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As a pilot, I''m aware that there are a few elementry tasks that I''m allowed to perfrom on a helicopter.


What happens if I step outside these bounds? Lets say I change out a transponder or fiddle with flight controls. Now I know this is really stupid, but lets say I had the type of personality that led me to believe these actions were ok, and that these stupid rules are made by stupid people and they don''t apply to me. How much trouble can I get in?


What if I get caught leaving a tire pump in the broom closet? Nothing bad happens, this time.


However, there is always a next time and when there is, the result is a crash. Would it, or would it not be, a good idea to prosicute me? And does legislation even allow for this?


The problem is even worse if I still don''t see anything wrong, right? What about next time?

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Interesting question, I assume you're posing it as a hypothetically - at least I hope you are.


Of course there are regulations governing this - CARS are full of them, as well they should be. You also expose yourself to civil and criminal liabilities outside CARS if something goes pear-shaped.


Your analogy of the transponder vs. flight controls is interesting. Basically the same as asking "is stealing a car more against the law than stealing a gas barbeque?"


"...these stupid rules are made by stupid people and they don't apply to me"


Thankfully, this one usually takes care of itself with remarkable Darwinian efficiency, either via tragic means, or no longer being considered employable. I know some good examples of both. The fact is, this trait is called 'invincibility' (not to be confused with healthy ego or confidence) and is not very common in aviation.

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Helicopper ---- there''s no such thing as Life imprisonment in Canada, as it''s only 25 years. That is seldom given out as you know and you are more likely to hear, "Life imprisonment with no chance of parole for ten (10) years". I consider that expression an oxymoron.


Fin ---- all stated is true. By the same token, if I''m out in the middle of Prince Patrick Island in the Arctic and I have a A/F fuel filter light at -25C, that filter will get changed (providing I have my trusty belt on). If that happens in Peace River, AB well then I''ll have to call the mechanical partner. Point being, that you can make all the rules you want, but you can''t legislate ''common sense''. If you don''t have that, then all the ability in the world and a whole bunch of rules aren''t going to make much difference in how long you live.

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Breaking of rules happens all the time. Sometimes it's illegal, sometimes it's illegal but with effective risk management. The difference is the ones who do effective risk management have lots of information behind them.


You must know:

- the rule you are breaking.

- the legal consequences of breaking the rule.

- a full understanding of the systems you're monkeying with.

- an appreciation of what would happen if you did/didn't break this rule.


Fiddle with a transponder: can't quote any rules, but if the airspace you're flying in doesn't require a transponder and it's not on a MEL, then you may only have to answer to whomever fixes your mess.


Adjust flight controls: comprising CofA. This action could easily endanger you, your pax, and the aircraft. I'd be leery of going this route. For one thing, if the aircraft doesn't require the "tweak" but could definitely use one, then isn't it airworthy before the tweak but not after?


Replacing fuel filter: comprimising CofA, but if the lack of action endangers you, your crew, and your pax, then not doing anything could be the wrong thing.



After saying all that, in this day of satellite communications and polar high fliers, big decisions don't necessarily have to be made by small players (not trying to step on any egos here...I'm one of the small players).


The other thing to consider is to not wait for this situation to arise and then make this decision in the field. Plan on breaking where there's no approved facility and decide the course of action prior to going there.

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