*How* much for annual?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Coinneach, May 16, 2022.

  1. Coinneach

    Coinneach Pre-Flight

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    My Cherokee 180 is coming up for annual in August and we're trying to get on the A&P's calendar. Our annuals for the past 10 years have cost right around $1000 regardless of who did them. We open and close the airplane and my partners have been much more proactive about maintenance since I bitched them out last year. There are no outstanding squawks or deferred maintenance.

    So why are we now being quoted upward of $2000 just to get started and being told that's normal?
     
  2. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Welcome to the new normal.
     
  3. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    My cheapest annual ever was $2k :dunno: Perhaps you think you are being treated unfairly?
     
  4. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    "regardless of who did them"?

    If this is a new IA to you, or they have not done this plane in a few years, there may be a lot of time needed to verify AD compliance, etc. Who is doing the preventative maintenance due at annual, you or the A&P/IA? Oil change, lubrication, wheel bearings, spark plugs, etc... If all you doing is opening/closing, but not doing the other preventative maintenance work yourself, and there is a bunch of "get to know this plane", I can see it getting close to $2k.
     
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  5. Coinneach

    Coinneach Pre-Flight

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    Yes, we've had a few different IAs. Is this a problem?

    Well, YES, considering the average cost of the past 10 annuals is half that. Perhaps you think a sudden doubling of price for the same service is fair? In that case, how about I tell my boss he's going to start paying me double for the same work I've been doing?
     
  6. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    fwiw - it's not a problem, but it isn't unusual for a new IA (i.e., new to the plane) to spend extra time going throught the airplane.

    and be careful to distinquish between the cost of the annual inspection and the cost of the rest of the stuff that often gets accomplished at the same time.
     
  7. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    What does fair have to do with what the market will bear based on demand? Some times a quote is designed as such that the work isn’t really wanted.

    More like a new boss asks you how much you should be paid for a body of work you have a general idea of but know 50 other people could’ve touched and who knows what kind of easter eggs will be found.
     
  8. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Is $2000 the “flat fee” the IA is charging? For a 180?
     
  9. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    Please do this. Report back.
     
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  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    It's a free market you can always fly it somewhere else where you think you can get it done cheaper. Saying it has no squawks or deferred maintenance is a bit presumptive. I agree 2000 to do a basic annual seems high but most of the guys at least around here are not hurting for work.
     
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  11. Jim K

    Jim K En-Route

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    2000 does sound a bit steep for a cherokee... the inspection and basic mx on my Lance was 2500, but that was 6 months ago and the world has changed a lot since then. Putting myself in your shoes, yes I'll be shocked and upset if they quote me 5k next year. I suppose at that point I'd call around, and if that's the going rate, pay it. It's either that or sell the plane.

    I can tell you this.... the price of most of my crop inputs have doubled. The price of grain has doubled. Fuel... double. Food is up what...50%? It won't stop there I bet. Starting wages in my area are pushing $20/ hour, which is about double over a couple years ago.

    Honestly piston A&P's have been underpaid for a long time. I had a guy working on my combine this fall telling me he left aircraft mx because there was a lot more money working on ag equipment.
     
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  12. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pattern Altitude

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    Straight Annual Inspection for a 180 (no repairs) historically was anywhere from 800 - 1200 for those that advertised a fixed rate. Not sure what it is post covid, inflationary world. OP, where are you located?
     
  13. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg En-Route

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    Stomp your hoof all you like. Free market right now, shops are bursting at the seams, can't keep talent, and have more work than they can handle -- they have you by the hojos. Remember who treated you arrogantly during this boom time, it may become important later if/when things go back to normal. I think it's the new normal, so if you have your boss in the same position, squeeze away.
     
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  14. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The boss can squeeze their employees by the gonads, but unfortunately it doesn’t go both ways, at least generally speaking. With the way employers are struggling for workers nowadays, employees might have the one-two punch in some situations! ;)
     
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  15. Eric S

    Eric S Pre-Flight

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    For a point of reference on my 210 last year $1850, this year $3600 and that's just for the annual. :-( seems the new normal.
     
  16. Jdm

    Jdm Line Up and Wait

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    $2,000 sounds very reasonable if it includes everything other than the repair of discrepancies found during the inspection.
     
