Buying plane from seller who did inspections

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Blueangel, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    So I see a nice plane in the area that the seller is an A&P IA who performed all past inspections. Should I walk away or consider the plane?
     
  2. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Might be in perfect condition, might not.
    SO, get a second opinion from a mechanic who is neither the guy's friend nor an enemy.
     
  3. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    IMHO always get an independent Pre-buy!
     
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  4. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    Why would it be an automatic walk away? Just one more piece of information for you to consider is all.

    Ask yourself, if you were the owner of a plane, and an A&P IA, would you not treat your own plane right? Some (I would actually say "most") would say "yes", a few might cut corners and not do things right. But now ask yourself, would a corner-cutting A&P do the same things to customer's planes, or only his own plane?
     
  5. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This. He may prove to be one of the most fastidious A&P/AIs around who maintained the aircraft to meticulous standards, or not. Only an independent set of eyes can tell you if that is the case.
     
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  6. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Keep in mind there's quite a bit of discretion allowed to the A&P/AI as to what constitutes airworthy. Without a second opinion you really don't know where it stands.
     
  7. flight2000

    flight2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would get the independent look as well (just as a second set of eyes), but most guys that are taking care of the aircraft they fly in or transport their family in are not going to cut corners. A quick conversation with the owner/mechanic will tell you a lot about their attitude towards flying and maintenance. At least that's been my experience with those I've known.

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  8. Theboys

    Theboys Line Up and Wait

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    I've seen both ways. Usually pretty apparent which you have with few minutes of inspection. I would tend to be more interested as almost all of the ap,ia's I know take really good care of their planes and some even put the latest things on to show customers. I'd be very interested
     
  9. thomasdr72

    thomasdr72 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm an IA, and have been doing pretty much all of my own MX for nearly a decade. I find that the guys like myself who don't have to pay for labor have the ability to fix just about any nitnoid write up that comes up. I personally like to write up everything that I can possibly find during the annual. I fix any airworthiness issues immediately (of course), and then I fix everything else on the list gradually throughout the year. By the time the next annual rolls around, it's harder to find things to fix.

    I also like to refurb entire "systems" rather than just one component. Case in point: I recently had an issue that presented itself as a weak charging indication during a night flight. For the price of what a normal owner would have paid for just a replacement alternator I completed the following items: New Battery, New electronic voltage regulator, inspected all wiring and switches, removed and completely overhauled the alternator (new bearings, brushes, field coil, rectifier, seals and hardware), completed a Continental 500hr SB on the alternator geared coupling. Reinstalled with all new gaskets and new hardware. What would that cost a normal owner? A couple AMUs, it cost me less than $600.

    Do some mechanics fly junk? Sure, it happens. Do most of us do lots more than the bare minimum, most definitely!

    V/r,

    -Dana
     
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  10. thomasdr72

    thomasdr72 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just thought of another good example: my bird is 49 years old; I've been maintaining it for 7 years. More than half of the logbook pages have my signature on them now :). My younger brother is also a pilot/IA, he is the same way...
     
  11. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Doesn't mean much on way or another, maybe a little bit of a good thing being he probably was faster to get MX work done.

    Still presume he's full of chit and the plane is a death trap until you do your own independent inspections and test flights.
     
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  12. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    True and the seller has been honest with me so far on what needs to be done to the plane. I will arrange prebuy on it.
     
  13. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    That's the way I am too.

    In my experience, you are far more likely to find a pilot/owner who cuts every corner and skimps on maintenance (because they're cheap) than you will find a pilot/mechanic/owner doing the same. My free time is mine to spend how I choose to, and I choose to spend it flying and working on my airplane to maintain and improve it, I don't charge myself labor to do the work. Because I don't get charged for the labor and don't worry if the airplane is down for long periods of time projects tend to grow in scope and more work gets done than originally intended.

    I think the important thing in the OP's situation is to find out how long the mechanic has owned the plane, why he bought it, and why he's getting rid of it. If this was the mechanic's personal airplane where money wasn't a concern I'd be willing to bet the plane will be a nice one. On the other hand, if the plane was bought by the mechanic to fix and flip I'd be a little more wary, wondering what (if any) corners were cut to keep it under budget and profitable.
     
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  14. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pastors daughters and IA owned planes ;-)

    Make sure you get a truly independent inspection. Someone who is neither the owners buddy nor his competitor.
     
  15. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Always ,always get a pre purchase inspection ,with a mechanic of your choice,who is not associated with the seller.
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Add me to the vote that says get a second, independent, inspection. Best scenario is the seller/IA welcomes it. Good luck.
     
  17. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Imagine buying an experimental that was built and maintained by the seller, who's not an A&P...
     
  18. LDJones

    LDJones Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Doesn't that describe 95% of experimental aircraft purchases??
     
  19. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That was the point.
     
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  20. MD11Pilot

    MD11Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    My son is coming to today to purchase a 1970 182N that I found locally. He is dependent upon me to do all the pre-buy stuff (I am an IA) as he lives in Ohio and I live in Texas. He is purchasing the plane from a local A&P IA that we both know very well. I have accepted some things from him based upon his word but only because I know him so well (we go to church together and he helped me get my IA). He has a sterling reputation in the area also. One of the key things in this purchase is that he said to come to the shop and he gave me every bit of documentation on the airplane while he was doing the annual...which I was not "helping with" but had my nose stuck in from day one. I guess it was a strange pre-buy from the fact that I was doing it with him and his mechanics that work under him. I found several issues and he fixed all of them for free. I pointed out that the plane had no strobes and he put in a strobe system for free, the rear window was crazed and I just asked him how much a window cost, thinking I would just have him install it while he had the interior out and he put in a new one...again for free. I pointed out some minor corrosion under some paint and they cleaned and repainted the areas (very small).

    All of this to say if purchasing an airplane from a A&PIA....if they are very open to you bringing in your own guy, allow complete and unfettered access to the plane and records and answer questions about such ( I watched a pre-buy that the owner/mechanic argued about every question - he took it as personal affront questioning his ability) then you can usually trust them more. The first thing my friend said to me was "take it apart if you want to and check it out"...I did. "Trust but verify".
     
  21. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Worked for me.
     
  22. thomasdr72

    thomasdr72 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    IMHO, a lot of experimental aircraft are better made, and with more meticulous attention to detail than a factory job. (Of course, there are always exceptions)

    V/r,
     
  23. JoseCuervo

    JoseCuervo En-Route

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    Of course, it seems like if you ever go to a residential home contractor's house, there are about a million things not fixed/completed/finished in their own home,, as they are too busy working on revenue producing jobs to fix their own stuff....
     
  24. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That's what makes my head hurt. Maybe now (in the last 10/20 years) certified aircraft quality has changed significantly, but those airplanes built in the 50s, 60s and 70s weren't great. Straight rivet lines? Proper rivet edge distances? Countersinks knifing the materials? Spar cap holes that were not even deburred prior to riveting? Quality is all over the map IMHO. These are 30, 40, and 50 years old and that shotty quality has proven safe lol.
     
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  25. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That is a contractor I wouldn't hire. I have been to my contractors house. It is all finished.