RobotsBoston

Prepurchase inspection in New England

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Does anyone have a recommendation for an A&P or shop in New England that would be a choice for a prebuy inspection of a 1965 M20E? I've called all of the local MSCs but they are all either backed up with work for the next month or two or do not do prepurchase inspections.

Thanks!

Chris

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The plane is at KASH in Nashua NH, Infinity Aviation there is a MSC and does do prebuys but they are booked for the next two months when I called. Also on the field is Leland Aero Services, however that is the same shop that has been doing the annual for the past several years.

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I had a great conversation with Shane at Air-Mods but they no longer do prepurchase inspections. They had availability to do an annual but the owner is concerned about the airplane getting stuck in New Jersey, a long car trip from his home base in NH.

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I may as well stir the hornet's nest a little. In my opinion, I would never want an annual in lieu of a pre-purchase inspection. Having a pre-purchase that can be rolled over to an annual once the decision is made to definitely buy, is a different story. But I would not blindly accept an annual done on the existing owner's dime (unless it had been done by one of the  4 or 5 top Mooney gurus), and the present owner would be foolish to allow an annual to be started unless he was in control of it.

My preference, if I were buying, would be to have carefully crafted, "done in steps" pre-purchase inspection. That is, prioritize the things to look at, and cancel the remainder if a deal breaker is discovered. I would want a complete corrosion inspection, and if nothing found, inspect the engine; borescope etc., then on down through the most expensive items to repair. Once all the deal breaking matters are OK, then finalize the sale and flip it to an annual if desired.  

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I can recommend Reliant Air (203-743-5100, reliantair.com) at KDXR. I'm based at KDXR and periodically fly to KASH for lunch; while not around the corner at Mooney speeds it isn't too far either.

Steve Disorbo is the head of maintenance there. One of his team, Brian, used to work at the Mooney dealership on the field. They maintain 3 Mooneys: my Ovation, a J and a C. They'll be happy to do a prebuy, (I have referred others in the past - feel free to use my name) but don't know how busy they are at the moment. Worth a call.

Robert Statius-Muller,  N446PC

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4 hours ago, RobotsBoston said:

I had a great conversation with Shane at Air-Mods but they no longer do prepurchase inspections. They had availability to do an annual but the owner is concerned about the airplane getting stuck in New Jersey, a long car trip from his home base in NH.

It’s understandable as there are as many versions of a PPI as there are maintainers doing them.  Call it what every you wish, but every part of the airplane should be inspected fully, if a panel has screws, open it and look behind it.

Clarence

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14 minutes ago, M20Doc said:

It’s understandable as there are as many versions of a PPI as there are maintainers doing them.  Call it what every you wish, but every part of the airplane should be inspected fully, if a panel has screws, open it and look behind it.

Clarence

Don't want to quibble too much Clarence, but in the US, an annual is a special thing with a specific set of rules. Once an "Annual Inspection" has begun, you can't stop midstream. It must be completed and signed off as airworthy or signed off with a list of discrepancies being delivered to the owner. If the latter, it can not (legally) be flown again until the discrepancies have been resolved by an A&P, or a ferry permit obtained to take it to "fix" the discrepancies. Granted, this is the legalities of the situation, and if the IA would suddenly remember he hadn't been asked to do an annual, I suppose he could stop and button it up again.  There is no legal definition of an PPI, so anything agreed to between the shop/AI/A&P will work. 

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Wouldn’t it only become the “Annual inspection” if and when the IA signed it off?  Without said sign off it’s just an examination of the airframe and some maintenance tasks which would need to be recorded in the logs.

Called what ever pleases the purchaser, the goal is making sure the purchaser is informed of the condition of the airplane he’s thinking of buying.

Clarence

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I am using Hildt Aviation in Bennington, VT (DDH). About 90 NM from ASH. They are familiar with Mooneys. They did my first annual and were pretty thorough which you could see from the final bill. $$$$.

That joke aside I believe they did a great job on my J and it is flying well with 12+ hours on it since the service. I asked him about PPIs and Jaime (owner/IA) likes to do an annual inspection for the prebuy. You would have to discuss with him how much you would want to get into that. They are very personable and willing to work with customers on most things.

Hildtaviation.com for the website.

Brian

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47 minutes ago, Vno said:

I asked him about PPIs and Jaime (owner/IA) likes to do an annual inspection for the prebuy.

