any feds to our future CFO events. We invite you to connect up with your local EAA chapters, pilot's groups etc. for access to these kinds of learning.

The rest of our event was the down-and-dirty, up to our elbows technical clinic that is the core of our conventions. We dug into a FG and an RG and reviewed many of the inspection points, discussing problems and solutions. These sessions are always very interesting, with comments and observations from the membership that make it a learning experience for all.

It was very nice to have everything on the same side of the airport, no cars or taxiing required. We were able to walk between airplanes and the tech session, to the hotel and to meals without any logistical hassles. Well planned, Paul and Harry!

Our evening banquet was a relaxed and congenial event. Over the hours, and from past years, we've come to know this group well, and it's a good group. Fun to be with, full of stories.

We were particularly entertained by Paul Gahlinger, who brought a few of his books at a discount price. His comments about his adventures and work with flight medicals were very interesting and entertaining.

Morning brought a group brunch along the babbling waterways that traverse the hotel public area. It was a grand buffet, with everything one could imagine for our enjoyment. Truly a great way to wrap up the event.

Thanks to all who made this a memorable convention. We look forward to next year, where we're planning to adjust our implementation a little and make it even more interesting.

Here is a report from Duane Allen

It was beautiful weather for the West Coast CFO 2003 Convention. We even had FAA reps as guest speakers. It sounds to me like most of us are flying unairworthy airplanes according to the Denny.

I photographed 26 airplanes including Bob Leuten's Scout. I am not sure about one parked at Sterling (N35143). I failed to double count to make sure I got them all. Lunch was very good, and there was salad left over. Dinner was even better, and not one dessert left over.

Sorry I didn't have my airplane there, but, it is still all torn apart and my hangar is a mess. Maybe next time.

Special thanks to Harry for all his hard work in registering us, getting the food at lunch time, and just all around organization. He is good. Of course, we see Paul and Keith's work all the time. Harry just operates in the background. Thanks Harry.

Duane 78FG CCR CA

Here are a few of the people who were at the flyin banquet. Click on any image for a larger version:

ccr03_05.jpg ccr03_06.jpg ccr03_07.jpg
ccr03_08.jpg ccr03_09.jpg ccr03_10.jpg
The following aircraft were in attendance at the Concord convention. Click on any image for a larger version:

c-gkny.jpg n10420.jpg
n1548h.jpg n17204.jpg
n177bw.jpg n177tg.jpg
n177tp.jpg n212wv.jpg
n2194q.jpg n2306y.jpg
n277tv.jpg n29395.jpg
n30357.jpg n3152t.jpg
n34086.jpg n34147.jpg
n34162.jpg n34644.jpg
n34803.jpg n34833.jpg
n34905.jpg n35091.jpg
n35143.jpg n35821.jpg
n35rf.jpg n52044.jpg

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