Bad Arrow III Wing Spar

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by AnthonyS1, Oct 8, 2019 at 10:45 AM.

  1. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-Flight

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    My uncle has a beautiful arrow III in pre buy inspection. 7850TT 9 out of 10 paint and interior, 300smoh engine and prop, GN530w, aspen w/ synthetic vision, stec 55x, and GTX 345, and all the speed mods. Used as a trainer in the past but has been private owned and flown for the past 15. Test flew it it and dropped it off for pre buy. Mechanics obviously recommended getting the spar eddy current inspection done because it hasn't been completed yet on this aircraft. Well we were just informed one of the spars is cracked. Apparently to repair it, the wing would need to be removed and sent to a shop in Indiana for a thorough and most likely lengthy and expensive repair. My uncle really likes this plane and besides the bad wing spar it's a very clean nicely equipped arrow. Torn between walking away or re negotiating the price for the repair/downtime/aggravation/major damage history.

    What would you do? Need some insight on what to do next.

    Please dont respond with buy a c182 or a bonanza. He wants an arrow iii.
     
  2. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    As it's a (fairly serious) airworthiness problem I'd not buy it without the seller completing the repair BEFORE purchase, that way if it gets to the repair shop and other problems are found/the price goes up you're not on the hook for them.

    As for any price change on the sale, on one hand you know exactly what the status of the spar is after the repair, on the other there will be a repair history in the logs. I'd suspect a fully repaired/known good spar is probably not going to impact the sales price much at all, but that may be a better question for people more familiar with the type.
     
  3. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    Personally, I would fix it. I would send it to the place in Indiana. I think I know who you’re talking about. They do a lot of YouTube videos. There well set up for this stuff and make the process relatively easy. They crates already available.

    It may not in fact be a cracked spar. Eddy current is notorious for false positive. Once You get the wing off and sent, they can do a better job at the inspection. I know this is a real bummer but it might not be as bad as you think.
     
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  4. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    That’s like saying “I really love this house, but it has a bad foundation.”

    I’d walk...and buy a Bonanza instead
     
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  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Except that’s not what his asking. (And even states so)

    To the OP: Tough call, it depends on how bad he wants this particular airframe, and how much he’s willing to spend. Remember, once the work begins it could potentially uncover even more problems. The potential to become a non stop money pit is there.
     
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  6. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

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    Price should be reduced or no sale. Remove emotion and assess logically.
     
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  7. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't see how there's even a question here.

    Found an asset for $XX,XXX.
    Discovered it needs work for $YY,YYY.
    New value is XX,XXX-YY,YYY.

    What's difficult here?
     
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  8. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    Obviously. No point in sticking with a questionable airframe when Arrows are a dime a dozen
     
  9. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    Not helpful. But you already knew that.
     
  10. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Pattern Altitude

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    Nice Arrows? Not so much.
     
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  11. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    Now that the wing spar crack is revealed, the new owner will need to come to grips with this.

    If I was the current owner, from a liability perspective, I'd immediately stop the sale and have the wing repaired by a competent specialist.

    I'd say the value of this plane just about got cut in half.

    Maybe find an Arrow3 that's been privately owned all its life and has significantly fewer hours.
     
  12. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-Flight

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    Obviously the price is going to be lowered if he decides to go throught with the purchase of this thing. But by how much. Is it really that simple to just deduct from the price the cost of the repair? I believe the downtime could he a couple months and like what others said there could be more problems found so there is some risk involved.
     
  13. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    The least-risk position is to have the seller repair the birdie first.

    The most-risk position is to buy it at a price reduced by the wing repair cost, and burden the surprises.

    The middle-risk position is to buy it at a price reduced by the wing repair cost, and a factor to include surprises.

    Pick one.

    ‘You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?’ :D
     
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  14. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How about the other wing?
     
  15. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    If your uncle really wants this airplane, agree on a price on the basis it is fully airworthy and have the buyer spring for the repairs to make it so, including sending the wing out to an appropriate repair facility that your uncle agrees to. As for the repair time, welcome to the world of ancient spam cans. The only way to shorten the down time might be to find another Arrow wing at a salvage yard, install it and paint to match the plane.

    The buyer is going to have to fix the problem in any case before he (or anyone else) can continue to fly it. He wants to sell the plane, your uncle wants to buy it. Solution seems pretty straight forward. If the buyer won't make the plane properly airworthy then time to walk.
     
