Project Police Orientation

Russ Erb

The following was adapted by the original author from an article published in the EAA Chapter 72 newsletter in February 1994

So you're already wondering, "What's all this hub-bub on the EAA Chapter 1000 web site about the Project Police?" And you should be concerned, since our file server has already determined if you have an airplane project and is notifying the Project Police. At any moment they may be coming to visit you and your project.

Purpose

The Project Police is organized (in the loosest sense of the word) within an EAA chapter to encourage project progress, inform chapter members of your work, report on fly-ins and other events, encourage member interaction, and, of course, as an excuse to talk about airplanes and have a good time.

Origins

The concept of the Project Police was first suggested by Jim Piavis, the first president of EAA Chapter 1000. The idea was loosely based on hospitality checks, very common at Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training bases, further developed into roof stomping at the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. For a hospitality check, several people would get together and show up unannounced at your door or window at any time of the day or night. In order to successfully pass a hospitality check, you were expected to invite these uninvited guests into your abode and serve them an appropriate beverage (beer, Cokes, etc.) Supplying munchies was also a point in your favor. Failing these requirements would make you subject to a re-check at a later date. Roof Stomping is similar, with only the method of announcing the check teams arrival being changed. In this case, the inspection team surreptitiously sneaks onto your roof (use of ladder is authorized), and, on command, starts stomping on the roof until you come out and invite them in.

Since the origination of the Project Police, they have slowly expanded their powers as they saw fit.

The general explanations in this article are derived from EAACHAP1000REG 00-50.PP(Project Police). This regulation has been paraphrased, since after the lawyers and bureaucrats got done with it, not even the original authors could understand what it said. How do I claim to understand this stuff? Some questions are better left unanswered (we make this stuff up as we go along).

Project Police Membership

Who can be a member of the Project Police? Any chapter member. What? Any chapter member? Yes! Any chapter member! So you ask "How do I become a Project Police officer?" It's simple, and you can do it in the comfort of your own home or hangar. Simply place your right hand on latest issue of Sport Aviation and recite the following oath:

I do solemnly swear to uphold the honor and dignity of the Project Police corps above some minimal standard and to finish every chocolate-chip cookie handed unto me. I will accept all bribes offered in exchange for a favorable rating of the victim's project but regardless of the rating given, I will write anything I want into the Official Project Police Blotter so long as it is exceptionally humorous. So help the victim!

If the latest issue of Sport Aviation is not available, then any suitable aviation rag will do.

However, realize that anyone making a raid in the name of the Project Police is expected to submit a report in the newsletter.

Where does the Project Police strike?

Anywhere. Usually at your shop. Note that Fly-ins and other chapter events are fair game too.

When does the Project Police strike?

Anytime. The Project Police reserve the right to total surprise. Thus, they may strike at O-dark-thirty. However, since the Project Police have jobs and like to sleep too, raids tend to be at more reasonable hours. Beware, though, of the Project Police shouldst they get bored. In the name of efficiency, the Project Police reserve the right to call first, but are by no means required to.

Chapter members may request a visit from the Project Police for any purposes such as tips and advice (remember, Project Police members are not required to have the knowledge of Technical Counselors) or as additional manpower for projects such as wing closings. You are warned, though, that you will still be subject to the same treatment as during a normal raid.

Typical Project Police Procedures

You will know that the Project Police has arrived at your door when they arrive in teams of one or more Project Police officers. Typically, you will be read your rights, i.e.

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be printed in the newsletter...If you wish to have an attorney present, you'll have to spring for it out of your own pocket 'cause we're broke..."

The best thing to do at this point is offer the Project Police suitable beverages and some high-fructose snacks (chocolate chip cookies are known to be especially effective) and show them to your project. At this point they will look around your project, inspecting your work, and hit you with a barrage of questions, such as "What is this? What is that? What's this do? Why did you do this this way? Why didn't you do that that way?"

The Project Police will look for violations of the Project Police Code, which may include the following:

  1. Failure to show progress on your project.
  2. Absent from your project without a good reason.
  3. Failure to provide suitable refreshments.
  4. Anything else the Project Police comes up with.

It is interesting to note that not having a neat shop is not necessarily a violation, generally depending on the work habits of the inspection team.

The Project Police is also authorized to form a Tactical Strike Force for the purposes of inspecting projects on a large scale, such as at fly-ins or other events. A larger group of Project Police officers are assembled and transported en masse to the event of interest. In addition to the numerous Aerial Assault Vehicles, one well known Project Police officer in possession of a Project Police Paddywagon, which normally masquerades as a standard 12-passenger van. This vehicle is battle-tested and proven for Tactical Strike Force raids through several such uses with the EAA Chapter 1000 Project Police.

Reporting

All Project Police actions, regardless of who is involved, are required to be reported in the appropriate publication, namely the Chapter Newsletter. As a special note to the newsletter editor, as the final reviewer of all Project Police reports, you are charged with ensuring that the words "Project Police" are always printed in bold, italic print.

A Final Word

Just to reiterate, the purpose of the Project Police is to keep the chapter informed on what you are doing and you informed of what the rest of the chapter is up to. While the procedures may seem a bit unorthodox to you, don't sweat it. Project Police operations increase in enjoyment with an increase in participation by Chapter members. As a side benefit, it has also been shown to breathe more life and excitement into the Chapter in general.

So finish browsing our web site, then get back to work on your project. You may be next on the Project Police hit list!!!


EAA Chapter 1000 Home Page
E-Mail: Web Site Director Russ Erb at erbman@pobox.com

URL: http://www.eaa1000.av.org/ppolice/cluebag.htm
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 22 February 1997