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Doc Bryant

Short Final for 10 July, 2006Overheard on the July 4th afternoon...

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From Avweb.com's twice weekly compendium of things av8ting!Short FinalOverheard on the July 4th afternoon...Center: Bonanza xyz, say destination. Someone entered Big Sur in here, and I doubt you're landing on the VOR.Bonanza xyz: Center, you're broken, do you have a better radio?Center: Sir, this is the best the government can afford.(pause)... and they long ago paid four times what it was worth.Doc Bryant

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Doc,That brings to mind a toilet seat that cost $1,100 for a military aircraft some years ago.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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And well worth the money too!Builder had to make sure the part met military specifications. Neither builder nor military customer ever figured a toilet seat would be an expendable part. After all, up to that point in the military, no one fought the battle of "Seat Up/Seat Down". Post femininization of the services, more wear and tear on said plumbing articles could have occured, leading to failure of seat. Aircraft out of production. Re tooling needed. So, recertification of the seat as to it's meeting the applicable standards. And the costs added up.I have it on good authority that the US Government themselves requested that COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf" part status not be allowed for this particular part as the inspectors at the Bureau of Standards were worried that combat aircraft might have non standard, non air worthy seats replacing the mil spec ones.Seats rejected include ones that played a musical tune such as "How Dry I Am", or "The Aggie War March". Also rejected were abnormally upholstered seats or those covered with shag carpet.Doc Bryant

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I strongly suspect that Doc has been watching too many Japanese toilet videos. There is no other way to account for it. Sad, too sad!But, is this all really true? Is that story about the toilet seats not just another of those bits of false knowledge, a so-called "legend"?Although it is true that everyone has always stolen from the goverment. After all, if you don't do it, somebody else will, so you might as well!And the toilet seat would be just peanuts compared to cost overruns on big-ticket items, like STOL aircraft or advanced bombers.Ah, money! Wouldn't it be nice to be a government contractor and live in the lap of luxury?Best regards.Luis

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