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AlexLev last won the day on October 8

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About AlexLev

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    Buffalo, NY
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  1. @kerry - where is the controller? What happens now if I turn the knob is the aileron just fully deflects and keeps turning (uh oh), rather than a small controlled bank. Before I overhauled the TC, I didn't have this problem.
  2. I can take a look, I may have a supplement guide, but I am not sure how helpful it will be. It would take me a few weeks to dig it up though - won't be in the hangar for a while with the holidays. On a sidenote: I just got the astronaturics turn coordinator overhauled by Pacific Southwest Instruments. The good news is that the autopilot works better to hold heading, but the bad news is when I use the knobs on the TC to enter a standard rate turn, it seems to do a full deflection now vs the 8-10 degree bank it did before. Anyone have any ideas on how to troubleshoot?
  3. AlexLev

    Annual squawks & negotiation ettiquette

    Yeah, in retrospect I should have waited a little and maybe just approved the quote and had them start the work. Yesterday, I called and asked why 3.5 hours for the turn coordinator removal & reinstall. Asked if there was some increased complexity that I was not aware of that made it more difficult since a previous shop quoted me 1 hour to do the same thing. She said she would check with the mechanic and get back to me, but I've yet to hear back. I think it's a reasonable question, TBH and I hope it doesn't offend them too much.
  4. AlexLev

    Annual squawks & negotiation ettiquette

    Well thought out response, thank you. I am happy with them in general. Sometimes, I feel like some hours are tacked on, but their base price for the annual is $1200 which is on the lower side. They do let you help on the annual, but they only give you a price break if you tell them ahead of time that you want the annual to be hourly labor vs their fixed cost. Could also be higher if your "help" turns out to be more of a hinderance (which in my case sometimes it may be). They are pretty laid back and happy to let you do things/assist if you wish, not the most communicative, but they seem like solid people who have been in the business for a while. They often times help me out and work with me when something breaks and I have a trip coming up and are kind enough to let me get in their hangar and help troubleshoot, etc. With their estimate, annual + labor would come out to be about $2600, not counting the $900 I'll be spending to overhaul the turn coordinator and some of the misc parts. About the same as last year, but I'm the sort of guy who fixes stuff as it comes up and don't typically defer much to annual.
  5. AlexLev

    Annual squawks & negotiation ettiquette

    I wonder if it would take longer if the turn coordinator is driving the Pathfinder autopilot. I don't think it would. I am sure they are tacking on an hour or so for shipping it/packaging it, but it still seems suspiciously high to me.
  6. Having my second annual, seems all pretty small stuff. The shop quoted me approx $1428 in labor (approx 17 hours) to fix the minor squawks, it seems a little high to me on top of their annual fee. left brake caliper leaking, seal (0.5hr) 15 minutes - filter engine mount inspection - 15 minutes fuel tank bay inspection - 15 minutes alt belt loose (15 minutes) right cabin heat torn (1 hr) engine air filter dirty (0.15 minutes) throttle is not hitting stop on carburetor (1 hour) left wing seal screw 0.5 hour replacing fuel cap o rings - 1 hour nose wheel shimmy, tighten bolts - 1.5 hour glew cabin door seal (15 minutes) flap hydraulic line (5 hours) replace left main gear retract rod boot ... that all seemed somewhat reasonable to me, although the rot on flap hydraulic line was a surprise and rebuilding that. Also replacing o-rings on fuel caps takes a whole hour? that seemed a little high too. Then they want to charge 3.5 hours to remove and reinstall a turn coordinator, which seems a little high to me (I asked them to ship it out for rebuild), since another shop quoted me just 1 hour of labor to R&R it. For those mechanically inclined - do these estimates seem high or reasonable to you? If high, what's the etiquette to try to figure that out / communicate with the shop so that all is fair? I mentioned another shop quoted me less to R&R a t.c. so I just tried to politely ask if there was some unforeseen challenge that made it difficult that the other shop may not have anticipated. I asked that to the person handling the business/sales side of things and she said she would ask the mechanic. Seems like a reasonable question to me, but I hope they don't take it the wrong way. I usually like to come and help out with the annual, but this year has been a little busy for me and I haven't been able to make it into the shop.
  7. AlexLev

    Flying to New York

    I fly to NYC quite often from Buffalo. My airport of choice used to be TEB, I really enjoyed flying in there. Meridian is fairly reasonable too. 15 gallons of fuel will waive one overnight fee and ramp fees. They will also drive you to the bus stop that will take you into port authority. A couple times, years apart, I ended up needing some light maintenance at Meridian and they really don't have much equipment for piston aircraft and I got into it a little bit with the maintenance staff and since then I've avoided going to TEB. CDW is a better option. Cheaper avgas, very GA friendly and very close to Manhattan. There's a bus stop in the Willowbrook Mall that will take you straight to Port Authority for $8 and it only takes about a half hour. Most of the time, if they are not too busy the FBO will drive you over to the mall or an Uber/Lyft is about $8 to the mall. Or you can always Uber into the city too for like $50. Looks like with where you need to go though, FRG may be your best option.
  8. AlexLev

    PPI recomendations.

    One of my suggestions would be to have enough cash in the bank to spring for an overhaul at any point during your maintenance (so like at least a 15k reserve) so that if you do need to bite the bullet on an expensive repair early, you're ready for it. Otherwise, 5-8k/year might be ok, but it could also be a little low. i.e. Insurance - 1500-2400 your first year. Hangar? variable, but say 3000-4000/year Subscriptions for GPS,etc: 500/year Annual? Prob at minimum: 2000/year You're already at like 5-8k/year without any flying to go along with it and that's if there are no mechanical issues (which any owner will at least have 1-3K per year of unplanned maintenance, like a failed fuel pump, magneto, GPS switch, etc...). If you're taking out a loan, that's another fixed annual payment which will definitely take you over your 5-8k/year budget.
  9. AlexLev

    500 Hour past TBO Rocket gets OH

    That was me. It was definitely an adventure getting to Memphis via hitchhike. Luckily, on the way back to pick the plane up, Sam was kind enough to come and pick me up in my own plane near Memphis. Have about 150 hours on the Jewell overhaul so far. All is well so far. Hope you get the MP issue worked out soon.
  10. I think critical mass would be a challenge for sure (to get enough listings, pilots using, etc.), it's neat to hear about instances like this ^^ though that a web site like this could have helped solve. More feedback is certainly welcome.
  11. Funny you mention this, just yesterday my friend and I were talking about whether it would make sense to start an "Airbnb for hangars" web site of sorts where: 1) airports could list their hangar availability and pilots could get on a waitlist 2) people could put up their hangar for temp lease or even day lease for transients Do you guys think this would be useful for GA? As far as #2 goes, an issue we started thinking about was how security would work, for those airports that require a badge, etc...could get complicated and not sure if it's totally practical.
  12. AlexLev

    Electric Fuel Pump M20G

    Looks like I need a new Weldon pump. Took forever to track one down today, but I think we got one overnighted. $1285. Ouch.
  13. AlexLev

    Honestly, how bad is this?

    Dave at Airmods might be worth a call too.
  14. AlexLev

    Honestly, how bad is this?

    I'm sorry :(, I know it must feel awful. Shit happens. I don't know the extent of the damage, but I would call the insurance company ASAP. This is what we have insurance for, right?
  15. AlexLev

    Electric Fuel Pump M20G

    Wondering if I should order one or two of these: -- have a trip scheduled for Friday and would be nice not to have to cancel -- I figure odds are I'll probably need that Klixon Circuit Breaker or a new fuel pump.