Rotting Planes. Sad.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MetalCloud, May 10, 2017.

  1. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Question... why are there so many planes just slowing dying in their tie downs? It's sad for several reasons, but who just lets their planes rot away? Flat tires, rust, loose parts, worn "covers" and just so many indications that the plane hasn't been cared for in forever, let alone flown.

    Yet the tie-down fees must be getting paid, right? WTF is going on?
     
  2. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, we have one or two sitting out in the grass with no cover or anything, have been there years just rotting away. Sad deal.
     
  3. Rebel Lord

    Rebel Lord Pre-takeoff checklist

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    yep theres a row of derelict planes where I fly, all flat tires and rusting at the rivets, most are unlocked so got in them to check them out when no one was looking. Checked out the sectionals in them and they all expired 10 years ago. I asked around and apparently a old lady owns some of them and pays for the tie down so she can "Get them running someday."
     
  4. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Oh yeah. I didn't think about that. People know they're junk but have it in the back of their mind that one day when they get time they'll have a fun project.
     
  5. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Those are the ones you see. There are just as many rotting away in old hangers and barns throughout the country. ;)
     
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  6. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Watch American Pickers on History Channel for insight into this mindset. Grown children or the spouse is pleading for the collector to let go, but the owner says he's going to get the old car or motorcycle restored. He can't let go, even though he is obviously too bad shape physically to do anything.
     
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  7. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    One of the saddest sights I've seen was seeing White Lightning N100WL rotting away on the ramp at RBW a long time ago. It was the first one made and had all these speed awards stenciled on the side of the aircraft. It was just sitting out in the rain with flat tires and corroding away. Believe it was later scrapped. Always liked the design.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here there is 4 C-414s, 1 C-310 and 1 C-425 rotting away. I asked the mechanic what the owner is going to do with them. He said the owner asked him to get them flyable so he could donate them to a mechanic school in Oklahoma, but they are too far gone for him to "just get them flyable". They might go out of here on trucks.
     
  9. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Let's make something useful of this thread. Post pictures of the sadness and atrocities. Make this a rotting planes pic thread. No fair to include boneyard pics.
     
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  10. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    We have a Grumman that is sitting in the weeds at the airport, has been for the past five years. I remember the owner being very active and proud on our local email list for several years prior, especially for the new paint job he put on it. That one makes me sad. I believe the airport is pursuing a lien for unpaid tie down fees.
     
  11. Rebel Lord

    Rebel Lord Pre-takeoff checklist

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    These are the ones I was talking about. It's a sad sight, someday they will be hauled off and scrapped, their days of glorious flight long over.
    :sad:

    Hopefully though we can make sure the tradition of American aviation continues for generations even if the planes of the GA hay days are long gone.

    IMG_9627.JPG
     
  12. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    It is a shame. There is a decent Sundowner rotting on the ramp at my home drome. I think it's still in flyable condition right now, but it won't be long before it gets into "wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole" territory. No a great plane by any means, but it could be a good first plane for somebody.

    Over in the next town, there is an early C-210 ('60 or '61), a C-310 (A model I think), and a freakin' C-185 for cryin' out loud, just sitting. They were all covered in dust with flat tires when I started hanging out over there around 5-6 years ago. Terrible.

    I've tried to find out who owns the C-185, and the airport manager says the old guy doesn't want anyone calling about it. I'm pretty sure he's really old and will never touch it. What a waste of an in-demand airplane.
     
  13. ragedracer1977

    ragedracer1977 Pre-Flight

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  14. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed! Was going to include pics but didn't make it to the field today. I'll take some tomorrow and post.
     
  15. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Estates get bad advice; sometimes the family is holding out for a price that's way out of line - not clued in on TBO, or avionics, effect on market price. Saw a beautiful Swift disolving some years ago, at our sister squadron's home drome, in Ohio. A couple of our pilots checked it out, but the asking price was way, way out of line. Don't know what became of it eventually, but as I recall, it sat outside for 5 or six years, just going to hell. . .
     
