Royally P.O.'d at an A&P/IA

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by bluerooster, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. bluerooster

    bluerooster Pattern Altitude

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    And I don't even know th' guy.
    I recently purchased a Cherokee. All the logs looked good, Files from FAA, showed good. What I saw when I gave it a going over looked good, so I bought it. I now wish I'd made the owner allow me to pull the interrior for my inspection. Or at least the seats.
    After purchase, I decided to pull the old Bendix ADF. To facillitate that, I pulled the right seat. What I found, scared th' crap outta me. When I went to slide the seat forward and out of the track, I found that it wouldn't slide all the way forward. No worries, probably a carpet string balled up. I slide the seat back, slide my "tongue depressor" along the rail, then remove the seat. Upon further investigation, I found the seat track to be eaten up with severe corrosion. So severe, that I'm afraid that simple replacement of seat track will not be the fix. IOW I'm afraid that I now own wings, tailfeathers, and an engine.

    How could this have gotten by the past several annual inspections?
    Now, I'm wondering, what else has not been inspected? I guess I'll find out in the next few weeks.
    This has got to be one of the worst pencil whipped annual inspections around. In a PA28 the seat tracks are structural, and any sign of corrosion is reason for replacement. This one is so bad that I fear for the skin under it.
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You should always have a pre purchase done by a mechanic you trust,but never by the mechanic who maintained the aircraft you want to purchase. Like any major purchase buyer beware. Good luck with the airplane. Going to the local fisdo will probably do you no good.
     
  3. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Now you know why we call it a buyer beware market.

    Hope you bought it cheap, cause the repair ain't going to be.
     
  4. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Even the Mechanic you trust has no guidance on what to inspect on a Pre-Purchase inspection.
     
  5. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You have to give them the guidance: can be IAW an annual inspection or a type club recommended inspection sheet.
     
  6. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    None of those will tell you how well it flies. or if any of the fancy radio pack works.

    The pre-purchase inspection is what the buyer wants it to be, but most don't know what they should be looking for.
     
  7. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, some of the type club checklists will include items to check on a demo flight.

    Bottom line is that guidance IS out there, but the term pre-but is itself vague and not clearly defined. It is up to the buyer to specify the standard for the IA to do the evaluation.
     
  8. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Pattern Altitude

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    Tom is right. Also most don't want to pay for what they are looking for. I do pretty much a full 100hr, plus test flight and avionics ops check on a pre buy. A lot of buyers will balk at that price for an airplane they may say no to. But, it could have saved this guy a lot of money in the long run.

    The fist thing I would do to his aircraft is lift up the seat and have a good look. You can get a good look at the spar easily. See corrosion there, it could be a write off. Good luck.


    Bob
     
  9. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    There are mechanics who know how to do a pre-purchase inspection and guide the buyer through the process. You have to go looking for them though.

    What bites the wide-eyed newly minted pilot and hopeful airplane owner is the false belief that the signature in a logbook certifying that an annual inspection has been completed tells you nothing useful about the condition.
     
  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Most new buyers won't look, and won't pay the price when they do accidentally find one.

    But again we only hear of the ones who buy a Dog, like the 2% of the buyers make 100% of the news.
     
  11. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    FTFY and as an owner, I agree.
     
  12. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    My sense is that a lot more than 2% get bitten to some degree or other. I don't think I have ever performed a pre-purchase inspection where I looked at everything and said it was great . . . pay me! If I did more really simple aircraft, that might happen occasionally, but rarely do I not find items, the repair of which exceed my fee.
     
  13. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    A prebuy typically only scratches the surface of a 40 year old airplane's condition. Unless you pay to disassemble the whole thing you're going to miss something. How often do they pull the whole interior on a piper? Isn't the giant mass of carpet GLUED down? Whats under the carpet is anyone's guess on a prebuy...
     
  14. zwaustin

    zwaustin Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sorry to hear that...let us know how it pans out. I'm sure the mechanic won't take any responsibility for the finding, or lack thereof.
     
  15. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Pull the carpet every year on mine. Of course mine isn't glued down either.
     
  16. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I've done pre-buys that I told the buyer to NOT buy this POS, and they bought it anyway.
     
  17. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    It depends if the person doing a pre-buy knows the 40 y/o aircraft type in question. It helps a lot if you know where to look. On a Cherokee, it is not difficult to check the hotspots other than the SB (1006) to remove the fuel tanks which I recommend to check the spar even though it adds to the cost of the pre-buy.
     
