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I had to declare an emergency the other day due to a mechanical issue. This is my first emergency since I got out of the Navy 38 years ago. I won't bore you with the details of the emergency, but I had to get the plane on the ground in a hurry and ATC couldn't issue me a clearance that would get me on the ground quickly (I was IFR in IMC). Everything worked out; I landed safely with no damage to me, my plane, or the airport. I called ATC once on the ground and told them I had landed and didn't need any further assistance. That's where the story begins: Shortly thereafter (amazingly quickly), I got a call from a FSDO inspector and was informed he was opening an investigation. That was about the last thing I wanted to hear right then. The investigation started with my statement, but progressed to the point where the inspector actually went out to my aircraft and watched while repair was done and the logs were signed off. Afterwards, the inspector followed up with an investigation into the repaired parts and who signed them off....this did not endear me to the people providing the repaired parts! After a period of time (it seemed like a long time), I was finally told that the investigation was closed and that no further action would be taken. You are probably wondering what sort of pilot gets this special attention. All I can say it that I have a 46 year clean record (about 29,000 hours). The only time I interface with the FSDO is to renew my CFI. It isn't like I have an emergency every week, violate airspace, and use bad language talking to controllers. I have always believed that declaring an emergency was a no-risk event and that as long as you didn't hurt anyone, or bend any aluminum, it was a non-event. Apparently that's not so. So, is this change? Has anyone else experienced this? Is this just a policy of this particular FSDO? Is this a new FAA-wide policy? Is this just a single, eager-beaver inspector? Obviously, there is some mechanism where ATC transmits information about emergency declarations to the FSDO. Won't this policy have a chilling effect on pilots declaring an emergency due to fears of an "investigation"?
1963 Mooney M20D Master Checklist View File Microsoft PowerPoint 1997-2003 file for my 1963 Mooney M20D. 180hp Lycoming O-360 engine, manual gear, cowl flaps, and hydraulic flaps. All information as per POH1188. Submitter Raptor05121 Submitted 09/07/2015 Category Safety & Techniques