First annual

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Timbeck2, May 3, 2016.

  1. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    I knew it was going to be expensive but I wanted everything to be right, no corner cutting. The last guy and his mechanic didn't seem to care and now I'm paying for it. Better on the ground than find out about it in the air.

    Hoses don't last forever. I had to replace all my fuel and oil hoses forward of the firewall except for the oil cooler hoses; they were installed last March. The fuel hoses were so rigid that you had to make a huge effort to bend them and even then they were cracking like they were going to break. I was one "aggressive" landing from a broken line. My oil pressure line had a tag on it which stated "1969" which was the one on the plane when it rolled out of the factory.

    There was no record of a magneto inspection within the last 10 years.

    ACK EO-4 ELTs will fire a one second burst when it is armed; this is normal.

    Carb parts wear out.

    So my magnetos are on their way to Montana, my carb is on it's way to Prescott Arizona and my new hoses are being built as I write this.

    My bank account is being drained as well but I'm glad all this stuff was found and being corrected.

    Any of you encountered a surprisingly expensive annual?
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess you didn't pick that up on the pre purchase inspection.
     
  3. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    tell me how.....

    there is 1 rotating shaft in the whole moving parts list. 2 bushings support this shaft. This is 1 time I agree with the old saying " If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    When the carb is
    malfunctioning, then have it rebuilt. but no discrepancy????? no.
     
  4. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Parts = bushings

    Doesn't the accelerator pump move?
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2016
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    Meh....normal wear items. None of that should have been a surprise. :cool:
     
  6. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I know your pain... My first Annual is being done along with a bunch of repairs (my fault) and upgrades (my fault).

    I'm hoping that we can get reassuring comments from other owners that the first annual usually costs more, and then as you maintain your ship your way the rest of them are less SHOCKING.
     
  7. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Exactly why I posted this Rob.
     
  8. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    It wasn't the annual that was expensive. It was the items found during the annual. I know that is nit picking, but I think it is important. My annual is right around $1,000 every year, two different mechanics. This is my 5th annual, I think. I end up putting about $1,000-$1,500 a year on repairs. This year was a bit more expensive because of crappy 500 hour inspections on my magnetos two years ago. One ate itself at 150 hours or so. I don't trust the other one. They were both done by Quality Aircraft Accessories (QAA) of Tulsa Oklahoma. They will not be getting another dime from me. I put in two NEW magnetos and a new harness. I don't know if I will ever have a 500 hour inspection done again. I think I will just run to near failure and then replace them with new ones.
     
  9. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Well yeah...if they didn't find anything is would have been $350.

    They found a lot.
     
  10. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    there is a mooney for sale that is out of annual. the guy is saying 'all it needs is an annual' and my response is 'no, knucklehead, it needs an annual to tell you what you then need to spend to get it airworthy, then you have to spend that money actually fixing the stuff. big difference.'

    but I do feel like hoses should have been caught in a prebuy.
     
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  11. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Truth be known....I hired a mechanic whom I didn't know who knew the mechanic who "worked" on it before I bought it. Mechanics are a small community in the Phoenix area and I knew none therefore had no choice but to hire "someone" for the pre-buy. Having owned the plane since June of last year, I now know a lot of people who do things to planes that I can't legally. It would have been a crap shoot either way.

    It's a good plane which looks good and fly's well. I bought it not knowing much about the time hoses are supposed to be replaced, mags rebuilt, etc.

    Live and learn and I'm learning more each day. I didn't jump out of the womb knowing this stuff and not knowing what I didn't know....well, there isn't much one can do about that.
     
  12. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    You waited 20 years while other stuff in life needed attending. You logged 135 hours on it. Appears you are getting a lot of enjoyment and pleasure from your plane. You are giving it the attention it deserved and didn't get from prior owner. Sounds to me like an excellent pairing. Congrats are in order.

    Mags and hoses replacement will be no more than a short term disappointment; will recede as soon as wheels leave the ground first time after annual. Most of us who fly older planes have similar experiences so you have lots of company in that respect. :)
     
  13. neilw2

    neilw2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I feel your pain...

    Bought into a 4 person partnership last year..just in time for 11k annual!

    We changed mechanics and honestly thank god we did. New one showed us a bunch of things that were done incorrectly over the last few years


    For example, this is what happens when the manifold cross over tube is attached incorrectly...
    image.jpeg

    ...only a matter of time before that would have made a flight pretty interesting
     
  14. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    My first annual when I bought my Cardinal revealed severe corrosion of the spar carrythrough, caused by mice that once lived above the headliner. It was not repairable; I had to replace the carrythrough. The part itself wasn't terribly expensive (some $800 as a salvage item) but the labor was close to 10 AMUs. Luckily, my insurance covered the whole thing, otherwise it would have been quite painful.
     