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  16. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    There are more than one derelict/left to rot planes at my field. I tracked down the owner of a C-182 on floats, offered $3000 for the plane. He declined and said "the floats are worth more than that". I said "it has not flown in 10 years and is probably worth nothing now because it has not been maintained". He politely declined my offer and said his son was in charge of his finances now... I just wanted to take a look at the airframe and floats to see if by any chance I could get it in the air again. My wife was happy he declined my offer....:)
     
  17. jimhorner

    jimhorner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's a couple of Lake Amphibians rotting away in Palo Alto. Sad to see. One of them seems to be owned by a bank. I took these pictures shortly after getting my Commercial ASES thinking maybe I'd see if one of the owners wanted to sell, but I came to my senses (with my wife's help, ha)

    Palo Alto has quite a large number of derelicts. There's a Citabria parked near the tower with rotted fabric and extremely faded paint, bleached white on one side due to the sun exposure.

    San Jose has a few. I believe the city went in several years ago and hauled most of the derelicts away before I moved in, but there are still a couple of 172s sitting outside on rotted, flat tires. There used to be a P-51 parked on the ramp for years; never saw it move...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  18. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    It's less effort to think they will do something with the plane someday than to do something about the plane today.
    From what I've seen at many marinas the same applies to boats.
     
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  19. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    It's the same mentality of people who have cars on jacks in your HOA-less neighborhood. There's a van and a car down the street that haven't moved in 10 years.
     
  20. Anthony

    Anthony Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't understand why this happens, but have a few theories. Some people may just like to say "I have an airplane", and just pay the tiedown or hangar costs thinking someday they may fly it again. They kick the can down the road for so many years, eventually the plane becomes un-flyable, and not economically viable to get to a flying condition. Then it just sits, and rots. Very sad.

    Others are from estates where the pilot has died, and the heirs just don't know what to do with it, or get bad advice on the value, so it sits. I wonder what percentage of the GA fleet is in this condition? 10%, 15%? More?
     
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  21. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    I will bet 90% of derelict airplanes had some major repair needed that the owner couldn't afford. They probably figured they would save up for the repair but by the time they got the cash they either lost interest or the plane became so bad off that it was no longer feasible. At some point the airplane pretty much becomes worthless so why bother selling it. They are better off parting it out but few people have the space, time, or knowledge to do so.
     
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  22. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Something in between two - it's grandpa's plane and he hasn't been able to fly it for years, but nobody wants to take it away from him...so it sits and rots until grandpa passes and then the family doesn't know what to do.

    My plan is to pass an airplane on to someone - my son, grandchild, even an airport bum...anyone who would appreciate the airplane, take care of it and pass it on to someone else.

    Not saying that just anyone should be able to fix these airplanes up, but the regulations around working on airplanes is a significant factor in so many being in bad condition.
     
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  23. Acrodustertoo

    Acrodustertoo Ejection Handle Pulled

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    As it stands now, I am not going to give my 45 Willys MB to any of my children. That may change if they show some interest in keeping it going and not turning it into some stupid rock crawler. I am planning on being buried in it, well having my ashes thrown in and then tossing some dirt on top.
    There just might be a niche market for having your airplane fuselage turned into a coffin. Hell, it is cheaper than buying a coffin and cheaper than trying to sell a useless airplane.
     
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  24. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some people won't let go because they like saying they own a plane. Worse part is when the owner might want to sell it, they have a number in thier head so much higher than the real value. So like many planes on my field, falling apart, flat tires, birds nests, body rot. These owners still pay the tie down fee. And because they still pay the monthly fee, owners that actively use thier planes have to go elsewhere because there is a wait list for all the areas on the field.
     
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  25. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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  26. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is both sad, and ****es me off. There are so many students, young folk, not uber wealthy people that could benefit from these planes (before they are complete junk). This is where we need the rules to change - allow someone to get these flyable again without the insane certified A&P repair bill. The whole "gut it past 51% and rebuild it yourself and it's an "experimental" (or some new category) thing. ****, I like restoring "junk" of all kinds. Junk cars, someone threw away a 46" samsung LCD last week, I fixed it for $0.50 in capacitors and it works fine. I would DEFINITELY buy some older derelict plane if I could treat it as an experimental (or whatever) and do the work myself.

