Disastrous First (and Last) Annual - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by obw, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,203
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mondtster
    To add to Kyle’s response, an undercoated airplane does not guarantee corrosion protection. The two airplanes I’ve performed the most corrosion repair on were both coated yet the material still corroded. It corroded from the inside out, which may have happened to the airplane in question as well.

    Problems like that can be quite concerning because you may not see anything more than a slight bulge in the material for a while but the core is dust. Eventually it will pop through and make itself easily seen.
     
  2. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    517
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ernie
    Welder by trade. Know all about aluminum corrosion. It's why you never use stainless hardware on aluminum. Galvanic corrosion. That's not what happened here though. If the inside is primed prior to assembly it should help. But it's obviously not a guarantee. Just thought I remember that the Comanche got primed better and didn't have as many corrosion issues.
     
  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    19,883
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    And you thought they smelled bad on the outside.
     
    Ghery, Jim K and GeorgeC like this.
  4. LB 408A

    LB 408A Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    40
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LB 408A
    Looks like a gain to me rather than a loss. You have picked up a top of the line A&P and probably won't need to look for a better one and you can't buy better life insurance that good for the pidley amount that this annual is going to cost you.(and pay you off this quick after purchase for that matter)
     
  5. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12,656
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Right Seater
    He might need an expert witness. Any suggestions? Or offers?
     
  6. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,653
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lindberg
    QFT.

    I would also have a long discussion with the mechanic who did your pre-buy, including asking him to visit the plane where it is now, give his opinion on the issues, and why he did not call them out previously. You might or might not have recourse against the seller, but the guy you hired may not have done exactly what you paid him for....

    I'm no A&P/IA, but if there's evidence the seller (or someone else) knew about the issues (whatever those are) and intentionally concealed them, then that may go beyond caveat emptor, and a discussion with an attorney might be in your best interest. Not because anyone is going to get rich suing on this deal, but maybe there's a chance of unwinding the transaction. If you could get the seller to take back his plane for the cost of a couple of letters, it might be well worth it.
     
    masloki likes this.
  7. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,140
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan

    Exactly how invasive/detailed do you three believe most pre-purchase inspections are? And what is the legal liability that the prebuy A&P holds here? This is why there is common advice out there to perform an annual inspection in lieu of a prebuy.

    When I do them, I do them as non-invasively as I can, so if I can't get a look at things with my borescope (and admittedly, I can get a look at a LOT of things with my borescope), it's not part of my prebuy without specific request or probable cause/doubt. Also I am running two different checklists (ABS + Beech), none of which have me pulling spar covers. That's in the Annual Inspection checklist, which is like 40-50 hours to run in full. Anyone signing up for a $3-4,000 prebuy?

    Sellers are usually rather reluctant to have me rip their airplane apart on behalf of some rando.
     
    Dan Thomas and idahoflier like this.
  8. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    517
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ernie
    Did the first buyer have a separate A/P do the prebuy or did he have the A/P owner who did the paint and interior do it? If there even was one. Sounds like they might have realized the extent of the issue at first annual but his A/P signed off on it and your prebuy mechanic completely crapped the bed. The more I think about your situation the more upset I get.
     
  9. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Atlanta / KRYY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WDD
    Please post up what your second opinion says. It looks bad to me, and maybe it is what it is, but I and almost all of us here are experts. I would have a chat with the guy who did the pre buy, show him/her the pictures, and just pause, don't say anything, and wait until he/she starts talking.

    Can't think of what else you could have done. But LB 408A has a great point. You'll probably come out with a loss of $20,000, but probably saved your life and/or anyone you cared about who was flying with you.
     
    LB 408A likes this.
  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    FAA would love to know about this, it did not get to this condition resently.
    I would think this is what the FAA is for.
     
  11. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Atlanta / KRYY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WDD
    Not sure what that means, but I'm going to start using it - New word of the day. Is it similar to "Nimrod"? "Ramp Stalker"? "Tire kicker"?
     
  12. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,420
    Location:
    Atlanta / KRYY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WDD
    You want to go after the last guy who signed off on the annual?????
     
  13. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    8,926
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    I'd be chatting with whomever did your pre-purchase inspection. This is the sort of stuff a good inspection is supposed to find.
    Inspection ports open, mirrors, lights, inspection cameras, looking in the nooks and crannies.
     
  14. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,140
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    :D Not mine, but it's somewhere on the spectrum between "stranger" and "creep" in reference to people. I find myself using it increasingly.
     
  15. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    809
    Location:
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ateamer
    Two questions:

    Did you do an internet search and check the NTSB accident database for the aircraft to see if it had been in any accidents?

