Rotting Planes. Sad.

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

  1. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    MiG-17 (top) and MiG-21 (bottom). You can tell they're not flyable because there are no pools of hydraulic fluid or fuel underneath them.

    Nauga,
    with a ball peen hammer and bottle of vodka
     
  2. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not many but a lot of that has to do with the available utility of a 40 year old car with a 40 year old engine.

    A lot of 40-50 year old planes have a new or FRM engine somewhere along the way which would effectively be dropping a 0-mile engine into the 40 year old car.

    There are plenty of reasons people dont do this for cars... Cost is chief among them. The cost of the new engine vs the cost of a new car isn't that wide of a spread. Add in the fact that a new car comes with new paint, new interior and upholstery and the cost of "renewing" a 40-year old car runs about the same as buying a new car. Second is feature set. Cars are constantly being redesigned. Seatbelts weren't mandatory in the US until 1968, other safety features didn't become mandatory until much later and there are plenty of other safety features in cars today that still arent mandatory but desirable (lane-assist, dynamic cruise control, brake hold and auto braking). That's just safety features... Then you get into the "creature comfort features." Heated seats and steering wheels, GPS, Satellite Radios, adjustable performance profiles, etc. Last you get into the nice to haves such as Distance-to-empty monitoring, better gas mileage. It all adds up to being more bang for your buck to buy a new car than it is to repair an old one. Can you say the same about an old airplane?

    At the end of the day, all that really separates a refinished 1940's cub with a new carbon cub is the panel, the overall weight and the cost which is often a fraction of new (though in the case of the 1940's cub due to demand, the 70 year old plane can often run as much as if not more than the new plane). A 1970's C172 with a run-out engine and worn interior could be purchased and made practically "new" with refinished interior, new paint, new FRM engine and upgraded avionics for half the price of a new one. If the same could be said about cars, there'd probably be a lot more 40+ year old cars on the road.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  3. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Look at the vintage cars in Cuba. Its cheaper to just keep them running than it is to import a new one.
     
  4. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    A5C5AE7D-71F3-4BEC-80E6-B3C6D3E6F9E2.jpeg A couple of derelicts parked outside of our airport, many more in hangars that haven’t seen the light of day in years
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  5. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    For every plane rotting away that's not getting TLC, chances are there's one in a hangar somewhere (Looking at you T67 in particular!) being restored because someone does care, and there are people out there who are sensible about prices, too, so keep looking around, keep your ear to the ground, and persevere!
     
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  6. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Hate to see some nice airframes dying. Is that a 310 at the end??
     
  7. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The IAR-823 sitting there was in pristine shape a few years back, an unfortunate divorce lead to it's stripping then rotting in the sun.
    The 310 hasn't flown for probably 8-10 years. The are worth nothing but scrap at this point.
     
  8. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have seen that Six 300 at SJC! According to the aircraft registry it was just deregistered in March 2019...

    Probably a deceased owner and no interest from the family... I would love to have that airplane to restore and fly!
     
  9. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think a lot of this is tied up with identity. "I am a pilot, and I have my airplane, and I will return to it!" And asking someone to give up that idea, even if it's long since become unreachable, is a really big emotional ask. It's part of how they see themselves, and admitting that it's past is really hard. Although I find rotting planes as sad as you do, I can't bring myself to fault people for clinging to them.

    I still have my dad's 1968 Mercedes, sitting in my driveway, needing work before it will even start. It's not a practical car and it hasn't run in a year, though it's not in bad shape overall (barring whatever its current issue is). I don't need it and would only drive it occasionally back when it ran well; I should absolutely sell it while it's still worth something... but, it was his and that makes it harder.

    Planes often represent wishes and hopes and imagination, and if I see one decaying on the ramp I choose to see it as a dream that couldn't quite get there rather than as an owner who couldn't be bothered.
     
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  10. Gilgamesh

    Gilgamesh Filing Flight Plan

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    Just rescued this one:
    [​IMG]

    It's in the shop and being brought back to life :)
     
  11. Busflyer

    Busflyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    F87ADF47-4B61-4794-9D1A-01CD331716D2.jpeg E2576CA1-17B4-4D74-836E-58036BE074F6.jpeg Anyone want to tackle a DC-4?
     
