Always Get a Prebuy

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
Presented with one single comment from myself: :eek:
Hell that's not even bad. I once had a Cherokee 180, that flew in mind you, that the owner had "gotten a really good deal on" on ebay.

I get into it and it turns out that it had been exported to South Africa when it was brand new in 1964, the logbooks weren't in English but it didn't matter because not a single AD had ever been performed on it in 50 years. The stabilator skins were the old style with the bumps facing out on one side and the new style with the bumps facing in on the other, and was cracked in several places so we removed that, and the rudder and the ailerons and flaps to have them all reskinned as they were all cracked in several places. With all that out of the way I noticed a corroded piece of aluminum lying in the tailcone, looked up and saw that it was one half of the pitch trim pulley bracket, reached up and pulled the rest of the bracket and the forward vertical stab mount off with my bare hands with almost no force at all.

Everything we touched on that airplane was junk. 8 months and 65000$ later it left the hangar, 10 hours later it came back with the engine making metal.
 

Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
Hell that's not even bad. I once had a Cherokee 180, that flew in mind you, that the owner had "gotten a really good deal on" on ebay.

I get into it and it turns out that it had been exported to South Africa when it was brand new in 1964, the logbooks weren't in English but it didn't matter because not a single AD had ever been performed on it in 50 years. The stabilator skins were the old style with the bumps facing out on one side and the new style with the bumps facing in on the other, and was cracked in several places so we removed that, and the rudder and the ailerons and flaps to have them all reskinned as they were all cracked in several places. With all that out of the way I noticed a corroded piece of aluminum lying in the tailcone, looked up and saw that it was one half of the pitch trim pulley bracket, reached up and pulled the rest of the bracket and the forward vertical stab mount off with my bare hands with almost no force at all.

Everything we touched on that airplane was junk. 8 months and 65000$ later it left the hangar, 10 hours later it came back with the engine making metal.
Clearly, the airplane had been flown by an AfriCAN!
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
How brave must you be to take a hard look at the condition of the aircraft? Ignorance is bliss. I flew a 210 with one wing from an "N" and one wing from an "M" through multiple thunderstorms before anyone suggested I ought to maybe take a gander. Nope, I can't hear you. Lalalalalaa!
I've gotten roasted for this here before but its still true.

The mechanic is only responsible for the work, you are responsible for the airworthiness.
 

EIR

Beer Drinker
I'm surprised there's even a market for pre-1980s aircraft anymore. I mean what do you expect with an airplane that's 62 years gold.
Why? Do you see vintage cars on the road? My airplane is a '68 and is in better shape then when it left the factory. Airplane ownership isn't for everyone. If you have to think twice about dropping $10k on a repair, then maybe owning an airplane isn't for you. (the last part is a general statement; not directed at you, Murdoughnut.)
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
Why? Do you see vintage cars on the road? My airplane is a '68 and is in better shape then when it left the factory. Airplane ownership isn't for everyone. If you have to think twice about dropping $10k on a repair, then maybe owning an airplane isn't for you. (the last part is a general statement; not directed at you, Murdoughnut.)
I've been a co-owner and have went through the pre-buy process (including one aircraft passed on after pre-buy) so I get it. I think there's certainly an expectation of dropping $10K on a repair - it's the $68K for a Cherokee 180 that makes me shake my head.

I guess it's more a function of buying an aircraft that old where you don't have the full and complete history to consult.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised there's even a market for pre-1980s aircraft anymore. I mean what do you expect with an airplane that's 62 years gold.
Pre 80s aircraft are the only ones that normal middle class guys like me can afford.

There simply isn't the value in new aircraft. I can take a 70s era 182, put in new avionics, new paint and interior for half what a 10 year old one will cost. It will do all the same jobs that the new one will.

Unless you are super wealthy, it's either a 50 year old airframe with modern radios, or a homebuilt experimental these days.

 

Autothrust Blue

Very querulous
I've been a co-owner and have went through the pre-buy process (including one aircraft passed on after pre-buy) so I get it. I think there's certainly an expectation of dropping $10K on a repair - it's the $68K for a Cherokee 180 that makes me shake my head.

I guess it's more a function of buying an aircraft that old where you don't have the full and complete history to consult.
Yeah, nothing doing and very much agreed.

We knew exactly where our Beechcraft Model 50 had been and what had been done to and with it, which is why it was a comfortable purchase in 2007 despite being made in 1955. Immaculate Swiss maintenance and hangared for its whole life.
 

Richman

That's "Lord Garth" to you
RVs are great and all, if you have 10 years to build one or want to fork over $200k for a "finishing shop" to help you out.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
RVs are great and all, if you have 10 years to build one or want to fork over $200k for a "finishing shop" to help you out.
Its funny because everyone i know who's been like "I ordered an RV kit my advice is "Get the right tools, dont put a part on it unless its perfect, redo as much as you need to, and shoot everything inside it with primer, especially where there are multiple layers riveted together."

Its always met with "meh, Van's doesn't say you have to do that."

Listen, our Aztec sat outside for decades and had almost zero corrosion problems because everything in it was covered in primer. Our piper and cessna singles from the same or even newer vintage are constant corrosion battles because they banged them together as fast as they could and didn't expect them to last more than ten years.

I, personally, wouldn't touch a used RV with a ten foot pole.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
Pre 80s aircraft are the only ones that normal middle class guys like me can afford.

There simply isn't the value in new aircraft. I can take a 70s era 182, put in new avionics, new paint and interior for half what a 10 year old one will cost. It will do all the same jobs that the new one will.

Unless you are super wealthy, it's either a 50 year old airframe with modern radios, or a homebuilt experimental these days.

I get that - I've always done club or partnership flying - really the only way a regular person can afford to fly newer stuff (and then, just barely)
 
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