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How bad is it really to have missing logs?


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Oh, for me, this is absolutely more of the long-term play. I have loved the process as much as the simple ownership and ability to fly when I want to (weather and wife permitting!).  I know every

Mooney fans, you have spoken and I will answer what I can. What are my motives? Why not buy a Mooney with logs and a current annual? I obviously have a soft spot for Mooney's and I mentioned I fo

Having purchased an '82 K without ANY logbooks due to a government seizure, I can give you my story and my take on it. I saw it as a way to get in to a very desirable airplane that I intended to keep

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1 hour ago, Parttime_Pilot_Blake said:

Hehe missing gear door is an indicator the plane was parked on it. When I found it 2/3 tires were flat all the way to the rim. I have the door, its damage is consistent with improper tire inflation. 

I've been told there are two types of retractable gear aircraft, those that have had a gear up landing, and the ones that will. If this one has had a gear up, and the only thing that I can find that might be evidence of a gear up is some abrasion on a steel member on the belly wouldn't that imply that an extensive professional repair was done? Are there other long term consequences of a gear up landing for the plane? (For the pilot that will follow you around FOREVER) also wouldn't a gear up have record at the NTSB? (assuming gear up on landing not gear up while parked)

 

I think a lot of people here have lost perspective.  First - a Mooney is different from a Beech, Piper or Cessna regarding gear-ups.  The strength is internal - the frame is loadbearing.  The skin/exterior is just a cosmetic shell that keeps the elements out.  The wing spar is single piece and the strongest in the industry.  Because of the Mooney solid gear linkage, all the gear are in the same position (unless one linkage breaks which almost never happens) all the time in a state of open, closed or closing.  As a result Mooney gear-ups are generally pretty straight. Mooney's survive straight gear ups better than any plane. - yes it is costly to repair the prop and engine but the fuselage is easily repairable.

I have a friend (an attorney) who over the last 25 years geared-up the same early J model twice.  The same old timer A&P (now deceased) repaired the plane twice.  That attorney still regularly flies that same J model today.  When a Bonanza or Baron, Piper or Cessna gear-up, they generally grind off the a good portion of the skin which is loadbearing structure. And worse, those planes many times may suffer a single gear collapse. If it is a single main it may damage one wing and could result in a ground loop.  I saw a Baron jacked up in the shop here that geared up.  The landing was smooth and straight.  The damage looked clean and relatively minor.  Turns out they had to scrap the plane because it had ground a few thousand's of an inch more than allowed.

Second - all the talk about logs.  Does a nice looking log book guarantee that plane was repaired correctly or well?  No.  Yes it is an indication.  Yes it provides some traceability of parts.  Today the logs are generally computer generated and printed in detail.  My old time A&P 20 years ago would enter minimal logs in hard to read hand writing.  His work was impeccable good log entry or not.  

You appear to be looking at a late model J.  Those had one piece belly and better corrosion protection, insulation, materials and tank sealant.  If the frame was repaired (welded) you will be able to see it.  Your partner (AI) should be able to spot most major work that was questionable.  

Will the lack of logs reduce the value? - yes.  Is there some risk?- yes.  Will the plane be harder to sell if you (or family/estate) have to sell quickly? - yes.  But you have a partner that is an AI that may likely buy your half if something should happen.

You asked if a plane is a good financial investment - NO.  Think of it as a big tube that just happens to transport people.  You have to fill it up with money.  But it has a small tube that leaks money.  So every year you have to add more money.    You picked a plane that is known to be fast, fun, thrifty and rugged.  Most late J models, assuming reasonable condition of prop and engine, leak money annually at about the same rate (regardless of the condition of the logs). You are trying to reduce the amount of money required up front.  Just make sure you get a good discount up front and expect to give a good discount if you ever sell.  And don't expect to recoup all the money you may put into it for new paint, avionics upgrades, etc.

The only question is whether the up front cost and the annual cost is justified compared to the utility and fun that it provides.  I, like you, would turn the wrenches with that old time A&P on my plane.

