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Thoughts on purchasing AC with Damage History


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As I explore possibly purchasing a Mooney would like to get opinions on AC with damage history, affect on value and resale? Things to look for?

 

Have found a couple nice aircraft to consider but leary of damage history.

 

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6 minutes ago, BAFlyer said:

As I explore possibly purchasing a Mooney would like to get opinions on AC with damage history, affect on value and resale? Things to look for? Have found a couple nice aircraft to consider but leary of damage history.

Properly repaired and at some time point in the somewhat distant past, no issues whatsoever. More recent damage history will devalue it some but not much. The majority of these airplanes have damage history, not all has been logged . . .

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You might buy an airplane with a damage history at a discount.  You will then probably sell it at a discount.

These are strong and repairable airframes.  If they are properly repaired, and logged, most damage histories become history.  A thousand hours since a gear up... no issue what soever. With the majority of the fleet being 40 odd years old, you will likely encounter damage history on the aiframes.

Most common damage is gear up landings.  Not much to hurt the airframe - ensure it's been properly repaired.  The thing I'd be most concerned about was the methodology by which the engine was returned to service.

I had hail on my aircraft.  Minus - damage history :-(.  Plus - it was properly repaired by one of the best Mooney shops out there.  Airplane flies truer and straighter and faster than before reskinned surfaces.  New paint job made me get off my rear about other upgrades and mods I wanted to do, and I'm continuing to upgrade.  Now I have much more "equity" in the plane than I started with - and I'd argue a much better plane- despite the presence of some epoxy filler on the roof.  It really all depends on your perspective.  

Brad 

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There are so many important things to consider when buying a vintage Mooney. It's complicated further by the fact that after 40 or 50 years, there are no two airplanes alike. In my opinion, adding "no damage history" as a criteria will needlessly eliminate a huge number of excellent airplanes from your search. 

Given two identical airplanes, the one with NDH will be slightly more desirable. But you won't find two identical airplanes and the other differences will be much more important than properly repaired damage.

I've owned two Mooneys. Each of them had been gear'ed up three times prior to my ownership. No regrets at all.

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5 minutes ago, bluehighwayflyer said:

Exact same here, except that in my Mooney’s case it was a Cessna 152’s landing gear that the vertical stabilizer and rudder took out instead of a set of power lines.  I too now see it as a non issue but it does make for an interesting and potentially offputting read when you Google my Mooney’s N number. 

Jim

The 152 overtook the Mooney and hit the rudder?;)

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NDH is important to a few buyers that are not very familiar with machines...

As a first time buyer of a Mooney, you may not be familiar with where to get parts, how parts can be fixed, who is qualified to fix the parts before mounting them back on the plane... then Who has the skills and tools to rig the plane so it flys straight....

That kind of thing...

Few planes have that mid-air experience....

Many more land gently with the gear up, or with the gear down in a field or golf course... not a lot of damage to be fixed...

Run a wing tip into a fence... that is a long discussion of who did the fixing with what parts in accordance with....etc.

Hangar rash?  That can be unusually expensive.... control surfaces can be expensive items....

The older the damage history, the less worries are associated with it. When it got fixed properly, it works just like it was not damaged... flys on for years...

My 65C had some wing damage in its logs when I bought it. I never saw any sign of the damage. The plane flew incredibly straight when the fuel load was balanced with the people load....

The TC’s Ball was alway a little off, I assumed it was flying sideways.... until I got it new rubber mounts and fixed the instrument panel’s sag...

Fun stuff you learn while flying a Mooney.

I have no fear of damage history, or high airframe hours or high engine hours, except the cost of paying to fix and refresh or overhaul these items... time and money...

Best regards,

-a-

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9 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

There are so many important things to consider when buying a vintage Mooney. It's complicated further by the fact that after 40 or 50 years, there are no two airplanes alike. In my opinion, adding "no damage history" as a criteria will needlessly eliminate a huge number of excellent airplanes from your search. 

Given two identical airplanes, the one with NDH will be slightly more desirable. But you won't find two identical airplanes and the other differences will be much more important than properly repaired damage.

I've owned two Mooneys. Each of them had been gear'ed up three times prior to my ownership. No regrets at all.

Prior to my purchase in December 2017  my plane had two gear up landings.  One in 1969 and one in 2010.

I actually think the plane is better since the 2010 incident as she now has a full set of speed mods including a one piece belly.  No idea what she flew like before and I love the way she flies.

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NDH is a plus but not a deal breaker, at least not for me. Damage that is repaired correctly might not even show up visually on even the best of pre-buys except for the log entries. Retracts gear up or have the gear collapse or get wing smacked against something all the time and I would venture to say more than we would like to think of are not documented in any way, they just get fixed in a closed hangars and returned to service. 

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Mine has a bird-strike and sheet-metal-repair on the left leading-edge in the logbook.  The IA who did my pre-buy spent 20 minutes trying to find it, couldn't.  Previous owner showed me the only visible evidence last time I had the plane at his place:  a thumbnail-shaving-sized notch out of the edge of a neighboring panel that had to be taken to make room for bucking a rivet during the repair.  Other than that, good as factory.

tl;dr version:  If the damage was repaired properly, there's no reason it should be a consideration beyond "make extra sure it was repaired".

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I think there are two kinds of vintage planes out there.   Those that have logged damage history and those that have un-logged damage history... 

You can search accident history on the FAA.gov website, but again... that is only for documented accidents...  I know there have been unreported accidents/gear ups at small private strips, where the owner just drags it into their home hangar unreported and the fairies deliver a cleaned up plane some months later...  just know what you're looking at.  Look for wrinkled skins, popped rivets, slight shade differences in paint, look closely inside all inspection panels in wing and tail, etc.. 

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A broker once told me that he believes damage affects the selling price based on recency as follows,

Very recent damage (gear up within the last year) - 20% deduct

Damage within the last 10 years - 10% deduct

Damage within the last 20 years - 5% deduct

Older than 20 years - no impact

Of course this assumes all repairs were done appropriately.

My partner geared up our last Mooney while we had it listed for sale.  We took about a 20% hit from asking price when we sold it.  Interestingly, the gear made me re-think my views on damage history.  I felt better flying the airplane after the gear up because it had a fresh engine inspection, the landing gear motor was rebuilt and everything was to spec by a Mooney Service Center.

I recently purchased a Citabria that had experienced a ground loop 15 years prior which required the right wing to be replaced, a new landing gear leg, and an engine teardown.  I had someone do a thorough inspection and had no qualms about buying.  So far the wing has not fallen off!

Lee

 

 

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A Mooney with damage history properly repaired is a great plane with a lower entry cost. The saving up front will have to be given back at the tail end to a lesser extend. Time and a diminishing pool of plane seems to erase this to some extent. A properly repaired grear up does nothing to performance and saftey and has the benifits that Lee mentioned above. Most people that have done them will tell you it was the most perfect landing they have ever done in their life with exception of touch down. Which will be the best short field landing ever they have ever done. Most repaired gear ups can only be detected because they have to weld a little reinforcement on one of the little tubes that imperceptibly distorts in the belly. In reality most of the damage happens from retrieving the plane. Don’t ask me how I know.

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