Disastrous First (and Last) Annual - Advice Needed

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

  1. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    Similar to Paul, if I had sold this airplane to someone and found out it was in such bad shape, I would at least give them part of their money back. Obw said he flew it about 30 hours, so 30 X (say) $80/hour dry = $2400. Take that off the refund, then go visit the shop where the airplane is to satisfy yourself it is really that bad. If true, give obw back the rest of his money. I don't do owner assisted annuals because I am not able to spend much time at the A&P's shop. I rely on my mechanic to let me know what needs to be done. I often run out there then to take a look with him, then approve the fix. If our airplane looked like that inside the hidden places, unless he told me I likely would not know.

    I had a prepurchase done a few years ago. The mechanic (by the way, it was $600) called me and said something like "you don't want to buy that airplane." It had corrosion issues. He said he could probably push a screwdriver through the stabilator. I sent the owner the squawk list and he said he had been flying it and the mechanic was wrong. He sent the deposit back to me, though, and we each went on our way.

    A lot of folks here say they would be afraid to ferry the airplane somewhere, but obw was flying it (probably) regularly before his mechanic started the annual. Sometimes it is nice to be fat, dumb and happy! :)
     
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  2. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    Because if you're the seller, you have privity with and potential recourse against the last guy with professional-liability insurance who signed off on this [alleged] rusted carcass as airworthy.
     
  3. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I agree. I think letters to those that knew, or should have known, would be very appropriate. But as I stated earlier I believe those would have my attorney's letterhead on them.

    I really hate the idea of the attorney/lawsuit route but (as Joey would say) "Come on man! Here's the deal!" This kind of abuse should not be allowed to go unpunished.
     
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  4. Joe_B1

    Joe_B1 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Confront the A&P as well as the seller with the evidence. Once you bring a lawyer or the FAA into it, it becomes adversarial and nobody is going to cooperate.
     
  5. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I tend to think if they were honest and willing to cooperate this scenario wouldn't have happened to begin with. I'd only use an attorney to gain their attention and make the point that you will have to deal with me. If not it will get worse ... I ain't going away.

    For those with plenty of walking around money 40 large may not seem like much but to us poor old southern boys that's quite a bit of scratch and I'd like to have it back if it's true that you got it from me, knowing you were fraudulent and dishonest.
     
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  6. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Except that they don't want to answer to a judge, so will likely settle out of court. Last person I sued didn't want to be grilled in court, so she settled out of court for the full amount plus legal fees, and I got a formal letter of apology to. An awful lot of lawsuits never make it to a court room. Then their dirty laundry becomes public, and a lot of shame is exposed, not to mention if it is a business, that businesses reputation is shot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  7. NordicDave

    NordicDave Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Like this:
     
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  8. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for all the input. It's very helpful and I think about next steps
     
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  9. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    What I find interesting in this discussion is the widespread frenzy to hang all the previous APIAs yet not the same intensity towards the previous owners. After all they’re the one ultimately responsible. While I do agree the OP is facing a major issue, we have only heard one side to a possible 10 sided story if you include all the previous actors. That’s it, one side. We don’t even know the exact details of what lead the OPs mechanic to find the initial corrosion except what the OP posted.

    Having been caught up and involved in other similar witch hunts I now finally understand how these situations get so out of hand and vindictive especially by people who are personally clueless of the situation. All I can say from experience is be careful what you wish for when the situation reverses and puts you on the sellers side. By the way, how many here that own a Piper have complied with SB 1006?
     
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  10. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    It is, however, very hard to do anything about fraud most of the time. Hence the turd burger the OP is enjoying right now due to the seller committing fraud.
    one of the previous owners was one of the IA’s we are all talking about. They are the same person.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  11. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    And ??? Their side of the story doesn't count because the owner is also an IA ??? See what I mean. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Dude. You’re off the rails on this one. No one is being unprofessional or suggesting anyone gets beat up. There is nothing untoward about recommending the OP explore opportunities to recover his losses.

