Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode


Pilotcast is the podcast for pilots, by pilots.  Join Pilot Tiffany, Pilot Kent, and Pilot Bill for interesting discussions and interviews, some news or industry coverage, and a whole lot of fun virtual hangar flying.

Apr 6, 2006

Returning guest "A&P Tom" joins the Hangar Flying with Pilot Dan, Pilot Kent, and Pilot Mike to talk about purchasing an aircraft

Some feedback and followups:
  • For all you Connecticut pilots:
    • The Presidential TFR is cancelled, but it didn't matter because it was snowing, anyway
    • Tower controller at Hartford-Brainard Airport has been "refusing the option," to practicing pilots
    • Senate Bill SB520 has made it out of the Finance Committee with a unanimous recommendation, and will probably pass the Legislature with a few modifications. The target date to take effect is July 1st.
  • Pilot Dan and his Club bought a plane, but the sale will be completed before SB520 goes into effect so they will probably lose out on the tax advantages
    • An AOPA Lobbyist is looking into the remote possibility that the bill will be retroactive
  • Pilot Mike's plane is due for its annual
    • It's up to you, as owner, to remember when scheduled maintenance is due
Talking with A&P Tom:
  • Tom's rates:
    • $50/hour flat rate
    • $350 for an annual inspection
    • It may be worth a trip to Washington State for rates like those
  • A short bio:
    • Currently, an aircraft mechanic
    • A Navy veteran
    • Was an aircraft mechanic in the Navy, and still does work for them
  • Aircraft mechanics liability insurance can be expensive
  • Some airports will not allow uninsured mechanics to work on planes
  • What should a pre-purchase inspection include?
    • Talk to the potential buyer and see what homework they've already done
    • Is the seller also the owner, or just an agent for the owner?
    • Verify that AD's have, or have not, been complied with
    • General mechanical checks, including avionics
  • The internet makes it fairly simple to determine fair market value of an aircraft
  • Time since last overhaul is not as important as the engines current condition
  • Lycoming engines that are run regularly should not have an issue with corrosion
  • Engine displacement upgrades are probably not worth doing until an overhaul
  • Use of auto fuel should be determined on a model by model basis
  • Auto fuel is cheaper than aviation fuel, but has it's own unique set of problems
  • A potential buyer is suing a mechanic who recommended he not buy the plane
    • Aircraft is an Aviat Husky, in Michigan
    • The mechanic found a slew of problems during the pre-purchase inspection and told the buyer it just wasn't worth it
    • The buyer worked out a deal, that he thought was fair, even though the plane had some problems and purchased it
    • Gets a ferry permit and during a flight over Montana, he loses oil pressure and lands at a small airport
    • On inspection, the oil sump and strainers are covered in metal shavings
    • Ends up purchasing a new engine, but it doesn't fit the old mounts
    • They find the airframe is so warped, the new mounts won't fit
    • They called Tom and he recommends jacking the frame until the mounts fit so he can make the flight home
    • Finally get it back together and finds out his ferry permit has expired
    • The mechanic is unwilling to renew the ferry permit because he considers the plane not airworthy
    • They decide to do an annual and finds the wings need rebuilding while checking AD compliance
    • The new owner says the original mechanic did not give full disclosure and so is suing
    • The plane is still in Montana waiting for new wings
  • Potential buyers need to do their homework and thoroughly research the plane!
  • Check with type clubs on particular models and N numbers
  • Check potential replacement cost for accessories, like mufflers and ducting
  • Some of the performance muffler claims seem to good to be true
  • The sellers reputation is very important
  • Know the costs of maintenance and repairs before you have them done
  • Potential buyers should search Landings for A&P mechanics in your area
  • Most A&P mechanics don't want to work with clubs because of liability issues
  • Don't let the romance of flying blind you to potential problems
  • Clubs should make sure any potential purchase will fit all it's members
  • Prop balancing as part of an annual, can be very important
  • Dynamic prop balancing is done on the plane, but static balancing is not
  • Cherokee mufflers tend to be fragile
  • If your cabin heat is dependent on the exhaust system, you should use a CO monitor
  • Stupid pilot trick
    • Pilot Dan was in a club plane on the ramp
    • A parked twin started it's run-up, blasting Dan
    • Good thing Tom wasn't there!
    • The plane was actually lifted against it's tie-downs, logbooks went flying, and the plane was pelted with rocks
    • The FBO was not willing to give Dan the twins tail number
    • Stay tuned...
  • Incident at Camarillo Airport
    • Home airport of Angelina Jolie
    • A Lear Jet taxied too close to the hangers
    • Tried to power himself around, rather then call for a tug
    • The thrust hit a tied down 172, breaking the wing
  • We have met the Enemy and he is us
    • A twin Bonanza, that was purchased in Canada, has been parking at Tom's airport for about 4 years
    • The aircraft still has a Canadian registration number, but...
    • a check with Canada shows the plane as exported, meaning it should no longer have a Canadian number
    • The Seattle FSDO somehow became interested in the plane and asked Tom if he knew anything about it
    • The FSDO invited the Transport Canada Airworthiness Inspector to look at the airplane, and...
    • a cursory check found 21 major airworthiness discrepancies
    • A registered letter is sent to the registered owner's Canadian address, the man's wife, who is a Canadian citizen
    • The letter comes back undeliverable
    • Their US address is tracked down and another registered letter is sent to the local Sheriff to be hand delivered
    • The letter was signed for but there was no response to the request for log books
    • Transport Canada levied 5 penalty fines, rescinded the airworthiness certificate of the aircraft, and placed a cease and desist sticker on the airplane door
    • A second registered letter was delivered to the owner, informing them of the cease and desist operations order
    • The next day the plane was gone
    • Tom and 3 other witnesses were called to British Columbia to testify on what they knew about the plane
    • The owners didn't show up for the tribunal so a lien was placed on the plane
    • Unfortunately, since the plane is in the US, the Canadian judgement is unenforceable
    • And, because no one actually saw the owner fly it after it was stickered, the FAA is powerless
  • If you have any questions for Tom, send us an email
  • Thanks, again to A&P Tom
Contact us at by email:   pilotcast (AT)


Music on the Pilotcast is from the Podshow Podsafe Music Network. Check it out at

Pilotcast show notes are at

The Pilotcast sends sincere THANKS AGAIN to "Pilot Bill" of the Pilotcast's Apple Air Force for writing the show notes!

Jim Howard
over thirteen years ago

Another excellent show! Keep up the great work!