Piper PA28 and PA32 owners take note

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Unit74, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/news-and...EAA-Joins-Group-Requesting-Piper-AD-Extension

    If you want your voice heard on the wingspar AD, the link is at the bottom of the EAA article. My take on is that ERAU beats the shhhtt out of their planes. And it has little to do with the actual integrity of the aircraft. It has everything to do with slamming it into the the runway and bouncing them over and over. Why this is a generally fleet problem is ludicrous thinking. But the FAA AD program is generally a knee jerk of the grandest kind if you look at them holistically. One operators planes are all screwed up and the rest of the fleet pays the price for someone else’s abuse.

    https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/news-and...EAA-Joins-Group-Requesting-Piper-AD-Extension
     
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  2. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Line Up and Wait

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    I'll go as far as this.

    A. It's not just an ERAU problem. There are a lot of schools and even more FBOs out there using Pipers for training, and they all get abuse.

    B. Many Cherokees in the fleet have spent at least some part of their life as a trainer somewhere. That is why the AD was crafted as it was, to try to find the ones that had been rentals and received 100 hour inspections.

    As I mentioned in another thread on the issue the difference in this case is there was damage from a previous event that went undetected until it failed and killed two unsuspecting people. It is not as if some student pulled the wings off recovering from a roll gone bad. The question now is how prevalent this type of undetected damage and cracking is in the fleet .

    The problem with the AD is the process. If it requires regular unbolting of the wing, it will cause more harm than good. There needs to be a less destructive method of inspections.
     
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  3. Baron62

    Baron62 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe they should have recording G meters on school airplanes. I agree that young men will abuse the airplanes and overstress them when nobody is watching.

    A guy a the airport tells a story of how his old CFI looped a c-172 with him in the back seat. 3 on board. Another mechanic tells me he used to loop a non aerobat c-150 until one day heard a loud pop when doing it.
     
  4. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Fricken millenials man. Just ruining aviation. Save GA for the older fellas.
     
  5. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    ..are ERAU's Skyhawk's, Diamonds, and other aircraft they have in their fleet getting abused and slammed into the runway over and over? Or is the abuse unique to Piper? Do the students and cowboy CFIs only slam the PA28 planes into the ground? If all of their fleet gets a fair share of punishment, then is it bad luck that their Piper came apart first? If I recall correctly several Pipers at the ERAU fleet exhibited signs of cracking, etc. If this is believed to be just a part of the abusive nature of flight schools, or ERAU in particular, then would it not be prudent to check the Cessnas as well there? Sure their gear are more forgiving by design, but people still loop and do dumb things with Skyhawks.. and, in some capacity the wing is far more likely to fail given that you have 6 points of failure: the wing root, the strut wing attachments, and the strut fuselage attachments. The Piper with just two points of failure (each wing root) should have a lower probability of shedding a wing

    Plenty of planes are abused, even this CRJ (Pinnacle 3701), so this isn't specific to ERAU. In another thread we were watching a video of a joker in a twin Cessna horribly flying an approach.. in one frame of his video he's got the VSI negatively pegged out and he's blasting through the yellow arc. But no other light GA plane has just had a wing snap off during a benign climb out. I get the defense from PA28 owners at the realization there could be costs, etc., levied on them as a result of a crash they didn't cause or have anything to do with. But, it is rightfully concerning that A.) ERAU did not catch the cracks and B.) a wing snaps off on climb out

    A plane losing a wing in anything outside of a thunderstorm or some obvious severe overstress nature is total nonsense.. and this plane was relatively young, so either that poor plane (and the other Piper(s) they checked) suffered a miserable existence, or there could be something with the design worth looking at. If it really is believed that ERAU uniquely overstresses their planes it would be prudent to check the other planes in their fleet also to look for similar signs of stress cracks

    I don't disagree with you here.. it would be worth the FAA examining some of ERAU's other planes (to see if they also have abuse stresses) and checking out the fleet at UND, and other smaller flight schools, even some privately owned planes (just buy a few on barnstormers for testing). Statistically the sample size of ONE crash is tiny, and pulling wings off a handful of planes AT THE SAME SCHOOL doesn't prove anything outside of the fact that either the school or the plane (or some combo of the two) are to blame. By checking other aircraft outside of ERAU that could narrow the scope and make this a non issue for Piper and cause ERAU to redo their policies, or it could be an issue for them. After the Pinnacle flight I mentioned above the FAA didn't require that CRJs be more rigorously examined every X hours, however Pinnacle revisited their own training
     
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  6. Baron62

    Baron62 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's any young man. Our brains don't fully develop until we are in our late twenties. I'm not sure mine was fully developed at age 35. I used to beat the crap out of rental cars, but they would never have a scratch on them when I
    returned them.
     