    @azblackbird - I thought you were a bit nuts talking about making a business out of restoring these types of birds. But honestly I hope you can make it a go...
     
  27. George Mohr

    George Mohr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's my "favorite"

    [​IMG]
     
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  28. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Medium range biz plan. We'll just have to see how it all works out. There are plenty of diamonds out there to mine, they just need to be cut and polished. ;)
     
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  29. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Or they hang onto it as a shrine to that person.
     
  30. sferguson524

    sferguson524 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    It would be REALLY nice if the FAA would do something to make it easier on the private owner to rebuild some of these wrecks. Make it easier to get parts, etc. People do it all the time with boats and cars, and guess what, they will both kill you just as dead as an airplane if you mess it up.
     
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  31. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    I too keep seeing a dying V-tail Bo at our airport. AFAIR, is' been there for at least a decade, decaying steadily. :(

    I wonder if one of the reasons for all these derelict airplanes is the huge jump in part and mx cost over the last decade or two. If the estimated cost to bring an airplane back into compliance and airworthiness keeps rising every year, it does not seem economical for the owners to do it now but rather wait for the costs to go down "one day".
     
  32. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Wow, sad pics. It's just a machine after all, but there seems to be some human connection to old cars, boats, and planes (and other "stuff").

    While I really wish we could work freely on planes, an old car is a good example where regardless of the low cost of making it roadworthy, some still would sit and rot.

    The other interesting thing is that unlike a steel car rotting (rust, holes) an aluminum plane rotting just does not look that bad at all to the uninformed. I bet a lot of lay-people would just say new tires, buff job, battery, and fresh oil & gas and a quick systems check are all that's needed (and maybe that's true to some extent were it not for our risk-averse selves and regulations and lawyers).
     
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  33. George Mohr

    George Mohr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We say we'd all like to work on planes, but in reality it's probably better this way. I've seen some things done to old cars that would curl your toes, and in planes that can be deadly.
     
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  34. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    I'll add a gripe that it sucks to see these castaways taking up good real estate! At least the airport ops could move them to the boneyard section of the field
     
  35. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

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    I bet a lot are owned by old people who just cannot let go of their things. At our old home airport we rented a hangar from such a guy. Flew into his 80s and lived into his 90s. Was kind of a hoarder, owned a lot of hangars in which his plane, an old pickup truck and God knows what all other junk he just kept there. They have a hard time facing the fact they're never going to get back to it. My mother hung on to her old Singer sewing machine 20 years after she stopped using it. She was going to will it to me when she died but it was just rotting there in her house while she wouldn't let go and it still doesn't look like she is going to die anytime soon. So I finally convinced her to let me go ahead and take it so I can refurbish it and actually sew with it before I too get too old! Same with Dad when he got his right leg amputated, he refused to sell his car because he was "going to drive it again some day". Never did of course, he never even managed to get up out of the wheelchair on a prosthetic.
     
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  36. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The airport where I did my flight training at just pulled all the abandoned and non flying airplanes and put them on an old ramp left over from the war. There were a number of B-18s in various states of disassembly sitting there as well, plus an abandoned Constellation.

    One day I saw a ladder leading up to a door on the old Connie, so I invited myself to take a look. It had been in its earlier life a Lufthansa plane, with sleeper berths and a navigators station. Nothing like sitting in the left seat and grabbing a handful of throttles.

    And stupid me without a camera....:(
     
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  37. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    No need for a tie down on this one...o_O

    They should steadily raise the rent if an airplane is not being flown in years.....lets say 5 years. Eventually it will get the owners attention and force them to action.
     
  38. N3368K

    N3368K Cleared for Takeoff

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    These are at my former airport. Two guys, both living elsewhere (retired Airline types) own these and pay the hangar rent one year in advance. Never seen any of them move or anyone even come to see them. Hangar is unlocked so I went in and took pictures a couple of years ago.

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg
     
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  39. N3368K

    N3368K Cleared for Takeoff

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  40. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Be wary of Hantavirus in that hanger.
     
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