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Thread: &*^#%@$@^#** AP/AI Subjcetive ?????

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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    Default &*^#%@$@^#** AP/AI Subjcetive ?????

    I know this will make some of you mad but dang it I want to know if many of you Ak pilots agree or disagree.

    I recently had a set-tee with 2 of them.

    One,.. a new to Ak guy and young. Not totally confident yet.

    The other been here a long time. Maybe in his 40s..Seemed to be very competent and knew the regs..

    So I tell them....."the prob I have dealing with AP/AIs is it's just to subjective"....

    You'd thought I'd cussed Chuck Yeager or said Reeve was a fluke or Archie had no fun Ha!.

    Here's how I look at it and I know there butts are on the line and they gotta try and follow the rules...FAA rules...got an attorney? Ha!.

    1.There's the sign 'em off and get the $ guys.

    2. There's the go-along-get-along AP/AI..He likes working on planes and does his best. He doesn't like conflict...like me. He honestly points out the unairworthy items and lets the owner know. He'll sign off after some discussion.

    3. There's the competent ones that makes a list of the unworthy items and a list of squawks to do as time goes by. He generally won't sign off less the unairworthy items are done. He doesn't push it tho and has empahty for the owner.

    4. These guys are annal to the nth degree and can cite the FAA rules and AP/AIs that have gotten sued for making mistakes and won't sign off no matter what.

    5. The last one is got the plane in here and we're gonna make some money. They find things wrong even if there are none and like a road contractor always has overruns and more charges. IOW,...milk the sucker for all he is worth.

    Luckily I've delt with the honest competent ones with my plane and have no complaints so far. 1st onew was annal tho ha!.

    IOW...friends and neighbors it's subjective..It's subjective even for those that know the rules and regs and try to do the right thing.

    Just my take on it and I ain't tryin to hammer AP/AIs any more then I do Attorneys or Realtors HA!.

    Rocket

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    In 1986, I took my NEW turbocharged C-206 amphibian (Wiplines) to a Butler Aviation facility here in Florida. Butler was one of the nation's premier maintenance facilities. I ssked for them to perform an annual, for which I was used to paying around $700 in Anchorage. They stripped the panel (the plane had almost everything a panel can contain, including two ILS heads, RMI, DME, and all the rest). They proceeded to lose the mainatenance manual from Wipline, turned the engine power controller down in spite of written directions to avoid that - - - and this almost caused a takeoff accident - - - and charged me $5,500 for the annual. They had bench tested every instrumente, though two years were left on their "new" condition, according to the FAA. Be very careful of your choice of AP/AIs.

  3. #3

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    You guys are spot on!! When I had my supercub my annuals were always under $1000.00 and I always was able to assist.

    When looking into purchasing my 185 I realized the it would be more expensive but when asking around I got numbers from 700 up to 7000 annually!! And some are not in favor of owner assist.

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    Yes I love having my plane shoved in the back corner of a hanger for 4 weeks after arrangements from 3 months out for a annual
    Oh dont get me started.....

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    Every bush flying forum needs an occasional "mechanic bashing" thread.

    Probably should be a "pilot bashing" thread for the mechanics as well.

    Then we can have a thread with a big mirror so the pilot mechanics can just bash themselves!

    I'd say most pilots are happier with the do a little, charge a little type.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Every bush flying forum needs an occasional "mechanic bashing" thread.

    Probably should be a "pilot bashing" thread for the mechanics as well.

    Then we can have a thread with a big mirror so the pilot mechanics can just bash themselves!

    I'd say most pilots are happier with the do a little, charge a little type.
    Lol, I'm not a mechanic anymore, but I used to be. When I was briefly staying on Kachemak Dr in Homer, I was right below the approach to the airport. I can't count how many times I heard a 2500-0 throttle chop on short final.... Cough Homer Air Cough. Makes my hair stand up to hear that.

