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  #1  
Old 06-07-2018, 09:26 AM
Moosetrax Moosetrax is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 26
Default Pre-Buy Inspection Importance

I wanted to give a big thanks to Vic Syracuse for doing a fantastic pre-buy inspection that looks like has saved me a tremendous amount of headache down the road.

I cannot stress the importance of having an inspection done that is more than just what quality of the paint, interior, and carpet for loan purposes. These are machines that can cost you your life and if you get enamored by the beautiful paint job and the custom leather interior, you might miss the part that can kill you.

I did not end up with an airplane, but I ended up with a far better understanding of the kinds of things that are often overlooked in the experimental world. I'd be happy to share the details of my experience using Base Leg Aviation. Thank you Vic!
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2018, 10:31 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
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Location: Battleground
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Do you have a list of discrepancies? It might help others.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2018, 11:22 AM
Turbo69bird Turbo69bird is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: CT
Posts: 181
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Having bought without a pre buy,
I had a bit of a different experience. I bought my airplane from someone who was tough to deal with and wouldn’t allow a pre buy, wouldn’t even answer questions. �� I have a good background with race cars which helped a little (far less than I thought it would) I got very lucky my airplane needed a year worth of work (flyable during this work though) but luckily the build quality was VERY good and everything found so far was from lack of attention of previous owners that was easily reversible. (Because I can do a lot of the work myself it would have cost a fortune if I had to pay for it) I don’t know that I would have bought my airplane had I had a pre buy. In the end When I see other airplanes that are shinier and prettier than mine was when I bought it, I also see that the build quality and attention to detail is far superior on my airplane than many I see for sale. That is where it counts too in the original build quality.

The maintenance issues can be caught up on in most cases. Ive redone most of the airplane from nose gear, oil lines, intake gaskets, exhaust, engine mounts, rudder pedals, gauges, etc there’s almsot no part of this airplane I haven’t had to bring up to where I wanted it and I’m still picking away at things (probably will be forever.). I’d probably do the same even if I built it though so just try to be sure the builder really thought through the build process. I do t think If I built this airplane I could have done nearly as a good of a job as Fred Stucklen did on it, everything was really well thought out and executed well. I can’t even imagine how good his third airplane must be.

Knock on wood, but When I see build issues people have creep up on VAF, I get nervous, look at that spot on my plane and it’s perfectly done.
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While I'm not a builder if I happen to give advice , I will not be responsible for damage to equipment, your ego, parts, world wide power outages, spontaneously generated black holes, planetary disruptions, or personal injury that may result from the use of this advice.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2018, 11:38 AM
Moosetrax Moosetrax is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 26
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The list of discrepancies is immaterial to the purpose of this post. The purpose to this post is that things may be hidden and the current owner may not even be aware. Have an A&P, especially one who knows RVs, go over everything thoroughly. Just because something is written in a logbook, doesnít mean itís the truth or that itís been done.

There are a lot of first-time buyers out here, Iím one of them, who have a false perception that if it is written and signed in the logbook, then it must have been done. There have been unscrupulous people in the aviation business and an oversite could cost you a lot of money or maybe even your life.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2018, 11:47 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,345
Default Some data

Here are some facts:
The airplane was signed off with a condition inspection 12/2017. It has 3.9 hours on it since then. The oil is really black, and the owner says they changed the oil. The engine is a massive oil leak everywhere of dirty black oil. The engine is of unknown origin and has had 2 cylinders replaced in less than 400hours. The cylinders originally installed on the engine at the time of the build are also of unknown origin and have orange painted bases. I borescoped all cylinders and compression check showed 55/80 on one cylinder. It is my opinion that this engine probably has excess of 4000 hours on it, including a questionable overhaul.

The right brake pads are worn and need replacing. I donít believe that happened in the 3.9 hours since the CI. The tool used for the CI was most likely a pen.

Looking through the ownership history and engine history the people involved have been convicted of fraudulent engine building and have spent time in jail. That is all public record. I do not know what the current owner knows or doesnít know.

