View Full Version : How much are the log books worth?
10-26-2003, 05:06 PM
After our PA12 debacle, we finally found what looks like a real nice PA18. It is low time 1,250 hours since new, mostly in Alaska. It has been a hangar queen for the last several years. It looks real nice but the log books are lost.
Should there be a price discount for this? If so, how much?
Ha Ha!! how do they know how much time is on it? Is that what is on the tach? You are about to get a good deal or get the best screwin you've ever had. Best way to sell a very high time good lookin airplane is to throw the log books away and say " gee I don't know but it must be pretty low time cause it looks like it."
Canadiens don't think logbooks are worth anything cause they always throw the US ones away when they import one to Canada.
10-26-2003, 07:22 PM
10-26-2003, 09:20 PM
Just because somebody presents logbooks doesn't guarantee they're authentic and complete. Hire a good mechanic and use your best judgement. It may be a peach. It may be a turd. It is what is is whether the logs are there or not. You fly the plane, not the paper. The wild card is motor time. Use it to negotiate.
Just remember if you have no logbooks, you don't know if the AD on the oil pump gears was done, the piston pins aren't the ones with an AD, the crank wasn't reground by that Nelson Balancing etc. In fact you are going to have to have a mechanic physically inspect every AD that could apply to that A/C, Engine, Accessory etc. That means a lot of disassembling unless you can get reciepts from the Shop that was maintaining the aircraft, and even then your mechanic is sticking his neck out if he signs any of those AD's off without verifying it himself.
10-27-2003, 02:16 AM
Which kind of brings up another topic. Who will be your mechanic? That's not as simple as it sounds. I've trusted really good people, who still nearly got me and themselves killed by missing a glaring safety of flight issue. I missed it too, and I was the last person responsible for catching it (reversed ailerons, read about it here (http://www.supercub.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=400)), but finding someone who will help you maintain that airplane in a way you are comfortable with, and are willing to pay for, is no small task. If you know who that person is, ask them how much they think an annual on this airplane will be. Better yet, make the sale conditional on including the cost of that first annual. That will be when the real trouble starts. You probably won't be able to impose that condition on the sale, it's what they are trying to avoid by selling that "hangar queen".
Logs can be suspect, but there are some good people who will know BS logs when they see them. It's not just about AD compliance, it's also about getting a clear picture of the history of the airplane. I have good logs on my plane, plus some other supporting paperwork from a rebuild. All of that is very important to the value of my airplane. I also have a notebook where I note each and every fuel purchase so if I do have to sell the airplane, I can at least make some record available showing the use. When I bought my airplane, it had sat idle for about ten years, before a rebuild was completed. After that, it was operated only 40 hours in five years. My biggest worry was corrosion on the cam shaft, but at least I was able to verify that not only had it been in a hanger, it was a warm and dry heated hangar attached to a house where someone I liked lived. None-the-less, I started running oil analysis on it to see what would turn up. Now, with another 120 hours on it in two years (I'd like to fly more, but that's what I can manage), I am getting clean oil analysis (the first two had some copper, but didn't look too bad), and I think I have an excellent collection of records that truly shows my plane to be well operated and maintained, and good for many more hours.
Be very careful. Find a mechanic, and pay him to do the first annual. If you can't stomach that much risk, walk away. Seriously. Do not use a mechanic that is in any way connected to the seller, not at the same field, nothing. Fly one in if you have to, paying for his travel time and expenses, as well as the work. Get a smart one, I wouldn't adverstise what you're looking for, do your homework. You want someone working for you, and you alone, without fear of any repercussions from telling you the bad news.
When I looked at an airplane that had a jaded history, I didn't read the "logs" myself, because I knew that I wasn't in a good position to validate AD compliance, or much of anything else. I hired someone else. He didn't like what he saw at all, and I walked on the deal. That is a decision I have never regreted. There are too many unknowns otherwise, and when I (or my estate) goes to sell the airplane I own, I don't want to have to go through all that again, and be limited to a much smaller market of buyers. (Buyers with no idea of what they are getting into.)
Buy hey, if it's old Joe, and everyone knows old Joe takes real good care of his airplane, go ahead and buy it without paper work. I'm sure old Joe wouldn't screw you just because he needs the money, old Joe is a great guy.
10-27-2003, 06:11 AM
There are a lot of supercubs for sale, why get tangled up with this one. For me it have to be a late model 89 or later which remedy's the ad's and never been recovered and .65 on the dollar. No logs at all is suspicious. I was looking to buy a 89 last year with 300 hours since new, if the logs would not have been there I would not have known that it had been recovered once and nosed over twice and two engine tear downs. Needless to say I low balled it because of the inherent risk. If your in the lower 48's move to another one unless the price is a super no brainer and then I'm not sure about yours. I think I'd move on. How do you know it's not from another country?
You can also go to http://diy.dot.gov and for $3 each (or maybe it is $5) they will send you ALL the 337's and STC's they have for the airplane, and the chain of title on a CD rom (or in hardcopy if you insist). I have used this on lots of airplanes to do my own title searches, and to rebuild parts of logbooks. If anything MAJOR happened that was reported (often unlikely) it will be in there.
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