Let me put it another way for all the doubters out here.  Assume you have the chance to buy a 1965 Cobra 289 that had been seized and sitting in storage for 4 years while courts proceeded.  There are no records but you will get a clean title.  The serial numbers on the chassis, engine, trans, etc may not match.  It's condition is questionable and it will require some work to get it running.  If the price is right would you buy it?!  Granted it will never be concurs and it will never be auctioned at Sotheby's.  But it will be FUN. - fun to fix and fun to drive!

Just be realistic and pragmatic on price.  

Edited by 1980Mooney
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A long time mechanic once said  "The log books will always reflect the condition of the logbooks...if your lucky the logbooks will reflect the condition of the aircraft" 

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I bought my F with logs missing and having had it sit for 3 years back in 2012 from the bank that had repossessed it. I paid about 50% of what I figured the value was if it had complete logs.  I had the advantage that I had already found the logs and purchased them from the former owner without the bank knowing that I had them. 

There were still many expenses to bring the aircraft back to life and last year the engine ended up needing to be overhauled after an inspection found the cams had excessive wear.  Generally you figure an aircraft that has been sitting will need an engine overhaul in the next few years.  If it doesn't you come out ahead, but you plan for it.

I think it is great that you are saving a Mooney, many more sitting on ramps need to be rescued.  Please update your profile with your location so we know where you are.

Good luck

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1 hour ago, Parttime_Pilot_Blake said:

Hehe missing gear door is an indicator the plane was parked on it. When I found it 2/3 tires were flat all the way to the rim. I have the door, its damage is consistent with improper tire inflation. 

I've been told there are two types of retractable gear aircraft, those that have had a gear up landing, and the ones that will. If this one has had a gear up, and the only thing that I can find that might be evidence of a gear up is some abrasion on a steel member on the belly wouldn't that imply that an extensive professional repair was done? Are there other long term consequences of a gear up landing for the plane? (For the pilot that will follow you around FOREVER) also wouldn't a gear up have record at the NTSB? (assuming gear up on landing not gear up while parked)

If the repairs qualified as major repairs there should be a 337 filed in the records.    I think a  lot of gear-ups get repaired without 337s, though, so there may not be  record of it.

When I was looking for an airplane my insurance guy said damage history is not very relevant since they've pretty much all been damaged at some point or other.   Repair quality should matter to a buyer, though.

FWIW, although my airplane had all the logs when I bought it, it was definitely a project and had a lot of deferred maintenance and just needed a lot of updates.   If what you're looking at has 'good bones' then I wouldn't hesitate on it if the price is right.

 

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56 minutes ago, 1980Mooney said:

I have a friend (an attorney) who over the last 25 years geared-up the same early J model twice.  The same old timer A&P (now deceased) repaired the plane twice.  That attorney still regularly flies that same J model today. 

That poor airplane!  Once wasn't enough for him?!

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That poor airplane!  Once wasn't enough for him?!

Are gear ups that hard on the plane itself (obviously ignoring prop and engine damage)? Seems a controlled gear up landing might scrap the underside metal, damage any antennas on the belly, but the frame seems strong enough to take it.
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54 minutes ago, ArtVandelay said:


Are gear ups that hard on the plane itself (obviously ignoring prop and engine damage)? Seems a controlled gear up landing might scrap the underside metal, damage any antennas on the belly, but the frame seems strong enough to take it.

Each of my Mooneys had been gear upped three time. My current 252 was gear upped twice by the same owner.

It obviously doesn't bother me at all. A properly repaired gear up incident is the least of all possible issues with a vintage Mooney.

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How many hours does the engine have? Don't look at the Hobbs, that could have been replaced and it would have started counting from zero, that was the case with my current engine about 15 years ago, the Hobbs was replaced. Its in the logs, without the logs there would be no way to know. The engine could be a thousand hours over TBO and you would not know. Maybe someone did an IRAN on it and it looks like it was OHd but it was not, no sign-off. That's not to say that an engine with many hours over TBO might not still be good for quite awhile, but if you ever try to sell your buyer will want to know.....

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1 hour ago, ArtVandelay said:


Are gear ups that hard on the plane itself (obviously ignoring prop and engine damage)? Seems a controlled gear up landing might scrap the underside metal, damage any antennas on the belly, but the frame seems strong enough to take it.

