CAP Aircraft Maintenance Neglect in Tennessee Wing

Col Bill Lane, Col Alvin J. Bedgood, Col Arlinda BaileyCol Bill Lane, Col Alvin J. Bedgood, Col Arlinda Bailey

By AuxBeacon News Contributor

N1472F, a corporate C-172 was assigned to the Tullahoma Squadron. During this assignment during which Col Jim “James” Rushing was the Wing Commander and Lt Col Bill Lane was the Vice Wing Commander and Maintenance Officer. Maintenance was being performed by the Tullahoma Squadron Maintenance Officer and others in the Squadron.

Col Rushing and Lt Col Lane knew this practice was happening because there were no legitimate Maintenance Invoices coming in for maintenance performed by an authorized and insured maintenance facility. This practice was allowed to continue with no corrective action accomplished until the Wing Director of Operations insisted on rotating the aircraft to Murfreesboro TN (MBT) because of low utilization.

While en-route to MBT, Maj Randall P. Patterson was flying N1472F between Tullahoma and Murfreesboro airports when the engine shut down for a couple of seconds then restarted on its own. After this momentary loss of power, the engine never fully operated in the correct manner and was surging back and forth until landing at MBT. While in flight, I radioed to Col Rushing who was ahead of me in N428CP and told him of this incident and I said that if this engine quits I will be landing on the highway below me.

As I approached Murfreesboro Airport, I called out my position and radioed to traffic in the area that I had an engine that was not functioning correctly and traffic in the area cleared for me to land. I reported this to the Group Operations Officer at that time, Capt Gary Spradlin and he immediately put the aircraft in the shop.

While on the ramp at Tullahoma, Lt Col Don Freeman, CAP ID 137248, TN-036 admitted in front of Col James Rushing that he performed the maintenance on that aircraft and that he performed the inspections on this aircraft and that since he did the work it was a safe aircraft because Lt Col Don Freeman did the work himself and this can be verified in the Maintenance Log Books as the A&P performing the work while he was an active member of CAP.

His name will appear in the Aircraft Maintenance Log Books several times. This clearly violates CAPR 66-1. Tennessee Wing Leadership knew of these practices for 3 years and failed to correct this violation. I formally request a full and complete investigation into the Tennessee Wing Commander and Vice Wing Commander, Col James Rushing and Lt Col Bill Lane for violation of CAP Regulations and misconduct.

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