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  17. Jdm

    Jdm Line Up and Wait

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    I’m curious as to how many hours you think really goes into a quality annual for this type airplane? Factor everything from the very beginning to the very end including all research and documentation. Don’t forget about removing/reinstalling interior, pre and post engine runs, leak checks, cleaning aircraft, etc. Some airframes/engines come into the shop needing to be washed before they can even be inspected properly.

    I know one shop that charges 2-3 hours additional labor upfront to new customers just to do an initial pre check and create an accurate spreadsheet of everything. This includes a very thorough logbook history check. They go through ALL the books and get rid of unnecessary garbage like obsolete tags and records of removed items, etc. They ultimately create a nicely organized set of hard records and electronic tracking to keep up with everything. If the customer does not agree to this pre check they do not accept the airplane into the shop.
     
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  18. Jeff Oslick

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    What is included in that $1,000 annual? Is that owner-assist, and to what level? What preventative maintenance items (if any) are included in that $1,000? Frankly, I'd be a little concerned of what I'd be getting if that $1,000 includes inspection plus all opening/closing, and annual servicing items like oil/filter change, control lube, spark plug reconditioning, wheel bearing service, etc.
     
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  19. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Line Up and Wait

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    My fixed annual this past Feb for my Tiger was $900. But of course, I live in flyover country versus the coasts.
     
  20. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    No doubt your costs are lower, but I think your costs may not be representative of what most owners have to pay, regardless of whether they live on a coast or not. I don't pay much for annual inspection either, but the co-owners and I do all of the opening/closing and most to all of the PM work ourselves, and have been for 17 years.
     
  21. Whitney

    Whitney Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Who here gets worried when their annual is cheap?

    I welcome a more expensive annual, where they seem to be seeking out, and repairing problems, instead of just complacency. A $1,000 annual would have me concerned about their quality and care. It should be more than check the tire pressures, dump some fresh oil in it, and kick it out the door.
     
  22. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not sure why we’re giving this guy a hard time, the base cost of his annual doubled. Yeah everything has, but sounds like a legitimate gripe to me, I’d be ****ed too. Also I don’t recall ever seeing two prices for an annual, one for new comers and one for regs. Would it be ok if an avionics shop charged extra because they’ve never installed a GTN 750 in someone’s plane before? I’m not talking about charging extra for extra things found. Anyways, yeah, prices of most things suck right now. Won’t mention who we have to thank for that.
     
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  23. Wagondriver

    Wagondriver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have seen good annuals, and bad. First one I paid for was nothing more than a looking over, rate was $2k. No compression check, no wheel bearing pack, nothing. In the first 6 months after purchase I replaced the tailwheel, and one fuel bladder. Annual number two was $800 done by a "friend", he basically did a compression, and looked at a couple of items, but said the 50 psi on #5 cylinder was ok, he didn't borescope it. I was helping, but didn't know what I didn't know at the time. 3rd annual was done at my employers hangar, he has 4 full time pilots and 2 full time mechanics. That annual was free for labor. We found old damage in the horizontal, 4 ribs were detached on one side. We found #5 cylinder with burned valve, 2 sheared rivets on the right gear box, cracked cross over tube, incorrect hardware in a few places, cracks in the airbox. That annual took 6 weeks. Annual #4 was me with supervision of the local shop, even with the extensive annual the year before, I still found several small items, like worn out throttle and prop rod ends, worn out carb heat shaft and bearings, carb to Y pipe bolts not tight, spark plugs pretty much worn out, bad / incorrect prop cable, and a cracked #1 cylinder. Annual #5 was again me with supervision of the local shop, all I needed that year was a new throttle cable.

    Usually you get what you pay for, but if you find someone that really looks the plane over and goes through everything, pay what it costs, its worth it.
     
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  24. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    Is this your regular APIA or a new one?
    Interesting. So is the current $1000 annual the new $200/20 minute annual of yester-year?
     
  25. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    I was told 10 hrs and $1,300.00 for my '48 rag wing Vagabond if I do all the disassembly and reassembly and nothing need fixing.
     
