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  #1  
Old 03-14-2013, 07:41 PM
brianwallis's Avatar
brianwallis brianwallis is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: In Walter Mitty's dreams
Posts: 956
Default Prebuy madness....

Names and dates have been changed to protect the guilty.... Mechanic gets a phone call to do a prebuy on an aircraft. Aircraft looks great on youtube... The next phone call was actually a confession that he or she had purchased the aircraft. The buyer was an A&P. He or she was not available to go get it or do the inspection. "Aircraft had hit a bush but has been repaired and is a nice aircraft. THE AIRCRAFT HIT A BUSH (and lots of other stuff) ON IT'S WAY TO THE CRASH! The usable parts of the aircraft are the data plate, wheels and some misc items. The aircraft had been put back together to look nice but the handful of metal in the suction screen and lots of other items were the death knell of the aircraft. Guys, please don't ever buy an aircraft unseen no matter how good the records or pictures look. Go find a mechanic if you have any questions whatsoever!! Anybody else out there have some horror prebuy stories? I know there have to be some good ones!!
Best,
Brian
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Brian Wallis
(Exempt AND VAF dues paid 02 FEB 16)
Callsign: VOODOO sold RV3 to pay for ratings !!!
AP/IA COM/Multi/IFR/350 type

Last edited by brianwallis : 03-14-2013 at 07:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2013, 08:18 PM
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Geico266 Geico266 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Huskerland, USA
Posts: 5,864
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Flew out to PA from NE to pick up a RV-6a. During my pre-flight (before I paid the guy) I sumped the tanks and pulled out black, rusty water crud.

The "pilot" used an old metal 55 gallon drum to pump fuel and the hose has deteriorated and water and rust had collected in the bottom. There were NO filters of any kind on the farm hand crank pump.

I rented a car and drove home. Now when I go to look at a plane I get a round trip ticket.
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RV-10 : In the hangar
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2013, 11:52 PM
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Mike D Mike D is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 456
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On the small uncontrolled field where I did my tailwheel training, there was a neglected (certified) plane in the grass tie down area. It looked really bad. One day I came out, and it was up on blocks. Next day it was sitting on the same tires but they now had air in them. The owner spent a few days doing work on the plane. (Unknown if the owner was an A&P, but most likely not) The airport manager came by and I asked what was going on. The manager said that he had not seen the owner in almost 10 years.

Well the owner started it up and ran it hard for 20 min. A old time instructor walked up and asked his intentions. He was going to take off and transport the plane for sale. We could not convince the guy to have it looked at by an A&P. Whoever bought that plane better have it checked out.

All sorts of neglect can be covered with some armor-all and a rattle can of paint.

I still think of that plane every time I visit that field.

But, heck, maybe sitting in the Houston humidity and heat for 10 years had no effect on the plane and it was perfectly fine. Or maybe the mud dabbers protected it with their nests. Hey, it was certified so it must be safe.

Buyer beware.

In another story, a business acquaintance bought a beautiful, newly painted, certified plane. It was checked by the current owners A&P and the annual was signed off. Next annual and the new owners A&P found massive corrosion of the main spar. That was the end of that plane. It never flew again. But it took 5-years, and many inspections, for the new owner to come to terms with the situation before he sent the plane to the salvage yard.

I was lucky. I had essentially bought the plane sight unseen and had a mechanic (and an RV builder) check it out before handing over the check. But I was heavenly invested in the plane without knowing the condition. It turned out to be a great deal.
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RV6A -O-320, fixed pitch, GRT Sport, 496
RV-10 - working on finish kit
Houston
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2013, 02:57 PM
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walkman walkman is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 893
Default Ferry story

Years ago Commander Aircraft engaged me to pick up a 112 from London Ontario and ferry it to Oak City where they were going to refurbish it and sell it on. I was to stop nr Chicago and show it to the prospective buyer on the way.

Excluding the story about being stopped for smuggling and the aircraft being impounded for 24 hrs in Port Clinton Oh (which is another story altogether)...

The aircraft was "fresh out of c&a" and supposedly ready to go. I was told it was IFR equipped. It looked like at least the first leg would be IFR in standard Ohio summer 1 mile in haze and ceiling indeterminate.

Dropped off in London, airplane looks a bit ratty but hey, so does my plane. On my preflight I notice the tanks are half full, hmmmm, oh well I'm in a hurry. I mention I'm filing an IFR, the seller says something like "ummmm, I'm not sure I'd fly it IFR".

Decided I'd go around the patch before I left. Take off, hit the gear handle, nothing....jiggle it a few times, gear finally comes up. Ok, maybe the motor is a little old and tired. On final, go to put the gear down......nothing. Ok now I'm sweating a little. How would a gear up landing look before I'd even flown it 5 mins? A little more jiggling and the gear comes down.....slooooooowly....then 3 green, touch and go, and I'm off as the gear slowly groans its way back into the wells. Glad I had my brand new handheld lowrance GPS and my handheld radio. All the gyros started to spin like mad after 10 mins and the radios were almost useless!

Clear in at port Clinton (long customs story omitted) and then off to chitown to meet the customer. Get there, he's a no show. So, waiting in signature while they fill me up and I check weather. Line guy comes in "is that your commander on the ramp?" When I answer yes he says, ominously, "you'd better come see this". On the ram they had 4 or 5 pickle buckets lined up under the wings to catch the fuel pouring out as fast as they'd pumped it in. Well, I figured it would stop when it got down to the tabs, which is where the fuel was when i picked it up. Now I know why.

