Always Get a Prebuy

mightynimbus

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.
Did you consider advising the customer to just torch it?
 

Space Monkey

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!
FIFY !!!!


135 = FIFY !


(No, magenta children, that does not mean: "Finally I Fly, Yay!")
 
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Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
Did you consider advising the customer to just torch it?
"Tragic Fire, your Inspectorness, Sir.
"Could just as easily have been a tragic flood or earthquake... but if your Worshipfulness will indulge me and take a look at these soot patterns..."
 
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Space Monkey

Well-Known Member
Out of curiosity, what are the things a pre-buy typically wouldn't find?
That depends ENTIRELY upon the buyer's knowledge and experience with aeronautical appliance bits and pieces, their interactions and dependencies, and their correct states and positions relative to one one another. You know... is the buyer an airman, or has the buyer simply been titillated by watching several episodes of AncientGearHeadAlien Nation on the Blowhard Buy-This-Grill-From-Jerry Network??

Good luck, America, we're all counting on you.
 

Richman

That's "Lord Garth" to you
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.
My Bonanza came from the factory with zinc chromate, and 40 years later still looks pretty good.

Between that and biennial fogging with corrosionX and hopefully it can make another 40.

That s4!t gets everywhere, tho.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Being in the middle of a pre-buy right now, I can tell you two things I've learned:

1) Doing as much research on who to have do the prebuy is time as well-spent as finding the airplane. I hunted around, found a short list of 4 names, and then went in order of proximity to the airplane. Found the right guy. Had to wait a couple of weeks, but got on his schedule. Worth it to wait.
2) Pre-buy is a pay-now or pay-later thing - and there is no reason why you can't go beyond the scope of a normal annual. Go as deep as you're willing to pay for.

I told the seller up front that I thought his price was fair, and I wouldn't haggle it as long as he understood that I wanted an extremely thorough pre-buy done that I would pay for, and that was buying me the right to walk away from the deal if I found something expensive that I didn't like and we couldn't arrive at an equitable remedy. He agreed to those terms and everyone's happy.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Between that and biennial fogging with corrosionX and hopefully it can make another 40.

That s4!t gets everywhere, tho.
Tell me more about this fogging with anti-corrosion. Wondering if it would be appropriate for my needs.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
That C182 has a Hartzell steel hub propeller on it. There's a boatload of ADs against that propeller with short interval repetitive inspections, which makes it cost prohibitive to operate.
 

inigo88

Composite-lover
I, personally, wouldn't touch a used RV with a ten foot pole.
I’m going to disagree with you there, and tell you something that may make your skin crawl: I bought a used RV KIT. :)

Found some nasty surprises which explained the cheap asking price (not everyone is cut out to build an airplane, and it seems a lot of shaky handed old men with terrible craftsmanship seem to think they’re smarter than aerospace engineers - they are not!).

Despite my dismay at a future wing spar cap repair (among other things), EVERYTHING metal is fixable. It’s just a matter of how many rivets you’re willing to drill out, how good you are at match-drilling and keeping hole tolerances and how much work you’re willing to do to make it right.

I can’t say the same for composite homebuilts which are HIGHLY process dependent. Glasairs and Lancairs use blind paste bonds to close out the wing and empennage skins. How sure are you that the builder bond prepped those surfaces correctly? What if they did the bond in a high humidity environment?

Long EZs and other foam core plans built homebuilts get even more interesting. How do you know the original builder put the correct number of plies with the correct ply orientations in any given spot? Short of doing exploratory surgery with a grinder and then doing a scarf repair at the end, there’s absolutely no way for the average homebuilder to verify the original builder’s work, especially once the OML has been body-worked and you can’t count ply drops. You’re literally putting your life in that guy’s hands. And there are plenty of Long EZs and VariEZEs still flying, which is a testament to the design and the craftsmanship of most of the builders. Hell the famous John Denver crash which gave Long EZ’s a bad name wasn’t even the Long EZ’s fault, it was a homebuilder who decided he was smarter than the engineers (a common reccurring theme) and put the fuel selector behind and out of sight of the pilot, creating the human factors SNAFU that took Denver’s life.

So you need to become a bit of a subject matter expert on the plans and have a really critical eye, but if you’re willing to put in the work I don’t think RVs are that scary. Buying a used Quickbuild would give me additional peace of mind though, because a lot of the critical primary load paths like the wing spars are pre-built at the factory to certified airplane standards (and often better, the RV spars aren’t primed, they’re ANNODIZED! Take that Cessna and Piper!). :)
 

Richman

That's "Lord Garth" to you
Tell me more about this fogging with anti-corrosion. Wondering if it would be appropriate for my needs.
ACF-50 or CorrosionX. Dielectric goop that gets fogged into the airframe. They come out, remove some inspection panels, stick the wand in and hit the trigger.

Stops corrosion cold by chemically interfering with the process. It’s basically halon for corrosion. It has weird surface properties that makes it wick into every nook and cranny, even between riveted panels, but is gooey enough to stick around for a long time. Seriously, your airplane will ooze that s4!t out for months.

Been around 25 years or so. Surprised someone has never heard of it.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
ACF-50 or CorrosionX. Dielectric goop that gets fogged into the airframe. They come out, remove some inspection panels, stick the wand in and hit the trigger.

Stops corrosion cold by chemically interfering with the process. It’s basically halon for corrosion. It has weird surface properties that makes it wick into every nook and cranny, even between riveted panels, but is gooey enough to stick around for a long time. Seriously, your airplane will ooze that s4!t out for months.

Been around 25 years or so. Surprised someone has never heard of it.
Both of those products are great. I've fogged enough airplanes to make Cheech jealous. When I was doing GA maintenance full time, it was surprising how many people elected not to use it, then surprised when next year's inspection revealed the need for some sheet metal work.

Then there are the radial engine airplanes. They are the only airplanes I know of that implement their own corrosion control & prevention program.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
ACF-50 or CorrosionX. Dielectric goop that gets fogged into the airframe. They come out, remove some inspection panels, stick the wand in and hit the trigger.

Stops corrosion cold by chemically interfering with the process. It’s basically halon for corrosion. It has weird surface properties that makes it wick into every nook and cranny, even between riveted panels, but is gooey enough to stick around for a long time. Seriously, your airplane will ooze that s4!t out for months.

Been around 25 years or so. Surprised someone has never heard of it.
It will not, however, stop a major corrosion problem already in progress.
 
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