  16. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    The Seller is pretty stuck. If you really like the plane, offer to buy it after the seller has fixed the wing. The seller is taking the risk for cost over runs. Put a deposit in escrow pending completion by certain date to airworthy standards.

    An advantage to this approach is you have completed the pending wing spar AD resolved.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019 at 3:00 PM
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  17. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here is the bigger question?
     
  18. Rein Hart

    Rein Hart Pre-Flight

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    Seller close ad. Buyer keep searching.
     
  19. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Anyone have any idea what the cost on something like this would be? Just curious....
     
  20. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    OK, pretty, low time on engine, well equipped. Bad spar. Hmmm. Quite the sticky wicket. On the one hand, several many AMUs worth of good stuff, and on the other, several AMUs worth of bad spar. How much is a serviceable used wing? How much to repair existing wing? And how badly does he want that particular airplane?

    Mabe make an offer less the cost of repairs, and see where it goes. My guess is that repairs will be close to the cost of the avionix upgrades (bought new).
     
  21. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Joe Walsh wrote a song about this...


    It's a great song, but it's not really about buying an airplane.

    Seriously, he'd be buying a heartache, I'd look for another one. If the seller wants to go through the repair process and he's willing to wait, then maybe they can make a deal in however many months it will take to complete the repair.

    There are other Arrow IIIs on the market, many of which are lower time and probably weren't used at trainers. Maybe their cosmetics aren't as nice as this one but a sound airframe is a greater thing than nice paint and interior.
     
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  22. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    To add to the above. While it didn't deal with spars, have worked several pre-buys on turbine helicopters involving corrosion issues on an otherwise great aircraft. In several cases the seller and buyer worked out a written agreement were the seller had the corrosion fixed and approved (by me for the buyer) provided the buyer placed a suitable deposit on the sale. In one case the repair process revealed a couple other issues that were addressed in a separate agreement. So anything is possible. If your Uncle really likes it and your mechanics think the repair prognosis is good then work out the money with the seller. The seller is in a tough spot now and most would be looking for a positive way out. But I would be hesitant in purchasing the aircraft prior to the repair without some sort of preliminary inspection done by the repair facility to minimize any future surprises.
     
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  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    aren't there loads of Piper 28 models out there, what is it about this one that he wants so bad? Seems like maybe he got attached to it and doesn't want to let it go now, but a bad wing spar is a deal-breaker for me, and that's kind of a lousy way to start aircraft ownership by having to do a major repair
     
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  24. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe, maybe not.

    Get the seller to pay for the repair. He gets the plane he wants.
     
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  25. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The issue of the seller vs the buyer paying is a tough one. Personally, if the dollars work out, I'd rather deal with the issue as the buyer so I could make sure the problem(s) are corrected to my satisfaction. The seller is motivated to install the least expensive, and not necessarily the best, solution...
     
  26. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    Shop for an Arrow4?
     
  27. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    You have old metal Pipers confused with the new plastic stuff coming out of Duluth. :D

    The latter all look the same; we almost need facial recognition camera software to tell them apart. ;)

    No two of the former are alike (sort of like us Boomers); condition of the planes varies greatly, avionics is all over the map depending on what prior owners spent on them. Anybody looking for a "perfect" 40 or 50 year old mass produced airplane is most likely looking for a needle in a haystack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019 at 8:09 PM
  28. Bell206

    Bell206 Pattern Altitude

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    In my experience, not necessarily. The whole deal is for the buyer to be part of the solution. Have helped a few people work through this for various reasons. But if you are saying for the buyer to give the seller complete control over the repair with zero input then bad on the buyer for allowing it.

    In all the pre-buys I've done, I've never allowed a major repair(s) on an aircraft to be a deciding factor in recommending an aircraft to a buyer. For some models you won't find an example without a major repair. On other models, major repairs are the exception rather than the rule. So it always depends on the state/condition of the specific aircraft and what the buyer wants.
     
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  29. NordicDave

    NordicDave Line Up and Wait

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    At least we have a video of the pre-buy inspection:

     
  30. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Just one other thought, whatever route one decides to go if it does end up having the spar replaced/repaired and you buy it then you can be confident you have a good solid spar. If it's not even been inspected who knows, even if it passes ok maybe it's got some fatigue on it that hasn't shown up yet.