Took off again, Decide to head to Cincinnati LUK because of weather on the direct route. Nearing Cincinnati it's getting dark. About 3 miles out I decide to turn on the lights. Hit the switch....BANG.....FLASH......fizzzzzzzzz.....

I got lights alright, just flashy smelly smokey ones behind the panel!

Finally get it on the ground, park it, call the factory. "Come and get this pile of junk, I'm not flying it an inch further"

I understand when the factory pilot got it to the factory the mechanics there opened up the airframe and showed the pilot corrosion bad enough that he turned white when he saw it.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2013, 03:31 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 10,358
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Once drove all the way to Kansas to buy a Breezy. The Cub wings turned out to be homebuilt plywood wings, the fuselage welding was "improved" with a nice fairing of Bondo over each joint, and the 150 hours on the Franklin apparently referred to time spent under water.

Another trip...off to a well known airpark community in Florida to bring home a 75% GlaStar project. Everything was fine except the wings and tails, which are conventional riveted aluminum much like an RV. I swear the guy had set all the rivets with a roofing hatchet. Never before and never since have I seen rivet work that bad.

There were more, but my favorite was close to home. My buddy Ron asked me to go with him to look at a nice little aerobatic airplane. Turned out I knew the seller from previous adventures roadracing motorcycles; great guy, but sure to have pushed the airplane to its limits. Well, the airplane was nice, and my two buddies made a sort of handshake deal, subject to spouse approval and a good night's sleep. The seller said he would fly a little demonstration before we went. So, we watched him strap in and fire up. About 10 seconds later one of the motor mount bolts fell out of the cowl. It had broken cleanly at a worn spot.

No, Ron didn't buy it.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 04:56 PM
SHIPCHIEF SHIPCHIEF is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,412
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I have travelled across a few states to look at an airplane that the "owner" didn't own; "It's OK, I have a licence to sell used cars in Minnasota" I was told.
Well, we had a nice trip to Mt Rushmore and the Black Hills on the way home, so I guess it was a salvaged weekend.
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Scott Emery
http://gallery.eaa326.org/v/members/semery/
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
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2019
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:08 PM
scsmith scsmith is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,974
Default A happy outcome

I actually bought the IO-360 for my RV-8 off of Ebay!

Insane! you would think, but a phone call and a little background on the seller convinced me he was a stand-up guy, and the engine was sound. 250 trouble-free hours later, I still am happy with my find.

Amazing how unscrupulous someone could be to try to sell a wreck as an airworthy airplane.
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Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 700
also
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
bought my old LS6-A back!!
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2013, 06:10 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
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Location: Louisville, Ga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Once drove all the way to Kansas to buy a Breezy. The Cub wings turned out to be homebuilt plywood wings, the fuselage welding was "improved" with a nice fairing of Bondo over each joint, and the 150 hours on the Franklin apparently referred to time spent under water.

Another trip...off to a well known airpark community in Florida to bring home a 75% GlaStar project. Everything was fine except the wings and tails, which are conventional riveted aluminum much like an RV. I swear the guy had set all the rivets with a roofing hatchet. Never before and never since have I seen rivet work that bad.

There were more, but my favorite was close to home. My buddy Ron asked me to go with him to look at a nice little aerobatic airplane. Turned out I knew the seller from previous adventures roadracing motorcycles; great guy, but sure to have pushed the airplane to its limits. Well, the airplane was nice, and my two buddies made a sort of handshake deal, subject to spouse approval and a good night's sleep. The seller said he would fly a little demonstration before we went. So, we watched him strap in and fire up. About 10 seconds later one of the motor mount bolts fell out of the cowl. It had broken cleanly at a worn spot.

No, Ron didn't buy it.
....Darwin, and his band of gene-pool removal guys

Best,
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2013, 07:56 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
 
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Location: Mojave
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Flew up to look at a Hiperbipe armed with the knowledge that the glue joints in some aircraft were subject to age related failure. Opened up the wings and sure enough, the master ribs and corner blocks were separated from the skin and spars. When shown this, the owner didn't seem phased at all and even admitted he'd never removed the inspection covers in the 10 years he owned the airplane. In any case, he didn't think that this was an issue, and he sure wasn't going to adjust his asking price for something as trivial as a complete rebuild of 4 wings. Needless to say, I walked away from that one. This airplane would pop up from time to time on the forums and I told several perspective buyers about the problems I found. Last I heard it was destroyed in a ground loop during a demo flight (!) for another potential buyer.
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WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
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  #10  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:43 AM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
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Location: Dallas area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toobuilder View Post
When shown this, the owner didn't seem phased at all and even admitted he'd never removed the inspection covers in the 10 years he owned the airplane.
Amazing how this seems to happen over and over.
I once was brought a FlyBaby for an annual condition inspection. I asked the owner if he had covers for the inspection holes that I would have to cutout of the wing covering. He said he didn't want them cut out. The aircraft had been through 5 annual condition inspections without the holes being cut.
I told him that I could not inspect the aircraft without cutting the inspection holes. He reluctantly found some covers.
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Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
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