  18. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas Final Approach

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    So true. When we do annuals on airplanes, we open up everything. It takes time and it costs money but the job is done right and sometimes we find scary stuff that the owner is glad we did. Sometimes we encounter an airplane that has obviously been pencil-whipped. Prebuys can be distressing. We get into the likely areas first and if stuff shows up there we look further. Airframe hours often have much less to do with condition than one would think; an airplane tied down outside can be completely worn out and have low time.
     
  19. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't generally tell the buyer whether to buy the plane or not. I give them a list of things that I see are wrong now and things that I reasonably anticipate may cost them money in the next few years. If they ask me whether I would purchase it, then I will offer that opinion. But much of what I find that may be a problem in the future comes down to the buyer's assessment of risk and value of money. This often involves an engine that has been sitting too long. I have had owners roll the bones where I would not have done so, but maybe they have more spare money than I do.

    That is why I don't usually opine on value unless specifically asked to do a market comparison with what is available.
     
  20. yetti

    yetti Line Up and Wait

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    How do you know the engine is good?
     
  21. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Pull it apart.
     
  22. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That's nuts. You run it, check all parameters. Pull the oil filter, check for metal. Compression check. Borescope cylinder.
     
  23. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    You do those things, but they don't tell you whether the cam is corroded. Often, you make an educated guess and if the thing you mention are OK, then you take the risk. If the airplane has been sitting outside without being flown for x years but the owner swears he has run it up every couple of weeks, then you avoid it or you pull cylinders. No hard and fast.
     
  24. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    I usually don't discuss money with the buyer. I simply tell them this not the aircraft you want. or words to that effect.
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    There is no method to tell if any engine is safe to fly. we just do the best we can
     
  26. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It also wont discover the bent crank shaft from an undocumented prop strike.
     
  27. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    IAW with all engine discussions on this page "the engine must be overhauled and run XX hours before you can trust it"
     
  28. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It was discovered about 200 hours after "overhaul" and after a couple annual inspections. When torn apart, the overhaul was definitely only on paper.
     
  29. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Buying an old airplane is a risk, there are things to do to minimize it. If I were selling an aircraft and a prospective buyers wanted to "pull the engine apart" I'd tell them to take a hike.
     
  30. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :eek: The flight school at the FBO that I did maint at (plus trained at) bought an Archer and brought it in to get a fresh 100hr, we open it up, there are wing attach bolts missing. Ray had flown it in, he **** when we showed him.
     
  31. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    Maybe not.. BUT... If the corrosion is as severe as the OP says it is.. There in NO chance it happened since the last annual and clearly the mechanic totally missed it in the annual "inspection"...

    He might not get satisfaction from the seller.... but I would get the FSDO /FAA and any other alphabet soup guv agency involved to make the incompetent A&P/ IA's life miserable.....
     
  32. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yeah, salvage fuselage may be the most economical way to save it, but turning it to salvage may be better in the end.
     
  33. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Why would you state that when you have never seen the corrosion? this could be a reaction of a new owner.

    I wonder if this aircraft has pizz tubes in it ?
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If it cleans up, it cleans up, but if the seat track is corroded, that's never a good sign on a PA-28. If it needs major repair, the minimum cost is likely to be more than you can find a fuselage for for, and will be unrecoverable at resale. Unless you have some cool and unique airplane, it's rarely worth fixing corrosion when the fix requires drilling and bucking a bunch of rivets.
     
  35. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Oh BS.
     
  36. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I have to side with Tom on that one. Wonders never cease.
     
  37. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Someone tell me who as a non mechanic owner has ever recovered the cost of corrosion repair on a PA-28.
     
  38. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Kinda hard to out every customer Airmetal Fabricators have had in the past 50+ years.
     
  39. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Something odd about this. There are specific areas where PA28's are prone to corrosion, seat tracks ain't one of them.
     
  40. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Those people recovered the costs of their corrosion repair? Name me a PA-28 or any common plane where that's possible... :dunno: Do you think that when someone pays $40k for a PA-28 in a $40k corrosion free market, that when they spend $12,000 to repair that corrosion, now the plane is suddenly worth $52,000 because when people look in a log book and see a bunch of corrosion repair and skins drilled and replaced they "OOOO Look! It already needed a bunch of corrosion repairs, I'll pay extra for this one!" Are you ****ing kidding me? Get the **** real, NOBODY EXCEPT THE REPAIR STATION MAKES MONEY OFF CORROSION REPAIR. Even good corrosion repairs detract from the value of your aircraft, just not as much as if you didn't do them. The entire cost is unrecoverable +.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015