The problem with doing an annual inspection for a prebuy is you are not doing a forensic look at the logs and history of the aircraft or a detailed inspection of key areas that can be future problems, especially if the person doing the inspection is not a Mooney expert. When I do a prepurchase I look at everything the aircraft has been thru and has been done to it, I often find AD's not complied with, but I also find undocumented mods or repairs that require 337's, incorrect log books, aircraft or engine times that are incorrect. there is a ton more. Don't get me wrong, I do not disagree with adding an annual inspection to the prebuy, but understand they are not the same.

Brian  

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13 hours ago, M20Doc said:

Wouldn’t it only become the “Annual inspection” if and when the IA signed it off?  Without said sign off it’s just an examination of the airframe and some maintenance tasks which would need to be recorded in the logs.

Called what ever pleases the purchaser, the goal is making sure the purchaser is informed of the condition of the airplane he’s thinking of buying.

Clarence

Clarence, I find this topic very interesting. I like the idea that it could only be a "legal annual" at the sign off. I suppose one could take his plane in and say "check everything on the annual inspection list, and if it passes, make it an annual inspection. If not, I will pay you for your time and decide what I want to do". Then you could legally fly the plane wherever you wish (presuming you were still within the year for the last annual). Naturally, if something went wrong, and the FAA found out what you had done, they could violate you under the "reckless" aspect, if the IA had told you there was a defect of some kind.

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16 minutes ago, DonMuncy said:

Clarence, I find this topic very interesting. I like the idea that it could only be a "legal annual" at the sign off. I suppose one could take his plane in and say "check everything on the annual inspection list, and if it passes, make it an annual inspection. If not, I will pay you for your time and decide what I want to do". Then you could legally fly the plane wherever you wish (presuming you were still within the year for the last annual). Naturally, if something went wrong, and the FAA found out what you had done, they could violate you under the "reckless" aspect, if the IA had told you there was a defect of some kind.

If I find an airworthiness issue with an aircraft during maintenance or an inspection and the owner does not want me to fix it I am required to log it in the logbook. although most wording goes towards inspection we are not allowed to turn a blind eye to any items considered to be airworthy.  the following are a couple of blurbs from the IA manual:

The holder of an IA as required by 14 CFR part 43, § 43.13, determines that the required placards and documents set forth in the aircraft specification or type certificate data sheet are available and current. The aircraft should be reported as being in an unairworthy condition if these placards and documents are not available. A missing, incorrect, or improperly located placard is considered an unairworthy item, and the owner or operator should be informed that, under the requirements of 14 CFR part 91, § 91.9, the aircraft may not be operated until a correct and properly placed placard is available.  

If the aircraft is found to be in an unairworthy condition, an entry will be made in the maintenance records that the inspection was completed and a list of unairworthy items was provided to the owner. When all unairworthy items are corrected by a person authorized to perform maintenance and that person makes an entry in the maintenance record 18 for the correction of those items, the aircraft is approved for return to service. (Refer to appendix 1, figures 8 and 9.)

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33 minutes ago, orionflt said:

If I find an airworthiness issue with an aircraft during maintenance or an inspection and the owner does not want me to fix it I am required to log it in the logbook. although most wording goes towards inspection we are not allowed to turn a blind eye to any items considered to be airworthy.  the following are a couple of blurbs from the IA manual:

The holder of an IA as required by 14 CFR part 43, § 43.13, determines that the required placards and documents set forth in the aircraft specification or type certificate data sheet are available and current. The aircraft should be reported as being in an unairworthy condition if these placards and documents are not available. A missing, incorrect, or improperly located placard is considered an unairworthy item, and the owner or operator should be informed that, under the requirements of 14 CFR part 91, § 91.9, the aircraft may not be operated until a correct and properly placed placard is available.  

If the aircraft is found to be in an unairworthy condition, an entry will be made in the maintenance records that the inspection was completed and a list of unairworthy items was provided to the owner. When all unairworthy items are corrected by a person authorized to perform maintenance and that person makes an entry in the maintenance record 18 for the correction of those items, the aircraft is approved for return to service. (Refer to appendix 1, figures 8 and 9.)

