Welcome to a work in progress

This blog is dedicated to the restoration and modification of a Glasfl├╝gel Standard Libelle H201B, and a tribute to those who have dared to do the same, and to those who are helping with seeing this dream take flight.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sweat Equity

Pre-Sale Inspection. Part 2

I continued my inspection, and followed my checklist. I documented my observations of the condition of each bullet point on the list. I knew that I was going to miss something due to my inexperience in doing this type of inspection. Next was to install the instruments to see if they all work.
 
 Charlie stated that the mechanical variometer wasn't working, so they install a Borgelt electric vario (which I believe is not TSO!). I found out why the mechanical vario wasn't working., but that will come later.

After completing the inspection, it was time to review the airframe log.

What a history! "What do you expect for a forty year old glider!?"
Charlie was only aware on one major repair that was documented in the log, but it in the folder that was being used to keep the aircraft documents, I found a title search report that was made a loan company hired by the second buyer. The aircraft had a accident three years later, and the damage was in the same location as the first repairs. During the inspection, I could barely see the repair work that was completed back in the late '70s. This repair was not documented in the logbook, what else wasn't documented. Some record keeping!

Damage, lets just say that she was flown hard and put away wet! I noticed some minor repairs on the gear doors, which is an indication that the craft had at least had one gear up landing (which is not an uncommon thing). Again, the surface condition of the gelcoat was such a mess, that there would be a lot to get this bird returned to factory fresh condition.

I completed the inspection after three hours of crawling around, and my head was swimming on what do I want to do next. The price was too good to believe after seeing the photos the first time, but seeing the plane in person took the wind out of my sails. This was a bit of a let down. I could just remember seeing the other two Libelles back in Moriarty looking to clean and smooth, and then there is this poor bird, wasting away in a hanger in Washington. I needed some help with my decision, I need to call Robert for help!

Here's the Deal!
I called Robert and he was willing to help with putting my head around on what is a good deal and when to walk away. I know that I would be hard pressed to just walk away. I discussed my observation from my checklist and included my discoveries in the missing repairs documented in the log. All of this was to no surprise to Robert, Being in the business for over twenty years, he has seen a lot of the good, bad, and the ugly. Robert then asked me what the selling prices was on the glider. I told him that Charlie originally was asking $9500, which included the trailer and a new parachute, but if we forgo the annual, he would deduct that cost.

Robert was silent for a moment, then came his response to the analyse. He stated that he would be hesitant on buying this bird and it might be best to just walk away now. My heart sank after hearing that. That was something that I really didn't want to hear, knowing that I could not afford to buy a new glider, or find something that I could afford. I then asked Robert what was the main concerns I could expect to have by going through with the deal. He stated that the Airworthy Directives and some of the linkages might need to be replaced, not including that the poor condition of the gelcoat would effect the performance of the glider that would discourage me. He said that all of the problems could be corrected, but it would require time and sweat equity to put her back in shape, "if you are willing to do that, then it just comes down to finding a fair price".

A hole in the sky you throw money into! Just like buying a boat, "how much do you wanna spend?"
So, I told Robert that I was willing to invest in the sweat equity to pull this poor bird back into shape. I asked Robert if here would be willing to help oversee my work, which he said, he would. Then my next question was, "what is a fair price?" His response was, "if you can get $8500, you got a good deal".

It's a deal!, Well, that was the plan. I was able to split hairs and with the counter offer of $8800, we closed the deal. "how soon will you be up here to pick it up?"