I do believe someone could get hurt with this engine currently installed.

Iím sure the OP would be willing to share details if contacted.

Vic
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2018, 11:51 AM
Moosetrax Moosetrax is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 26
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Any owner who wonít allow a pre-buy by a qualified guy, like Vic Syracuse, and there are others too, has something to hide......plain and simple. Thereís risk involved, even with a quality pre-buy. You can minimize your risk witha quality pre-buy and doing some research about previous owners and the the builder.

Turbo......you are 100% correct that build quality is most important. Other things can be fixed or upgraded. The problem is the market is hot and itís easy to over pay for an airplane right now.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2018, 08:09 AM
Tom @ N269CP Tom @ N269CP is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Green Cove Springs, FL
Posts: 52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosetrax View Post
Any owner who won’t allow a pre-buy by a qualified guy, like Vic Syracuse, and there are others too, has something to hide......plain and simple. There’s risk involved, even with a quality pre-buy. You can minimize your risk witha quality pre-buy and doing some research about previous owners and the the builder.

Turbo......you are 100% correct that build quality is most important. Other things can be fixed or upgraded. The problem is the market is hot and it’s easy to over pay for an airplane right now.
I ended up doing a fair amount of work on my RV-8 after purchase to correct items that should have been caught during pre-buy, most recent condition inspection or mentioned in the logbooks. Bad magneto, bad Ameri-King ELT, bad vacuum pump, bad master solenoid, bad battery, recurring fuel tank leak, old hoses, inspection for compliance with all SB's, CS prop past inspection date, etc. Fortunately, no issues with the SB's. Likely would have been better if I had an experienced RV inspector like Vic do the pre-buy. But I'm all caught up on that work now.

Have just finished a number of mods: New EI UBG-16 engine monitor, new EI FP-5 fuel flow computer, new ACK E-04 ELT, Anti-Splatt oil separator, Reiff pre-heater, one new PMag EI. That should be enough for awhile.

Going forward, I will only have my RV-8 professionally maintained.

Last edited by Tom @ N269CP : 06-08-2018 at 09:55 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2018, 08:18 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
 
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Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
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Another angle on this. I did a pre-buy inspection of the RV-12 I ended up buying. I took along a very well qualified person (ME, EAA tech counselor, multiple builder including RV-6 and RV-12). There were known issues. SBs not completed, fuel leak, etc. Given that there was nothing that couldn't be fixed, I paid accordingly with the understanding that I was buying a bit of a project. I think it worked out well.
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2018, 08:39 AM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 766
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A few more thoughts, some of which come from having observed the Oshkosh judging process for a few decades:
* Craftsmanship does not guarantee aircraft quality work, just like paint and upholstery don't guarantee airworthiness. A craftsman can do things right, but might not do the right things;
* When you buy a plane, any plane, there's no guarantee that everything is going to be correct, no matter what you do. My belief is that you can take a plane to a white gloves shop for an annual / condition inspection, immediately taxi it across the field to another white gloves shop and they'll find something...
* When you buy an airplane, especially a homebuilt, you're not only buying the hardware but in a sense you're also buying the reputation of the seller / builder. If the seller goes out of his way to tell you little things he's watching, that's a good sign. If he waves his arms and says how nice the plane flies while giving specious answers to direct questions, that's not good at all.

By the way, when I sold the RV-8A to a buyer 1500 miles away, his agent (a friend from 20 years prior) called me to ask about the plane. I told him that he had done the last annual condition inspection on the plane. That was the entire pre-buy...

As Budd Davisson (I think) once wrote, if you have a choice between a used homebuilt and a used snake, buy the used snake...

Ed
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2018, 09:15 AM
Moosetrax Moosetrax is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 26
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ďWhen you buy an airplane, especially a homebuilt, you're not only buying the hardware but in a sense you're also buying the reputation of the seller / builder.Ē

Ed, this is 100% correct. Not just the current seller, but any previous sellers as well.
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