    Also where are you getting the idea it’s just the mechanics that are potentially liable. Plenty of attention being paid on the previous owners.

    Edit: I bet the majority of piper owners here fly aircraft with the SB completed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
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  13. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    I assume this is because the IAs certified the plane as airworthy, whereas the seller likely didn't certify chit. That it flew for 30 hours means the seller would have even been correct saying this nautical treasure from the sea-bottom was "fit for purpose as an airplane" (for a little while, anyway)

    Nobody is going to do the work required to prove that when the IA(s) signed, the corrosion was there. We all know that it was.
     
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  14. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    The challenge (IMO) is that there are stupid owners out there. The guy who adds gas, flies the airplane, parks it, lather rinse repeat until it breaks and he calls the mechanic. But for any professional to sign off on the annual, based on what I've seen, is inexcusable. So, (IMO) the professionals have direct responsibility for being the place the buck stops and one of 'em, before the OP's IA, needed to step in. IOW, the ex-owner can play the "I didn't know" card. The IA can't.
     
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  15. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies En-Route

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    :rofl: The casual use of "turd burger" got me. You owe me a keyboard.
     
  16. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I tend to agree with this, a phone call to the inspecting ap and the previous owner, just stating what was found could be very revealing as to whether this was fraud or just bad luck. The jury is still out. I think you will certainly figure out if a lawyer is necessary.
     
  17. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    thank you for quoting me. It brought my attention to a partially completed post that I had elected not to post. So I deleted some of it... sorry about your keyboard.
     
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  18. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    If it were me:

    1) Get an estimate of the costs to fix what is unairworthy, broken down by specifics with pictures.

    2) Lawyer up. Get an aviation lawyer if for no other reason than to send out some letters to the previous owner and the mechanic who last signed off on the annual.

    3) Pending legal advice (from an Aviation lawyer) I'd contact the FAA about the situation and see where it goes.

    I wouldn't expect to cover my losses, but the few grand worth of inspection and legal fees would probably be worth rattling some cages and you may even end up with a claim being paid. I wouldn't go scorched Earth, but getting a lawyer familiar with these cases might get you a better idea of what is likely.

    Sent from my SM-N976U using Tapatalk
     
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  19. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    There's not many pa-28-160 in massachusetts. Found the one in question, it's changed hands registration wise multiple times in short order. I'd be willing to bet the owners knew with how quickly it was turned over. Especially the owner/A&P that did the paint and interior. The angst towards the I/A's is that it continued to be signed off to keep passing the buck...err... death trap to the next guy. But going by how quickly each previous party got rid of it, I'd suspect the owners knew as well.
     
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  20. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    It could have been people passing along a "parts plane", right up until someone decided to give it a rustoleum restoration and upsell it.
     
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  21. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The death trap part is what gets me. This isn’t a car with a transmission full of sawdust, that’ll only leave someone broke and stranded. When structural stuff goes sideways on airplanes, people die.
     
  22. obw

    obw Pre-Flight

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    I'm not sure what you're implying here. There isn't another 'side' to this. It's pretty straightforward - I brought my plane in for an annual, my mechanic found multiple discrepancies including evidence of corrosion which he showed me, asked my permission to assess the damage further which I provided, and uncovered the extensive corrosion that I described earlier. I'm not sure what 'exact details' you're looking for nor how they would be relevant.
     
  23. Spring Ford

    Spring Ford Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Judging by the content of this thread I think you are going to need to lawyer up to collect.:D
     
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  24. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    You think? Perhaps reread the previous 6 pages.;)
    Then why the AD to inspect the same area if the "majority" complied with 1006?
     
  25. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: While the APIA is accountable for his specific work, the owner is still accountable for the airworthiness. The owner doesn't have the luxury of an "I don't know card." And in my experience, I never ran across a situation where the owner did not know of the condition of his aircraft. Hence my comment on only holding the APIA out vs the owners.
     
