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How bad is it really to have missing logs?


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On 3/16/2021 at 5:37 PM, Parttime_Pilot_Blake said:

I've found a reasonable Mooney for sale that has 0 logs for the last 20 years. I have beautiful logs 1989 - 2001. 

Here's what I know:

  • No NTSB reports for the aircraft for incidents
  • I have in hand all the FAA records you can purchase, nothing scary there
  • I know I'll need to re-certify every single AD since 2001
  • I have in-hand engine major overhaul paperwork  in 2014 and complied AD's for the engine installed
  • I have proof the current engine time is 80 hours. 

Once I have redone all the outstanding AD's have those in a new log book and rebuild the pieces that I can will that improve the value of the aircraft or should I offer the seller 1/2 the value of an equivalent Mooney for not having all the logs? 

Back in 2011 when I was thinking about getting back into a Mooney I was looking at a one owner 231 that had sat a long time (the owner had died). I made an airline trip to go look at it before I put it under contract/pre-buy inspection. It was in annual status, but after looking over the logbooks, the same mechanic had done the annuals and looking over the airplane it was pretty obvious they were logbook-only annuals. In putting a pencil to it I was having a hard time coming up with a price that I could justify paying knowing that it needed a tank re-seal, had an original panel, run-out engine/prop, worse paint than the pictures showed and a tired interior. I finally realized that if I got it for $0 i would have more into it by the time I was done than a presentable, well-maintained 231. I flew back on the airlines and the person who bought it a couple months later had a gear collapse on landing on the flight home and it totaled the airplane.

Sometimes not buying turns out to be the best decision on some airplanes. With very few exceptions there aren't any "deals" out there. There are sellers looking for first-time buyers looking to get some "experience" in buying airplanes.

"When a man with a little money meets a man with a little experience, the two shall exchange, The man with the money ends up with the experience. The man with the experience ends up the money."

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16 hours ago, LANCECASPER said:

Back in 2011 when I was thinking about getting back into a Mooney I was looking at a one owner 231 that had sat a long time (the owner had died). ....looking over the logbooks, the same mechanic had done the annuals and looking over the airplane it was pretty obvious they were logbook-only annuals. ... having a hard time coming up with a price that I could justify paying knowing that it needed a tank re-seal, had an original panel, run-out engine/prop, worse paint than the pictures showed and a tired interior. I finally realized that if I got it for $0 i would have more into it by the time I was done than a presentable, well-maintained 231. I flew back on the airlines and the person who bought it a couple months later had a gear collapse on landing on the flight home and it totaled the airplane.

..... There are sellers looking for first-time buyers looking to get some "experience" in buying airplanes.

"When a man with a little money meets a man with a little experience, the two shall exchange, The man with the money ends up with the experience. The man with the experience ends up the money."

Wait a minute...I believe the "man with little experience" ended up with both experience and got his money back.   He made one insurance payment and then totaled the plane.  The pics and logs look great per your description so the insurance company likely paid out what you would consider to be an inflated "full value" to the "man with little experience".  The guy makes one payment and gets everything he invested back...perhaps more depending on "market value" and the terms of the policy.  Sweeeeeet.

So who "lost their money" to the "experienced man"?  You and me...in higher insurance premiums.  For all we know the "man without experience" may have "gotten wise" and never bought another plane....and never paid another premium into the risk pool to make up for his windfall.

 

Edited by 1980Mooney
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