Disastrous First (and Last) Annual - Advice Needed

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

  1. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,651
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lindberg
    None of us know what the OP asked for or got from the pre-buy mechanic.
    Are you sure that under the OP's state's law there's no implied warranty that services will be performed in a good and workmanlike manner?
     
    YKA likes this.
  2. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    That's exactly the first question I asked my mechanic. It wasn't that difficult to spot. And at least four A&Ps had worked on or examined this plane since 2017 before mine looked at it.
     
    YKA likes this.
  3. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    I don't blame the mechanic for finding the corr. I question his not complete the annual first. I question his rip and tear method to chase that corr which left that new owner with basically zero options to correct the situation. I fault the mechanic for putting a new, un-experienced owner in this position.

    Now whether this is actually "years of severe corr" I can not tell from the very limited information we have been presented. What I see in the pics does not meet that level and I maintained aircraft that worked, flew, slept in the GOM on a daily basis.
     
  4. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    The only thing i can offer counselor is that when I assisted several aviation attorneys a portion of their work came from non-aviation attorneys who started the action but could not finish due to Aviation specific matters which they lacked experience. That's all I know but was always told to retain an aviation attorney for aviation matters.
     
  5. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,777
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    I'd give your mechanic a hug if I were you, he saved your life. Sorry this happened to you. You're actually not that far from me, but I've got nothing for you. Something in that structure would have failed, I'm glad someone competent looked at it. I hope you can get out of this without too much of a financial hit.
     
  6. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    Statesville NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grum.Man
    Well I don’t really see your point. There is no way a mechanic would sign off an annual with this level of corrosion. The OP only option would be to attempt a ferry permit to get another opinion but the pictures are clear evidence that some MAJOR repairs are needed before it should be flown again.
     
  7. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2021
    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Kamloops
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    YKA

    ^^^^^^^ Read this post twice, then call a lawyer. These people are all crooks, and can't be allowed to get away with this, because they will just keep screwing people.
     
    Rcmutz likes this.
  8. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    34,728
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    It is a buyer beware market..
     
  9. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2019
    Messages:
    1,403
    Location:
    Atlanta / KRYY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WDD
    Don’t follow. What options did he take off the table ? Without that inspection how would you know how really deep the problem is, and that it shouldn’t be flown?
     
    YKA and Grum.Man like this.
  10. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2021
    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Kamloops
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    YKA

    They either didn't do their job, or were paid off.
    I could have done a much better annual inspection of that plane, than the people who have done it the past many years. It isn't difficult for a potential buyer to remove some inspection covers, and look around inside themselves also. Yes I have done so several times.
     
    kayoh190 likes this.
  11. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    thanks. I’m truly grateful it didn’t end up in a catastrophe. My mechanic has been working on Pipers for more than 3 decades and teaches at an A&P school, and I have complete confidence in him. I was lucky that someone recommended him to me when I bought my plane.
     
  12. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,653
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    His mechanic did not put him in a situation. I’m not sure how you think he did. That baffles me.
     
  13. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    3,073
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    @obw, I feel bad for you. There is no way the plane in question should have corroded that badly with folks properly inspecting it. I have done some major repairs caused by corrosion over the the years that did not look 1/10th as bad as the pictures you posted. That corrosion did not happen in one year between your last annual.

    Were I live the owners/A&P's/IA's all work together to help one another out. It's to bad you did not get your A&P involved in the pre-buy. Give him/her a ticket and pay his/her motel plus the time to inspect would have saved you a lot of grief. I know lots of folks that have used that approach. At the very least use a well established shop/FBO that would not want there image tarnished by poor work.

    That being said at the very least I would
    - talk to the A&P/IA that the the annual before the pre-buy, the A&P/IA that did the pre-buy and anyone that signed off an annual after the pre-buy.
    - talk to a lawyer
    - talk to FSDO and get there input

    I hope things work out for you
     
    Brad Smith and YKA like this.
  14. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    516
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ernie
    The A&P owner that painted and put the new interior in knew and he put lipstick on a pig. Curious on the paint... Extravagant 3 color scheme? I'd suspect not
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
    Cykoguy, Bill, Dan Thomas and 3 others like this.
  15. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Messages:
    5,049
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    hindsight2020
    Bingo. That's the guy.
     
    Bill, Dan Thomas, TCABM and 1 other person like this.
  16. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    2,237
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    somorris
    I know one other person who ran into a similar situation with corrosion that was not feasible to repair. I know another who had to replace the wings due to corrosion. It is astounding to me how much difference of opinion there is among mechanics. I hate it that you got into this situation. I agree with those who say the lawyer route is probably not the best way to go. I think I would talk with the previous owner and see if he will do anything to help make it right. Maybe he is one of the few folks left that actually is an honorable person.
     