  7. Baron62

    Baron62 Pre-takeoff checklist

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  8. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    My theory is that the difference is where the landing gear is bolted to the airplane. You can break the wing off any airplane by flying it like an idiot. But I don't think you can break the wing off a 172 by landing it like an idiot, whereas in a PA-28 the excess force beyond what the landing gear absorbs is transferred directly up against the wing spar a couple feet outboard of the attach point, multiplying the stress on the attach point as a result. It's like putting a 2x4 across two saw horses that are close together and jumping on the middle, then trying the same thing with the saw horses 8 feet apart.
     
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  9. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    I agree, I've seen some very bouncy landings in PA28s and I always cringe. But to some capacity that is indeed a design issue. The gear on the Grummans, Tomahawk, Vans, Cirrus, etc., all transfer that load up towards the fuselage where the hard landing forces are dissipated in the bending of the gear, basically the same gear you get on Cessnas. For a plane that was designed from the outset as a trainer this to me, at least in some capacity, is related to a part of the design that could have been improved. Obviously the engineers at the manufacturers thought the same based on their gear designs
     
  10. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Reading the AD, it is about being able to inspect for corrosion. The AD requires installation of wing access panels for inspection, and inspection of the wing spar for corrosion. The access panel and installation is not very expensive, but if corrosion is found.....yikes!
     
  11. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I believe you are mistaken. This proposed AD is about inspecting four bolt holes for fatigue CRACKS. It really has nothing to do with corrosion and has nothing to do with installing access panels.
     
  12. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You are correct. I was looking at the one from 2017. PA-28 getting hit with two wing ADs in two years!

    https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...iness-directives-piper-aircraft-inc-airplanes

    Here is the 2018 proposed AD

    https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...iness-directives-piper-aircraft-inc-airplanes
     
  13. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    The PA-28 was originally designed not as a trainer, but as an entry-level, four-seat family tourer to replace the Tri-Pacer. Certainly the company would have foreseen occasional ham-fisted operation by low-time weekend pilots, but heavy-utilization, primary training fleets were not their target market for the early Cherokee. The PA-28-140 "trainer" version didn't come out until three years later, and then only after Piper gave up on its prototype plastic-composite two-seat trainer, the PA-29 Papoose. The PA-29 was not ready for prime time, or even direct sunlight, as it turned out.

    As with the PA-38 Tomahawk fifteen years later, the purpose-designed trainer PA-29 took landing loads through spring-type main gear legs attached to the wing root/fuselage juncture.

    pa-29_3.jpg

    Nor was the original Arrow designed as a "complex" trainer, for the complex requirement for the commercial certificate had not yet been invented. The 1967 Cherokee Arrow 180 was meant to replace the just-discontinued Comanche 180.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  14. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-Flight

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    I think your logic is backwards here, no offense. The multiple attachment points and the cantilevered bracing of the wing spars greatly strengthens the whole assembly, especially considering the difference in leverage due to the spread of the struts at the top.

    Would you rather have six bolts holding something together or just two, with the load spread evenly?
     
  15. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    Not as much as you might think. The PA-28 series has oleo struts to dissipate the landing forces being transferred to the wing spar. The PA28R specifically is a heavier plane with the 200HP engine and retractable gear that is typically used for mostly for commercial training and maneuvers and is thus subjected to higher wing loading during these operations. This would differ from the lighter PA-28 airplanes.
     
  16. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I'm not complaining but why do they list the PA-28R retractables, but only the PA-32 not the PA-32R?
     
  17. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    No idea. My guess is clerical oversight.
     
  18. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    Well, I just bought a PA-32R so for god sakes don't tell them!
     
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  19. hindsight2020

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    Trust me bud, plenty of playa hata's around. I'm sure people have already barked about the PA-32R inclusion. If it makes you feel better I ain't no hater, like the lot on here that want all PA-28s getting inspected without rhyme or reason. You won't hear me calling the FAA about it. I'm frankly surprised any PA-32 made the list in the first place, when we know it's greedy puppy mills socializing losses on popular trainers like the Arrow.

    The irony here is of course, the damn things [Arrows] are disappearing from the training market by virtue of the ACS changes, but somehow some unsuspecting Cherokee Six owner gets to wear diapers. Truth is stranger than fiction indeed.

    Fwiw my theory as to why the sixes made it on the list has to do with someone at the FAA extrapolating the flight profile of PA-28s with high count of 100hr inspections, into the flight profiles of yesteryear where PA-32s were used commercially to haul checks at night, which also got high number of 100hr inspections, even if the actual landing cycles is much lower than the flight school PA-28s.
     
  20. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I don't understand this sentiment. ERAU and others use the airplane in a training environment where they are subject to a lot more TO/Landing cycles than non-complex trainers. They have a tool and are using it to suit their needs. I don't see how that is greedy.

