Anyone messed themselves in annual?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Unit74, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    My annual inspection typically run me $2-2.5k every year plus any upgrades I do. So yesterday I get a call from MX and they have 22 line items to review. What they found absolutely shocked me. Either my old MX was blind, didn’t care or was trying to kilt me.

    All in, I’m at $6k and that is with a couple deferred items. I just about lost my lunch. I was planning on doing some avionics by summer, but gaaadddam man this takes a bite outa that.

    Sooo.... what’s your “holly crap are you serious?” annual findings?
     
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  2. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Or the new one is trying to screw you?
     
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  3. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    No, they were legit findings. Pics were supplied.
     
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  4. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Yeah, it can be frustrating. I've experienced that kind of frustration myself - why didn't the last guy find that one? The worst was when an old hydraulic hose blew... only 6 months after my company had had an "extensive" pre-buy done on a new-to-us plane.
     
  5. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    I’m just a regular joe trying to live a ballers lifestyle. Owned a plane since 2014 and this was the first time I got hammered in annual. It’s a new shop to me....
     
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  6. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    Can you share some of the identified items?
     
  7. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    I always seem to have a long list. I’m hoping that once my A&P finishes putting his kids through college, my annuals will be less expensive. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  8. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    Pretty much sums it up for me :)
     
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  9. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    A new shop is always going to find "something." Whether it's truly legit/critical is another matter. One A&P can look at something and say "it's fine." Another might look at it and say "replace it now or you're going to die." In my experience, the first guy is more likely to be right (and the second guy probably works for a bigger shop). Not always the case, but frequently.
     
  10. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    There were a few items that I was like OK.. that’s not critical. But more and a few left me wondering if my last AP just didn’t care. Not items that would have just popped up.
     
  11. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Something similar happened to me this annual. I’ve been using the same guy and he’s been OK with some things but he said that they’d need to be replaced sometime. This year was sometime for all of them. That and a couple of parts that also happened to break this year added up to a $5,000 annual instead of $2,000.
     
  12. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    My first annual on a Citabria, found the wrong engine installed no paper work, for the install. And after research no STC to install that engine.
    First annual on a Stinson 108-3, Thumping along the lower longeron the whole thing collapsed leaving the fabric loose on the bottom and side, looking at the interior, nothing but red rust and broken longeron.
     
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  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The biggest oh damn "I" had was on a club plane. We took it to a different A&P (the guy who always does my RV) and among our requests was to make sure the rigging was correct. Plane tended to need too much rudder trim.

    turns out the cables needed replacement and there was a broken unapproved part from the regular MX attempt to jury rig it. Gotta love ripping out someones deficient and incorrect work. So... a few grand later the plane was back. The next 6 flights - 4 guys said it was the best it's ever been, and 2 said it was even worse than before. Argh!
     
  14. BGF_Yankee

    BGF_Yankee Line Up and Wait

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    Also important to remember that maintenance doesn't take place once a year. Many folks buy an airplane and think once they pass the annual inspection that they are free for the rest of that year. It's rare that a month goes by and I haven't done something on the airplane, even if it's just a cosmetic issue. These things can tend to build up if left unchecked. But as others have said here, every A&P is different. Each will have varying experience levels with a particular model aircraft, so may or may not know what to look at and/or where to look. Bottom line is how comfortable are you with the new A&P? Perhaps the reason your previous annuals were so low is that the A&P was bypassing things that didn't seem very serious but now may be coupled with the long list of items.
     
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  15. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    The second guy might also be a pilot. Tell the first guy that he has to come with you on the post-inspection check flight.
     
  16. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some mechanics believe that the best way to get repeat business is to do annuals cheaply and not write up too much. Of course, to actually get the repeat business, the pilot and plane have to make it to the next annual.
     
  17. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    The best way to get repeat customers is, to keep them alive by catching the airworthiness discrepancies and not worrying them with nit-picky stuff.
     
  18. Scrabo

    Scrabo Pattern Altitude

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    Pre-buy inspections can be hit & miss IMO. My neighbor was buying a 182, the MX doing the inspection of course found nothing too bad, recommended replacing the tires, that was it.

    Neighbor couldn't believe it so paid for a second MX who recommended a few things needed now or shortly in the future - including replacing all the gaskets on the manifold and left mag overhaul. Second MX inspection actually costed less !
     
  19. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Honestly, I’d rather get raked over the coals then to get a pencil whipper job. It’s not about money when I stuff it full of my kids.
     
  20. Blatham489

    Blatham489 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Child’s play. My prebuy for the Bo was an annual, lots of stuff caught and corrected. Didn’t even make it to my first annual and had over $20k of “stuff”. Not improvements. Those were that much more.
     
  21. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Adding up the bills for our dearly departed Skyhawk shows an average of $6260/year for maintenance, over 16 year (including all repairs and periodic maintenance, plus the annual.) Along the way we had new mags and a new carburetor, too many batteries to count, and lots of tires, as well as a field overhaul. Probably typical of what is needed, but not what is expected when one buys such a critter.
     
  22. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    As much as I’d love to have an airplane of my own, that’s a big reason why the ownership route scares me right now.
     
  23. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Yea, I’ve got around $4k in MX last year plus the annual.

    Kinda feels like a drug addiction at this point... I really want to stop, but I just can’t. I think I need help.
     
  24. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We all need help.
     
  25. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Par for the course with us, 2-3 reasonable annuals, then we get an expensive one. Gear donuts need replaced, or gearbox needs to go out for inspection, or prop hub needs a re-seal, or.....
     
