In reply to:
Since this repair has never been done before on a Columbia you need the Factory to sign off on the repair.
Absolutely untrue. All that is needed is a 337 field approval for a major mod… The manufacturer has no say in the matter at all. However, the FAA may require extensive engineering analysis after the repair before signing off on the 337, and without the technical support of the manufacturer, that analysis would likely be a long and expensive process.
As for hull insurance on composite airplanes being more expensive than spam cans because of the construction materials, that ain’t so either! Check out the back issues of “Aviation Insurance and Risk Management”. In one issue (I can’t remember which), there was a very good article demonstrating, with NUMBERS, that the higher hull premiums are due to (1) the VERY expensive integrated electronics and avionics that are put at risk and (2) the lack of actuarial data for risk modeling the new airframes, NOT the airframe structure itself. In fact, repair COST for composite airframes is about 25% of what it would cost for repairing equivalent damage in aluminum aircraft, but repair TIME is about 4 to 6 times longer due to specialized prep, patch fabrication, set-up, curing, and finishing, then the FAA-required post-repair structural testing that isn’t required of the refined bauxite planes.