Savings of Owner assisted maintenance

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by JCranford, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Is the money savings in an owner assisted annual or maintenance in the fact that less hours are charged because two people are doing the work? If the A&P was solo, it would take longer. Or is there some other saving break given?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  2. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    For me:

    -Cash savings due to lower cost independent A&P vs the higher dollar bigger shop with overhead costs. As long as he knows what he's doing...

    -I can prep the plane for service (inspection panels, cowlings, wheel pants, seats, rear bulkhead, etc.) even before he arrives and I can reassemble as needed/allowed under his supervision. Saves time and thus dollars.

    -Education. I get it as part of my payment. Hands-on, stupid questions, observation. Adds time though. But that's worth cash to me, if I compared A&P labor rates of equal cost, one allowing owner assist, the other not allowing me in the shop. I want to know the systems of the plane inside and out, and see and put fingers in the guts of my bird.
     
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  3. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    If your mechanic charges $60 per hour and you do three hours of the mindless grunt work? You have fun, learn a little, and save some money. It’s a win-win.

    I did owner-assist for years but not for the past several years. I don’t have time to save $60.00 per hour. It would cost me money to do it. Do your own math and decide if it makes sense.
     
  4. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    You better not have maintenance issues. 3 days until I get to go for a flight in your plane!
     
  5. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    My OPINION:

    The first few times it's buying some education.
    Eventually it will be actual savings since you'll know how to prep things and you can button it all back up yourself.

    Also, the savings really come from working with the same A&P. If you have to change for some reason the new one will have a "break in" job or two.
     
  6. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, Im definitely on board with the education aspect. I loved doing the oil and tire change the other day and learning a few other things along the way.

    @SixPapaCharlie, no worries, no maintenance issues. She's running like a top! Getta fly the Grumman in two days too!
     
  7. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    One mechanic I use charges the same amount whether the annual is owner assisted or not. I doesn't matter though because for me it's more about knowing every detail of the plane.

    Last spring I didn't have time to owner assist but I still stopped by every afternoon about an hour before closing time and looked closely at everything while things were apart.

    It's also nice to save money if/when one can though.
     
  8. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Wen I sent the aircraft away for its annual there were always squawks. When I started doing them with the mechanics the squawks disappeared. They had to justify the things right tin front of me, and they weren't going to do that unless something was really wrong.
     
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  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I enjoy doing an owner assisted annual,saves money ,and you get to truly understand your aircraft.
     
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  10. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    Agreed, not only you can save a ton of money (depending on complexity of your aircraft and number of inspection panels and number of buckets full of inspection panel screws :) ) but you learn a lot about your airplane. Every year, I still learn more. I am an engineer so I live for knowing everything about my airplane and owner-assisted is the way to go for me.
     
  11. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Assisted with mine this year (second time) and saved a lot of money. I also learned a neat trick for re-packing the wheel bearings.
     
  12. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    60 buck an hour, your mechanic works to cheap!

    Bob
     
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  13. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    One mechanic along the way taught me a trick for keeping screws organized that I thought might be worth sharing just in case it's not common practice...

    He uses:

    IMG_0431.JPG

    Run a strip of masking tape under each row of "cups" to provide a surface to scribble down where each cup's screws came from. I have two or three muffin tins in my hangar...and now one in each garage since discovering how handy that are. They work great for staying organized when tearing into stuff.
     
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  14. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

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    Pill organizers work great for really small fasteners.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    placing the screws back in the holes they came out of works better. most panels have 4 screws, remove 3 loosen 1 turn panel replace 3 screws loosely.
    large panel? remove the screw place them in a zip loc bag and use 1 screw to attach the bag to a anchor nut.

    And please replace old nasty screws and inspect the old anchor nuts. replace those that are worn out.
     
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  16. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou Final Approach

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    Very good idea.
    However, given all the "help" I have around my airplane, this would be a prime candidate for .... *bump* ... *claaaaang* ... "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDGE!"
    :)

    I prefer small ziploc bags for that reason. They also can be written on. And stored in a safe box. Or they can be taped to the part/place/hole from which the fasteners came. It's up to the pilot's/mechanic's creativity.
     
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  17. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    The ziploc bag is one method I use often.

    However, for parts being removed over and over, such as my RH and LH upper and lower cowls, I have small yoghurt containers with snap on lids permanently labelled.
     
  18. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    If it is the gob of grease in the palm method, it isn't such a neat trick. ;)
     
  19. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    We have the same mechanic? :eek:
     
  20. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Its what they used to do before someone invented a bearing packer. ;)
     
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  21. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And, using your bare hands is a bad idea, it introduces salts and body oils into the grease.
     
