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Student pilot, first airplane purchase, 201 in crosshairs


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Hi All!

Student pilot here looking to buy first airplane in the next few months as I finish up my PPL!  Have been window shopping and defining my mission for the past several months and decided on a M20J (although a nice F could also work).  Found a 1982 fairly original bird for a good price and have had Savvy do a preliminary logbook review (no red flags except that it spent some time in LA and FL).  Yes I'm going to have a pre-buy done, most likely Savvy managed especially since its about 400 miles away.  

Hoping to get some insight on a few things since this will be my first airplane and first purchase process. #1 The broker seems less than enthusiastic...is that cause for concern?  Trouble getting them on the phone and texted the other day that I wanted to verbally float an offer by while I worked on some documents.  No response.  Cash buyer so can be more flexible timing wise, but I'm still going to have everything contractually buttoned up, escrowed, etc.  Just seemed odd.  #2 Plane caught some hangar rash on the leading edge recently.  They were going to try to have a repair quote last week but no word yet.  I'm tempted to move things along with an offer/contingent purchase contract stipulating it be repaired, or less $X (with all the usual verbiage too).  Is that a good idea or does that leave too much to chance?

Thanks!

Alan

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Hi All!
Student pilot here looking to buy first airplane in the next few months as I finish up my PPL!  Have been window shopping and defining my mission for the past several months and decided on a M20J (although a nice F could also work).  Found a 1982 fairly original bird for a good price and have had Savvy do a preliminary logbook review (no red flags except that it spent some time in LA and FL).  Yes I'm going to have a pre-buy done, most likely Savvy managed especially since its about 400 miles away.  
Hoping to get some insight on a few things since this will be my first airplane and first purchase process. #1 The broker seems less than enthusiastic...is that cause for concern?  Trouble getting them on the phone and texted the other day that I wanted to verbally float an offer by while I worked on some documents.  No response.  Cash buyer so can be more flexible timing wise, but I'm still going to have everything contractually buttoned up, escrowed, etc.  Just seemed odd.  #2 Plane caught some hangar rash on the leading edge recently.  They were going to try to have a repair quote last week but no word yet.  I'm tempted to move things along with an offer/contingent purchase contract stipulating it be repaired, or less $X (with all the usual verbiage too).  Is that a good idea or does that leave too much to chance?
Thanks!
Alan

You’ll need to find the backstory to the plane. Is it an estate sale? Is the owner emotional attached and the broker is feeling the vibe? Does the plane have some other issues that the broker feels will make it hard to sell? Is the broker a slacker?

Could be a lot of things going on. See if the N number can be found on this site. Sometimes we see owners disappear from the site and there could be a link.


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16 minutes ago, MoMooneyMoProblems said:

The broker seems less than enthusiastic...is that cause for concern?

In a hot market like we have had recently, many brokers don't want to work, and don't need to -- the airplanes will move without any effort.

16 minutes ago, MoMooneyMoProblems said:

I'm tempted to move things along with an offer/contingent purchase contract stipulating it be repaired, or less $X (with all the usual verbiage too).

I have not had this situation, but I would be tempted to try to get it before it's repaired so that I could specify where it gets repaired, and supervise the process.  A repair done to "get it out the door" may not be the best.  That said, buying an airplane with known damage will require an especially vigilant Pre-Purchase Inspection.

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Could be a lot of reasons for the broker’s attitude, but your being a first-time buyer and student pilot unfortunately may be a large part of it. The “hangar rash” may be another factor, the broker having to deal with repairs, etc. if I were you I would find a plane that was ready to go, as you can’t effectively control the repair process at this point.

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41 minutes ago, Fly Boomer said:

I have not had this situation, but I would be tempted to try to get it before it's repaired so that I could specify where it gets repaired, and supervise the process.  A repair done to "get it out the door" may not be the best.  That said, buying an airplane with known damage will require an especially vigilant Pre-Purchase Inspection.

Good point. I would prefer to just get a quote, reduce the price, take possession and then have it repaired myself. Will be a few months before I could fly it so I have some time. I believe the broker said it was still airworthy, but would hate to have it flown 400 miles here as is and cause further problems. 

0F24F050-1E9A-40F7-8A85-52A4D6FBCE2D.jpeg

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Love the enthusiasm student pilots have for spending big bucks buying airplanes despite the odds of getting private pilot are less than 20% 
You know how Cortes burned his ships and then conquered the Aztecs? It's kind of like that. Make a decision to do something and then do it.

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38 minutes ago, LANCECASPER said:

I bought an airplane 2/3 of the way through my PPL 36.5 years ago and motivated me to finish up sooner.  I would say under those circumstances the completion rate moves very close to 100%.

It sucked as a 22 year old student pilot to ask my 20 year old CFI if I could fly my 172 : )

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1)  Have you priced insurance for a low time PPL with minimal complex time?

2)  I recently bought, and ran into the same thing.  Brokers who are not responsive and sellers that are less than motivated.  One was getting an alternator replaced.  That took a while, which I understand.  Then, it sat for some 3 weeks before they moved it back to the home base to be able to be seen.  And also refused a pre-purchase anywhere but their own hangar.

