From: Brian Meyette
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2007 10:23 AM
To: LaVerne. Reid@faa. gov
Cc: Randy Hansen; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; Michel.Hovan@faa.gov
Subject: Claremont March 5 response to FAA Feb 2 query
Dear Ms. Reid,
The reasoning in the City of Claremont’s response to your Feb 2 queries is based on a chain of dubious logic, supported by false and misleading statements. They claim they are limiting occupancy to certified/registered aircraft because they are prohibiting fabrication. They claim they are prohibiting fabrication because they do not have the “….type of electrical, water, or fire suppression service that would be required for safe construction, fabrication….”. That claim is false.
Preventing fire-hazard-related activities can be accomplished simply by prohibiting those activities which are a fire hazard. There is no need for a second level of prohibition in the form of prohibiting unregistered aircraft. The prohibition against unregistered aircraft was aimed solely at blocking me from renting a hangar, because they knew my plane is not yet registered.
The City’s claim that the hangars do not have the “type of electrical.…service” to allow fabrication is false. Thousands of people build their planes at home every day. It takes nothing beyond the most basic electrical service to build a plane. In fact, my own construction at my house is completely off the grid, and is done using only solar and wind power.
The City’s claim that the hangars do not have the “type of .…water.…service” to allow fabrication is even more disingenuous No water is required to construct an aircraft.
The City’s claim that the hangars do not have the “type of….fire suppression service” to allow fabrication is partially true and partially false. The City is mixing fire-hazard-related and non-fire-hazard-related activities in an attempt to justify their discrimination. I am not objecting to a prohibition of fire-hazard-related activities listed in NFPA 409 as requiring additional fire protection. However, Claremont is attempting to justify their discriminatory activities by mixing these few fire-hazardous activities with the vast majority of construction, fabrication, and maintenance activities which do not result in any increased fire hazard.
Claremont did not act to prohibit activities that require more fire protection than the building is equipped for, as they falsely claim. They lumped all aircraft building activities together and banned them all, in an attempt to discriminate against me. Then, they added another layer of discrimination by banning unregistered aircraft, and claiming that the latter ban was due to the former ban. It simply isn’t rational, has no basis in fact or need, and serves only to discriminate against me and other homebuilders and ultralight owners in the FAA-funded hangars. It ensures that Chief Peter Chase’s preferred insiders, with certificated aircraft, got into the FAA-funded hangars, while discriminating against those who were not one of his insiders.
The City’s spurious claim that “….fabrication would include gluing, welding, riveting, or heat-treating….” is an example of Claremont’s attempt to mix justifiable prohibitions with unjustifiable, discriminatory prohibitions. While prohibiting painting and welding are reasonable and justifiable, prohibiting riveting is not. Nor is it reasonable or justifiable to prohibit the many other common, non-fire-hazard-related aircraft building, “fabrication”, and “more than minor maintenance” activities that are done by builders every day in hangars across the country; riveting, wrenching, cutting, bending and drilling sheet metal, wiring, plumbing, avionics, mechanical assembly, etc. All these activities are prohibited by the City’s leases which exclude all fabrication and/or maintenance. A blanket ban of all these activities cannot be blamed on a need for more fire suppression capacity than presently exists in than the hangars, as the City is attempting to claim. These activities do not need more fire suppression capacity than the hangars currently have. A blanket ban of all these legitimate, non-fire-hazard-related activities is discriminatory and not based on any rational reasoning, other than Claremont’s attempts to exclude me and other homebuilders from the FAA-funded hangars.
As a contrasting example, I have worked with the airport management at Lebanon Municipal Airport (LEB) to produce the following lease terms related to maintenance/fabrication, for the hangars to be constructed this spring at LEB:
10. AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE/REPAIRS. The Hangar shall not be used as a workshop, repair shop or maintenance shop for painting or major aircraft repairs that include hazardous operations, such as fuel transfer, welding, torch cutting, torch soldering (i.e., spark-producing), doping, and spray painting. The Hangar is not to be used as sleeping quarters.
The contrast is that LEB management is legitimately seeking to protect their building by prohibiting only repairs and activities that include hazardous operations, without discriminating, while Chief Peter Chase was focused from the beginning on excluding me and ensuring that his preferred insiders got the hangar leases. Chief Chase’s focus has been on childish and vindictive revenge against me for publicizing information about the City’s improper activities related to building private hangars at the airport. The CNH management designed their leases specifically to exclude me and other homebuilders. Despite being asked many times, both verbally and in writing, over the course of an entire year, CNH management conspired to keep the lease terms secret from me and those who were not the preferred insiders, until the “race for the leases” began.
Please do remain focused on the FAA-funded hangars. That is where the discrimination took place; with the hangars that the FAA paid for. The City of Claremont is trying to confuse the issue and cover their nefarious discrimination schemes with a shell game by switching the focus and making dubious claims about other areas of the airport.
Claremont claims that “The City does not consider fabrication as including attachment of wings on any aircraft.”. However, such attachment of wings would certainly be considered beyond the scope of “minor maintenance”, which the City has also prohibited in these discriminatory leases. Anything that can be said above about “fabrication” can also be said about the other activity Claremont discriminated in prohibiting; all maintenance other than “minor maintenance”. The FAA typically defines “minor maintenance” as those minor maintenance activities which an owner may perform on a certificated aircraft. Claremont is discriminating against me and other homebuilders by irrationally prohibiting all maintenance other than “minor maintenance”, including maintenance which has no additional fire suppression requirements.
In all this consideration of the discriminatory lease terms, please keep in mind the core of the original complaint; that Claremont discriminated against pilots on the hangar waiting list by producing a scheme to ensure that Fire Chief Peter Chase’s preferred insiders bypassed the waiting list and got the hangars. I have been on the hangar waiting list at CNH since 2002, and #1 on that list for 2-3 years. I also have written documentation from Peter Chase, stating that I was #3 on the “new” waiting list that he irrationally created to replace the existing waiting list.
As pointed out previously, Philip Joe Osgood, the insider from the Claremont Airport Advisory Board, had prior insider knowledge of the lease terms that were kept secret from others inquiring about them. The City’s own Airport Advisory Board minutes prove this beyond any possible doubt. Prior knowledge of otherwise-secret lease terms is obviously a huge discriminatory advantage in Peter Chase’s “race for the leases” scheme to bypass the waiting list.
The other preferred insider that I mentioned earlier, Larry Dingee, got the first hangar in the “race”. What I didn’t realize and describe at the time of the initial complaint is that Larry Dingee’s business, Dingee Fire Apparatus, supplies fire trucks and fire truck maintenance to Fire Chief Peter Chase. The connection is obvious; Fire Chief Peter Chase wanted to make sure that his buddy, Dingee Fire Apparatus owner Larry Dingee, got one of the hangars. So Larry Dingee was first in line. If Chief Chase wants to misuse his positions to award insider favors to his “good old boy” network, that’s bad enough, but it is especially egregious when he uses the FAA-funded hangars to do it.
The discriminatory lease terms were an added level of protection for Chief Peter Chase’s preferred insiders; to ensure that, even if I should be able to get a lease signed before his preferred insiders, I would find the terms of the lease prohibited the activity they knew was the basis of me wanting a hangar; to finish my plane.
Please ensure that the City of Claremont does not continue to use FAA funds to discriminate against homebuilders and against aircraft owners who were on the hangar waiting list.
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