  15. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I feel the OP's pain. I did a prebuy on my Mooney with a local mechanic who was completely unknown to me. That said, I was right there looking over his shoulder and couldn't find much of anything wrong. But an A&P I ain't. Not looking forward to the other shoe dropping.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  16. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    There's an old adage among owners that the first annual is always expensive. I think that's true, and it's also (usually) true that the first annual with a new mechanic is more expensive than the ones after that.
     
  17. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Line Up and Wait

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    Another expensive first one here.

    I think it's a combination of previous owners only doing what's necessary, because they are selling the plane, and new owners doing everything they can think of, because they want a stable foundation. I think my first one was about 8K.
     
  18. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    A pre-buy inspection is supposed to catch problems before the airplane is purchased so that the first annual does not turn into a bankruptcy event.
    Well, all mechanics are human. Even the one doing the pre-buy.
    The more mechanics you have look at the airplane, the more discrepancies will be found. Everyone looks at different components with different importance and everyone has different eye-sight.
    And of course not all sellers are motivated to maintain their planes to the highest standard if they know they will be selling them. And pencil-whipped annuals (I have seen some, believe me) don't help in this case.

    All-in-all, if you want to make sure the airplane you're buying is in great shape, you gotta either inspect it yourself or you need to have a mechanic whose skills are above everybody else's.

    But now that you have found a lot of issues, you can fix them, move on and fly the airplane with the peace of mind that there are fewer killer items in your airplane now. ;)
    Go fly!
     
  19. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some APs just don't do a good prebuy, plus absentee buyers, that's where big annuals come from.
     
  20. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    What kind of insurance did you have that covered corrosion repair?
     
  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Yep. Even my mechanic said that the carb bushing issue for instance, "we can let this one go until next year if you're going to be tight on money." I told him that I want everything "right" with no shortcuts. I don't want to be flying around knowing that something is potentially wrong with it. I'm buying peace of mind and I'll pay whatever it takes to get it. Whoever buys this plane from me when I sell it will get a 100% sound airplane which is what I strive for all the time.
     
  22. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good and bad.

    I'm always tight on money, I could make millions a week and I would be tight on money as far as service people are to be concerned.

    I'm also not rich enough to not maintain my stuff, especially stuff that will straight kill me if it fails.

    Having the "paying whatever it takes" mindset is trouble and is how folks gets these crazy expensive annuals, have a project which needs to be completed to XYZ standard, pay the best rate to get said job done.
     
  23. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Not sure what you meant there James but I think I get the gist of it. However, I don't know how one can NOT pay "whatever it takes." Magnetos...do they NEED a 500 hour inspection? They were working just fine and I've always been the type to not fix what isn't broken. However, I'm new to this whole airplane ownership thing so I don't know. I figure that if they are overhauled, they can possibly find parts that are on the verge of failure. There is a guy who posted above that said he is tempted not to get one and just fly almost to failure and buy new. Hoses - they were dead with heavy duty rigor mortis and I had to replace them. Do I....replace with new or do I have someone build new ones? I chose to have someone build new ones, a reputable aircraft shop that does this all the time, is their price fair? I have no clue but I know that they are cheaper than Lycoming parts.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
  24. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix Pattern Altitude

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    Welp I'm an absentee buyer, unfortunately. I have an AP IA doing a pre-buy for me... so we'll see what happens. Plane had its annual on Saturday. The A&P is unknown to me, the plane or the owner. So... fingers crossed.
     
  25. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm saying shop things out, I've seen folks get all weird when it comes to work on a plane, it's still just contracting work out, get the job done, but still shop the rate and get second opinions.
     
  26. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Roger. (meaning, "I hear you James) I have to rely on others' experiences when it comes to that. Mags for instance, people I know USED to send them to a shop in Oklahoma City but since they aren't happy with that shop's work, they send them to Montana. Hoses, my mechanic has used the same guy up in Phoenix for years without any problems and the carb, same thing, a guy up in Prescott has been doing them for years. In this case, I'm going with a sure thing rather than a cheaper price with questionable work.

    I don't know what I don't know so I rely on those who have experience with reputable shops in the area.
     
  27. Dan Thomas

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    Let us know how you determine that the mags are "near failure."
     
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  28. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Dan I was kind of wondering that myself.
     