Also interesting. If an A&P sees something wrong while working on something else, it is my impression he has no obligation other than to document what he did to what he was working on. But I'm understanding from your post that, as an IA, he has an obligation to report unairworthiness. I suppose that this is because an IA really doesn't "work" on anything; he only inspects. So if one lets his plane be taken to an IA for a PPI, under the last paragraph you quoted, if he finds an airworthiness condition he must note it in the maintenance records. Or does that paragraph only apply to inspections required by the regs, like annuals or 100 hours. Maybe that is why Mike Busch prefers not to call a pre-purchase , an "inspection".  I'm not sure that I, as a seller would want someone taking my plane to someone who might be obligated to write in my maintenance records that he found my plane in an  unairworthy condition. I suppose you could not give them your logbook and just not include his notation in his records. But that likely might subject you to some problems for not maintaining proper records. Do you tell the potential buyer that he can have an A&P look at your plane, but not an IA? (Or really, an IA can look at it, just not with is IA hat on.)

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@DonMuncy there is a lot of discretion in the writing and wording of the FARs but any A&P who "overlooks" an airworthiness issue is not doing anyone a favor. I will admit that if it is a paperwork or a labeling issue I am not going to call the FSDO if the owner fly away in the aircraft after I tell them, but if it is an issue that could cause an accident or incident I would be remiss to allow the pilot to take off in an unsafe aircraft with out attempting to persuade them otherwise. thankfully I have never been put into a situation by a pilot or owner where they have taken an unsafe aircraft flying after being informed that it was not airworthy, If put into that situation I would have to report it because it is not just their life they are putting in danger, it is also any passengers they may take and the people on the ground they may come down on. 

So my big question to you is do you really want an A&P to look the other way if he find an airworthy issue with your aircraft or to tell you so it can be fixed immediately? 

Brian 

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2 minutes ago, orionflt said:

So my big question to you is do you really want an A&P to look the other way if he find an airworthy issue with your aircraft or to tell you so it can be fixed immediately? 

I certainly expect my A&P to tell me about problems, and to offer repair options.  However if the issue is observed during repair or service activity and not during an inspection, I also expect that the A&P will NOT log the discrepancy.  The A&P has no authority to hold my aircraft for ransom.  Even an IA cannot go beyond completing my inspection with discrepancies if I chose for whatever reason to not have the discrepancies corrected.  Granted I can't fly without an aircraft signed off as airworthy, but that sign-off during routine maintenance is limited only to the system(s) being serviced, and does not include unrelated problems that the A&P observes.

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1 minute ago, neilpilot said:

I certainly expect my A&P to tell me about problems, and to offer repair options.  However if the issue is observed during repair or service activity and not during an inspection, I also expect that the A&P will NOT log the discrepancy.  The A&P has no authority to hold my aircraft for ransom.  Even an IA cannot go beyond completing my inspection with discrepancies if I chose for whatever reason to not have the discrepancies corrected.  Granted I can't fly without an aircraft signed off as airworthy, but that sign-off during routine maintenance is limited only to the system(s) being serviced, and does not include unrelated problems that the A&P observes.

Are you telling me you want to fly an unsafe aircraft if a problem is found during other maintenance other then an inspection? If I find structural tubing rusted thru while troubleshooting a fuel sender problem you want me to not say anything and let you take it flying until annual? I agree that none of us want our airplanes held hostage by an unscrupulous shop or A&P, but there are ways around that. But to knowingly fly an unsafe aircraft is criminal.   

Brian

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8 minutes ago, orionflt said:

Are you telling me you want to fly an unsafe aircraft if a problem is found during other maintenance other then an inspection? If I find structural tubing rusted thru while troubleshooting a fuel sender problem you want me to not say anything and let you take it flying until annual? I agree that none of us want our airplanes held hostage by an unscrupulous shop or A&P, but there are ways around that. But to knowingly fly an unsafe aircraft is criminal.   

Brian

Where do you read that in my post.  My post doesn't say I want to fly an unsafe aircraft.  It says that as pilot I want your input so I can make that decision.

I'm telling you that I want to hear your findings, but not have you hold my aircraft hostage or log any discrepancy beyond what I've asked you to do.  As the aircraft owner, it's my responsibility to keep my aircraft airworthy and decide on maintenance, not the A&P's.  As an example, I'm aware of an A&P that claimed a friend's Mooney was not airworthy based on non-compliance with an AD.  The A&P wasn't unscrupulous, but he was still wrong.  I know another shop that wanted to hold a Mooney hostage due to a fuel leak that was not an airworthiness issue, but that A&P thought it was.