  17. wheaties

    wheaties Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    NJ
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    wheaties
    This is the reason everyone told me to never buy a freshly painted plane, hides too much. FSDO that IA.
     
  18. Bob Roberts

    Bob Roberts Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2020
    Messages:
    68
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bob Roberts
    That's fair. Seems like a goldilocks issue then, Our prebuys aren't good enough... The Annuals are too much. Something in the middle then is needed to be able to find this type of issue.
     
  19. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,653
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I would invite an inspector to come look at the aircraft and records just to see what they say. Let them decide if any action is necessary. Pre covid they were always looking for an excuse to leave the office. With all the remote work now who knows. Now you’re asking them to put on pants and leave their house.

    I would also make sure the current mechanic is on board with this... you would be inviting the FAA into his house...
     
    Cykoguy, Rein Hart, Palmpilot and 2 others like this.
  20. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    Thanks for the comments and the suggestions.

    Good idea. In my case, I found my plane first and then a local mechanic. I’ll definitely consider this in the future, but at this point I’m not sure plane ownersip is for me...
     
  21. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    indeed. Extravagant plain white
     
  22. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    I guess it's a matter of perspective mechanic vs owner. Here's the difference in my experience. I tend to put the customers position first as do most of the mechanics I run with. So if this were my job I would have completed the annual first, noted all the discrepancies, then called the owner one time with several options. By fixiating on the corr before this point removes the picture plan options. Unless that is you as owners prefer multiple bad news phone calls over your annual inspection.

    However, the main option removed was the ability to ferry the aircraft. Unless this mechanic had an equipped S/M shop to fix this aircraft he took the owner's ability to choose which option to pursue by disassembling on site. Which in my book took several repair options off the table.
     
  23. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    In my experience, no. The issue is what is a pre-buy. How do prove a pre-buy was done properly if no standard exists. The other side is that the term air-worthy
    is very subjective to the individual performing the assessment. So how do you prove one person's determination over another's. This is also the reason I always recommend using the same APIA that will maintain the aircraft for all pre-buy. When I did a pre-buy I either performed a 100hr inspection or did a preflight/TC conformity check which got entered in the record. Short of that it's a huge gray area trying to enforce a pre-buy result.
     
  24. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    Depends on the situation. Theres guidance that allows holes corroded in areas to no corr allowed. What I find interesting is most here are ready to scrap the aircraft based on 5 non descript photos. :rolleyes:
     
  25. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    3,308
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    The problem with prebuys is there’s no standard. We need to see the report as well as the emails detailing what he was going to inspect.

    I gave list of things I wanted to inspect. I wasn’t concerned about avionics, light bulbs burnt out, or trivial issues that I sometimes see in prebuy reports.
    Corrosion and if the wet wing tanks were leaking were my priorities. I asked for inspection plates to be removed.
    My engine was a runout so I didn’t even have it inspected.
     
  26. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Messages:
    51
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    obw1
    I was actually fine with how my mechanic did the 'annual'. Very early on in his inspection, he found some discrepancies, including ADs that had been signed off previously but clearly hadn't been done, and evidence of corrosion he was worried about. He asked me to come to his hangar so he could walk me through what he had found to that point.

    We spend an hour reviewing his assessment and I asked him how much would it be to repair these and sign off on the annual. He said he had no idea because it wasn't clear how much work he'd need to put in. He asked me if he could continue to remove panels to investigate further, and I said yes. There was no reason for me to think the plane might be in such bad shape and ferrying never entered my mind. If the plane was fixable, I was fine with him doing it.
     
    Cykoguy, Kenny Phillips and Grum.Man like this.
  27. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 11, 2020
    Messages:
    531
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MacFly
    The OP could just let it slide...avoid the hassle and skip the attorney and/or the FSDO. Of course...that would also prevent 4 different AP/IA’s from getting an apparently badly-needed slap upside the head as a reminder that they have a serious job, and that people’s lives depend on them doing that job with integrity and at least a smidgen of competence.
     
    Cykoguy, Glen R, YKA and 3 others like this.
  28. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    This post implies a different scenario then your previous posts. As I mentioned in Post 2 something didn't sound right now sounds better with this post. The devil's in the details. Since you've had at length discussions with your mechanic how did he respond to the questions in your 1st post?
     
    Palmpilot likes this.
  29. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,653
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    How has a ferry flight option been removed?

    Personally, I would not consider signing a ferry permit without determining the full scope of the corrosion prior to flight. I would also be very cautious about endorsing a ferry permit on an aircraft with significant corrosion.

    How can I determine the aircraft is safe? What data can I reference to determine it is not going to break up in flight. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist. I’ll admit I have significantly more experience breaking aircraft than I do fixing aircraft but I’m still an A&P so I don’t think I’m completely clueless.