    What was he scope of the pre-buy? Did you and the A&P have it spelled out what specific parts and items he was going to inspect?
     
  16. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,936
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Silvaire
    "Pre-buy" inspection is a pretty gray area. You want an annual then there is a defined document whether that be Appendix D or the manufacturer's manual, there is a list of what specifically is to be done. With a PPI everybody's got their own idea and unless it's in a written contract your idea and the guy's idea who is doing the inspection might be completely different.
     
    Bender Aviation likes this.
  17. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    Messages:
    785
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    jbarrass
    Wow, Couple thoughts from another SGOTI:
    • From the pictures provided I'd say you should be happy it was found during an inspection. It looks pretty bad. It could be repairable if it is nowhere else but in the pictures, that's not really the usual case but it might be worth a look.
    • Sounds like your current A&P is a keeper.
    • I think I'd stay quite social distanced from the prior A&P(s)
    Someday you're the windshield, some days your the bug.

    Good luck
     
    LB 408A likes this.
  18. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,203
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mondtster
    That is not what I am talking about nor the problem with with the two planes I was referring to.
     
  19. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,782
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    "Pre-buy" is a catchall.

    But, you can specify certain things: Firewall forward inspection including compression test, oil sample/test, timing, etc. On the airframe, you can specify "all inspection panels pulled, visual inspection of visible areas for corrosion or hidden damage". Point is, you can turn it into a firm scope and the IA/AP/Whoever then becomes responsible for inspecting and reporting on the items on the list.
     
  20. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    A separate A&P did my pre-buy. He was never previously associated with the plane.

    I think the A&P owner (guy who did the interior and paint) sold it to the guy I bought it from. That guy supposedly had done an extensive pre-buy before purchasing it. While he owned it, he had an annual done that was signed off in Dec 2019. My pre-buy was done in July and I bought it in August.
     
  21. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    I got an Aerospace report on the plane before buying it - accident reports, registration background, liens etc. Everything looked fine.

    As for the pre-buy, I asked him to do a typical assessment but didn't spell out what to look for. I didn't feel I had the knowledge to spell out what needed to be done (and clearly still don't have it).
     
    YKA likes this.
  22. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,927
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    None. A pre-buy is not a required inspection so what standard would it be based on? But there's something more going on here. per the OP in Post 9 his current mechanic was "associated" with this aircraft prior to his purchase. How convenient he zeroed in on those areas on the 1st annual that 4 other IAs missed. And ripping the aircraft "to see" took away the OPs most important option... ferry it to get it reviewed/repaired by someone more experienced. How convenient again.
     
    schmookeeg likes this.
  23. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    Apologies, that was a typo. My mechanic was never associated with the plane. The plane came from Tennessee and my mechanic is based in Massachusetts. After he found the initial evidence of corrosion, he asked me if he could continue to pull panels/remove the vertical stabilizer to inspect further. I said yes.
     
  24. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Among others.
     
    YKA likes this.
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Thing is, the current A&P never signed the aircraft off, the last IA that did the annual should be in big trouble.
     
    Rein Hart, YKA, Racerx and 2 others like this.
  26. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,962
    Location:
    Northern NV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DesertNomad
    I would definitely be in touch with the last IA to sign it off and probably the FSDO in his region. This looks like it has been at the bottom of the sea for a long time.
     
  27. Daleandee

    Daleandee Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    972
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    This ^^^^

    I believe that I'd work on the transaction being undone if (and that's a key part) it can be proven that the seller was aware of these issues. The problem is that he will show that multiple people looked at the plane and gave their signature that all was well. But that may work against the seller when all of these people are called to task about why they signed off on a plane that is obviously very sick and has been that way for more than a few days. Perhaps the money to have an attorney at least send out a few query letters will get the ball rolling in you favor.

    What happened is just wrong and any person with a reasonable mind will have to readily admit to that.
     
  28. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,927
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    And you learned an important lesson. As owner you are the straw boss not the mechanic. Next time get all the facts up front before you agree. But I also hold your mechanic at fault for putting you in this position as well being a new owner. Regardless, you are giving us only one side to a 5 sided story which still has a few unanswered questions.
     
  29. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,329
    Location:
    Statesville NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grum.Man
    You blame the mechanic for finding years of severe corrosion??? Please explain your logic!
     