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16 hours ago, M20Doc said:

Wouldn’t it only become the “Annual inspection” if and when the IA signed it off?  Without said sign off it’s just an examination of the airframe and some maintenance tasks which would need to be recorded in the logs.

Called what ever pleases the purchaser, the goal is making sure the purchaser is informed of the condition of the airplane he’s thinking of buying.

Clarence

If I understand correctly (talking to my IA and according to some of the Mike Busch webinars), once an annual inspection is started, the plane is not legal to fly until the return to service by an IA.

I suppose if you start of NOT calling it an annual inspection, but turn it into an annual inspection while everything is still disassembled, maybe that would be kosher??  Asking the IA to revise the work done to an annual inspection after everything is closed up seems to be clearly non-kosher...

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6 minutes ago, neilpilot said:

Where do you read that in my post.  My post doesn't say I want to fly an unsafe aircraft.  It says that as pilot I want your input so I can make that decision.

I'm telling you that I want to hear your findings, but not have you hold my aircraft hostage or log any discrepancy beyond what I've asked you to do.  As the aircraft owner, it's my responsibility to keep my aircraft airworthy and decide on maintenance, not the A&P's.  As an example, I'm aware of an A&P that claimed a friend's Mooney was not airworthy based on non-compliance with an AD.  The A&P wasn't unscrupulous, but he was still wrong.  I know another shop that wanted to hold a Mooney hostage due to a fuel leak that was not an airworthiness issue, but that A&P thought it was.

Was the AD not complied with? or was the A&P incorrect about the requirements? If the AD was not complied with then the aircraft is not airworthy based on the requirements of the AD, not the A&Ps or pilots opinion. but this is a situation where reason has to prevail. is it a reason to hold the airplane at that airport? depends on the AD and how long it hasn't been looked at. is there a reason to log the aircraft as not airworthy in the logbook, probably not. 

if you come across a shop that wants to hold your plane hostage, they can find something on almost any plane that comes in. and honestly I do not disagree with you getting your aircraft out of there as quick as you can. just be sure that it is safe and do a follow up with your mechanic when you get back home. most of the time if your on the road you are not going to have your logbooks with you so the shop will not be able to make any entries anyway. If you are sending it to a shop for a prebuy or other maintenance you probably have a good idea of the shops reputation before hand and wont go to one with a questionable reputation.

Brian  

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2 hours ago, orionflt said:

If I find an airworthiness issue with an aircraft during maintenance or an inspection and the owner does not want me to fix it I am required to log it in the logbook. although most wording goes towards inspection we are not allowed to turn a blind eye to any items considered to be airworthy.  the following are a couple of blurbs from the IA manual:

The holder of an IA as required by 14 CFR part 43, § 43.13, determines that the required placards and documents set forth in the aircraft specification or type certificate data sheet are available and current. The aircraft should be reported as being in an unairworthy condition if these placards and documents are not available. A missing, incorrect, or improperly located placard is considered an unairworthy item, and the owner or operator should be informed that, under the requirements of 14 CFR part 91, § 91.9, the aircraft may not be operated until a correct and properly placed placard is available.  

If the aircraft is found to be in an unairworthy condition, an entry will be made in the maintenance records that the inspection was completed and a list of unairworthy items was provided to the owner. When all unairworthy items are corrected by a person authorized to perform maintenance and that person makes an entry in the maintenance record 18 for the correction of those items, the aircraft is approved for return to service. (Refer to appendix 1, figures 8 and 9.)

My understanding based on what I've read is that you are NOT required to or allowed to document discrepancies in the maintenance logbook.  The logbook is only intended to be for work performed, including inspections performed, but not findings.  Even according to the excerpt from the IA manual, the discrepancies are to documented SEPARATELY, presumably for that reason. 

While imagine there are places where you might record findings that seem relevant to the work done, my understanding is these really should be limited to the invoice the clients receive or other such separate documentation. 

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15 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

My understanding based on what I've read is that you are NOT required to or allowed to document discrepancies in the maintenance logbook.  The logbook is only intended to be for work performed, including inspections performed, but not findings.  Even according to the excerpt from the IA manual, the discrepancies are to documented SEPARATELY, presumably for that reason. 