    I see the OP's point though, in my mech experience, we had the mechanics, and the parts changers. Lots of heated arguments between the two.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    Every bush flying forum needs an occasional "mechanic bashing" thread.

    Probably should be a "pilot bashing" thread for the mechanics as well.

    Then we can have a thread with a big mirror so the pilot mechanics can just bash themselves!

    I'd say most pilots are happier with the do a little, charge a little type.
    Marten - Good idea..I guess there's both side..

    The mirror comment is a riot..Made me laugh..thanks HA!.

    Rick

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    I'm a pilot, not a mechanic. I like working on my plane and feel that I have become fairly competent. My impression from the time I've spent working with some partner mechanics is that pilots that ask for the opportunity to do owner assisted annuals are usually a total pain in the neck. If the purpose is to learn more about your airplane, I suspect it will work out fine. But if you go into it with the intention of making your annual cheap, they have a lot of experience dealing with completely incompetent owner/would-be-mechanics and it often doesn't make things go better or cheaper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    I can't count how many times I heard a 2500-0 throttle chop on short final.... Cough Homer Air Cough. Makes my hair stand up to hear that.
    Cough Homer Air cough.......darn them! Cough!!
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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headoutdaplane View Post
    Cough Homer Air cough.......darn them! Cough!!
    Lol, the time frame I'm talking about predates you working there
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    Ok, I will chime in on this thread. I am an A&P mechanic. I have been in the business for 27 years now and I held an IA for six of those years. I have seen allot in that time frame and can understand why pilots can sometimes feel the way they do. I am also a student pilot about to take my check ride for my PPL. I have never owned an airplane, but I have had the responsability of maintaining many of them over the years (flight schools and 135 operations), including keeping the costs down so the bottom line dosen't kill the profit margin at the end of the year.

    I always encouraged owner assisted annuals. At the very least I had someone to hand me a wrench when my head was up under the panel and I didnt want to crawl out again. Allot of the time, I taught them something or educated them in how to prevent future problems, and they appreciated the information. Sometimes they just did the grunt work, worked on minor squawks, and helped keep the costs down. Sometimes I didn't want them in my way. If I was changing over from wheels to floats or hanging a new motor, I didn't want them around. Stay out of the way and let me and my guys do what we do best. I know they wanted to help but unless I knew what they were capable of, I just didn't need the distraction.

    I think some of it depends on the owner. I have had good owners and bad in my shop. Some would complain about everything, others would just glance at the work order and pay the bill and be happy. I have had owners complain about replacing brake pads that were worn down to nothing and others that requested them to be replaced no matter how much was left on them. Some owners complained about a $700.00 annual and others were happy that it was under $6000.00 finally!

    I think some of it depends on the mechanic as well. A good mechanic will never have to look for work! Word of mouth and repeat customers will keep him busy enough that he wont need to look for customers. Ask other owners who they use and find a mechanic that does good work for a fair price and then go talk to him. Remember that you are building a relationship with him and it will take time. Communication is the key. Talk to him about what you want and what you expect. Ask questions about what he wants and what he expects. Remember that the mechanic is also a business man and will have overhead and expenses jsut like you do. Talk about the bill and you will be much happier in the end.

    I always tried to do my best. I believe that a good reputation is better than lots of money. Lots of money is good! But a good reputation is better! ;-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    I'm a pilot, not a mechanic. I like working on my plane and feel that I have become fairly competent. My impression from the time I've spent working with some partner mechanics is that pilots that ask for the opportunity to do owner assisted annuals are usually a total pain in the neck. If the purpose is to learn more about your airplane, I suspect it will work out fine. But if you go into it with the intention of making your annual cheap, they have a lot of experience dealing with completely incompetent owner/would-be-mechanics and it often doesn't make things go better or cheaper.

    First I would say my first goal is to get to know my plane better and get to know the mechanic better. Not all machanics are equal. I put my family in that plane so I want to know they are focused on the task at hand.