How would YOU like to be landed on your belly at 75 knots on hard asphalt?  Didn't think so!

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Discussing intentional gear up landings as if this was a good idea...

Not highly recommended...

Having a GU unintentionally often comes with a stigma...

And plenty of comments about how you raised everyone’s insurance rates...

plus, it’s a crime...  and unethical...

And... if you need insurance for a Mooney... the best resource around here for that is currently on this thread....

 

So... if you know somebody that has done this...

know that it wasn’t free, somebody really does get to pay for that...

back in the day before records were kept using a computer... That was a common conversation around the locker room in HS...  :)

even with a real GU landing... the damaged hardware gets repaired or pro-rated... leaving the errant pilot with a huge Bill... and a lesson on the definition of betterment...

other lessons include over insuring and under insuring... both can leave you holding the bag...

It’s easier to make a ton of dough in an ethical way... than an unethical way...

The ethical way allows for plenty of mistakes as you learn...

The unethical way has no room for mistakes... :)

 

Keep the questions coming...

Did we discuss your budget for this project yet?

Best regards,

-a-

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2 hours ago, jlunseth said:

How many hours does the engine have? Don't look at the Hobbs, that could have been replaced and it would have started counting from zero, that was the case with my current engine about 15 years ago, the Hobbs was replaced. Its in the logs, without the logs there would be no way to know. The engine could be a thousand hours over TBO and you would not know. Maybe someone did an IRAN on it and it looks like it was OHd but it was not, no sign-off. That's not to say that an engine with many hours over TBO might not still be good for quite awhile, but if you ever try to sell your buyer will want to know.....

Look at his first post. He says he has major OH documentation done in 2014. And he knows the plane had been sitting for a long time (years?) unflown. So the engine can’t have many hours on it ...  And then he says he has proof that it is only 80 hours.  I wonder how he knows - Maybe he is getting that 80 hours from the owners pilot log.  But of course someone else might fly it.  But still can’t be high  

.  

 

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22 hours ago, ZuluZulu said:

Are you concerned at all about resell value, or is this more of a long-term play?

Oh, for me, this is absolutely more of the long-term play. I have loved the process as much as the simple ownership and ability to fly when I want to (weather and wife permitting!). 

I know everyone has very different opinions regarding maintenance and operations, but for me, the more I am involved with the maintenance, upgrades, and restoration, the more aware of the plane's 'personality' I am. I am more in tune when something 'feels' off or sounds different. Plus, I have always loved mechanical work and working with my hands. Doesn't mean its right for everyone, but its right for me!

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11 years...

My plane's early logs are missing. The prebuy AP said that, empirically, if a plane doesn't develop issues over an old damage or repair for 11 years, then it's good. So, it depends on how far back they logs stretch.

Furthermore, as my colleagues mentioned above, logs don't spell out everything... We found repairs that were not logged. Were they in the missing logs or were they never logged? Prebuy AP said: "but those repairs were done properly. Don't sweat it..." :)

 

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On 3/17/2021 at 1:17 AM, Parttime_Pilot_Blake said:

Mooney fans, you have spoken and I will answer what I can.

What are my motives? Why not buy a Mooney with logs and a current annual? I obviously have a soft spot for Mooney's and I mentioned I found it by calling people with derelict Mooney's not primarily because of the price point. I mean who doesn't love a good deal, but because they are increasingly rare and what they do they do exceptionally well and where one has the means and the time why the heck not?  I'm not an A&P, nor will I likely ever be, IA is even further off. This one looked like one that could be saved.

I can rent a Piper manufactured model PA-28R golf cart and stay current while I spend time with a friend spinning a wrench on a plane and creating something beautiful. Why do people buy old cars? I may create some groaning with this comment but I think the late J models are the apex of style and function in a "part time pilots" price range. I mean given millions of dollars the Pilatus PC-12 is sexy! But if I had the millions I needed to buy the Pilatus I wouldn't have the time to fly it. 

@OSUAV8TER Ima going to need some seals for the fuel cap, and be the second thing to add to a brand new log book. After the oil change I did this weekend.

