Unscheduled maintenance


Well-Known Member
For those who own aircraft, have you had a situation where the engine needed major work (expensive) or outright replacement before it was anticipated? I know an overhaul reserve is part of your hourly operating cost, but I was wondering if anyone had the unfortunate experience of having to do some major engine (or airframe) work before that maintenance jar was filled up. How did you handle it?
I've bought a few high time planes cheap with the plan that I would eventually have to put some bucks into the engine....but I've never had anything major happen that was unexpected. I figure investing in an engine makes the plane worth more when I sell it. If you have a plane that has the need for an unexpected major....well, you'll just have to figure a way to pay for it. In my experience...this doesn't happen a lot. Maybe a cylinder here and there but like finding metal in the engine...I've heard about it but not with any of the 10 or so planes I've own or any of my friends planes.

Anyone know where I can find a mid-time O-320-H2AD for around 7K...don't say ebay...I'm already there.
I bought a mid-time Arrow with my eyes open, pre-purchase inspection, and a hope it would last awhile before OH. But ended up doing the OH anyway after only a few hours. I sucked it up and refinanced, and worked like a so and so to pay it off early. Kept it for about 1600 hours, so got my money's worth, and feel the right-away Lycoming factory OH was the best thing I did for it. I found out after-the-fact that one purchase philosophy is to buy a high-time engine and overhaul right away. Sometimes it seems no matter what you budget for airplane maintenance, it always costs twice as much. I wonder if that is universally true for the majors, too?