  26. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    How long had he been inspecting your aircraft? Complacency is another item to add to your list.
     
  27. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like typical Google reviews.
     
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  28. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We did a 1 hour IFR practice flight last week, including two instrument approaches in actual IMC. Everything was fine till we were taxiing back to the hangar and the JPI began flashing "Battery". We turned the battery and alternator switch on and off a couple of times, but it was still showing 11+ volts. Three days and $2007 later, we have a new alternator and regulator for our trip to Atlanta next week.

    Thank God for the flashing red light on the JPI EDM 700 or I might not have noticed it.
     
  29. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    He did include a field overhaul and a 16 year tenure. most people own one particular sample for less time in the aggregagte, aka less likelihood of an overhaul. Subtract that from the number, and his yearly figure is closer to half. But yes, there will be swings. Nobody can guarantee the exact degree of the swings, though certain airframes lend themselves to smaller swings than more complex ones. Think parts counts and that usually gets you in the ballpark. Expecting zero swings is a good way of paralyzing yourself from ever owning outright, regardless of your current finances (if that's where you were going with the "right now" portion of your comment).

    182 or lower performance, RG or not, it's a 12K/yr all in hobby per 100 hours provided you don't have a complex time penalty (add a couple grand for the first year, then you're back to 1.5% hull like everybody else)
    If you can swing that, you'll be alright. Otherwise share or keep renting until your finances and personal mission can justify that level of expenditure. It's not that complicated, so don't fret it too much. I'm going on 12 years and 3 airplanes, and there have been mx items, but no finance altering nightmares. You could get hit by a car and lose your license tomorrow. Don't get paralyzed by analysis. Good luck. You're also young kid, I didn't have an airplane at your age. You'll be alright, trust uncle Hindsight. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2019
  30. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've known the previous owner of my plane for 20 years. A stand up guy if there ever was one. I know the mechanics who have done the annuals, two of which also flew my plane during it's previous ownership. I considered them to be steely eyed wrench turners

    My first annual showed a couple of deficiencies that could have resulted in me dying in a fire. It was educational.
     
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  31. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Have you bought that Lance yet???

    :p
     
  32. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    PM sent. Don't want to derail the thread.
     
  33. Heftiger

    Heftiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Knowing that you also fly a turbo Lance; I’m curious what the findings are.
     
  34. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Was that for me?
     
  35. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    LOL. I do my annuals early in the year, when we are still snowbound here. I keep saying I expect my mechanic to be driving a new Jaguar come summer, and everyone will know who paid for it. :D

    I am assuming your annual inspection cost was still the typical $2.5k, and it's repairing some of the stuff they found that ran the cost up?

    Did the new shop find genuine safety related things that had previously not been noted? Or was much of it purely discretionary, difference of opinion between different mechanics (not like we haven't seen a bunch of that from the mechanics that post on PoA :eek: :rolleyes: ).

    I agree with you, except for the bolded sentence. My experience is the opposite, but how that type of news is received and interpreted may have a lot to do with differences between owners approach to their planes.

    I like to have a "new set of eyes" look at the plane every few years as I think they will find stuff the last guy might have been sort of blind to. I deliberately have my Husky being maintained by a different shop than my Aztec for that reason. When it comes to maintenance, mechanics and shops will vary in their approach, just like we airplane owners are all different in our views towards our own airplanes. And that's compounded by the fact the whole fleet is aging and most of us (and our mechanics) are dealing with decades old airplanes.

    That sets up for a lot of age related maintenance issues, which can lead to many discretionary airworthiness maintenance recommendations..."Are these hoses acceptable to make it to the next annual?" sort of thing. "Are the stop drilled cracks in the baffling okay for another year, or is this the year its finally time to take it apart and repair?" - one mechanic will say okay to keep deferring, another may recommend repair to avoid a potential failure. One owner will change out only the hoses that must be changed and defer the remainder, another owner will change out the entire set. There's no right or wrong about that sort of thing - both approaches work.

    When you buy an old airplane you might be getting a cream-puff from a obsessive-compulsive seller (who changes out all the hoses, for example), or you might be getting one that is perfectly safe to fly, but still has age related deferred maintenance that you need to keep an eye on, and will in due time cost money to fix. Check out this thread to see how one of our members approaches his plane: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/skywagon-year-in-review.117795/
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  36. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Yes... Annual plus fixing stuff. I defer very little if it makes sense to me to do. I have two cylinders off right now for probs I reported last year and was told, naw.... looks good previously. They were squawks I reported to the new shop. I think my old guy just didn't want to deal with it honestly if it was not an in and out job for him.
     
  37. UglyElvis

    UglyElvis Filing Flight Plan

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    I feel the same way. I do all my own wrenching with my A&P buddy looking over my shoulder and signing off the logs. I can't stop. My plane is 62 years old and while in good shape, really needed this process done to rectify all the cut corners and money saving processes throughout the years. The pride of workmanship really seems to suffer when a non owner works on an airplane. Sad.
     
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  38. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    My latest shops do not allow owner-assists. :(
     
  39. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 En-Route

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    I have never come close to that, yet. I have never had an annual go over $1000 (always owner assist), But I keep up with things over the year. I have a friendly AI and I do a lot of my own work. Buy simple planes in good shape. I rent out to well qualified individuals to help with the cost. It can be done.
     
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  40. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    As long as my IA doesn't call at 8:15 on the morning he starts the annual and say, "why don't you come out here and look at this...and on your way, buy lottery tickets," it's all good.

    Although that wasn't exceptionally expensive...it just took time.