Good evening all, I'll leave you with a thought; as a son of an auto mechanic, grandson of a general contractor and a mom that could do just about anything with $10 I take to heart the quote from Frederick Douglas "If there is no struggle, there is no progress." We learn quickest from experiencing and overcoming the "hard things." Maybe this will ensure some Gen Z pilot has one more Mooney still around they can love as much as we love them.

Just let me know what you need! 

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Posted (edited)

So knowing what the group knows, what should an '89 nearly log-less Mooney be worth? 

 

Airframe is in the 7600's

Engine is 83 or so SMOH (with proof) cylinder 2 is only at 58/80 so $1500-$2500 for a new jug.

No logs after 2001. Except the engine overhaul.

Avionics Garmin 430 non waas. 

HSI appears to work. 

I've seen airworthy aircraft with similar kit and more hours 80-120k

Date on the oil filter that I changed this weekend was 10/2015 

Edited by Parttime_Pilot_Blake
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23 minutes ago, Parttime_Pilot_Blake said:

So knowing what the group knows, what should an '89 nearly log-less Mooney be worth? 

 

 

I suggest you call Jimmy Garrison or another dealer, and ask his opinion. An educated deal is worth a lot. 

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It’s worth whatever a willing buyer will pay.  If you can buy it right, know that you will be selling it someday with the same missing log books and same devaluation.  
 

Clarence

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Since you're the one interested your opinion matters more than anybody's, but knowing a reference is still useful.

Since the jug was bad after only 80 hours, it suggests that there may be other corrosion-related issues lurking, and cams are a known risk under these circumstances.   That risk should add a substantial discount, imho.

It's also unlikely that it has ADS-B out, which is now essentially required, so that's a discount for the cost to add that.

IFR cert cost and annual cost are deductions, plus the risk of expensive things that might be found during the annual, particularly since it hasn't had one in a while.

Inspection to determine the AD status and bring any required up to date is also a big one.   That's a lot of time that anybody who would want that airplane to fly again would incur, so it's a significant deduction from the purchase price especially given the risk that there might be an expensive one in there, or one done improperly, that will be on your nickel.

There may be hidden issues with the airplane/avionics that won't be known until it flies again for a while.

These points plus the general risk of getting a hangar queen going again are all significant and will be barriers to sale to anyone.   The fact that you are willing to do all this should make you a preferable (and maybe unicorn) buyer, so I'd leverage all of these facts.   None of this stuff is cheap, and if you're the one taking the risk, it should be reflected in the purchase price.

I think the engine risk is high given the corrosion in the jug.   Don't underestimate any of these risks, and collectively they're substantial.   The costs of getting it to the $80k-$120k condition should not be on you if you use that as the reference point.

All that said, if you can come to an agreement with the seller that you're comfortable with, it looks like a good opportunity to me.

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Also, the airport manager sent out letters to all tenants last month. All aircraft have to be airworthy and in annual to be kept at the airport. Things are changing in SLC.

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3 hours ago, Rjfanjet said:

Also, the airport manager sent out letters to all tenants last month. All aircraft have to be airworthy and in annual to be kept at the airport. Things are changing in SLC.

Our airport manager did the same thing over a year ago, if SLC is a federally funded airport (which I’m sure it is) they (the airport) can not require it to be in annual or airworthy. Ask them to show you in the FAR’s where it’s required. Look up the Airport Compliance Manual on the FAA’s website, you can easily find several infractions on their part with in a few hours of research.... 

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On 3/16/2021 at 5:02 PM, RLCarter said:

While not original, logs can be recreated by an IA. Is there ANY paper work for the last 20 years? Sounds like you know who the previous owner(s) were, see if the can give you any names on who has worked on the plane and check with them to see if they have any copies of work done

this...logs arent the only records though it sounds like 6 of those lost 20 never happened as it probably never had any work done

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On 3/17/2021 at 9:28 AM, LANCECASPER said:

Since you're interested in rescuing a Mooney, here's a rescue cat you may be interested in:

 

 

 

i have to say that just looking at animal control officers bruised up arms ..I knew what was coming!!!I have never laughed so hard!!!

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