While imagine there are places where you might record findings that seem relevant to the work done, my understanding is these really should be limited to the invoice the clients receive or other such separate documentation. 

correct, you are not logging discrepancies only that the aircraft is not airworthy. in most cases this is a non issue because it is going to be fixed immediately and not being airworthy does not get logged. the only time you will see it logged is if it is something that can't be fixed onsite or the owner does not want that shop to fix it. it does not mean that the aircraft can't be flown somewhere else to have it fixed it means that the FAA has to approve the ferry flight. If the FAA doesn't feel it is safe to fly they will deny the ferry flight request. 

Brian

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49 minutes ago, orionflt said:

correct, you are not logging discrepancies only that the aircraft is not airworthy. in most cases this is a non issue because it is going to be fixed immediately and not being airworthy does not get logged. the only time you will see it logged is if it is something that can't be fixed onsite or the owner does not want that shop to fix it. it does not mean that the aircraft can't be flown somewhere else to have it fixed it means that the FAA has to approve the ferry flight. If the FAA doesn't feel it is safe to fly they will deny the ferry flight request. 

Brian

The hypothetical example I've heard was that during an oil change (not an annual inspection), someone measured a brake rotor with a caliper and found it to be 0.001" under spec according to the maintenance manual.  If you have a clearly incidental finding during another repair or maintenance work, how does that get documented, does that affect airworthiness, and does it need to be repaired before return to service?  The argument in that example given was that:

  1. The finding is not to be documented in the logbook.  There is no legal requirement to communicate that to the owner, although this should be done in good faith, of course.
  2. The finding that aircraft does not meet the specifications in the TCDS, maintenance manual, and AD's does not in itself affect airworthiness, since it is only required to be done during an annual inspection unless specified otherwise (like in the AD).  Only if the owner was requesting an annual inspection be done would such a finding prevent the aircraft from being airworthy.
  3. The finding only needs to be addressed if it is found during annual inspection, or if the finding is related to some other repair work being done (since that work needs to comply with the specs in the MM).  If the owner had requested the brake pads be changed, and the rotors found to be under spec, this would need to be repaired before return to service.  But if the mechanic notices the right wing is missing while changing the oil, he has no obligation or authority to demand the right wing be replaced before returning the plane to service after the oil change (although he should probably mention this to the owner and put it on the invoice!).

I'm not an mechanic, but this is my understanding as an owner.

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4 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

The hypothetical example I've heard was that during an oil change (not an annual inspection), someone measured a brake rotor with a caliper and found it to be 0.001" under spec according to the maintenance manual.  If you have a clearly incidental finding during another repair or maintenance work, how does that get documented, does that affect airworthiness, and does it need to be repaired before return to service?  The argument in that example given was that:

  1. The finding is not to be documented in the logbook.  There is no legal requirement to communicate that to the owner, although this should be done in good faith, of course.
  2. The finding that aircraft does not meet the specifications in the TCDS, maintenance manual, and AD's does not in itself affect airworthiness, since it is only required to be done during an annual inspection unless specified otherwise (like in the AD).  Only if the owner was requesting an annual inspection be done would such a finding prevent the aircraft from being airworthy.
  3. The finding only needs to be addressed if it is found during annual inspection, or if the finding is related to some other repair work being done (since that work needs to comply with the specs in the MM).  If the owner had requested the brake pads be changed, and the rotors found to be under spec, this would need to be repaired before return to service.  But if the mechanic notices the right wing is missing while changing the oil, he has no obligation or authority to demand the right wing be replaced before returning the plane to service after the oil change (although he should probably mention this to the owner and put it on the invoice!).

I'm not an mechanic, but this is my understanding as an owner.

It is easy to go crazy with this topic, you could have an aircraft in for an oil change and during the oil change you note the owner flew the airplane 300 hours since the last annual, there is an AD on something or several things that require 100 hour inspections. An AD isn't done based on the annual inspection but IAW the requirements stated in the AD, you tell me does the fact that aircraft is not in annual change the fact the AD is overdue and the aircraft is not airworthy because of it? 

the simple fact is both pilots and A&Ps have to use good and reasonable judgement. just because a problem is found outside of annual doesn't mean it can be ignored, and at the same time just because a brake disk is .001 below doesn't make it unsafe to fly home and schedule the work for another day.

I will tell you that if I saw you were missing your right wing and told you but did nothing to document it or keep you from flying the lawyer your wife hires to sue me will be telling the jury it was all my fault because there is no proof I told you about it and you were too experienced of a pilot to have made a mistake.

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