    Am I a fan of ERAU's overall business model? No. But I don't see how that is relevant to this particular situation.
     
  21. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    The EAA action is just saying "hey, there's a shutdown, the comment period should be extended". It does not address the merits of the AD.

    As a pilot of PA-28s, I want the inspections. If I knew it would be accepted, I'd be pushing for it to be done now. The consequences of not inspecting are too high.
     
  22. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Of course you don't understand the sentiment. That's because you presume their innocence in the manner in which they rake that cash, and that's alright. I don't. It's the internet after all. It is however, absolutely relevant to the discussion, because it is because of their dereliction in inspecting those airplanes that we find ourselves ensnared with this at-large proposed AD. I'm not privy to the degree to which the FAA went looking at their corporate practices, and it is certainly not my job to convince anyone on here of ERAUs dereliction or otherwise, but those airplanes were not properly inspected in my SGOTI opinion. Looking at the factor time formula alone in the context of the accident airplane tells you just how derelict ERAU was. You don't end up with both wings, on an airplane banged around exclusively from craddle to grave to the tune of 700 hours a year for 10 years mind you, with over 80% crack propagation in the lower spar caps because you're actually looking. You gotta be actively NOT looking to overlook something like that.
    upload_2019-1-12_10-18-33.png

    This isn't the first time they demanded pulling wings off the PA-28 in the history of the model, and we already know how the last one went. Dollars to donuts they'll find the same: I.e. there's no problem here but thank you for paying for the chit sandwich the one a-hole served up for you.

    Will ERAU be sued by the survivors? I sure hope so. But they'll never make us whole for the social cost as owners of the type, and Lord knows the FAA will not poke at them; they're protected class in this sector of the industry.

    I've I said before, some people think we have a PA-28 problem, I think we have an ERAU problem. We're never gonna get along so we'll just agree to disagree. It doesn't really matter what we believe. Certified general aviation is replete with moral hazards, this is nothing new. Frankly the reason I barely remain here is that when I last checked, a turbo sling 4, the closest I can get to a Arrow numbers on the exab market, makes an SR-22 look affordable, and it comes in parts like my kid's train set (iow, GTFO here with that for 120K). Otherwise I'd soon rid myself of this entire nonsense that is certified recreational aviation. At this point it's not even the cost, I'm just sick of the hassle.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  23. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Thanks for sharing your POV. Seriously.
     
  24. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not disagreeing about ERAU necessarily, but I know of other flight schools that routinely slam their Arrows down pretty hard on landings. This model can definitely come down if you let it.
     
  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    6 sounds safer, but if those six attachment points are sized smaller because they're carrying smaller loads individually and one does fail you could have issues. It, to me, is the whole thing with being four times more likely to have an engine failure on a four engine plane than a two engine plane
     
  26. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    True. But if I'm going to buy a PA28 and I know that there are a set of circumstances that can make the airplane susceptible to wing failure, more than say a Grumman or Skyhawk, I want to be aware of that, even if the chance is 1 in 40000 those aren't the greatest odds for life and death. I doubt ERAU is the only flight school that slams its planes into the ground or might have sketchy maintenance and inspections.. so how do we check for that and see if this is happening at other flight schools and how to prevent it? By having more inspections take place based on the intervals prescribed, which doesn't seem to impact the vast majority of private owners anyway

    honest question here, but do we know for sure that those cracks could have been caught with existing maintenance standards? It seems that they may not have been, hence the requirement to do the eddy current tests... There's an assumption that ERAU should have caught that, but do we actually know that they would have? Did those cracks exist in a place with easy inspection panels that are routinely looked at?
     
  27. Lantraxco

    Lantraxco Pre-Flight

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    By that logic, you're 100% likely to have an engine failure every time you fly in a single engine airplane? LOL
     
  28. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    haha, you say that jokingly, but compared to a glider then yes your chances of an engine failure are much higher!
     
  29. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So Piper has a very different view of this proposed AD. I was under the impression that they were working with the FAA on this, but it seems that's either not the case or the FAA disregarded their input. I'm firmly in the camp that yanking the bolts to do the inspection is more likely to cause damage compared to the infinitesimal risk reduction of checking for cracks in 99%+ of PA28's.
     

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  30. Tantalum

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    If you were King for a day (not John or Martha) what would you have the FAA do? Do we say this was bad luck and Embry abusing their planes? Does ERAU put unusual abuse on their planes more than other flight schools? I'm legit curious. Seems to consensus here is that this proposal by the FAA is onerous, but what is the alternate solution should one even exist? Should current inspection practices have caught the ERAU plane issues?
     
  31. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flight schools don't hammer planes. Pilots hammer planes.
     
