Zero hours/sitting idle

ateamer

Pattern Altitude
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Port St. Lucie, FL
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ateamer
Found a plane listed for sale with an O-320, zero hours since major. But that overhaul was two years ago and it’s parked outdoors in Florida. Is there any chance that it isn’t corroded already and the buyer (if any) won’t be in for 10 or 20 grand-plus? I don’t want to waste money on a prebuy if my surmisal is most likely to be correct.
 
Where in Florida? Inland is different from the coast. Is the engine pickled? Has the airframe had an anti-corrosion treatment? Has the plane been hangared for any of the two years, or was it outside the entire time? Did the engine have a dehumidifier running the whole time, or at least some of the time? Is the engine under warranty? Any evidence of leaks into the cabin?

Could be in great shape, could be junk. Too many unknowns to give you much of an answer, but don’t just assume it’s junk. Inspect thoroughly and carefully and ask many questions.
 
Depends if it was pickled. I'd be skeptical and worried about airframe corrosion as well. Who overhauls an engine and just let's it rot? Would be interested in the backstory
 
Where in Florida? Inland is different from the coast. Is the engine pickled? Has the airframe had an anti-corrosion treatment? Has the plane been hangared for any of the two years, or was it outside the entire time? Did the engine have a dehumidifier running the whole time, or at least some of the time? Is the engine under warranty? Any evidence of leaks into the cabin?

Could be in great shape, could be junk. Too many unknowns to give you much of an answer, but don’t just assume it’s junk. Inspect thoroughly and carefully and ask many questions.
Thanks for the quick suggestions! It’s in Deland. I just sent an email asking those questions.
 
Got a response already. The ad says zero hours, but the seller says it’s been hangared, and he’s been running the engine occasionally. But not flying it. And his email address is a .ru. Adios, no way am I going further just from that alone.
 
and he’s been running the engine occasionally.

Worst thing he could do to it.

And his email address is a .ru.

Uh, yeah, no thanks.

This one's a walk-away (or run), but just for grins, did you check the N# on the FAA site to see who it's registered to?
 
I suspect it’s a scam. It’s listed by “Bill”, is registered to a Bill McCoy, but the name on the email is Boulat. I notified Trade-A-Plane.
 
Walk away. Ground-running has introduced lots of moisture into it, and there WILL be corrosion, far worse corrosion than just from sitting in Florida.
I’m willing to bet there isn’t any corrosion at all.
 
I suspect it’s a scam. It’s listed by “Bill”, is registered to a Bill McCoy, but the name on the email is Boulat. I notified Trade-A-Plane.

No Boulat in the airman database in Florida, and the only William McCoy is in Panama City. Sure smells like a scam.
 
Overhauled by Don George Aircraft checks out, but the .ru address would be a dealbreaker for me as well.
 
A simple Google search of "Bulat Deland FL" comes back to a Bulat Ermakov. His address matches the aircrafts registered address. He shows up on the FAA registry with a cancelled registration for a Cessna 337 that was exported to Russia. Hes even on the airmen registry.

I think this might be legit.

That said, ground running is a no bueno.
 
That said, ground running is a no bueno.
I've wondered about why folks do that (I'm certain they have reasons). If I'm going to the airport to run the engine I might as well take it for a ride too ... :smilewinkgrin:
 
So if the registered owner is a Russian citizen, do they have the ability to sell the aircraft? I have no idea. If the owner is a Russian citizen, can you have any legal transaction with them? Also no idea. Not saying to not do the deal - again, no idea. But I'd be careful. In part because if the legal owner is later found to be the US government, they are likely to want it back. But all of that said, maybe I'm being overly cautious. And I know, a Russian sounding name and a .ru address doesn't mean they're Russian.
 
Some people just refuse to get a new email address. I know 2 guys that still use aol.com and will never change it. Perhaps this person registered the email years or even couple of decades ago and never changed it. My brother in law is a big subaru fan and he got a domain name ****suba.ru and another friend got something that ended with .am for the same reason (completing the word). In my opinion there are other ways to assess the legitimacy than to look at the last 2 letters of the person's email address.
 
Some people just refuse to get a new email address. I know 2 guys that still use aol.com and will never change it. Perhaps this person registered the email years or even couple of decades ago and never changed it. My brother in law is a big subaru fan and he got a domain name ****suba.ru and another friend got something that ended with .am for the same reason (completing the word). In my opinion there are other ways to assess the legitimacy than to look at the last 2 letters of the person's email address.

Got it in 1990 something, still using my AOL email. If compuserve still existed, I would use that.
 
I've wondered about why folks do that (I'm certain they have reasons).
They mostly follow the long standing myth running the engine on the ground recirculates the oil to prevent corrosion. What the myth doesnt state is that short ground run will induce more moisture into the engine causing the corrosion. In reality all things equal its better to just let it sit and dont run it.

As to not flying it vs ground run there are many reasons why someone cant or wont. It was a tough sell to some of my customers to preserve the engine vs grd run during periods of inactivity due to the strength of that myth.
So if the registered owner is a Russian citizen, do they have the ability to sell the aircraft? I have no idea
He would have needed to meet the citizenship requirements of Part 47 to register the aircraft in the first place. If not the aircraft would have been registered under a trustee entity.
 
Kenmore Air Harbor, many decades ago, had a customer service..........to where they would ground run customer's floatplanes in the parking lot in the winter.

They stopped doing that a few years later after all those engines rusted out.
 