You may just have to pass and keep looking.

3)  I agree that that may not be airworthy.

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Welcome aboard MMMP!

1) Nothing more important than the leading edge… expect that a proper repair is exchanging the sheet metal… or putting a similar dent in the other wing… :)  expect it is an insurance fix, and the factory makes the sheet metal for that….

2) Trying to bend it back, may result in a close result….

3) Filling it with aviation bondo… may be disappointing…

4) Today, it is somebody else’s problem… you probably don’t want to make it your problem…

5) The aviation world isn’t answering the phone this week… it is a hangover from last week.  Be familiar with KOSH!

Best regards,

-a-

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4 minutes ago, MikeOH said:

@MoMooneyMoProblems

I gotta say, I think you're jinxing yourself with that screen name!:D

Starting with an M20J… is a lot of Mooney.

But, more Mooney is readily available….

Go Long Body!

Go 300+hp!

Go turbocharger!

Go extreme panel make over!

Get something Rocket Engineering has touched!

 

Save some dough…

Your first annual is coming up…

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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I’m just a lowly private pilot, but I would say that plane is not airworthy. 

Dent isn’t the issue, looks like it’s in between ribs and there’s no bending at inboard seam, unless there’s damage we can’t see I’m betting it’s airworthy. The only caveat is it may cause tripping of airflow over aileron, but I’m only a lowly PP as well.
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Agreed that it doesn’t look structural.  But that is going to REALLY mess up airflow. 

Nothing like flying an approach and finding out that the right wing has a stall speed about 5 knots about your approach speed.

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You mentioned in your original post that you are using Savvy to help out with this purchase.  I would suggest that you contact them on how best they like to proceed for a smooth outcome.  Mike Busch has written many a writeup about how the buyer went out of order to get an airplane and Savvy had to try to fix issues that should never have been issues to begin with.  So, I would consult with them first and see what they say.  If you are a Savvy customer then you are paying for their service to help you out so use it.

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14 hours ago, 201er said:

Love the enthusiasm student pilots have for spending big bucks buying airplanes despite the odds of getting private pilot are less than 20% :)

That's also like saying that pilots have a 100% chance of having completed their PPL :)

@MoMooneyMoProblems I'd actually suggest holding off on owning a plane until you're a bit past your PPL.  Buying, owning and learning a new plane are three pretty steep learning curves.  Even after you get your PPL, there are still some things you'll want to be working on with or without an instructor, like expanding you personal minimums, precision while flying, rough field landings or whatever.

The first year of buying a plane and plane ownership was a whirlwind of learning for me, at times it felt hard to keep up.  I was glad I was flying a club plane at the time and not working on my instrument ticket yet.  I spent about 6 months with the Mooney before telling my CFI I was ready to officially start my IFR training.

Granted, everyone is different, but just a thought.

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I went through all of this back in October while I was still a student pilot... I purchased an AOPA membership, and went through them for the broker, and insurance. They were really awesome to deal with. Insurance sucked really bad until I received my ppl... Expect about 7500 bucks for the year. and there is literally one insurance company that will insure a student pilot with a retract gear plane.

Once I received my ppl, I went to avemco for now, and will be talking to @Parker_Woodruffonce I get a few more hours under my belt :)

 

Getting the mooney before my ppl extended my training by a couple months due to learning the new plane and preparing to do the checkride in it. It was definitely not easy, but doable.

 

Good luck!

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14 hours ago, MoMooneyMoProblems said:

Good point. I would prefer to just get a quote, reduce the price, take possession and then have it repaired myself. Will be a few months before I could fly it so I have some time. I believe the broker said it was still airworthy, but would hate to have it flown 400 miles here as is and cause further problems. 

0F24F050-1E9A-40F7-8A85-52A4D6FBCE2D.jpeg

A replacement skin looks in order.  Availability from Mooney may take some time, which would allow you to finish your PPL in the Cessna.

Clarence

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16 minutes ago, haymak3r said:

Getting the mooney before my ppl extended my training by a couple months due to learning the new plane and preparing to do the checkride in it. It was definitely not easy, but doable.

Wow that's quite an accomplishment!  I won't be flying mine until after PPL, then transition training of course.  My CFI suggested its much better to just finish out in the 152/172 through my checkride.  But want to secure a bird beforehand so that any minor tweaks can be made if needed and don't risk not being able to find something once I am able.

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28 minutes ago, MoMooneyMoProblems said:

But want to secure a bird beforehand so that any minor tweaks can be made if needed and don't risk not being able to find something once I am able.

I got a hangar before I got an airplane.  Hangars can be hard to find.

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46 minutes ago, MoMooneyMoProblems said:

Wow that's quite an accomplishment!  I won't be flying mine until after PPL, then transition training of course.  My CFI suggested its much better to just finish out in the 152/172 through my checkride.  But want to secure a bird beforehand so that any minor tweaks can be made if needed and don't risk not being able to find something once I am able.

After going through 5 or 6 of these cycles since 1985 when I started working on my PPL, as the economy slows down supply of used airplanes will go up and prices will come down. It happens every time.

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