    Second, I payed a lot of money for my plane and have no partners. I can take off inspection covers and prep the plane with the best of them. If that saves me money then I will make time to do that.

    If they want my business that's just the way it's gonna be. But if they gain my trust they will get all my business.


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    While I do understand what this thread is about and what my post was up top, I am a very satisfied owner with a great mechanic these days. My previous experiences has taught me much about myself and my plane. It took me several years and several bad experiences (and many, many thousands of $$$$) to get where I am happy with my choices today. As long as my AP/IA is in this part of the world I do not believe I will have a problem with my plane or my bank account. Reputation goes a long long way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    I'm a pilot, not a mechanic. I like working on my plane and feel that I have become fairly competent. My impression from the time I've spent working with some partner mechanics is that pilots that ask for the opportunity to do owner assisted annuals are usually a total pain in the neck. If the purpose is to learn more about your airplane, I suspect it will work out fine. But if you go into it with the intention of making your annual cheap, they have a lot of experience dealing with completely incompetent owner/would-be-mechanics and it often doesn't make things go better or cheaper.
    Spot on. ......

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    Roger that....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Change View Post
    I can take off inspection covers and prep the plane with the best of them. If that saves me money then I will make time to do that.
    FAR 43 appendix D lists scope and detail of an annual/100 hr insp. Removing covers is on that list. So it is PART of the inspection.
    An IA may not delegate others to do the insp. or part of the insp.
    I was asked about owners removing panels once during an IA renewal test. The above is the answer.

    However, very few folks in aviation will refuse an owner to participate in some respect with his annual.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    I don't believe the regs prohibit an IA from delegating work as long as it's being supervised.

    I'd wager that most owners who insist on participating in their own annuals cost themselves money rather than save money. If you want a maintenance professional to focus on his job then get out of his hangar and let him focus. Removing inspection covers , seats, etc is not a significant labor item in any case. I've assisted in lots of my own annuals. It was never motivated by saving money. I didn't really save him any time but my presence made it harder for him to push my plane aside for the next guy that walked in and tugged on his sleeve to come look at something. These days my mechanic has his own keys to my plane and he keeps the logs. All I need to do is call him with a work order and it gets fixed. I'm very comfortable with the arrangement and confident in the quality of his work. Complete trust. I wouldn't settle for anything less.

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    The other side:
    I've been an A&P since 1980. Very little of that time has been spent working on private airplanes and that is by choice.
    Most of the frustrations expressed here about the A&P/IA service industry are viable. It's pretty much like any other service industry. There are good ones and bad ones and many in between.
    So why have I chosen not to devote my career to private aircraft maintenance? 1. It's about the lowest paid sector of the aviation maintenance industry. 2. You have to deal with private aircraft owners. It's not worth it.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I don't believe the regs prohibit an IA from delegating work as long as it's being supervised.
    Pid, here is 65.95: (2) Perform an annual, or perform or supervise a progressive inspection according to 43.13 and 43.15 of this chapter.

    The strict definition is that the IA may not delegate or supervise an annual insp. In practice, this is often ignored.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Gosh....glad I started this....Lots of squawks and good advice.

    I'm with PID....

    I helped the AP/AI & crew replace muffler and risers etc. I did some lubin', cleaned the oil screen and filter bowl and replaced it..and I tightened'torqued the nuts on the exhaust manifold and some other minor work. I didn't do the safety wiring tho. I watched. We did lots of other little work like caulk holes in firewall and add heat sealant to stabilize hoses.

    I did all that to learn not to save money.

    My 2nd involvement was with highly rec AP/IAs. They didn't mind if I helped either. After the first day tho I realized they wld work more efficiently w/o me being there. They wldnt be distracted or slowed down by telling me what to do. So I now let them do it and they are great. Just as important, honest.

    I read martentrapper's comment quoting 43.13 and 43.15...Now for me...& this is just me...that's a little to annal. Ya gotta use common sense

    Let's have a safe season and pray for no mid-airs.

    RR

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