Shoddy Pre-buy inspection, where to complain?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by stevenhmiller, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. stevenhmiller

    stevenhmiller Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a pre-buy inspection done on my plane. The shop missed some items that turned out to be very expensive to repair. The exhaust shroud was in very bad condition and totally needs replacing, and the alternator belt is badly cracked, almost all the way through. These were very visible from the outside and did not require disassembly to see.

    I called the shop and their response was, "oh well. Sorry." Who can I file complaints with? I filed a complaint with the FAA Hotline Reporting.
    Where else can I file complaints to get them investigated?
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Did you know the inspecting shop before the purchase? How did you come to select the shop you're complaining about?
    Did you hire them or did the seller hire them?
    Did you let them just have carte blanche or did you oversee the process?

    Keep in mind that when you point one finger at someone, there are three others pointing back.
     
  3. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Prebuy isn't a regulated process, so better business bureau or similar is your only option if you feel like they charged you for work that wasn't completed or similar.
    FAA will do nothing obviously.
     
  4. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    What goes here?
    Sounds like you got buckeyed.
     
  5. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Steve:
    As mtuomi stated above, pre-buys aren't regulated. If you simply told the shop you wanted to buy this aircraft and requested them to "look it over," well, unless this shop signed off a 100 hr or other legit inspection you're at a disadvantage. Even if you have a written agreement with them to cover the pre-buy it is a civil matter not a regulatory issue. Now if they performed any Part 43 work during the pre-buy that is not done correctly you might have something but it would be a reach.

    It's unfortunate your experience went this way. Good luck.
     
  6. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude

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    What do you want out of this?

    Revenge or warning others, you've done that here. Doubt any agencies will care. BBB as suggested too.

    Court is about your only way to get financial satisfaction, assuming you win or settle.

    Take the cost as an education/lesson. I've been to that school.

    Also, not all A&Ps will find the same things. I was happy enough with the prebuy I got. I turned it into an annual with the same guy. Then the next guy that worked on my plane noticed a few things more. I'm 100% certain that a 3rd A&P will find more stuff.
     
  7. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That sucks for sure. Everyone has to understand that any/every inspection is very subjective.
     
  8. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    Sounds to me like the expectations of the prebuy weren't communicated well enough or they weren't understood well enough by the mechanic. The thoroughness of a prebuy can vary greatly since there is no published scope and detail for this activity. And before everyone piles on saying he should have got an annual, an annual may not have turned up the problems described by the OP either, if it was acceptable at the time of inspection.
     
  9. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait

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    I kind of feel this is some of the value in using a type specific checklist. the type clubs may have some as does Mike Busch's Savvy service
     
  10. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    If those issues were easy to see, how'd you miss 'em before you made an offer on the airplane? Presumably, you did a preflight before taking the airplane home? How'd you miss 'em then? Remember, it is the PIC who's responsible for the airplane, not the shop.

    But I'd be disappointed too...
     
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  11. brien23

    brien23 Line Up and Wait

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    Just how much did you pay for the Pre-buy inspection. If it was $100. or $1000. one you get a fast look at the plane and a glance at the logs the other in depth look.
     
  12. Bell206

    Bell206 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For reasons mentioned here, I always recommend using the same mechanic you plan to use to maintain your new aircraft for the pre-buy. If the mechanic wants your business he'll work with you on this. Even if he can't travel he'll be part of the process whether developing the pre-buy checklist or help in selecting a mechanic to look at the plane. If he wants to keep your business he'll work with you on the things missed during the pre-buy. Add in a basic agreement with your mechanic and the seller you can cover about as much as you can in this cr** shoot. It's not a perfect plan but I've seen more positive results than negative.
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hell OSU, sue 'em, just because. Roll Tide!
     
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  14. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    A type specific checklist is a good place to start, but it likely doesn't go as deep as I would want to go on a personal purchase. The ABS checklist for a Bonanza sure didn't anyway.
     
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  15. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Would a "type specific" checklist mattered in the case of a cracked exhaust? It's a simple case of human factors, it happens all the time. I see stuff that other inspectors write up and I sometimes think "I wouldn't have written that up" then there are times I write something up, and other inspectors say "how'd you see that"
     
  16. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That. Was the buyers understanding that the scope of the inspection was a GVI general visual inspection or a DVI detailed visual inspection? Or was there no "understanding"?
     
  17. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Did you have a conversation,with the pre buy shop. Also did you ask for references? Did you ask for a quality inspection ,or a quick,cheap pre buy.
     
  18. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Still sore, huh?
     
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  19. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Define "Pre-Buy inspection"
     
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  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nah. Just like to hate OSU.
     