So if the registered owner is a Russian citizen, do they have the ability to sell the aircraft? I have no idea. If the owner is a Russian citizen, can you have any legal transaction with them? Also no idea. Not saying to not do the deal - again, no idea. But I'd be careful. In part because if the legal owner is later found to be the US government, they are likely to want it back. But all of that said, maybe I'm being overly cautious. And I know, a Russian sounding name and a .ru address doesn't mean they're Russian.
The registered owner is an English name, but the email link from the ad goes to the other name and the Russian email address. There isn’t any indication that the plane is listed by a dealer or agent for the buyer. Maybe it’s an acquaintance trying to help the owner sell it, but either way I’m not interested in the plane any further based on how it’s been handled during the last couple years.
 
I know 2 guys that still use aol.com and will never change it
Why should I change my email from aol.?? I have had it for many years.

Then again, I tell folks that if you send me an email, text me and let me know you have sent me an email, because I never check it.

I never check voice mail, either. Text me and let me know you left me a voice mail...
 
Why should I change my email from aol.?? I have had it for many years.

Then again, I tell folks that if you send me an email, text me and let me know you have sent me an email, because I never check it.

I never check voice mail, either. Text me and let me know you left me a voice mail...

I prefer courier pigeon...

sgt pooper.png
 
Why should I change my email from aol.?? I have had it for many years.

Then again, I tell folks that if you send me an email, text me and let me know you have sent me an email, because I never check it.

I never check voice mail, either. Text me and let me know you left me a voice mail...
Not suggesting that you (we) should change it. I also come from a family of sbcglobals, earthlinks and very early yahoo adopters. Haven't changed my email since 1998!
 
They mostly follow the long standing myth running the engine on the ground recirculates the oil to prevent corrosion. What the myth doesnt state is that short ground run will induce more moisture into the engine causing the corrosion. In reality all things equal its better to just let it sit and dont run it.

I've heard for years that ground running is verboten and seems to me that any mechanically inclined pilot should know it also ... and for the rest I'd think that they should listen to folks like yourself and Dan that have been shouting he warning for a long time.

I do understand that there are some that can't fly for various reasons. At the airport a few hours ago I saw a friend that had not been around for some time. He's fighting cancer and can't get his medical back so his Sundowner just sits. Breaks my heart for folks like that ... :(
 
Seems like a lot of presumptions for not having seen the aircraft. Maybe it was run on the ground 2 or 3 times in that period, who knows. Could be a heck of a deal. Pay a mechanic to do an hour inspection for any engine corrosion/deal-breakers without going through a whole pre-buy. Might be a chance to pick up a zero-time aircraft without major headaches. Don't know until you see it.
 
I've heard for years that ground running is verboten and seems to me that any mechanically inclined pilot should know it also ... and for the rest I'd think that they should listen to folks like yourself and Dan that have been shouting he warning for a long time.

I do understand that there are some that can't fly for various reasons. At the airport a few hours ago I saw a friend that had not been around for some time. He's fighting cancer and can't get his medical back so his Sundowner just sits. Breaks my heart for folks like that ... :(
There are a lot of pilots who are whatever the opposite of mechanically inclined is, and a lot who are happily stuck in what their instructor told them 40 years ago, which was just rote parroting of what they’d been taught. Look at the resounding screeching that went on for years and years when lean of peak began being advocated, or if someone suggests operating “oversquare”.
 
seems to me that any mechanically inclined pilot should know it also ... and for the rest I'd think that they should listen to folks
You would think so. But what I've found is that lesser experienced owners, and not always the younger owners, tend to believe the elder Joe Sky Gods who preach their wares at the local FBO coffee shop or internet site over any mechanic or OEM recommendation. "Makes no sense that circulating oil, etc., etc." was usually the response I got when I would confront these gurus and question their references. But its no different than some old mechanics who made up their own rules as well. Best approach for me was to pull over individual owners and show them the actual recommendations. However, some still couldn't get their mind wrapped around running an engine creates moisture from a hot combustion process. And so it goes....
 
We drag raced a all aluminum hemi on methanol.
It only ran for 5-7 minutes warming up and checking for oil leaks.
Then it ran another 5-7 minutes on the race track.
It had no cooling system, the fuel kept it cool.
It produced some much water that the oil was replaced after every run.
It was loaded with water, the oil.
Not because of water it was rebuilt after every run so I saw the moisture up close for years.
 
Seems like a lot of presumptions for not having seen the aircraft. Maybe it was run on the ground 2 or 3 times in that period, who knows. Could be a heck of a deal. Pay a mechanic to do an hour inspection for any engine corrosion/deal-breakers without going through a whole pre-buy. Might be a chance to pick up a zero-time aircraft without major headaches. Don't know until you see it.

Central Florida is one of the most hot and humid climates in the US. If it sat here for 2 years without being flown or pickled, the presumption should be that corrosion has started on the camshaft, ground run or not. Inspection won't find corrosion on Lycoming cam unless you pull the cylinders. Pre-buy mechanic will wave a borescope around the cylinders and proclaim it clean. 200 hours later it will start making metal.
 
If it sat here for 2 years without being flown or pickled, the presumption should be that corrosion has started on the camshaft, ground run or not.

True, but I’ll note that CamGuard in oil works almost as well as pickling and allows the plane to be flown. I’d feel at least a little better about this engine if CG was added to its oil.


Personally I use Phillips XC 20/50 with CamGuard since my plane occasionally sits for a while. (Been in the paint shop since SnF.)
 
Personally I use Phillips XC 20/50 with CamGuard since my plane occasionally sits for a while. (Been in the paint shop since SnF.)

This spring has been mostly dry, so a few months sitting wouldn't bother me. But once the convection machine cranks up in mid June, you know how that goes. Every single day.
 
This spring has been mostly dry, so a few months sitting wouldn't bother me. But once the convection machine cranks up in mid June, you know how that goes. Every single day.

Oh yeah, with lots of convective storms, too. I really should get or build an engine dehumidifier.
 
Summers in Carolina makes it feel as if someone tossed a warm wet blanket on you when you venture outside ...
 
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