  32. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Did you even read Piper's letter? I think they pretty much spell it out for you in crayons. You're just convinced the pa28 has inferior design than a Cessna 172 and there's nothing we can provide to get you off that aversion you've developed. Piper's position is pretty clear, and it's a position that shines a light at the political realities of this knee jerk AD proposal. The big players have got themselves into a little Mexican standoff, and ERAU wants to pull a 2008 bailout move. ERAU wants to socialize losses, and Piper's bowing up on behalf of the rest of the market. Good on em, I support that letter.

    Piper's letter is basically saying what I've already alluded to in here, but they're doing it with the muscle of a type certificate holder, as opposed to my SGOTI lack of a podium. I'm done spelling it out for ya, go read the letter and learn how visual inspection contained in the service manual would have caught these hard landing/overload events ERAU will obviously claim immediate plausible deniability for. Based on the preliminary inspection sample available from the ERAU pig pen, plus the control group, and unless you believe in getting hit twice by lighting on the same day as a statistically reasonable probability in life, ERAU just got caught in dereliction of mainteance of their arrows. Probably blowing off hard landing visual inspections for years, and or pencil whipping the living snot out of those 100 hr inspections. Problem is it will be impossible to prove criminal negligence unless the MX books are also in disarray. I think the most immediate avenue for justice for the deceased is civil litigation and hitting ERAU where it hurts, their pocket book. Airline training is a gold mine right now, but enough is enough.

    So you ask what we should do if we were king. Simple. Diapers for the culprit only, not the congregation. But ERAU didn't get to take a seat in the head table of the oligopoly of the part 141 industry by being an honest broker. They're not about to concede, they're gonna take us all down like the grafty POS they are. We will see what transpires as a result of piper sounding up. At least we got us a peer fight now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019 at 1:03 PM
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  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a good point. The instructors at some flight schools are prone to slamming down Arrows, and this is not just Embry-Riddle.
     
  34. Tantalum

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    No, I was curious if the group had some other proposal outside of FAA v Piper etc. Proposal that doesn't involve G meter installation, etc and some other stuff I read up thread. Basically, if I go buy an Arrow that is 10-20 years old and did some time in a flight school how can *I* be sure that my plane won't lose its wings because of some other abuse someone else did to it, and may have pencil whip rubber stamped it through its inspections? We can punish ERAU today, but if the abuse has already been done by them, or other flight schools, how can that be checked for, is what I was curious about.. especially if the consensus is that checking the bolts will cause more damage

    Incidentally I don't think it's an inferior design, I hate the 172 and until a few years ago did all my flying in a PA28, sacrificed the two door "perks" because it flies SO. MUCH. BETTER. A good, rugged, honest airplane that's a joy to fly. But inherent in its design may be elements that appear to be less tolerant of certain types of maintenance / flight abuse than other designs (I think all airplanes have at least a few of these)

    Anyway, this issue doesn't really hit me that close to home, I fly less <20 hrs/yr in the PA28 these days and don't own one. What I do know is that any way you slice it a plane losing its wing sucks for all involved.. if ERAU carries all the blame they'll just push those costs down stream to their students.. we all lose either way, and the flying public has one more reason not to "fly on those little planes" - my friend would rather drive 7 hrs up to Mammoth then sit in a plane with me for 2ish.. go figure
     
  35. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    People seem to be as a lawyer would say "assuming facts not yet in evidence".
    Facts
    - flight school plane with high duty cycles
    - pre-existing cracks in the spar joint
    - wing separation happened during normal flight
    Assumption
    - High duty cycle was the cause of the cracks
    Unknowns
    - Maintenance history of the accident plane
    - Hard landing or aerobatics
    - Corrosion

    I'm sure there are things I'm missing, but this feels a like a lot of folks are jumping to conclusions without all the facts.

    I for one am not excited about removing perfectly good wing spar bolts to perform an inspection that may cause damage to my spar on this tenuous of a connection
     
  36. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    LOL dude that Piper letter is awesome.
     
  37. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    PA-28s have been around for 59 years. There are tens of thousands of them flying. If they were a danger, wouldn’t there have been a hell of a lot more losing their wings? I’d say focus on how ER is flying them.
     
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  38. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    PA28s are very dangerous. I’m not flying mine till we rip it apart and do every NDT inspection possible.
     
  39. Marc J Woods

    Marc J Woods Filing Flight Plan

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    Has anyone done the math? I looked at the AD and I believe their example (4) is mathematically flawed. Question to the math gurus out there, but the division by 17 pertains to the second number first then the first number on the other side of the plus sign is added to it, correct?
     
  40. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I am an expert in this testing. I conduct the tests over a period of several years. Please leave the keys on the dip stick and I will be enroute. I will call, if the number is still good, say...... in 2021, about this time. Or sooner if it needs any major repairs. Perhaps you could leave the gas card in it as well?
     
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