    In the absence of data from manufacturers we are left with AC guidance and our best judgment. My gut feeling looking at the limited pictures we have as reference is the aircraft is not safe to fly and his mechanic had no other options to protect.

    Just my opinion.
     
    JScarry and Jim K like this.
  30. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,052
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hang 4
    Not sure why all the ire is directed at the prior AP/IA's. Not that it isn't deserved, but what about the seller? The seller has all the money from the transaction, why not try to get some of it back. If it was truly innocent on his part, and he had no idea of the condition of the plane, he might be willing to give a partial refund. I would if I sold what turned out to be a POS. If he knew of the issues, and sold anyways as an airworthy plane, then that's fraud.
     
    YKA and Daleandee like this.
  31. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    By removing the tail feathers. It's one thing to have a complete aircraft with a defect and one that is disassembled with a defect. The reassembly with broken parts removes the option of flight.
    It's a judgement call. After all you're signing it off to fly with a known defect so there are no references. In some cases even the ASI issuing the permit may want to take a look at it too. But some APs prefer not sign ferry permits. That's fine too. I've signed dozens of permits to get an aircraft to a place where it can be fixed properly or even out of harm's way at times. But especially with S/M defects one must always think ahead. I've taken apart too many aircraft to ship via truck that could have been flown safely to the shop.
    That's where we disagree. Those picture would be inconclusive in my experience. But I've spent years around corroded aircraft so my experience is a bit different.
     
    LB 408A likes this.
  32. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,772
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Drake the Outlaw
    There is some chance the seller didn't know. But I doubt it. OTOH, the mechanics have a license and a professional responsibility to find, document, and maybe repair this kind of thing so it doesn't become a massive headache for the next guy.
     
    Daleandee likes this.
  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,653
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I called it a gut feeling from limited information. Not exactly drawing a line in the sand... I wouldn’t process a solid opinion without looking in person


    Where I do disagree is your position on the tail feathers. There is nothing stopping a mechanic from putting bad parts back on for a ferry flight. No way I would consider signing a ferry permit without knowing, to the best of my ability, the full scope of what I’m signing off. But as you say... there is no right or wrong. It goes to the judgment of each A&P. So I’m not saying you are wrong. Just that I would do it differently.

    I bet if we were in the hangar looking at this together there would be very little disagreement.
     
  34. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    But that's not the problem. It's finding an ASI/DAR that will go along with that and issue ferry permit. All the ones I've dealt with draw the line at major disassembly except in extreme situations. The OPs case not being one of them.
    Probably. Right up to the point of removing the tail. Unless I was 100% positive all work could be complete on site I would fly it to somewhere where that determination and repair could be completed.
     
    YKA and Tarheelpilot like this.
  35. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    23,201
    Location:
    DC Suburbs
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    ah, an Earl Scheib special.
     
    Piperonca likes this.
  36. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Messages:
    4,364
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mtns2Skies
    I'm paying my A&P for a no **** assessment of the vessel that I'm trusting my life to. No I don't want it sugar coated. I want him to find the worst of the worst because that's how you stay alive when you need your equipment to work in situations with no outs.
     
    KaiGywer, YKA, GeorgeC and 2 others like this.
  37. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,685
    Location:
    Tombstone
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Doc Holliday
    You are in the minority.

    Many owners want the quick and financially painless "$200 annual" which just requires making a couple of logbook entries. If every owner held to your standards GA would be less than half of what it is today.
     
  38. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    Statesville NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Grum.Man
    My thought too. Sadly as long as there are mechanics pencil whipping annuals for $600.00 the good ones will be losing work. My father is one of the thorough ones and people constantly complain about the cost. Yet he usually finds something wrong that was signed off by the budget guys.
     
    Mtns2Skies likes this.
  39. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    3,908
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bell206
    ???. My comment was simply whether you as an owner want all the bad news at one time or would prefer hearing about the corroded tail one week. Then cracked spar once the corr was fixed 2 weeks later. Then when fix all that finish the annual inspection and find a cylinder shot. I prefer to finish the inspection and give you all the un-coated facts one time so you can make the best decision.;)
     
    Rcmutz likes this.
  40. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    Messages:
    7,862
    Location:
    Somewhere else
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Guest
    I think I agree with @Bell206. I like the full list at once. Preferably in order of "Must do, Should do, and you may think about doing." Most years I do it all and eat hotdogs for a couple months (exaggerated for effect) but 2020 was a butt kicker so I actually deferred a "think about it" item. Couldn't defer the starter and carbonator overhauls, though :( Pass the hotdogs, please.

    If I was getting "this looks wonky" every once in a while throughout the process I'd lose track of the bill. I don't like that.