FBO will not give me my plane back

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MooneyGuy35, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:04 PM.

  1. MooneyGuy35

    MooneyGuy35 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello everyone!

    I recently took my plane and parked it at an FBO. It has been there for about two weeks. When I left it there, I left my name, number, and email. I also bought fuel. I was told that there were no ramp fees or parking fees. I was told this by their management.

    Now I come back as planned, and they put my plane in the back of one of their hangars and will not let me see it nor take it without paying $75 / day. They want me to pay about $1,200 to take my plane back.

    Any idea on what I can do about this? Is this even legal? I never signed anything.
     
  2. Lachlan

    Lachlan Pattern Altitude

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    What was the agreed upon fee per day? What arrangements do you have in writing? What are the published fees? Sucks- hope you find an affordable and fair resolution.
     
  3. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    did you ask to have your plane hangared or just tied down? dud you tell them you'd be away for 2-weeks?
     
  4. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    Is that even legal?
     
  5. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Usually buying fuel will cover one night's tie-down.
     
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  6. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Simple. Call the police and report a stolen plane.
     
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  7. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    Who knew this plan?
     
  8. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I'd lose my ****.
    bigtime.

    And then I'd make a video about it.
     
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    No,,,, not without a signed agreement.
     
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  10. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    Let me guess... signature aviation is the FBO
     
  11. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    call your lawyer.
    this will get ugly.
     
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  12. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    We are not getting the whole story here so hard to speculate. Well, actually easy to speculate, just probably not very accurately.
     
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  13. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    I would offer to pay the FBO's daily tie-down rate. Usually $15 or so at a satellite airport.
     
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  14. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends on the state.

    I’d image they can try to sue you, but I don’t think they get to steal your plane.
     
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  15. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Would like to get both sides of the story. I’m Sure the fees are continuing during the disagreement. You might want to pay now ,sue after you have possession of your aircraft.
     
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  16. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    I don't see why they would need to allow him access if he has unpaid storage charges at their published rate.
     
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  17. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    :yeahthat:

    Anybody here routinely leave their plane on an FBO ramp for two weeks and expect the gas fill to cover the parking?

    Unless this is an airstrip in the middle of a cornfield near Podunk, Iowa, it sounds like there's been a major misunderstanding. Your best bet was to try to get it resolved amicably up front. A parking invoice is not worth getting lawyers involved in.

    As for signing anything, I can't recall ever signing anything in advance but the credit card authorization for the fuel top up any time I've left my plane parked at an FBO. Sounds like some folks on this thread are advocating FBOs make all of us sign parking contracts? Can't hardly wait for the fine print on those. LOL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 10:49 PM
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  18. MooneyGuy35

    MooneyGuy35 Filing Flight Plan

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    Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, they changed management / ownership (idk what’s going on) like two days ago. The guy backcharged me because they changed the policy.
     
  19. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It’s not the FSDO’s issue to deal with. I doubt the FAA ADO would get involved either. If you’re going to escalate, the airport manager would be next. As for advice, you’d best contact a lawyer in the state your plane is located.
     
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  20. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And they won't let you see your plane to check for damage or missing parts?
     
  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAA will not touch that.

    I’d say doing something with the PD.

    Or....depending on who knows what, maybe show up after hours when it’s just some on call / third shift line guy there, and just tell him you need your plane pulled out, and leave. Decent chance all the line people might not know about this.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018 at 11:16 PM
  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Maybe they sold the whole thing, instead of chop shopping it. ;)
     
  23. MooneyGuy35

    MooneyGuy35 Filing Flight Plan

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    No. I can try again.

    They want me to pay.

    I am considering reporting the plane as stolen.
     
  24. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

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    [​IMG]

    Now, it all makes sense. I'd pay, get reciepts. Then take it to small claims court.
     
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  25. MooneyGuy35

    MooneyGuy35 Filing Flight Plan

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    I just want to get my plane and not get into any court stuff. They have lawyers and stuff while I can’t even afford the fee.

    What if I paid then charged back?
     
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  26. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Isn't tampering with an aircraft a federal offense?
     
  27. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

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    Sounds like outright theft if you ask me. I'd press charges. They have no right to detain you or your aircraft.
     
  28. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I’d really just try to have them pull it out onto the ramp and just leave, do it after hours when management and the front desk people arnt there
     
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  29. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry, but as a former LEO the police will see it as a civil matter...which it actually is. An attorney is the best option.

    Sent them a certified letter demanding the release of your aircraft. Let them know you will take legal action if they're not compliant. Give them a few days to comply...then lawyer up.
     
  30. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

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    I'm not arguing but asking your opinion as a LEO. Say my neighbor moves my car into garage with no prior arrangement, then refuses to return it unless I pay him. Would that be a civil or criminal matter? In my mind that would constitute theft, but I'm just a pilot and firefighter, not in law enforcement.
     
  31. saddletramp

    saddletramp Line Up and Wait

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    Of course that would be theft. But if you had parked your car in your neighbor's garage & told him you're be back in a few days, & he refused to give you your car, unless you paid...then it becomes a civil matter.
     
  32. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Midlifeflyer....anyideas or suggestions as a private citizen?
     
  33. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    And what incentive would they have to repay you? If you do not want to threaten legal then negotiate it down and take it as lesson learned. I recently had to do that with a CPA that did next to nothing for his $1000 fee. I twisted his arm to refund me $500 and took it as lesson learned.
     
  34. brien23

    brien23 Cleared for Takeoff

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    So you are going to pay a lawyer $300 an hour for a $1200 fight. I am sure you will find a lawyer, most would probably say just pay it.
     
  35. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What is the fee for small claims court where you are? You don't have to have a lawyer for that.

    How do you charge someone back for money that you paid?
     
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  36. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What if you parked your car on the street, and then your neighbor towed it into his garage? That's what this sounds like to me, that the plane was outside prior to being buried in the hangar and taken hostage.

    OP, what is the airport/FBO? Please save the rest of us from running into them!
     
  37. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The sensible approach is to pay the bill, get the plane out, and self-represent in small-claims court.

    If you can document your conversation streams, and keep a level head in court, you stand a chance of winning.
     
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  38. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you equating towing with tampering? Seriously?
     
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  39. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-Flight

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    The credit card chargeback is a good idea. The customer is basically always right with a credit card chargeback, especially with American Express. I have never seen the "retailer", in this case the FBO, ever win a chargeback. I don't know why the process isn't actually fair to both parties, but I would give it a greater than 80% chance that you could just dispute the charge and it will be refunded immediately and two months later you will get a letter that the matter is settled and the money is back for good. You can always still start the small claims court stuff in the meantime. Do both and whichever one works first, you can go with that one. Not a problem if both of them work out!
     
  40. Salty

    Salty En-Route

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    It’s a credit card term that means to dispute a charge to your card.