  29. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I forget which carrier I had at that time, but it was pretty standard hull insurance. The reason it was covered is that it was caused by a well-defined event and could not be attributed to e.g. being tied down outside in the elements or hangared close to the ocean. I'm fairly certain that corrosion would not have been covered generally.
     
  30. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Excessive rpm drop would be one good reason to buy new.
    It is more likely that I just bought my last set of mags. By the time these are done I may be done flying.
     
  31. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I'm sorry that you're down to your last 500 hours. When I had sudden 200-250 RPM drops, I retimed my engine then ended up sending out the Left mag for IRAN, not OH. Cost $437 at the factory, plus reinstall and timing.
     
  32. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also a great time for swapping your slicks out for bendix
     
  33. Joshuajayg

    Joshuajayg Line Up and Wait

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    The nylon gears in mags can wear out, points block gets worn down, contacts get burned, wire vibrates and is holding on the the condenser by one strand. Plenty of stuff can be "near failure" on a magneto.

    There is also the realization of maintenance induced failure. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it usually wears out about now, probably better to inspect it.

    As a commercial pilot and A&P working on the plane I fly, there are things I will let go for another 100 hours and some things I don't. I'd actually like to do more but as the owner is still making the decisions on where to spend money, I'll have to pick the important discrepancies to fix at each inspection.

    Oil drip that takes 5 hours to fix or a chafed generator wire? I'm more concerned about the wire at this point and I will fix it. Just know what you have and plan to fix it

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     
  34. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Nope, because I can see within 30 minutes of looking at a plane that

    #1 The engine controls are original, yeah they do need to be replaced once in a while too
    #2 Spark plug wires are old or just plain shot
    #3 Exhaust is new or old, flame cones missing?
    #4 Fuel Oil Hoses, original? need to be replaced
    #5 Cowl vibration isolators are shot, Cessna deal and yes those buggers aren't very cheap because there are many of them
    #6 Engine vibration isolators, how old are they?
    #7 How sloppy is the throttle shaft in the carburetor?
    #8 How bad are the tires, brake disks, and brake hoses?
    #9 Alternator belt? Those are a blast to R&R on a Lycoming, especially with a constant speed prop
    #10 Now look very closely at the wiring up front. The P-leads are often bad shape being disturbed over and over. How is that alternator harness looking on that Lycoming and some Continentals? Its brilliant running those right under the cylinders where the wires can be baked over & over.

    I don't pretend that a 35+ year old airplane "like new"...
     
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  35. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Lets not get all teary eyed. At my current rate 500 hours is 10 years. 10 years is a long time.

    I'm hoping that by the time I'm at the 500-600 hour point on these magnetos it will be much easier & cheaper to swap in an electronic ignition for one of the magnetos. Then I have the one that I am pulling out & storing at this annual that has 150 hours on it that I can put into the other slot.

    Mine are Slicks so:
    the IRAN options are slim to none
    the 500 hour inspection is 1/2 the price of new magnetos, but I just don't trust them.
    Overhauled magnetos is 3/4 the price of new magnetos, I might as well buy new.
     
  36. WingNut42

    WingNut42 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It sounds like you are getting the bulk of it handled, and you will have a good idea where you stand going forward. My best advice is don't ever let an annual pass without improving something on the airplane outside the normal maintenance. This avoids letting a list build up under your ownership, and it will make a really nice airplane in the long run. We all know there is never a problem finding something to upgrade or redo on a 40 year old airframe, heck even a 4 year old airframe has it's wear.
     
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  37. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    New mechanics always tend to find something even other good mechanics didn't see.

    A few years back we pulled the boost pump off the plane. An 11" piece of hose that connected it (which is a beast to get to) was removed in the process. The mechanics says that looks old and told Margy to clean up the fittings and check the date stamp. Yep, 1948. Amusingly, it was two years older than the aircraft itself.
     
  38. Timbeck2

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    So far I've had to change all the fuel hoses, the oil pressure hose (dated 1969 original to the plane) both magnetos (sent for 500 hour inspection, they were so bad they remanufactured them - Bendix) two engine mounts, carb rebuild (sent that for bushing replacement) and a bunch of nit noid stuff like new clamps and intake tube hoses.

    I learned a LOT from this annual and it isn't even over with yet. I learned that the previous mechanic pencil whipped the annuals for at least the last eight years. The filter for the instruments disintegrated in my hand as it hadn't been changed in eons. I guess the only things that haven't been changed, firewall forward, is the vacuum pump and the oil cooler lines.

    It has cost three times what I thought it would. Lessons learned.
     
  39. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    just wait till next year.....:D
     
  40. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Nobody likes ^^^ much. :)

    Should be better next year, everything will be new.