  26. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    And as a new aircraft owner I would not expect you to know or understand. Only you have posted here with your version of the story. We have not heard your mechanics version, the pre-buy mechanics version, the 3 other previous owners and mechanics versions. The other “sides” of the story. Yet everyone here implies they screwed the pooch. To now include you. Unlike most of PoA, I have been involved with these type scenarios when attorneys and the FSDO do get involved so I can tell you from experience it is very rarely so cut and dry. And there still is a lot of missing information for me to make a call one way or another.
    It’s all relevant. Specifically what did your mechanic see initially in the tail section with his flashlight. Was is simply surface corrosion? Missing pieces? Etc. It’s relevant because more than likely that’s what the other mechanics may have seen. I don’t know.

    If it was only surface corr in the tail then why the major disassembly? Corrosion on its own does not make it unairworthy as it is subjective to that specific person--there is FAA guidance on this. So if the previous mechanics determined that same corrosion was not an airworthy issue—from that same specific vantage point—then what? Perhaps your mechanic is a Piper guru like JAWS and knows if there is corrosion at that specific point there’s corrosion at other areas? I don’t know. Do you see the difference?

    But as a side note, this is a perfect example of why I always recommend using the same mechanic who will maintain your aircraft for all pre-buys. Why didn’t you use your current mechanic for this pre-buy? And what if you had. He couldn’t have disassembled the aircraft at that point so would he have okay’d the purchase?

    Regardless, here you are. Unfortunately, a number 1st annuals after a pre-buy end up costing $10k+. Just read the posts on PoA. And you caught the worst case scenario. If I wasn’t retired I’d drive up there, give you $25K for the plane, take it home, repair it, then sell it for a profit. It is what it is. Good luck.
     
  27. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I have read the entire thread. I don’t agree with you.


    I don’t think the FAA uses the POA compliance rates to determine whether or not a AD is issued. To use that as a rebuttal to my statement is deflective and unrelated to what I’m saying.

    You are seeing something that doesn’t exist here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  28. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would for sure expect the shop i hired to annual my plane to find that corrosion, and let me know about it, complete with photos. Why do an annual at all if they are not finding problems, and then giving me a detailed report, as well as plan of action to fix it. Then just skip doing all inspections and annuals by any shop, and have 100% owner maintenance only. The argument that the shops that worked on this plane are not responsible, is ludicrous! I don't pull all the inspection plates off before every flight and look for corrosion, nor should I have to. That is why an AME ( Canadian) does inspections, annuals, and pre purchase inspection. I am probably a lot more mechanically inclined than the average Joe, but still expect the hired professional Aircraft Maintenance Engineers to find out the problems for me. If we lived in a world where I was allowed to do 100% of my own maintenance, I would. But since the government seems to think that I shouldn't be doing my own, I hire a shop to do it, that supposedly has more talent than I do at aircraft maintenance. Then they damn well better do it right!
     
  29. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Let me try it this way then. Here is my post:

    Here is one of your first replies:
    Looking at the thread 1st two pages here's what stands out. Below, are 17 posts to report, sue, or pursue the previous mechanics. Conversely, there are only 2 posts to simply contact the previous owners with no mention of legal or FAA action. Just a nastygram. And the ratio of posts gets worse on page 3 and subsequent. So in the context of my post above it's pretty evident mechanics get more "negative attention" than owners even though they are equally responsible. But then again this is PoA and not MoA where pilots congratulate each other on performing unauthorized mx and not making logbook entries. Par for the course.:rolleyes:

    Mechanics:
    Owners:
     
  30. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sounds perfect to me! Don't be a crook, and if you are a crook, expect karma!
     
