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Old Aug 19, 2013, 10:24 PM
Balsadustus Producerus
Escondido, CA USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,021 Posts
Haha, people ask what I learned to fly in, and I know what they mean. I got my Private in a 150. Then, about 200 hours later I bought a '46 Luscombe 8A Silvaire, and that's when I actually learned to fly. I flew that airplane 800 hours in five years, including two trips to Oshkosh: one from Orange County, Santa Ana, CA and the other from Wichita, KS. Had the 14 gallon fuselage tank, rag wings, statically balanced trim tab and no electrical system. Plus, the lower 4" of rudder was missing just above the tailwheel but I didn't do that. Also, no flaps, vacuum system, starter, generator, primer, mixture, hydraulic brakes, minimum VFR instruments plus a needle-ball driven by a 2" venturi. Don Luscombe's idea is if it's not installed in the airplane it can't fail. I do think because of my time in that airplane, I can make fast friends with 'most anything out there with wings. I'm extremely sorry I sold it to buy a '46 Bellanca Cruisair Senior. Should definitely have kept the 8A.

Just to keep this post on topic, I worked for a guy who did light airplane repo and I wouldn't do that on a bet.

A side effect of all that tailwheel time is now I'm allergic to training (nose) wheels
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Old Aug 19, 2013, 11:38 PM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
United States, WA, Hoodsport
Joined Mar 2008
5,290 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsabird View Post
Just to keep this post on topic, I worked for a guy who did light airplane repo and I wouldn't do that on a bet.
Now you've got me curious. Why not?

EJ
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 03:15 PM
Registered User
Joined Jan 2009
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It's been my limited experience that aircraft repo men tend to rub shoulders with some unsavory types, both within and without of Law Enforcement. I suppose there are good repo men just like there are a few good cops. But i've not seen any.

.
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 09:59 PM
Balsadustus Producerus
Escondido, CA USA
Joined Jan 2001
1,021 Posts
The Chief Pilot and CFI at the FBO where I worked in the early '80s approached me one Friday evening and asked if I could do him a favor. Some friends of his needed this Cherokee Six picked up and brought to our airport tonight. I had a lot of respect for "Bill" and agreed. Later I was driven to the other airport with two men--one from a local bank and the other was an officer of the court, who informed me they were going to repo this Six and I would be flying it home. It hadn't flown in enough years to where the battery was dead and all the fuel had either leaked or dried out of the tanks. That's why the spare battery. I was unsure until they showed me the paperwork and by now we were almost there. The airplane was as you would expect by the owner's lack of funding. After showing Airport Security the court order he let us go. After startup I found the only operational gauges were oil temperature and the altimeter. Compass was OK but no fluid. By now the driver had left and the only way home 150 miles away was by means of this Six. By now it was near half twelve in the morning. The position lights and beacon worked. We fueled up and left.

As long as the prop worked I knew we had oil pressure; the oil temp gauge backed this up and as it was a very clear night, navigation was easy. Refracted light from the cities we overflew provided plenty of light to see what little still worked in the panel and avoid the ground. Flew by feel as the airspeed was inop. As we neared home airport, the overcast stayed high enough not to be a real worry, and there was no rain until after landing at home airport.

I gave "Bill" an earful later that Saturday morning and said that was it for being his alternate for this kind of thing. He thought it was funny and I disagreed.

Since then, "Bill" passed away, I don't know what happened to that Six and I promised myself I would never do that again, regardless of pay. This was one of those times where what a greybeard Pan Am captain told me would apply:

"Experience is a good thing if you live long enough to benefit."
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Old Aug 20, 2013, 10:12 PM
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EJWash1's Avatar
United States, WA, Hoodsport
Joined Mar 2008
5,290 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balsabird View Post
The Chief Pilot and CFI at the FBO where I worked in the early '80s approached me one Friday evening and asked if I could do him a favor.
Wow! I've had a (thankfully) boring flying career!

EJ
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Old Aug 26, 2013, 11:36 PM
Culper Junior
eastern pa
Joined Feb 2007
2,220 Posts
I gave "Bill" an earful later that Saturday morning

Ditto...been there done that. I worked for a Piper distributor/fbo for 20 years, and the flight school had around 12 airplanes on the line at any given time. Occasionally someone would damage one off airport and it needed ferried home. Since the flight instructors and charter pilots would shy away from this sort of thing ( to keep their records clean for airline hire, in case something 'happened') the fbo owner asked me on a few occasions to do the ferry flight. Never a problem, always told what the damage was and any expected troubles.

Until the last time.

Customer had run a Piper Satatoga rg into a groundhog hole with the nose gear. The mechanics strengthened the gear mount with tubing and hose clamps and said it would be ok for the 60 mile flight home.

Long story short, flew it home, next morning in the shop the engine was coming off, I looked and saw the engine mount tubing was cracked in half in 2 places!!!! Asked a few heated questions and it was apparent the fbo owner didn't want to tell me the whole damage thinking I would refuse to fly it home and it would have to be trucked out.

Gave him my opinion of his family ancestors and never flew any ferry flights again.

Back on topic...No, I would not want to repo airplanes or anything else, too many emotions involved especially if the owner turns up.

BTW BalsaBird, I heard it this way..'Experience is what you get immediately after you needed it the most'.
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