Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy. Plane Repair

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by SixPapaCharlie, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Me: Leaky Fuel tank.

    Every pilot: "Take it to fletchair, they are the only people that can fix a leaky fuel tank in the history of airplanes ever. Them and nobody else. If you pursue any other course of action you are the least smart pilot ever."

    Me Knowing full well Every pilot also says "cant slip with flaps", "Can slip with flaps", "You're doing it wrong", "My way is the only way", "LOP", "ROP" and the list goes on.

    Combine that with 90% of things in my life have been somewhat flexible.
    The pool breaks, I sure as hell don't pay Leslie's 1000% markup. My car breaks, No chance I am taking it to the dealership.

    Add to the equation the local MX says "I'll take a look. There's not a wet wing out there I can't fix" and "I own a Tiger. Its not that big a deal."

    So I think "This sounds like most things. Lots of people have advice but likely there are other less complicated routes."

    Round 1:
    MX: Its fixed. all buttoned up and I put her back in your hangar.
    2 days later MX calls: "I took a look just to check and it is leaking again"

    Round 2:
    MX: Its fixed.
    I go to the hangar and there is this strange blue liquid dripping from the wing.
    I text Eman because he bought a plane and I want a new owner to share my misery with. Ht makes me laugh and We're all good.

    Round 3:
    MX: Its fixed. This time I got in there and got it good.
    Me: Fly to get cheap fuel. Fill it up. "Why does my gauge show empty"

    Round 4:
    MX: Seems we accidentally glued the fuel float to the floor of the tank. Also Its fixed.
    Me: Fly to get cheap fuel. Fill it up. "Why does my gauge show empty"
    Me Also: Why is there fuel all along the wing root

    Round 5:
    MX: Seems we broke a terminal off the fuel sending unit. You do notice it is leaking in a different place now right? That means we fixed the first one but you probably had a couple leaks.
    MX Also: I am not going to let Dan work on it, This time, I am going to do it so it gets done right and for good.
    Me: If it isn't fixed, can you at least give Fletchair a call and see what their process is? Maybe get some tips?
    MX: Nope. I told you I am doing the work this time not Dan.
    ME: I read the maintenance manual it says to pressure test it for 24 hours. Are you doing that?"
    MX: Nah, sounds like something Dan would do and look where he has gotten us.

    Current Situation:
    MX: Its fixed. Verified fuel sending unit is good.
    Me: Ok, I have a flight I want to make Saturday morning.
    MX: I think you might wait until Sunday so we can make sure its not leaking. Let's let is sit another day and watch for leaks.

    Me: Thinking its probably not really fixed and he is buying another day to see if he can fix something.

    I am supposed to get it back tomorrow morning and I think I just have to fly the damned thing to Austin if it is still an issue. It is so easy to keep giving it back to this guy because the work is warrantied so it is not costing me anything but as a smarter pilot texted me this morning "From an outsiders perspective, I am reminded what the definition of insanity is"
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Should have bought a Cirrus. They don't even use fuel or have fuel tanks. Their looks alone propel them skyward and into the wild blue yonder (AF plug thar).
     
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  3. tawood

    tawood Cleared for Takeoff

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    This sounds so much like my story. Just insert "Nav 2 not working" everywhere you said "leak" and "Local Radio expert" in place of "local MX" and you have the idea. I feel your pain.

    I do try to give them some leeway...these older planes can be tough.
     
  4. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I am giving him leeway but I have a Grumman guru asking how many things are you going to let this guy break before you do the right thing?
     
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  5. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I'm slightly concerned. This isn't the same A&P I use, is it?
     
  6. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Hang in there.
     
  7. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    No! I love your A&P.
    That guy is the best thing that happened to me since I bought the plane.
    And again, I appreciate the recommendation.

    This is is suuuuper convenient 2 hangar down from me guy that spews confidence that I easily bought into.
    You're all good.
     
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  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    This is why you stick to texturizing drywall.
     
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  9. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I just need to get a 2nd job so I can pay people to do everything for me the right way.
     
  10. rtk11

    rtk11 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    You sure none of this is occurring:




    In all seriousness, you’re in pretty far with this guy, so wait the day to see what’s happening. If it’s not fixed this time around, I’d take it to your guy in Austin to try.
     
  11. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The two happiest days in a plane owners life are...
     
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  12. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Pattern Altitude

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    What is The day you gear up that spam can, and the day the insurance cuts you a fatter check than a buyer was ever going to Trebek? :D
     
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  13. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    We’re both just working out the kinks from the last owners. Getting them ready for the Kentucky Dam flyin. I’m hoping to pick mine up on Tuesday and be ready to go to GMU on Saturday. I figured I’d ask the mechanic to go, that’ll give me a sense of how confident he is with his own work ;)
     
  14. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Reminds me of my starter issues.