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  26. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Mine this year included an engine rebuild so, probably 30amu
     
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  27. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    You're not entirely clear here whether you're taking it to the same IA as last year, but your use of the word "the" in "the A&P's calendar" implies to me that it's the same person. So, what did he or she say when you asked? "I noticed your base price this year is $2000. Last year it was $1000. Why such an increase?" Maybe it's the cost of gas is way higher this year than last. Maybe their hangar rent or utilities doubled. Maybe they realized they were way undercharging below market. Maybe it's a new owner. Maybe they have to pay more to keep workers around. Maybe the IA just wants a new car. No way for us to tell.

    If it's a different IA, then maybe you just picked a more expensive shop. And if that's the case, if you think it's worth it, good, but if not, go somewhere else.
     
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  28. Daleandee

    Daleandee En-Route

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    You got that right. I'm praying that some good sense will fall on the heads of the decision makers but I'm not holding my breath. Seems the fuel prices will not stop climbing ...
     
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  29. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    There is no normal anymore. Look at the markets, housing, plane/boat/truck prices, fuel, inflation, etc.

    In the 310 I had 4 separate shops do annuals. 3 were around 2500 base price and claimed to “know” 310s. Totals were around 5000 or so for the 5 annuals they did. Then I went to the actual Twin Cessna experts in the country who charged 5000 base. They found (and took the time to show me) some very alarming things that these other shops clearly missed (no way it just happened). That initial 5 turned to to 10X but you truly get what you pay for and I was happy with the result. These antique/vintage 60’s/70’s planes need expensive pro’s in my opinion. They are way beyond their life expectancy.
     
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  30. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Wow.....$1,300 and you're doing all the work? :confused:
     
  31. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    phew, makes it easier for me to blend in.
     
  32. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Local shop charges $95/hr, and the Piper mx manual lists items that are to be inspected. In the past the annual has run $1200 or so. I won’t be surprised when the bill this year if it’s more. I don’t remove inspection plates and such, but I do empty everything out and make it as easy as possible for the shop.
     
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  33. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    We're in New York, baby! Everything costs more.
    To be fair, my 500 hr mag check is included. (I hope)
     
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  34. Jdm

    Jdm Line Up and Wait

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    I'm estimating the job at about 18-20 hours with zero customer help. Includes removing all required interior and panels necessary to provide a thorough inspection, all the preventive maintenance items, all research, documentation, solid customer service, clean airplane, detailed billing, etc.
    $100 per hour (non coastal rate) makes it about $2K as quoted. I just don’t see this as being excessively priced. Certainly not a ripoff.
     
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  35. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's my understanding that there are things the IA must do to maintain his cert, time spent outside of the actual annual inspection time. Someone has to pay for that time, right?
     
  36. Jdm

    Jdm Line Up and Wait

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    It’s an authorization rather than a certificate. I don’t know of anything other than renewal requirements. I do however spend about a grand or so per year on continued education but it’s definitely optional, and only to satisfy my own interests.
     
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  37. Bell206

    Bell206 Final Approach

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    Not that I'm aware of. To be eligible for IA renewal they must complete one of the five minimum requirements below. All of which don't cost anything unless the IA chooses to pay. Also, in some locations there are private seminars every March where the FAA will attend and renew IA applications.
    (1) Performed at least one annual inspection for each 90 days that the applicant held the current authority; or
    (2) Performed at least two major repairs or major alterations for each 90 days that the applicant held the current authority; or
    (3) Performed or supervised and approved at least one progressive inspection in accordance with standards prescribed by the Administrator; or
    (4) Attended and successfully completed a refresher course, acceptable to the Administrator, of not less than 8 hours of instruction; or
    (5) Passed an oral test by an FAA inspector to determine that the applicant's knowledge of applicable regulations and standards is current.
     
  38. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I try to be optimistic, but I doubt that it’s included in that. We did a 500hr inspection at QAA on two slicks and it was ~$1200. If that’s included in the price you were quoted, I’d question what kind of work they’re doing. :(
     
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  39. bradg33

    bradg33 Pattern Altitude

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    $1k base fee for a heavy owner-assisted annual seems about right. You're paying the A&P for 10-15hrs of inspection-type labor, while you do the dirty work. $1k for a full-blown, toss the shop the keys and call me when it's done, is comically low and the airplane probably isn't getting a very thorough annual.
     
  40. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    Just the inspection on my AA5 was $1500. That was a SMALL fraction of the "cost" of the annual. I thought $1500 was reasonable. I didn't do anything, just dropped the keys off.