    As long as repairs are done competently and properly I don't think it's necessarily something to walk away from, just don't get stuck footing the bill for someone else's fix.
     
  31. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Sucks. Sounds like you really fell in love with her. Have to take that emotion out of it. If buyer fixes they’ll need to be realistic about the sale- fat chance as they will want to recoupe some of that.
    You’d be taking a chance to buy a plane that might need some major repairs though.
     
  32. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, get out ahead of this. What has the seller offered to do? Have you clearly stated your demands and intentions? This is a sizable transaction, and no *****-footing around is going to change the reality of what's going on. Sounds like you love the idea of a "perfect" bird, except you're playing with a wing falling off (never a good thing). Get some agreements in writing (soon) and be prepared to walk (while you still can). Sorry if I sound harsh, but "let the buyer beware" applies, and I don't know why anyone would consider buying an unairworthy plane.
     
  33. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I'm sorry to have to tell you this isn't the perfect plane anymore.
     
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  34. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    I've heard of people who've had to do extensive work like this on their planes before and afterwards the planes never flew "quite right" and rigging was always never as it was out of the factory

    How "perfect" can a 42 year old airplane with a broken wing be anyway? Find something else.

    One thing if you found something super rare or more specialty.. but a PA-28?

    Sounds more like an emotional attachment than a pragmatic reason
     
  35. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Line Up and Wait

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    I don't know anything. OK... got that out of the way.
    If the purchase price could be negotiated to less than what it would cost to buy a good low time engine and prop, new paint and interior, and the included avionics and install them in another airplane, would not the expense of replacing the wing spar (which would be CONSIDERABLE, obviously) be less than the cost of purchasing an airplane for the aforementioned upgrades scavenged from this airplane? I know that's worded poorly.. just thinking out loud. Sounds like there's a lot of good stuff in that airplane, and a bad wing. The planes that I've looked at that have everything I want are insanely expensive, and the ones that are the same airframes with ancient avionics, runout engines, and/or bad paint and interiors are usually very cheap (comparatively). On this board there's a Cheetah that was purchased for something in the $30ks, then had some great panel work and other improvements done, and now is for sale for $82.5K. The airplane in the OP COULD be a great plane, and at a good price, even after repairing or replacing the wing, no?
    I've always been of the mind that even the most perfect looking used vehicle (plane or car) is going to have some surprises, and potentially REALLY bad surprises. If you buy a "lesser specimen" and renovate it personally, you'll KNOW the vehicle inside-out and there'll be a lot more new parts on it. May or may not be cost efficient, depending upon your joy-of-wrenching skills and tolerance, but if you address all of the squawks you could come out ahead.
    In my life, both with an airplane and a whole BUNCH of cars, I've come out ahead more than I've come out behind. I did come out behind... WAY behind... twice. Both on Mercedes vehicles.
     
  36. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    The owner has a grounded airplane that is going to take 2 months to fix. The new price has to include the plane currently is not airworthy.
     
  37. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'd almost guess the aircraft in question will be soon parted out. Sounds like an expensive, intensive repair for a 42 year old Piper.
     
  38. AnthonyS1

    AnthonyS1 Pre-Flight

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    My uncle decided to pass on the airplane. It really sucks because this whole pre purchase ordeal cost him around 3500 bucks.

    The broker for the plane called him a few hours ago to let him know the owner is having his mechanic and someone from the FAA flown in to where the plane is currently at to take off the wing and do a dye penetrant on the spar that the eddy current inspection showed as a fail. Not sure if they think our mechanics eddy current was B/S or if hes just trying to un ground the airplane. What a garbage situation this is.
     
  39. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    My money? Walk away. No way in hell I’d play that game. You like dropping $100k in penny stocks just to see what happens?

    It’s like buying a house build on a superfund site. Just a really bad idea. Just like crack cocaine.... just don’t even try it.

    Get my point? Don’t care how nice he thinks it is.... it isn’t.
     
  40. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    Being contrarian here: If the owner were to pay to have the spar issue repaired, isn't that now a selling point, given the pending AD? We already know the wing can come off an Archer, wouldn't your Dad feel more confident knowing one or preferably BOTH of the wings have been inspected and repaired? What's *that* worth?
     
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