    Me: Starter is bad. Can you replace it for me?
    My distinguished expert: Can't be the starter check the grounds.
    Me: Spent a bunch of money having an A&P checking the grounds. No issues found. Still having trouble starting.
    My distinguished expert: The battery must be going bad. Buy a new battery.
    Me: Bought a new battery. Still having trouble starting.
    My distinguished expert: Tell you what, I'll hook your two batteries up together and give you more amps for starting.
    Me: Okay, now I have all this extra junk in my engine compartment. Still having trouble starting.
    My distinguished expert: Your wiring must be bad. Try replacing it all.
    Me: F that!!! Replaced starter on my own. Removed the 3 stooges looking crap that was put in. Starts fine. Haven't had an issue since.
     
  15. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    I once met a mechanic who said he never flies in planes he has worked on.
    True story.

    Didn't use him.
     
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  16. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @Tom-D?

    I kid Tom!
     
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  17. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    One word: Fletchair
     
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  18. tawood

    tawood Cleared for Takeoff

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    FTFY
     
  19. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    FTFTFY
     
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  20. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Pattern Altitude

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    My wet wing hasn’t leaked yet. Gotta love Cessna :D
     
  21. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Why don't you boyz get hangers so you're wings will stay dry? <-- see that one thar?
     
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  22. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I am fortunate and unfortunate in that the manufacturer has both caused and fixed every issue on my airplane with the exception of a mag coil. :cool:

    Nauga,
    and his one-man army
     
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  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Ejection Handle Pulled

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    There is a reason for that.. they hold the books, and will burn them when you crash.
     
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  24. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Pattern Altitude

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    At least have them glue the float to the top of the tank so you have full fuel. :)
     
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  25. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Didn’t know Grumman’s were wet wings. Mooney’s are, and leaks bedevil the fleet. They can be patched, but the leaks always come back. There are two fixes, and they’re both expensive.

    There are three shops in the county that will ream out the tanks and reseal them. The fix is pretty close to permanent. Or, you can order bladders from O&N. That really is permanent, though you loose a bit of useful load. Both involve lots of AMUs. I’ve no idea what’s available for Grumman’s.
     
  26. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I'm impressed! Didn't know there were that many Mooney shops in Columbus . . . .

    Mine were done in Florida, whuch was approximately the same distance as Longview, TX and upper MN, but much, much closer than Troutdale, OR. Oh, wait, that's four . . . . And we haven't mentioned the nice folks in N. Calif.

    And nine of thus has any bearing on the comedian's Grumman. Makes me wonder if there are any similarities in sealant and processes? May be worth checking into, Bryan-with-a-Y
     
  27. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    The traveler is apparently one of the worst tank designs.
    It is a wet wing. They just seal a chunk of the wing between the ribs and that tubular spar and put a filler cap on it.
    No access panels and it is 6K to remove the wing and repair it which I am hoping to avoid.

    No bladder option available.
    Apparently of all the Grummans, the older travelers (mine) are the worst of the worst tank design and the biggest PITA to fix.

    I'll fly with a leaky tank but I need the fuel gauges to work.
     
  28. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Stick (measure tanks) and use your Gucci watch to time how long you've been up. For example, a C152 has about a 4 hour fuel endurance, so at 3 hours I'd be landing for some more go juice.
     
  29. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Is it possible to install old school sight gauges?
     
  30. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Didn’t you hear? The old school burned down.
     
  31. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Have to also figure out how fast it is leaking out :)
     
  32. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    He says the gauge is fixed. We'll see.
    If so, the next person that touches it will be Fletchair.
     
  33. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah. There's that. :(
     
  34. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That's easy math... when you have fuel exhaustion, just cypher up how long it took vs plan and you'll know the loss rate.

    Joking aside, it's only one tank right now, yah? So while not economical or environmentally friendly if you burn the leaky tank first until it's fixed up correctly, you'll have real numbers and safety margin based on the good tank.

    Also, hard to determine, but it is a constant leak or only when sitting static? Have you tried leaving the cap on that side "not snug" to see if the heating of the day causes pressure to increase the leak? You can do that since you're not on a rainy ramp.

    Are the vents clear? stuff like that.
     
  35. Luigi

    Luigi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Label the leaking tank INOP, and just use the non leaking tank...problem solved!

    And with the money I saved you in further repairs, you can afford to throw some Krugerrands in the leaking tank for ballast.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  36. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    Genius!
    Finally a real solution!


    The rest of you need to step up your game!
     
  37. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    I suspect the engineers who drew these planes up figured on a useful life in the 20 -25 year range. They weren't designed to be eternal and they're going to require some maintenance. It just goes with the fleet being that old.
     
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  38. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Fuel leaks in wet wings can be pretty frustrating, just imagine that same wing being about 96% fuel bay, now you're talking jets.

    The only thing better on jets is typically fuel tank access. Small piston aircraft fuel tank access is insanely limited. I'm pretty sure when my 177 tanks start leaking I'm gonna cut additional access panels in it.
     
  39. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Channeling our inner Henning I see.
     
  40. flhrci

    flhrci En-Route

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    Stop putting fuel into the leaky tank. No labeling needed. Real world problem solved!
     
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