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Things to know before you buy!

Discussion in 'Aircraft Ownership' started by mrivc211, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. mrivc211

    mrivc211 Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Cessna 152 in 2016 and a 172 last month. Here are some mistakes that I made and things to look out for.

    No matter how much you are friends with the owner get a pre buy inspection done by a mechanic that has no relation to the owner. The 152 I bought was recommended to me by the owners mechanic. Since the seller, the mechanic, and me weren't going anywhere long term, I figured if there was anything wrong with the plane, they would tell me. Turns out the mechanic wasn't doing annuals as thoroughly as he should have because he was friends with the seller. When I did the first annual on the 152, I ended up replacing so many items that a simply $2,000 annual turned into a $6,000+ job.

    I replaced:
    the attitude indicator(17 years old)
    The Directional Gyro
    The vacuum pump(it went out)
    Found out the 152 has an AD for valve adjustment every 100 hours
    two new tires
    Ignition Harness Wires
    New Battery
    Repair a leak on intake manifold which was causing the engine to turn off below 1000 RPM
    Rebuilt Carburetor(the same mechanic told me I needed this done but then found out it was the intake leak that was causing the engine to turn off below 1000 RPM.
    New Spark Plugs
    Oil Change
    Oil Filter Change
    Interior Dome light
    Landing Light
    Remove ailerons, sand off corrosion, primer and paint to save the airframe
    Opening of drain holes below the belly that had been plugged for years.
    Two new Push to Talks
    GPS Inop
    New Oil Cooler
    New Cylinder

    All these items needed replacement and were being looked over by the mechanic because they were friends. The one thing that saved me on this purchase was that I under paid by about $5,000 and the value of the aircraft skyrocketed to double what I paid for it so if and when I ever sell, I'll still be ahead.

    I just recently bought a 172 and had my rear handed to me on a plate by a shady mechanic on the field(seller). More on that later....
     
  2. BigZ

    BigZ Well-Known Member

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    Also do a title search and try to familiarize yourself with all the one time and recurring ADs on the aircraft.
    Prebuy is a prebuy, but don't expect it to be the magic solution for everything. Study the logs yourself too, note the compression trends over the last few years, oil change intervals and so forth
     
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  3. mrivc211

    mrivc211 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, forgot to mention. Download all the AD's off the FAA website and compare them to the logbook of what has been done to the plane. The seller may not be complying with an expensive AD. I got lucky in my case.
     
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  4. wheelsup

    wheelsup Well-Known Member

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    You own two airplanes? Are you starting a school? When did you win the lottery??
     
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  5. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    Not sure if this is the case outside Washington, but the first airport you land at is where you will be taxed on your purchase. Could save thousands by landing in a lower taxed area first, get some fuel and off to the home airport.
     
  6. bimmerphile

    bimmerphile Open-Air Member

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    What
     
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  7. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

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    Umm....Yeah

    [​IMG]
     
  8. drunkenbeagle

    drunkenbeagle Gang Member

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    About half of those items are rather minor and frequent things - simple enough that you can theoretically do them yourself (oil & filter changes, tire changes, etc). Some of the others aren't unusual for a plane that sits for any length of time (battery and spark plugs). Not shocked that an annual would miss them if they aren't reported by the owner.

    But yes, good advice to check on as much as you can before you buy and negotiate accordingly
     
  9. z987k

    z987k TeamANC

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    If an annual doesn't find a spark plug that needs to be replaced then they didn't even look at the airplane and just signed the logbook. How on earth do you do a compression check (and bore scope) without pulling the plugs?
     
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  10. mrivc211

    mrivc211 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I left 121 in 2013, did 135 for a year and have had my school since 2015. Ocflightlessons.com
     
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  11. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    Your first point is absolutely critical. However, most of that stuff that you replaced is really wear and tear items and cost of doing business. I guess my view point is a little skewed working 135 airplanes that fly 1000 hours a year 20 minutes at a time.
     
  12. Cessnaflyer

    Cessnaflyer Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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    In Washington there is a sales and use tax. It varies in rate across the state. If you buy within the state you paid for sales tax during title transfer. If you bought it out of Washington you pay the tax rate of the first area you land in the Washington. Cities around the state have variable rates and it is cheaper to land outside the Seattle area first. Again this is for being based in Washington state that's why I said I'm not sure about other localities.

    From the Washington department of revenue, ”If sales tax was not paid, use tax is due on the value of the aircraft at the time of first use in Washington.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  13. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    Spark plugs are a wear and and tear item. Replacing them shouldn't be a surprise just another line item on the consumable budget.

    As an aside, it's also possible they didn't really need to be replaced, I've seen lots of spark plugs and other wear items replaced that met every relevant minimum spec but the mechanic "didn't like" them or didn't understand how to apply the manufacturers inspection criteria. And don't get me started on the waste of time and money that is spark plug resistance checks...
     
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  14. killbilly

    killbilly Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens

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    Since we're on the topic. During an inspection (pre-buy or otherwise), is there any way to evaluate the health of the vacuum pump/system? Is there a way to tell that it's healthy or that a failure is imminent?
     
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  15. trafficinsight

    trafficinsight Well-Known Member

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    If it's a dry vacuum pump failure is imminent.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    Some pumps have an inspection port and a procedure to measure vane wear. The best thing to do is to see how many hours are on the pump. After tracking quite a few pumps I found that in our aircraft in our operation anything past about 900 hours was borrowed time. Other installations and operational profiles might be different. Another good indicator is whether the logbooks record the 100 hour relief valve filter and 500 hour inlet filter being kept up on. Finally you can see during a ground run up some of the health of the system by noting what RPM it takes to get vacuum pressure into the green arc. If it's much more that 1000 on most systems, your vacuum system is on borrowed time.
     
  17. trafficinsight

    trafficinsight Well-Known Member

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    We had a Baron for a while with wet pumps, both pumps were original to the airplane.

    Dry vacuum pumps are stupid.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
     
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  18. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    As an alternative to my previous post, this:
    Is also pretty reliable.
     
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  19. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    My tripacer had the original 1956 wet pump on it. Worked good.
     
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  20. av8tr1

    av8tr1 "Never tell me the odds!"

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    [​IMG]

    You pay tax on the aircraft where it is based, not the first point of landing. Given your scenario let's say you land at BFI which is in the democratic people's republic of lets tax frack out of the rich King country (ironically named isn't it?). But you hagar the airplane at Tacoma Narrows in Pierce County WA. Given your scenario you would be double taxed and have to pay tax to both counties. Which I believe is illegal. There is even a Supreme Court ruling on this.

    https://www.pscpa.com/supreme-court-strikes-double-tax-structure/
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/18/supreme-court-double-taxation/22066863/

    I'm dealing with the same thing in Oregon who wants to tax my income because I fly out of PDX regularly. Tax time next year is going to be interesting.
     
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