  22. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    what, you have never heard of gloves?
     
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  23. ifly4fun

    ifly4fun Line Up and Wait

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  24. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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  25. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    The assisted annual, or other self duties?
     
  26. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I've seen people use bare hands.
     
  27. edessa

    edessa Pre-Flight

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    I do annuals and GA maintenance on the side just to have some spending money. I only charge $45/hr and encourage every owner to help and save money. And there are still some that don't want to pay that. Never fly in their airplane.
     
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  28. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  29. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That's what my shop uses. Ziplock bag for each inspection panel and one screw left loosely holding the panel on the plane. Works well and you don't have to worry about the pan or tray getting accidentally up-ended.
     
  30. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How much you save depends on your mechanic. My original IA knocked $100 off the price claiming that he could take apart and put back together a C210 in 10 hours. (It takes me at least 25 hours to clean the plugs, pack the bearings, and disassemble/reassemble a 210 so I have a hard time believing he could do it in 10 hours.). My current IA charges $700 for the inspection and his time for squawks. And we do them in my hangar so I can work when he isn’t around. Annuals are $2,000 cheaper with him and usually take only a couple of days instead of the week or more with the old IA.

    I use 40% off coupons at Michaels to purchase these bead boxes. The 210 takes four—one for each wing, two for the interior. I also use a half-dozen salsa containers for things like the baggage compartment, wheels, spinner, muffler shroud, etc. The Cherokee has far fewer inspection panels so it takes half the time and fewer boxes. I have eight of these that I use to hold hardware that I purchased from Aircraft Spruce. I got tired of spending $10 on shipping for a few 25¢ bolts when my IA didn’t have the ones we needed, so I bought a couple of screw and bolt kits and ordered 10 of everything that wasn’t in the kit.

    Bead Boxes.jpeg
     
  31. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Inspection screws go back in the holes they came out of (with the last one holding the panel swung open).

    Many of the Navions with downdraft conversions have what my mechanic calls the "parts tray" a flat section of the baffles right in front of the cylinder.
     
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  32. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My old mechanic says she didn't charge anything additional for owner assist. However, you do learn more about your aircraft that way and I think it helps in the long run.

    My wife when she was a school teacher used to close up her classroom in June and then go "help" the mechanic with the grunt work so we could get our plane in for annual. Then I'd come over and help as well for the annual on our plane (opening up covers, etc....).

    Bobby divided her customers into two categories: those who would turn a wrench on their plane and "just pilots."
     
  34. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    I charge extra for owner assist. Annoyance factor and why do you think training should be free?
     
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  35. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    This is exactly why I do owner assist, the learning aspect is invaluable.
     
  36. txflyer

    txflyer En-Route

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    Fly it like you STOL it ♦
    I've saved a ton by doing my own work. And learn the plane.

    Changed out my exhaust and intake runner sleeves on two separate occasions ... that was maybe ten or fifteen man hours hours work (each) ... our A&P answered any questions, gave me torque values and the wrench, looked it over, signed it off ... no charge.

    Changed over to 29" tundras recently. Did all that work myself ... A&P inspected, signed off, no charge. So yeah, you can save big bucks if you want to turn a wrench. Most small business A&P's don't want your **** anyway....they're snowed all the time.
     
  37. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh man, take your pick

    Less billed hours

    Getting your own parts, no crazy markup like in the other thread.

    Can't have those unauthorized work issues

    Learn more about your airframe, that ends up saving a good bit, plus allows you do be able to properly tackle owner MX, as well as more trust from your mechanic for supervised/inspected and signed off MX.
     
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  38. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    His signature is worth something... get him a Christmas present.
     
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  39. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    Years ago I needed engine work on my T-Craft and the shop at the airport I was stuck at had a deal, do the work yourself in their shop using their tools, pay half their normal shop rate, and they sign it off... of course the inexperienced owner (me) takes at least twice as long so it's no deal... but I sure learned a lot so I guess it was worth it.

    You mean there's another way????
     
  40. Bell206

    Bell206 Line Up and Wait

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    I specialized in owner-assisted. Some good, some not so good. I had an IA for the day job but never used it outside except for select major repair/alterations. There were several very busy small IA shops in the area which I wouldn’t undercut.

    Worked out a deal with 2 shops and if I was involved they would sign off any IA requirements on owner-assisted work after they looked it over. My involvement varied from 1 hour to whatever depending on the skill level of the owner.

    At the time, IA would discount annuals by a third for owner work. Owner paid me direct for any oversight. Sometimes for annuals we would do a 100 hr using the same guide the IA used and I’d sign that off. Everybody won.

    But it wasn’t for everyone.