  12. StevieTimes

    StevieTimes Line Up and Wait

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    That'll buff right out.

    I like the sharp turning ability of that nosewheel! I'll pay extra.
     
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  13. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    FTFY.
     
  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Way to go!!! The last time I saw your Lake it was a cold winter day and it hadn't seen sunlight for a lot of years. The colors still really pop in the sunlight. I hope it was a uneventful trip back up north.

    Now if I could just get him to lower the price on the now EMPTY hangar.
     
  15. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    POA Airlines?
    747.jpg
     
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  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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  17. geneseib

    geneseib Line Up and Wait

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    Because you haven't bought and flown them.
     
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  18. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    I had a 1967 Camaro RS that I restored and never missed all the modern amenities you mentioned. The car was just fun to drive. Noisy with a 327 and Muncie four-speed, it was always entertaining whether at the drag strip or on a long drive. No safety features except for a lap belt and a collapsible steering column but somehow it didn't seem to matter. The car topped out at 141 mph (not stock, of course) and the handling needed work, but what the heck...it was 1967 all over again!
     
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  19. Old Crow

    Old Crow Filing Flight Plan

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    Twenty years ago I ran across exactly what I was looking for sitting on a tie down. Tried contacting the owner seeing if he was interested in selling. He was very nasty about it saying NO! It seems the plane had been in his family for many years and wouldn't sell it even though he had no plans on becoming a pilot. The plane sat for many years tires going flat, bird nests, etc and finally a couple of years ago the airport junked it for unpaid tie down fees.
     
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  20. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    People get weird.

    My wife had an uncle who had a GT350H sitting in his garage for decades. Engine was blown, and it had some rust that needed to be addressed, but it was not wrecked and was restorable. I told him for YEARS that if he was ever ready to sell it, if he ever decided it was time to let it go, to please for the love of all that's good in the world call me first. I'd pay a fair price for it, and it would stay in the family where he could drive it after it was made driveable again.

    Then one day it was gone. Apparently some total stranger found out about it and offered him some money for it, and he sold it. Never could figure that out.

    Airplane owners are, by and large, weirder than most people.
     
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  21. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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  22. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    Why? Is there someone you think has too much money?

    It's a not very popular airplane in poor condition, why would anyone restore it? If it were a 206 you might get some play on it.
     
  23. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    while sad for you, perhaps he couldn't bear to see it if he let go of it, and so a stranger taking it is more of a quick let go, rather than seeing it all the time if you owned it? Not logical, but sometimes how people think
     
  24. 3393RP

    3393RP Pattern Altitude

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  25. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Heh. Did you see the pictures I posted? I’ll pass. But be my guest.
     
  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To me, this is just as sad as seeing old airplanes rot away....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Amen!
     
  28. Bobanna

    Bobanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You seen Daisy Duke lately?
     
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  29. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Whats crazy is how much those old cars are worth even in the shape in those pictures! My buddy is restoring his 2nd Super Bee. He paid almost $10K for it and was in worse shape than the Charger/Coronet in the picture above.
     
  30. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some classic cars do defy some of the criteria I listed (muscle cars in particular tend to appreciate in value thereby making an engine overhaul potentially practical and muscle cars were originally sold as pure power, now frills) but these cars also rarely serve as "daily drivers." They're the fun car you take out on a nice Sunday afternoon but not the vehicle you drive to and from work 5 days a week in which was specified in the criteria of @Stevea621j 's post which stated "how many people really want to deal with driving a 40 year old car every day?"

    Its also an unfair comparison in another way... Restoring a classic muscle car like that would be more like restoring a warbird. You dont necessarily do it for the value post restoration (since the restoration may take all of the increased value and more to complete) but for the experience, thrill and pride of owning, restoring, flying/driving something unique.

    That being said the majority of "daily driver" vehicles find themselves consigned to the scrap heap once they're worn out. That is still often true of these classic cars too once they reach a certain point of use.

