Tom Horne

Waiting patiently ….

July 30, 2009 by Thomas A. Horne, Editor At Large

Well, the bill of sale and the “flying wire” have been recorded, the logs look good, the flight checks were flawless, and everything checks out on the equipment lists. The Phenoms–now transformed into N610AS and N620AS per the new U. S. registration–are sitting on the delivery center floor now. I can see them from my office on the third floor, which has internet access and Phenom checklists, flow charts, etc.

We’re waiting for the Brazilian certification authorities to show up. The Brazilians check to see if the Phenoms comply with FAA Type Certificate specs. They’re empowered to do this by a reciprocal agreement with the US.

But it’s the waiting that’s killing us. When these guys show up, the mood changes. A cordon goes up around the airplanes, and NO ONE can go near the inspectors or the airplanes. It usually takes them four hours per airplane to do the job….but there are “horror” (use Colonel Kurtz voice from “Apocalypse Now”) stories of 8-hour inspections, complete with re-wirings, etc.

After that, it’s STILL not over. You don’t just blast off in an N-registered airplane with your FAA pilot certificate. That’s illegal in Brazil–unless you have an overflight permit. Which is also in the works.

Bottom line: this should all be done by tomorrow morning. By then the rest of the crew will certainly have recovered from last night’s exotic adventures, and we’ll be legal for our trip back. Try Flightaware.com about mid-day. I’ll be in N610AS. Stops are still set for Brasilia, Belem, Port of Spain Trinidad, and FLL. Does Flightaware work in South America? I dunno……….

Soon, it will be time for lunch in the company cafeteria. Very civilized here at Embraer.

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