My partner Joe and myself are the brand new owners of a very nice 1997 RV-6, N496RS. This would not have been possible without this site and the help of many people here and the many friends who I have met through this site or because of this wonderful hobby of ours. I would like to share the story of how we got this airplane. First, here is a picture of our new RV-6 at the hangar of the previous owner.
We located this airplane as a result of a WTB post that I placed on this site. We got a number of good leads from my post, but this airplane made it to the top of my list because I had briefly seen it before. We were able to reach a deal with the owner, and then of course I needed someone to do a pre-buy inspection on the airplane. I posted a request for a lead on someone that could do a pre-purchase inspection, and within an hour or so I had a number of suggestions. Ultimately, Dan Horton came to the rescue, and agreed to help us out. I had never met Dan before, although I had of course seen many of his posts here and admired his beautiful RV-8. For those who might not have seen it, here is a shot of Dan?s beautiful 8.
I could not have picked a better person for the pre-purchase inspection. I immediately felt comfortable talking to Dan and he was incredible generous with his time answering my questions. But of course, the most important thing is the inspection itself. Watching Dan work is simply spectacular. His knowledge of RVs and the issues that you need to look for when inspecting an airplane is nothing short of amazing. When inspecting the control surfaces, Dan found and FIXED a friction problem with the elevators. Similarly, he fixed the manual trim on the airplane and, after running the engine to check for oil leaks (after cutting the oil filter and installing a new one) he noticed a wobble in the spinner. Closer inspection revealed that the spinner had a little play, which led to the discovery that the spinner had started to cut into the metal Sensenich metal propeller. He also found a loose fuel line in the engine compartment. As he inspected the airplane he kept making comments and suggestions as to things to do or ways to improve things with the airplane. It was quite the educational experience. Here is Dan chatting with the previous owner.
By the way, the best compliment I can give Dan is what the previous owner of the RV-6 said. When he asked me how much Dan had charged me, he said that was an incredible bargain, as Dan had essentially accomplished a condition inspection that day. I agree. In the end, Dan gave the airplane a clean bill of health, except for one major issue he found: Dan found loose slosh compound inside the tanks. Yikes!
Once again, VAF to the rescue! The owner and I fired up the computer at his house and ran a search on VAF for slosh, and found an advertiser here on VAF, Paul @ Weep No More, who specializes in fixing problems with fuel tanks. We got him on the phone right then and there (on a Saturday afternoon), and he talked to both of us as to what it would take to fix the tanks in terms of cost and time. He also explained the process he would follow to fix up the tanks. After reaching a deal with the owner that he would fix the tanks by sending them to Paul, we agreed to wait for the repairs. For those who are curious, here are two pictures of what the tanks looked like inside when Paul got them.
I also have to say that Paul at Weep No More was also a pleasure to deal with. He kept both the previous owner and me informed of the progress with the repairs, sent us both pictures of the process ? both the stripping and then resealing of the tanks -- and he delivered the tanks on time and in perfect working condition. We could not have asked for more, and now we have the peace of mine that the tanks have been done right and will not leak. And here is what the tanks look like NOW inside:
In the end, it took about a month from the inspection until the airplane was ready for pickup this weekend, but it was worth it. Flying it back from south of Atlanta to its new home in Maryland was great. Everyone we dealt with, from the previous owner, to Dan, to Paul, was a pleasure to deal with. This deal was done on a handshake, there were no deposits, there we no escrow accounts, and there were no disappointments. All because of this site but, more importantly, because of the people that you meet here. Here is the airplane at its new hangar (with the new tanks).
Thanks to VAF and all of my RV friends who have put up with me throughout the long process of finding the right airplane . . . Rob and Rick at Warrenton, and Arjan, Mike and Mark at Gaithersburg. I really appreciate all of your advice and patience with me. Oh, and did I say that I also previously bought and sold an RV-4 through this site without any problems or issues? Enough said.