    So for those of us who fly everyday in a 40 year old C172 or similar plane that are practically a dime a dozen, the question becomes... Aside from avionics and autopilots, what does a new off-the-line airplane get me that my 40 year old airplane doesnt have? Especially for price tags north of 200k which is likely significantly higher than the cost of restoration. Nothing.

    When I can buy a new car for 40k with new features however, can I say the same thing about "restoring" a daily driver automobile?
     
  31. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, especially the Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth muscle cars seem to get crazy prices for junk yard finds. I feel that the Tv shows where the shop owner finds a car and offers a rather large bundle of cash for it makes people think their old junk cars are priceless. I once looked at a '70 Chevy pickup that had no motor or interior and the guy wanted 10K for it. I told him it wasn't worth 10K fully restored, but if he can drive it to my house I'll pay that much money for it. He acted as if I insulted him. But these old cars are worth what the buyer will pay for them.

    It looks like the Mustang and the Charger/Coronet has been pulled out to possibly save. At least I hope that is what happened.
     
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  32. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

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    Now that I'm retired and not living in the Los Angeles area I would drive a 1960's era car as an everyday driver, with the exception of winter weather where my 4WD is a necessity. A 50 year old car is no different than a 50 year old Skyhawk if you maintain it and keep the corrosion at bay.
     
  33. Southpaw

    Southpaw Filing Flight Plan

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    There is a place in Montana called "Rustless in Montana " They have bought out a wrecking yard full of cars from the 40's to present . They had an auction couple years back selling a 100 or so. Still have many left as complete or restorable classics. Check on Face Book for Rustless in Montana.
     
  34. Southpaw

    Southpaw Filing Flight Plan

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    I know where there is a Stearman parked in a farmers yard. He had all the wings and tail rebuilt by a local A&E over a 40 year period.
    The engine and fuselage are in tough shape. He had the wings and tail in storage at the A&E for 40 years.
    The A&E retired and sold his place of business , The fellow who owned the Stearman has since passed . I have no clue as to the what has happened to the Stearman . Will ask his Nephew next time I see him.
    Over the years many people wanted to buy the Stearman but it was never for sale. Sort of like the previous posts Where "It's going to be restored"
     
  35. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Airports love people who leave their credit card on auto draft and forget about it.
     
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  36. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    That Cherokee 6 showed up on a DEA seizure auction last month...
     
  37. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Not all airports. Many are struggling because the airport business and services are not getting used due to all the rotting planes that are just being hangared as storage vs a thriving aviation community and the economic upside that comes with that.
     
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  38. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    So here is sobering food for thought, and I'll preface this by surmising that we are probably not alone at our airport...

    At our airport, we raise hangar rent periodically with a very significant fuel purchase offset as a matter of policy. If you fly a lot and buy fuel on the field, your rent doesn't go up much. If you are a hangar queen, you pay for the privilege. Ideally, we would like an airport full of active aircraft buying fuel so that we have enough income to keep the airport going and in great condition without soaking the local tax base. Despite this policy and several rounds of rent increases, NO ONE has vacated a hangar. (One thought is that we have not hit market value yet, otherwise someone would have left already.) But here is the kicker...

    We of course have records for fuel purchases as a part of managing hangar rent offsets, and what we find is that 50% (that's right, HALF) of aircraft have not purchased $100 worth of fuel in a year. About 80% of these have purchased exactly...zero fuel. These planes are just not flying, and some of theme are...were...beautiful aircraft. Unfortunately, many of these aircraft have low- to mid-time engines turning to junk.

    Fortunately, we are generating young new pilots on our field who want to own planes, and have been able to build NEW hangars and fill them with new, flying owners, but the hangar queens remain. We're getting hangar income, but it would be better for the community and the airport if based planes were actually flying. It's a tough nut to crack.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  39. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

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    My dad’s T-Lance is (was) one of these. After sixteen years of: “I just need an annual.” He finally has it in the hands of someone that will maintain it with the intent to sell it.
     
  40. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    This is sitting at U42 waiting for a buyer. I think asking is $12k.

    upload_2019-8-11_10-4-10.jpeg