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  21. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

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    I've done several prebuys. The hardest ones are where the prospective buyer says he wants it done within four hours or something like that. Then stuff shows up at his annual and he's annoyed. Four hours--or even eight--doesn't leave much time for a thorough inspection. Sometimes I can spot a few show-stoppers early on, things that indicate that the machine might not be a good deal, and ask him if he wants to keep going. Few non-mechanics have no idea how long it takes to open things up to get a good look, and to close them up again. I come across airplanes that have very obviously not been opened up much at all for years. Their "annuals" have been mostly walkarounds.

    Checking the logs for ADs and so on can take time, especially where mechanics haven't been too consciencious about keeping up with them. I almost always find outstanding ADs, ADs that were noted "not applicable" but actually were, and ADs that were done but didn't apply.

    Either get a good prebuy, or don't bother at all. A quick look is nearly useless. Aviation costs money and as the fleet ages, good prebuys will become more important.
     
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  22. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Were you there during the prebuy??

    A proper prebuy should be more in depth than any annual you'll ever put that plane through.

    Guess you could try to take them to small claims.



    Amazing how people say you're nuts if you don't buy "title insurance" but won't be hands on during the prebuy.
     
  23. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You’d be amazed. I’d say that about 75% of the airplanes I’ve delivered in the last year were bought sight-unseen and without a pre-buy.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  24. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    I'd say you are right on the money, and how little this page reflects reality.
     
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  25. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    HEY! That's Michigan's job. :D
     
  26. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wow a shop does a half a$$ pre-buy and everyone attacks the guy here... amazing. To others points, unless it was done as an annual or 100 hr inspection there isn't much you can do short of warning others and reporting to BBB.
     
  27. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    We started with having our guy drop the belly panels and wing access panels and look for corrosion and/or damage. We sent away the first two planes after this stage as these planes that were advertised as NDH had damage and repairs that were not reflected in the log. One had been landed gear up, one had repairs to wing stringers, so that wing had pranged something along the way. I'm not opposed to damage if it is properly repaired, but unlogged damage and repair is a big red flag in my mind. What else hasn't been logged?

    Third bird was clean at this stage, and we had the mechanic move on to do a full annual, AD compliance search, thorough log examination, the whole thing. Luckily the seller was comfortable with our mechanic and was on board. We ended up buying this one, and it has been reliable aircraft.
     
  28. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And Penn St's, according to my Pa son-in-law lol.
     
  29. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I know there’s a difference of opinion here, but on the last used plane I bought I had a pre-buy annual done.

    Worst case, something major comes up and I’m out the cost of the annual. Or, I can negotiate with the owner - maybe split the repair cost or negotiate the price downward to cover the repair.

    I do not recall ever having one “fail” the annual to the extent I did not end up buying the plane.
     
  30. VanDy

    VanDy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've done quite a few pre-buy inspections. They have varied from "give it an annual" to if youre confortable delivering it over themountains to me, hand overthe check and bring it home.
     
  31. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did the same as others here: if the pre-buy looks good convert it to an annual. Then the mechanic has to put his signature in the logs.
     
  32. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait

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    sure, but a type specific checklist at least means there's a checklist vs "take a look" at the plane
     
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  33. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I agree on the use of a checklist, thou, I'd expect every aircraft with an internal combustion engine to have "exhaust" on their list, so, "type specific" is kinda moot for that item, that was all.
     
  34. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly. Because there is no official definition of pre-purchase inspection, it is entirely up to the buyer to specify what they want the shop to do.

    And, like anything, you need to be involved in the process, especially if you can’t be there in person.
     
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  35. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    I agree, but here are things I ask for special attention:

    1. Corrosion and any major airframe issue (wing attach bolts)
    2. Exhaust, shrouds and baffling
    3. Time on mags - inspections performed
    4. AD's complied with
    5. Any evidence of major damage on a claimed NDH aircraft

    Also, check into type specific issues with your make and model. Am currently looking into RV6 and RV7 after recent sell of my Tiger. Rudder cracks are common on the RV6's. Even being a non-mechanic, I've declined a few floating turds prior to even thinking about pre-buy inspection.:eek:
     
  36. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Most times the best person to do your pre-buy is the type clubs maintenance officer.
    no matter the letters behind their name.
     
  37. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    who says?
     
  38. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Cleared for Takeoff

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    You don't sign the logs after doing an annual?
     
  39. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    So, don't call it a prebuy if you want an annual. Sheesh.
     
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  40. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Says me, if you really want a pretty you should show up to look over the airplane while the A&P unbuttons it. Look carefully, and try and notice things. You're the one doing the buying, and you're the one stuck with a busted airplane if it goes wrong.