We were the first to fluy the UH-1 under the exemption. We spent hours on all the issues, pilot crew training, maintenance etc. We had 4 years without an issue. When AD's came out for the tail boom and main mast the FAA sent us a letter to stop the flights which we did. With the repairs in excess of $35,000 per aircraft, we requested the FAA put in writing they would re approve our exemption if we complied with the AD's and any other issues that they defined. Guess what, they would not put it in writing. We were a small museum and that was our major source of income to keep the aircraft flying. Without the exemption we could not keep them in the air. With the FAA being unwilling to put it in writing we let the Hueys sit, and we sold them a few years ago. I am sick of being treated this way. Even when you do what they say in the way they want it you are still at their mercy. Not about safety, it is about power. Somebody gets off pulling the rug out from the people who pay their salary. I am not against the AD or safe flying and maintenance. I am against some person in an office controlling my life and not helping when I am trying to do the right thing.
Flying is not what it was in 1986 when I started my pilot training. I will most likely sell my O2-A while it is still worth something.
I doubt I will ever take to the air again. I am that disgusted with the way we were treated by the FAA.
This message alone should be forwarded to the head of the FAA. When people with a passion for flight get so disgusted they would rather leave the activity, it speaks louder than much else.
I see this same sort of issue in pretty much every world I live in. I put it ALL down to Too Many College Grads. In the past, to rise to a position of power in most any organization, you had to start at the bottom and work your way up....learning everything along the way. Today, you get mommy and daddy to rent a condo for a few years, get you a credit card so you can "Party" during that time and at the end you have a peice of paper that says you know more than others and deserve a position. Then, others with papers like you hire you....where you get to screw up the real world for those who have lived and built it. (Certainly there are degrees in advanced areas such as Engineering that do provide a skill...but if I had a dime for every "Business Admin" degree I've choked working under.....).