  30. Tommar98

    Tommar98 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    253
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tommar98
    As an attorney I disagree with those that don’t say to get an attorney. There is a lot that I would need to know but I a Bill of Sale which says the plane was sold as airworthy would be significant. Even absent that language “fitness for a particular purpose” means the plane can fly. I’m assuming it wasn’t a salvage plane nor sold for parts. This isn’t a case of “oopsie” you have some bad cylinders or gear is in bad repair. Corrosion like this didn’t happen overnight and the IA who signed off the plane that it was airworthy is certainly someone to look at. Moreover the owner had to know what the status of this plane was (though that is harder to prove but not impossible once people have to start answering questions). Where I live the state has a consumer protection statute for unfair and deceptive acts that provides for triple damages and attorney fees. I’d be looking at getting an expert I/A to evaluate the plane. No way I’d walk away for a $40k purchase that someone clearly tried to screw me on.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    Ghery, danhagan, Rein Hart and 10 others like this.
  31. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,927
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    True. But there's a lot missing to this story to include from the last annual sign off. As to going after past work on an aircraft this owner has owned/flown for 30 hours he can be drug in on the regulatory side.

    Just to add to the go after the previous owner comments unless you want to spend more than the aircraft is worth fine have at it. But the last time I checked you're looking at a minimum of $50k to get an aviation attorney provided they would even take a case like this.
     
  32. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    52
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    Tennessee for about two years before I bought it, Florida before that (~2 years) and NY before that.
     
  33. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    8,926
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    Could not disagree more, even if you are an attorney.

    The current owner flew the airplane, so "fitness to fly" will be an interesting argument.

    I am not disputing this is a terrible situation and one that an airplane purchaser, such as the OP, that has taken what should be the correct steps should never find themselves in.

    But, you sue people/companies that have deep pockets. People that sue aircraft mechanics that work on little airplanes that are 50+ years old are wasting both their time and their money ("blood from a stone" and all that).

    I keep joking with the mechanic that owns the shop that helps me keep my planes flying safely that the day I see him driving a new Jaguar I'll be moving my business as I know I am being overcharged. :p (this shop, previously run by his father, has worked with me to maintain all my airplanes since the first, a 1961 Cherokee 160).

    The lesson here is to become an informed consumer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    LB 408A, Grum.Man and Mtns2Skies like this.
  34. Tommar98

    Tommar98 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    253
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tommar98
    Not sure why an aviation attorney is needed? This is a contract case. You can hire an expert to provide an opinion about the corrosion and airworthiness. Obviously there are more facts to evaluate but this doesn’t require a specialist attorney. I will say that the prior owner probably isn’t someone who you can actually get $ from but I would guess the I/A has insurance. Again, so much is about the facts of the underlying transaction. The prebuy is mostly irrelevant - it’s not required and the purchase and sale agreement and Bill of sale are more important. I would agree that unwinding the transaction would be the best settlement.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    YKA and Lindberg like this.
  35. Tommar98

    Tommar98 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 3, 2018
    Messages:
    253
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tommar98
    Well it would depend on who worked on the aircraft and whether they have insurance. That would be part of the initial evaluation. I would certainly be looking at that before walking away from this. I agree being informed matters ...but when people make such a concerted effort to screw someone over..they shouldn’t get to just walk away with peoples money.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    YKA likes this.
  36. optionizerSS

    optionizerSS Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2020
    Messages:
    95
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    OptionizerSS
    Different scenario again but boat buyers often get the vessel surveyed prior to purchase. We had ours done and this comes up on boating forums. From everything I have read there is no recourse on the surveyor because of the disclosures written into the contract. These things have happened in the boating world. Guys had a survey completed only to find out later that the wood core is rotted, stringers rotted, fiberglass delaminated, etc.

    Good luck.
     
  37. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    2,140
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    The IA that annualed that plane in that condition likely carries no insurance.
     
    Tarheelpilot likes this.
  38. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    7,085
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dan Thomas
    The pictures gave me that impression as well. That's an awful lot of corrosion for a landplane, even a 60-year-old landplane. I've been inside of plenty of 60-year-old airplanes and never saw corrosion like that unless it had been on saltwater for a long time.

    Maybe it was left parked for years on some airport right next to the ocean with prevailing onshore winds?

    Look again at this pic from the OP:

    [​IMG]

    See that angled line on the rotted channel? Center-right of the picture? Looks like a waterline to me.
     
    aterry1067 likes this.
  39. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    192
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TrueCourse
    Perhaps S Florida after a hurricane?
     
  40. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,736
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    One question,, how much corrosion makes an aircraft un-airworthy.?
    my point is not how much money is involved, but is the A&P-IA approving aircraft that are not safe to fly,, My Opinion the FSDO should investigate.
     
  41. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2019
    Messages:
    192
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TrueCourse
    I know there has been plenty of discussion, disagreements, and shared disgust on the topic of what an annual inspection consists of, but for a reasonable annual inspection, should this have been found well before this? If this latest A&P simply took a flashlight and aimed it down the fuselage and sees something that catches his attention, why didn’t the others?
     
    YKA likes this.