  31. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Ahhh. I see what you’re on about...

    well that’s because mechanics and IA’s are held to a higher standard than everyone else.

    edit: it’s not just mechanics. The same is true as an airman as well. The same mistake for a private pilot that earns a phone call and counsel with a letter in the airman file can get an ATP revoked.

    when it comes to airworthiness the owner, PIC and mechanic all have a piece of the liability. The mechanic that signed the return to service on that airplane did not do their job. Period. That has nothing to do with the owner. Do You disagree?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  32. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    No they're not. The owner is held to the higher regulatory standard. The owner has the primary responsibility to maintain the aircraft in airworthy condition. The APIA is only responsible for the work they perform. The only person higher on the food chain than the owner is the FAA.
    True. The mechanic and PIC are separately accountable for their actions but the owner is accountable for them as well as the aircraft. No signature required.
    In part, yes. Since we do not know the details of that previous mechanic/owner interaction I do not know if that mechanic did not do their job. But if you want my guess based on the limited info we do have, the previous mechanics saw some corr in the tail and without disassembly determined it to be airworthy at that time but informed the owner something needs to be done about it. And since a mechanic can only approve for return to service, the owner elected to return the aircraft to service and put the aircraft up for sale. So this has everything to do with the owner.
     
  33. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm fond of Dork.
     
  34. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Sorry. I don’t agree with that premise at all. Any mechanic that signed an annual without requiring that corrosion to be addressed should have a conversation with the office holding their IA.

    While I agree the owner is ultimately responsible pretty much everyone on this earth in part 91 ops recognizes that having credentialed individuals perform those services to ensure airworthiness is adequate for compliance.

    no way it’s reasonable to put that on the owner. If you do then you take your role as a maintainer way to lightly.
     
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  35. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Unfortunately a mechanic does not have that authority to require/demand certain work be performed that the owner does not want performed. A number of mechanics have tried that approach and were reminded of their position in the food chain by the local FSDO. A mechanics only legal recourse is to sign the annual as unairworthy and give the owner a list of discrepancies. However, until we find out what was actually seen by those mechanics---prior to disassembly---I think those mechanics should be given the benefit of the doubt on whether what they saw was airworthy or not. What I think is not in doubt is the owners knew about corrosion prior to selling their aircraft.
    Not quite. I take my role very seriously to the extent I've spent many hours learning how the system works and who fits where. Have you? Quite a few owners do not understand their responsibility within that system and unfortunately can get hammered for that lack of knowledge. I've worked a number of actions assisting those owners get out of trouble or reduce the impact of that trouble. So when I see owners try to "reduce" their culpability at the expense of maintenance I push back based on that experience. So whether you personally feel it is not reasonable to put that on the owner its how the law states it and is enforced. But don't take my word for it, call your FSDO.
     
  36. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    I know what the mechanic can and can not do since I am an A&P.

    No owner can make an IA sign off the aircraft as airworthy.

    Signing off the annual as a completed inspection with discrepancies is EXACTLY what the IA should have done. It is EXACTLY what we are all saying the person should be held accountable for not doing.

    What don’t you get about this? I’m not now or ever have I said the mechanic should or could force someone to fix anything. Where did you get that idea?



    Im done. Respond if you wish. But I’m done.

    my ATP rated, A&P, aircraft owner butt is done talking to you about this topic.
     
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  37. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member

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    It's sounds like we're all agreeing. If the plane in question has airworthy sign-offs in the book, then the IAs are culpable, and the owner attempted to fulfill his obligations by hiring them and securing their signatures and certifications of airworthiness.

    If the plane was flown 30 hours on unairworthy log entries without matching remediation entries, we have other problems, also significant. I haven't read that in the thread, but maybe I overlooked it?
     
  38. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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  39. Tarheelpilot

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    Yes. That is correct. I’ve dealt with people in real life with his attitude before. It’s how a lot of really sketch crap stays in the air.

    oh that’s not my job ... it’s the owners responsibility

    oh I was just paid to replace the #4 bearing so I don’t have to worry about the compressor wheel having damage... that’s the owners responsibility.

    WTF ever.
     
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  40. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Ha, not hardly. If mechanics had the authority to fix what they find all the "sketch crap" would be repaired and there would be no more 20 minute/$200 annuals.:rolleyes: