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Cessna buyers in So. Cal. beware !



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 18th 04, 01:27 AM
Bill Berle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cessna buyers in So. Cal. beware !

This is a very lengthy but worth reading post. For the purposes of
possibly saving someone's life or at least preventing serious injury
to their wallets, I am posting below the text of an e-mail I sent
recently to someone who had advertised a Cessna in the San Diego area.
I was looking for a super low priced 4 seat Cessna, and found an
advertisement for one on a very popular aviation classifieds site (a
fantastic website which is also based at the same airport as this
aircraft). As a 15 time airplane owner, buyer and seller, I am about
as educated as anyone else out there on what to look for when buying
an airplane. I am not a licensed mechanic but I am proud to say I am a
fairly knowledgable owner/operator. I asked what I thought were most
or all of the right questions on the phone and in e-mails. Other than
it clearly not being a showplane, I got the impression that I was
going down to San Diego (with a lump of green cash in hand) to buy a
"fair" quality airplane that was in safe working order. Nothing more
or less, definitely not a showplane but definitely not a deathtrap
either. What I found when I got there was in MY sole opinion a worn
out clunker that needed all of the expensive and complex AD's done,
and SHOULD not have even qualified for a one-shot ferry permit. It was
signed off and "in annual", which was the big shocker. Also, the guy
conveniently forgot to tell me on the phone that a wing had been
ripped off in a windstorm before the last annual, as well as the
nosegear mounts, prop, spinner, etc. The real point of this is that
any first time aircraft buyer should have a very thorough,
professional pre-buy inspection done. This airplane could easily have
caused an accident or incident and put ALL of our flying activities at
risk. I e-mailed a similar warning to friends of mine and business
entities at the seller's airport, so that they might apply a little
pressure to him to be more honest in his sales tactics. The seller got
wind of this and blasted me on my answering machine, threatening legal
action, etc. etc. Below is my response to his phone message. Some of
the RAH old timers and Zoom warriors might crack a smile and remember
my communication "style" fondly

(name of seller), do not call, e-mail, or otherwise bother me again.
After your tactics
and de facto dishonesty you have no right to call me names or tell me
I
can't relate my experiences to others. Below is the final
communication
between you and I regarding the Cessna 175 I saw yesterday and my
notifying
the aviation public to be careful when buying airplanes...feel FREE to
share
it with an attorney, and show it to the local FSDO while you're at it:

You wasted a day of my life, and that is not acceptable to me. That
alone
justifies some action on my part, however there are far more important
reasons. Your sleazy tactics of omitting, minimizing, and sidestepping
several "make or break" safety and airworthiness items is
reprehensible.
This is why used car salesmen and cheap-ass independent contractors
have
such awful reputations.

By not telling me about four or five significant deficiencies in the
safety
and quality of the airplane, you did two things. First you insulted my
intelligence by hoping that I was uneducated and gullible enough to
buy the
airplane because you withheld important information. Second, you
showed me
that you would have been willing to let someone who was inexperienced
and
uneducated buy it, fly away, and potentially hurt someone. Or if they
were
lucky they'd get home and then find that they bought a pile of ****.

A ten minute cursory inspection by only a reasonably educated
owner/operator
revealed the following:

Seat rails near or probably beyond the wear limit. Cessna did not
build seat
rails with oval shaped holes, and rounded edges. This has cost more
than one
life, and you were willing to sell someone the airplane and have them
take a
chance on an accident. Any GOOD mechanic or IA would have demanded you
fix
it before the next annual. I am tempted to request one of them do an
impromptu "ramp check" at Gillespie, so that I can educate myself on
which
airplanes are legal and which are not. Ask around and see what that
kind of
ramp check is like... I've had it happen to me.

Flap tracks worn to or beyond safe limits. There is a big AD on this.
I
moved the trailing edge of your flaps up and down over an inch. I do
NOT
know what the service limit is on that, but I DO know that it is an
expensive repair, and affects the safety of flight greatly. I don't
think
any of your 3 or 4 recent half-assed annuals even mentioned the flap
tracks,
measuring them per the AD, or recommending replacement. But I'll bet
the
mechanic might have mentioned it and you chose not to do anything
about it.
Since I don't know what that wear limit is, perhaps I should ask an IA
or
FAA field inspector to come out to Gillespie and show me what the
limit is.
If it is within limits I would issue you an apology for questioning
the flap
tracks.

Frozen or over tightened aileron rod ball joints. I moved your
elevator up
and down with light finger pressure, which is correct. I needed heavy
finger
pressure to move the ailerons, and it was very difficult. Moving the
yoke
revealed that it took four times as much pressure to move the ailerons
as it
did to move the elevator. When I tried to rotate the ball joint at the
ailerons, the joints were so tight that you couldn't wiggle them
(rotationally) with finger pressure. This happens for one of two
reasons.
Either the joints are frozen, or they were so loose that some
half-assed
owner or mechanic simply wrenched the bolts clamping the ball joints
so
tight that it wasn't loose any more. I'd be interested to know WHICH
of
those two safety deficiencies your IA mechanic signed off on. Could
you ask
him for me? Never mind, I can ask someone at the local FSDO because
they are
interested in things having to do with PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS.

By the way, speaking of primary flight controls, I noticed that the
pilot's
side control yoke could be moved up and down a couple of inches in the
instrument panel bushing. The co-pilot yoke could not be moved 1/4 of
that
distance. Was this some sort of luxury or cosmetic upgrade Cessna
offered on
the 175?

The engine cowl was really shoddily repaired, using hardware store pop
rivets and scab patches. Any decent repair would have used inside or
flush
patches, and regardless of where the patch is the FAR's REQUIRE the
use of
aircraft rivets. Why? Because, you Bozo, it's right behind the
propeller and
there is a tremendous amount of vibration, air loads, prop vibration,
etc.
The vibrations are different and conflicting between engine speed and
propeller speed on that airplane.Your IA mechanic signed off an annual
with
pop rivets and ****ty repair work holding together a 40 pound engine
cowling. By the way, an engine cowling on a 175 is heavy enough to go
thru
the windshield killing the occupants, or heavy enough to remove a wing
strut
or tail surface on it's way off the airplane inflight. You have the
gall to
be mad at me for pointing things like this out? Tough ****. Why don't
I cc
this e-mail to a few folks in the aviation maintenance business...

Finally, you decided that I didn't deserve to know that the whole
airplane
was windstorm-flipped out of the tiedown RECENTLY and an entire wing
was
replaced, nosegear mounts, and other parts. Any potential buyer would
have
wanted to know that kind of thing before they traveled any distance or
burned up a very rare day off of work. Wings get replaced all the
time, and
if it's done right it's not a problem. But you OWE a potential buyer
that
information before they make arrangements to drive 250 miles round
trip.

Each and every safety or cosmetic deficiency on your airplane is
tolerable
under the right circumstances. If you would have been honest with me
during
our phone call or e-mails, I could at least have considered the facts,
and
figured out what it would have cost me to fix them.Chances are I would
have
said "OK, I am willing to fix A, B, and C, and I might even be willing
to
buy an airplane with major damage history...but I will offer X dollars
instead of Y dollars". It is the CUMULATIVE effect of all the
deficiencies,
and the reprehensible use of "lies by omission" that is the problem
here.
YOU and your withholding of information are an even bigger safety
hazard
than the nuts and bolts problems with the airplane. You would have
sold that
restoration project to some brand new private pilot, and he would have
had 6
or 8 months in which to crash before a proper mechanic got his hands
on the
airplane. If by some miracle nothing failed in flight during that
time, the
owner would have been hit with a huge repair bill on the next annual.
Basically, you acted like a sleazy used car salesman selling a salvage
title
car to an unsuspecting kid, or a **** quality contractor selling a
teardown
quality house to desperate new homeowners.

Those of us in aviation who care about safety and integrity are a very
close
fraternity. We frown on jackasses like you who are less than honest
and
would risk someone's life just to sell an airplane for more money.
I've
sold unsafe and crap quality airplanes more than once but I let the
buyer
know what he is buying. I sold an antique glider with a bad spar for
$200.00
to the one person in the area (San Diego, incidentally) who can safely
rebuild a wooden spar and make a pile of matchsticks into a museum
quality
antique that is safe to fly. Why? Because EVERY single airplane crash
could
be the last straw that takes away our ability to fly private
airplanes. The
guy buying your 175 could have been flying over a little league
baseball
game when the flap or cowling came off, or when the ailerons froze up
and he
lost control. THAT is why it's my business to expose your kind of
airplane
seller to other potential victims.

However, you (and your attorney) will notice that I went to the
trouble to
NOT mention you by name, or your airplane by number. My intention in
putting
out e-mails and internet advertisements was simply to make sure a
person
looking to buy ANY Cessna 175 in the San Diego area has a qualified
pre-buy
inspection done, and pays attention to several important details that
could
mean life or death or at the very least a huge repair bill. I am
hoping that
your attorney would not want any innocent victim to fall prey to the
kind of
sleazy tactics, withholding of information, etc. that I didn't fall
victim
to. Or would he?

You are more than welcome to exercise your rights to contact an
attorney,
and attempt to file suit against me for whatever you think I did to
harm
you. However, any harm you think I have done you will be publicly
compared
to the harm that was done to me, and the potential harm done to me or
others, and your participation in seriously risking air safety near a
major
metropolitan area, in an election year, and with the added pressures
of the
TSA risking private aviation's existence at every turn.

In the event of a court, FAA or NTSB proceeding it would be my intent
to :

Produce testimony from FAA airworthiness inspectors,
Produce testimony from experienced IA mechanics familiar with Cessna
100
series aircraft,
Ask the FAA to investigate the maintenance records and practices on
your
aircraft,
Ask the FAA to determine whether your aircraft was indeed airworthy
per
FAR's at the time your mechanic signed off on the annual with pop
rivets,
worn flap tracks, worn seat rails, and frozen aileron ball joints, and
WHATEVER ELSE you failed to mention.
Forensic maintenance investigation to determine whether hasty repairs
were
made after I saw the aircraft but before the FAA/NTSB proceedings, to
cover
up or hide the potential deficiencies I found.

Although I am not a licensed aircraft mechanic and I am not in a
position to
determine the legal airworthiness status of any aircraft, I am well
within
my rights to call into question anything that I believe could
adversely
affect flight safety, cause an air accident, or to identify any
potential,
suspected, or possible fraud in the sale of an aircraft. I am also
VERY well
within my rights to remind my brothers and sisters in the aviation
world
that there are indeed fraudulent sellers here in SoCal who would pass
off a
marginal or possibly unsafe aircraft to make a quick buck.

I TRULY look forward to having the opportunity in a court of law or
FAA/NTSB
hearing to discuss my safety concerns and personal experiences with
you and
your aircraft if the opportunity arises. Until then, keep your voice
out of
my answering machines and your e-mails out of my inbox, and you can
thank
God that one or two in particular of my A&P / IA friends wasn't along
for
the ride when I saw your airplane yesterday.

If you have one shred of class or concern for integrity, you will
either
repair the problems on your airplane and adjust your asking price
accordingly, or represent the airplane as 'probably needing
significant
repairs immediately or in the near future'.

Bill Berle

cc: Bill Reid A&P / IA
Charles B. Gorden-Robinson A&P / IA
Dane Walker
David Boeshaar
Richard Riley
rec.aviation.marketplace
barnstormers.com
Ads
  #2  
Old June 18th 04, 02:16 AM
Newps
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You looked at a crappy plane. Get over it. There are hundreds for sale
just like this one. You will get exactly nowhere with FSDO, they are not
interested.



"Bill Berle" wrote in message
om...
This is a very lengthy but worth reading post.



  #3  
Old June 18th 04, 02:51 AM
Cy Galley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Are you talking about..
N-number Database Search Result
Last Database Update: Sun Jun 13 15:55:18 2004
To print registration information, check the checkbox for each
registration to be printed and click on "Retrieve Selected Entries" at the
bottom of the list.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check for printing
N-number : N7309M
Aircraft Serial Number : 55609
Aircraft Manufacturer : CESSNA
Model : 175
Engine Manufacturer : CONT MOTOR
Model : GO-300 SERIES
Aircraft Year : 1958
Owner Name : BAIS TIMOTHY A
Owner Address : 13409 CALLE COLINA
POWAY, CA, 92064-1608
Type of Owner : Co-ownership
Registration Date : 04-Apr-1996
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Standard


"Bill Berle" wrote in message
om...
This is a very lengthy but worth reading post. For the purposes of
possibly saving someone's life or at least preventing serious injury
to their wallets, I am posting below the text of an e-mail I sent
recently to someone who had advertised a Cessna in the San Diego area.
I was looking for a super low priced 4 seat Cessna, and found an
advertisement for one on a very popular aviation classifieds site (a
fantastic website which is also based at the same airport as this
aircraft). As a 15 time airplane owner, buyer and seller, I am about
as educated as anyone else out there on what to look for when buying
an airplane. I am not a licensed mechanic but I am proud to say I am a
fairly knowledgable owner/operator. I asked what I thought were most
or all of the right questions on the phone and in e-mails. Other than
it clearly not being a showplane, I got the impression that I was
going down to San Diego (with a lump of green cash in hand) to buy a
"fair" quality airplane that was in safe working order. Nothing more
or less, definitely not a showplane but definitely not a deathtrap
either. What I found when I got there was in MY sole opinion a worn
out clunker that needed all of the expensive and complex AD's done,
and SHOULD not have even qualified for a one-shot ferry permit. It was
signed off and "in annual", which was the big shocker. Also, the guy
conveniently forgot to tell me on the phone that a wing had been
ripped off in a windstorm before the last annual, as well as the
nosegear mounts, prop, spinner, etc. The real point of this is that
any first time aircraft buyer should have a very thorough,
professional pre-buy inspection done. This airplane could easily have
caused an accident or incident and put ALL of our flying activities at
risk. I e-mailed a similar warning to friends of mine and business
entities at the seller's airport, so that they might apply a little
pressure to him to be more honest in his sales tactics. The seller got
wind of this and blasted me on my answering machine, threatening legal
action, etc. etc. Below is my response to his phone message. Some of
the RAH old timers and Zoom warriors might crack a smile and remember
my communication "style" fondly

(name of seller), do not call, e-mail, or otherwise bother me again.
After your tactics
and de facto dishonesty you have no right to call me names or tell me
I
can't relate my experiences to others. Below is the final
communication
between you and I regarding the Cessna 175 I saw yesterday and my
notifying
the aviation public to be careful when buying airplanes...feel FREE to
share
it with an attorney, and show it to the local FSDO while you're at it:

You wasted a day of my life, and that is not acceptable to me. That
alone
justifies some action on my part, however there are far more important
reasons. Your sleazy tactics of omitting, minimizing, and sidestepping
several "make or break" safety and airworthiness items is
reprehensible.
This is why used car salesmen and cheap-ass independent contractors
have
such awful reputations.

By not telling me about four or five significant deficiencies in the
safety
and quality of the airplane, you did two things. First you insulted my
intelligence by hoping that I was uneducated and gullible enough to
buy the
airplane because you withheld important information. Second, you
showed me
that you would have been willing to let someone who was inexperienced
and
uneducated buy it, fly away, and potentially hurt someone. Or if they
were
lucky they'd get home and then find that they bought a pile of ****.

A ten minute cursory inspection by only a reasonably educated
owner/operator
revealed the following:

Seat rails near or probably beyond the wear limit. Cessna did not
build seat
rails with oval shaped holes, and rounded edges. This has cost more
than one
life, and you were willing to sell someone the airplane and have them
take a
chance on an accident. Any GOOD mechanic or IA would have demanded you
fix
it before the next annual. I am tempted to request one of them do an
impromptu "ramp check" at Gillespie, so that I can educate myself on
which
airplanes are legal and which are not. Ask around and see what that
kind of
ramp check is like... I've had it happen to me.

Flap tracks worn to or beyond safe limits. There is a big AD on this.
I
moved the trailing edge of your flaps up and down over an inch. I do
NOT
know what the service limit is on that, but I DO know that it is an
expensive repair, and affects the safety of flight greatly. I don't
think
any of your 3 or 4 recent half-assed annuals even mentioned the flap
tracks,
measuring them per the AD, or recommending replacement. But I'll bet
the
mechanic might have mentioned it and you chose not to do anything
about it.
Since I don't know what that wear limit is, perhaps I should ask an IA
or
FAA field inspector to come out to Gillespie and show me what the
limit is.
If it is within limits I would issue you an apology for questioning
the flap
tracks.

Frozen or over tightened aileron rod ball joints. I moved your
elevator up
and down with light finger pressure, which is correct. I needed heavy
finger
pressure to move the ailerons, and it was very difficult. Moving the
yoke
revealed that it took four times as much pressure to move the ailerons
as it
did to move the elevator. When I tried to rotate the ball joint at the
ailerons, the joints were so tight that you couldn't wiggle them
(rotationally) with finger pressure. This happens for one of two
reasons.
Either the joints are frozen, or they were so loose that some
half-assed
owner or mechanic simply wrenched the bolts clamping the ball joints
so
tight that it wasn't loose any more. I'd be interested to know WHICH
of
those two safety deficiencies your IA mechanic signed off on. Could
you ask
him for me? Never mind, I can ask someone at the local FSDO because
they are
interested in things having to do with PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS.

By the way, speaking of primary flight controls, I noticed that the
pilot's
side control yoke could be moved up and down a couple of inches in the
instrument panel bushing. The co-pilot yoke could not be moved 1/4 of
that
distance. Was this some sort of luxury or cosmetic upgrade Cessna
offered on
the 175?

The engine cowl was really shoddily repaired, using hardware store pop
rivets and scab patches. Any decent repair would have used inside or
flush
patches, and regardless of where the patch is the FAR's REQUIRE the
use of
aircraft rivets. Why? Because, you Bozo, it's right behind the
propeller and
there is a tremendous amount of vibration, air loads, prop vibration,
etc.
The vibrations are different and conflicting between engine speed and
propeller speed on that airplane.Your IA mechanic signed off an annual
with
pop rivets and ****ty repair work holding together a 40 pound engine
cowling. By the way, an engine cowling on a 175 is heavy enough to go
thru
the windshield killing the occupants, or heavy enough to remove a wing
strut
or tail surface on it's way off the airplane inflight. You have the
gall to
be mad at me for pointing things like this out? Tough ****. Why don't
I cc
this e-mail to a few folks in the aviation maintenance business...

Finally, you decided that I didn't deserve to know that the whole
airplane
was windstorm-flipped out of the tiedown RECENTLY and an entire wing
was
replaced, nosegear mounts, and other parts. Any potential buyer would
have
wanted to know that kind of thing before they traveled any distance or
burned up a very rare day off of work. Wings get replaced all the
time, and
if it's done right it's not a problem. But you OWE a potential buyer
that
information before they make arrangements to drive 250 miles round
trip.

Each and every safety or cosmetic deficiency on your airplane is
tolerable
under the right circumstances. If you would have been honest with me
during
our phone call or e-mails, I could at least have considered the facts,
and
figured out what it would have cost me to fix them.Chances are I would
have
said "OK, I am willing to fix A, B, and C, and I might even be willing
to
buy an airplane with major damage history...but I will offer X dollars
instead of Y dollars". It is the CUMULATIVE effect of all the
deficiencies,
and the reprehensible use of "lies by omission" that is the problem
here.
YOU and your withholding of information are an even bigger safety
hazard
than the nuts and bolts problems with the airplane. You would have
sold that
restoration project to some brand new private pilot, and he would have
had 6
or 8 months in which to crash before a proper mechanic got his hands
on the
airplane. If by some miracle nothing failed in flight during that
time, the
owner would have been hit with a huge repair bill on the next annual.
Basically, you acted like a sleazy used car salesman selling a salvage
title
car to an unsuspecting kid, or a **** quality contractor selling a
teardown
quality house to desperate new homeowners.

Those of us in aviation who care about safety and integrity are a very
close
fraternity. We frown on jackasses like you who are less than honest
and
would risk someone's life just to sell an airplane for more money.
I've
sold unsafe and crap quality airplanes more than once but I let the
buyer
know what he is buying. I sold an antique glider with a bad spar for
$200.00
to the one person in the area (San Diego, incidentally) who can safely
rebuild a wooden spar and make a pile of matchsticks into a museum
quality
antique that is safe to fly. Why? Because EVERY single airplane crash
could
be the last straw that takes away our ability to fly private
airplanes. The
guy buying your 175 could have been flying over a little league
baseball
game when the flap or cowling came off, or when the ailerons froze up
and he
lost control. THAT is why it's my business to expose your kind of
airplane
seller to other potential victims.

However, you (and your attorney) will notice that I went to the
trouble to
NOT mention you by name, or your airplane by number. My intention in
putting
out e-mails and internet advertisements was simply to make sure a
person
looking to buy ANY Cessna 175 in the San Diego area has a qualified
pre-buy
inspection done, and pays attention to several important details that
could
mean life or death or at the very least a huge repair bill. I am
hoping that
your attorney would not want any innocent victim to fall prey to the
kind of
sleazy tactics, withholding of information, etc. that I didn't fall
victim
to. Or would he?

You are more than welcome to exercise your rights to contact an
attorney,
and attempt to file suit against me for whatever you think I did to
harm
you. However, any harm you think I have done you will be publicly
compared
to the harm that was done to me, and the potential harm done to me or
others, and your participation in seriously risking air safety near a
major
metropolitan area, in an election year, and with the added pressures
of the
TSA risking private aviation's existence at every turn.

In the event of a court, FAA or NTSB proceeding it would be my intent
to :

Produce testimony from FAA airworthiness inspectors,
Produce testimony from experienced IA mechanics familiar with Cessna
100
series aircraft,
Ask the FAA to investigate the maintenance records and practices on
your
aircraft,
Ask the FAA to determine whether your aircraft was indeed airworthy
per
FAR's at the time your mechanic signed off on the annual with pop
rivets,
worn flap tracks, worn seat rails, and frozen aileron ball joints, and
WHATEVER ELSE you failed to mention.
Forensic maintenance investigation to determine whether hasty repairs
were
made after I saw the aircraft but before the FAA/NTSB proceedings, to
cover
up or hide the potential deficiencies I found.

Although I am not a licensed aircraft mechanic and I am not in a
position to
determine the legal airworthiness status of any aircraft, I am well
within
my rights to call into question anything that I believe could
adversely
affect flight safety, cause an air accident, or to identify any
potential,
suspected, or possible fraud in the sale of an aircraft. I am also
VERY well
within my rights to remind my brothers and sisters in the aviation
world
that there are indeed fraudulent sellers here in SoCal who would pass
off a
marginal or possibly unsafe aircraft to make a quick buck.

I TRULY look forward to having the opportunity in a court of law or
FAA/NTSB
hearing to discuss my safety concerns and personal experiences with
you and
your aircraft if the opportunity arises. Until then, keep your voice
out of
my answering machines and your e-mails out of my inbox, and you can
thank
God that one or two in particular of my A&P / IA friends wasn't along
for
the ride when I saw your airplane yesterday.

If you have one shred of class or concern for integrity, you will
either
repair the problems on your airplane and adjust your asking price
accordingly, or represent the airplane as 'probably needing
significant
repairs immediately or in the near future'.

Bill Berle

cc: Bill Reid A&P / IA
Charles B. Gorden-Robinson A&P / IA
Dane Walker
David Boeshaar
Richard Riley
rec.aviation.marketplace
barnstormers.com



  #4  
Old June 18th 04, 03:09 AM
Stan Kap
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Your the kind of guy who's always looking for a deal or an unsavy seller. I
guess he fooled you. I'm going to sue Wah!! Wah!! Were's my momy? I'm
tellin' on you.

It's just like fishin, put out the bait and wait.

ROTFLMAO.

Stan K.


"Bill Berle" wrote in message
om...
This is a very lengthy but worth reading post. For the purposes of
possibly saving someone's life or at least preventing serious injury
to their wallets, I am posting below the text of an e-mail I sent
recently to someone who had advertised a Cessna in the San Diego area.
I was looking for a super low priced 4 seat Cessna, and found an
advertisement for one on a very popular aviation classifieds site (a
fantastic website which is also based at the same airport as this
aircraft). As a 15 time airplane owner, buyer and seller, I am about
as educated as anyone else out there on what to look for when buying
an airplane. I am not a licensed mechanic but I am proud to say I am a
fairly knowledgable owner/operator. I asked what I thought were most
or all of the right questions on the phone and in e-mails. Other than
it clearly not being a showplane, I got the impression that I was
going down to San Diego (with a lump of green cash in hand) to buy a
"fair" quality airplane that was in safe working order. Nothing more
or less, definitely not a showplane but definitely not a deathtrap
either. What I found when I got there was in MY sole opinion a worn
out clunker that needed all of the expensive and complex AD's done,
and SHOULD not have even qualified for a one-shot ferry permit. It was
signed off and "in annual", which was the big shocker. Also, the guy
conveniently forgot to tell me on the phone that a wing had been
ripped off in a windstorm before the last annual, as well as the
nosegear mounts, prop, spinner, etc. The real point of this is that
any first time aircraft buyer should have a very thorough,
professional pre-buy inspection done. This airplane could easily have
caused an accident or incident and put ALL of our flying activities at
risk. I e-mailed a similar warning to friends of mine and business
entities at the seller's airport, so that they might apply a little
pressure to him to be more honest in his sales tactics. The seller got
wind of this and blasted me on my answering machine, threatening legal
action, etc. etc. Below is my response to his phone message. Some of
the RAH old timers and Zoom warriors might crack a smile and remember
my communication "style" fondly

(name of seller), do not call, e-mail, or otherwise bother me again.
After your tactics
and de facto dishonesty you have no right to call me names or tell me
I
can't relate my experiences to others. Below is the final
communication
between you and I regarding the Cessna 175 I saw yesterday and my
notifying
the aviation public to be careful when buying airplanes...feel FREE to
share
it with an attorney, and show it to the local FSDO while you're at it:

You wasted a day of my life, and that is not acceptable to me. That
alone
justifies some action on my part, however there are far more important
reasons. Your sleazy tactics of omitting, minimizing, and sidestepping
several "make or break" safety and airworthiness items is
reprehensible.
This is why used car salesmen and cheap-ass independent contractors
have
such awful reputations.

By not telling me about four or five significant deficiencies in the
safety
and quality of the airplane, you did two things. First you insulted my
intelligence by hoping that I was uneducated and gullible enough to
buy the
airplane because you withheld important information. Second, you
showed me
that you would have been willing to let someone who was inexperienced
and
uneducated buy it, fly away, and potentially hurt someone. Or if they
were
lucky they'd get home and then find that they bought a pile of ****.

A ten minute cursory inspection by only a reasonably educated
owner/operator
revealed the following:

Seat rails near or probably beyond the wear limit. Cessna did not
build seat
rails with oval shaped holes, and rounded edges. This has cost more
than one
life, and you were willing to sell someone the airplane and have them
take a
chance on an accident. Any GOOD mechanic or IA would have demanded you
fix
it before the next annual. I am tempted to request one of them do an
impromptu "ramp check" at Gillespie, so that I can educate myself on
which
airplanes are legal and which are not. Ask around and see what that
kind of
ramp check is like... I've had it happen to me.

Flap tracks worn to or beyond safe limits. There is a big AD on this.
I
moved the trailing edge of your flaps up and down over an inch. I do
NOT
know what the service limit is on that, but I DO know that it is an
expensive repair, and affects the safety of flight greatly. I don't
think
any of your 3 or 4 recent half-assed annuals even mentioned the flap
tracks,
measuring them per the AD, or recommending replacement. But I'll bet
the
mechanic might have mentioned it and you chose not to do anything
about it.
Since I don't know what that wear limit is, perhaps I should ask an IA
or
FAA field inspector to come out to Gillespie and show me what the
limit is.
If it is within limits I would issue you an apology for questioning
the flap
tracks.

Frozen or over tightened aileron rod ball joints. I moved your
elevator up
and down with light finger pressure, which is correct. I needed heavy
finger
pressure to move the ailerons, and it was very difficult. Moving the
yoke
revealed that it took four times as much pressure to move the ailerons
as it
did to move the elevator. When I tried to rotate the ball joint at the
ailerons, the joints were so tight that you couldn't wiggle them
(rotationally) with finger pressure. This happens for one of two
reasons.
Either the joints are frozen, or they were so loose that some
half-assed
owner or mechanic simply wrenched the bolts clamping the ball joints
so
tight that it wasn't loose any more. I'd be interested to know WHICH
of
those two safety deficiencies your IA mechanic signed off on. Could
you ask
him for me? Never mind, I can ask someone at the local FSDO because
they are
interested in things having to do with PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS.

By the way, speaking of primary flight controls, I noticed that the
pilot's
side control yoke could be moved up and down a couple of inches in the
instrument panel bushing. The co-pilot yoke could not be moved 1/4 of
that
distance. Was this some sort of luxury or cosmetic upgrade Cessna
offered on
the 175?

The engine cowl was really shoddily repaired, using hardware store pop
rivets and scab patches. Any decent repair would have used inside or
flush
patches, and regardless of where the patch is the FAR's REQUIRE the
use of
aircraft rivets. Why? Because, you Bozo, it's right behind the
propeller and
there is a tremendous amount of vibration, air loads, prop vibration,
etc.
The vibrations are different and conflicting between engine speed and
propeller speed on that airplane.Your IA mechanic signed off an annual
with
pop rivets and ****ty repair work holding together a 40 pound engine
cowling. By the way, an engine cowling on a 175 is heavy enough to go
thru
the windshield killing the occupants, or heavy enough to remove a wing
strut
or tail surface on it's way off the airplane inflight. You have the
gall to
be mad at me for pointing things like this out? Tough ****. Why don't
I cc
this e-mail to a few folks in the aviation maintenance business...

Finally, you decided that I didn't deserve to know that the whole
airplane
was windstorm-flipped out of the tiedown RECENTLY and an entire wing
was
replaced, nosegear mounts, and other parts. Any potential buyer would
have
wanted to know that kind of thing before they traveled any distance or
burned up a very rare day off of work. Wings get replaced all the
time, and
if it's done right it's not a problem. But you OWE a potential buyer
that
information before they make arrangements to drive 250 miles round
trip.

Each and every safety or cosmetic deficiency on your airplane is
tolerable
under the right circumstances. If you would have been honest with me
during
our phone call or e-mails, I could at least have considered the facts,
and
figured out what it would have cost me to fix them.Chances are I would
have
said "OK, I am willing to fix A, B, and C, and I might even be willing
to
buy an airplane with major damage history...but I will offer X dollars
instead of Y dollars". It is the CUMULATIVE effect of all the
deficiencies,
and the reprehensible use of "lies by omission" that is the problem
here.
YOU and your withholding of information are an even bigger safety
hazard
than the nuts and bolts problems with the airplane. You would have
sold that
restoration project to some brand new private pilot, and he would have
had 6
or 8 months in which to crash before a proper mechanic got his hands
on the
airplane. If by some miracle nothing failed in flight during that
time, the
owner would have been hit with a huge repair bill on the next annual.
Basically, you acted like a sleazy used car salesman selling a salvage
title
car to an unsuspecting kid, or a **** quality contractor selling a
teardown
quality house to desperate new homeowners.

Those of us in aviation who care about safety and integrity are a very
close
fraternity. We frown on jackasses like you who are less than honest
and
would risk someone's life just to sell an airplane for more money.
I've
sold unsafe and crap quality airplanes more than once but I let the
buyer
know what he is buying. I sold an antique glider with a bad spar for
$200.00
to the one person in the area (San Diego, incidentally) who can safely
rebuild a wooden spar and make a pile of matchsticks into a museum
quality
antique that is safe to fly. Why? Because EVERY single airplane crash
could
be the last straw that takes away our ability to fly private
airplanes. The
guy buying your 175 could have been flying over a little league
baseball
game when the flap or cowling came off, or when the ailerons froze up
and he
lost control. THAT is why it's my business to expose your kind of
airplane
seller to other potential victims.

However, you (and your attorney) will notice that I went to the
trouble to
NOT mention you by name, or your airplane by number. My intention in
putting
out e-mails and internet advertisements was simply to make sure a
person
looking to buy ANY Cessna 175 in the San Diego area has a qualified
pre-buy
inspection done, and pays attention to several important details that
could
mean life or death or at the very least a huge repair bill. I am
hoping that
your attorney would not want any innocent victim to fall prey to the
kind of
sleazy tactics, withholding of information, etc. that I didn't fall
victim
to. Or would he?

You are more than welcome to exercise your rights to contact an
attorney,
and attempt to file suit against me for whatever you think I did to
harm
you. However, any harm you think I have done you will be publicly
compared
to the harm that was done to me, and the potential harm done to me or
others, and your participation in seriously risking air safety near a
major
metropolitan area, in an election year, and with the added pressures
of the
TSA risking private aviation's existence at every turn.

In the event of a court, FAA or NTSB proceeding it would be my intent
to :

Produce testimony from FAA airworthiness inspectors,
Produce testimony from experienced IA mechanics familiar with Cessna
100
series aircraft,
Ask the FAA to investigate the maintenance records and practices on
your
aircraft,
Ask the FAA to determine whether your aircraft was indeed airworthy
per
FAR's at the time your mechanic signed off on the annual with pop
rivets,
worn flap tracks, worn seat rails, and frozen aileron ball joints, and
WHATEVER ELSE you failed to mention.
Forensic maintenance investigation to determine whether hasty repairs
were
made after I saw the aircraft but before the FAA/NTSB proceedings, to
cover
up or hide the potential deficiencies I found.

Although I am not a licensed aircraft mechanic and I am not in a
position to
determine the legal airworthiness status of any aircraft, I am well
within
my rights to call into question anything that I believe could
adversely
affect flight safety, cause an air accident, or to identify any
potential,
suspected, or possible fraud in the sale of an aircraft. I am also
VERY well
within my rights to remind my brothers and sisters in the aviation
world
that there are indeed fraudulent sellers here in SoCal who would pass
off a
marginal or possibly unsafe aircraft to make a quick buck.

I TRULY look forward to having the opportunity in a court of law or
FAA/NTSB
hearing to discuss my safety concerns and personal experiences with
you and
your aircraft if the opportunity arises. Until then, keep your voice
out of
my answering machines and your e-mails out of my inbox, and you can
thank
God that one or two in particular of my A&P / IA friends wasn't along
for
the ride when I saw your airplane yesterday.

If you have one shred of class or concern for integrity, you will
either
repair the problems on your airplane and adjust your asking price
accordingly, or represent the airplane as 'probably needing
significant
repairs immediately or in the near future'.

Bill Berle

cc: Bill Reid A&P / IA
Charles B. Gorden-Robinson A&P / IA
Dane Walker
David Boeshaar
Richard Riley
rec.aviation.marketplace
barnstormers.com




  #5  
Old June 18th 04, 03:41 AM
Robert Little
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

You are totally right in every aspect. There are no degrees of "airworthy".
Safety is by the book and that is how the FAA should inforce it through ramp
inspections and less tolerance of IAs that are willing to sign off aircraft
without full inspections and research. Ethics now has a monetary value more
than ever and its getting cheaper by the day.

Robert Little


  #6  
Old June 18th 04, 10:51 AM
Richard Lamb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Robert Little wrote:

You are totally right in every aspect. There are no degrees of "airworthy".
Safety is by the book and that is how the FAA should inforce it through ramp
inspections and less tolerance of IAs that are willing to sign off aircraft
without full inspections and research. Ethics now has a monetary value more
than ever and its getting cheaper by the day.

Robert Little



IA's that pencil whip an inspection are one thing.
But owners that go looking for that service are the real problem.

Just my opinion,
I could be wrong...

Richard
  #7  
Old June 18th 04, 03:14 PM
xyzzy
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Hmmmm...

http://www.barnstormers.com/listing.php?id=38222


Cy Galley wrote:

Are you talking about..
N-number Database Search Result
Last Database Update: Sun Jun 13 15:55:18 2004
To print registration information, check the checkbox for each
registration to be printed and click on "Retrieve Selected Entries" at the
bottom of the list.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check for printing
N-number : N7309M
Aircraft Serial Number : 55609
Aircraft Manufacturer : CESSNA
Model : 175
Engine Manufacturer : CONT MOTOR
Model : GO-300 SERIES
Aircraft Year : 1958
Owner Name : BAIS TIMOTHY A
Owner Address : 13409 CALLE COLINA
POWAY, CA, 92064-1608
Type of Owner : Co-ownership
Registration Date : 04-Apr-1996
Airworthiness Certificate Type : Standard


"Bill Berle" wrote in message
om...

This is a very lengthy but worth reading post. For the purposes of
possibly saving someone's life or at least preventing serious injury
to their wallets, I am posting below the text of an e-mail I sent
recently to someone who had advertised a Cessna in the San Diego area.
I was looking for a super low priced 4 seat Cessna, and found an
advertisement for one on a very popular aviation classifieds site (a
fantastic website which is also based at the same airport as this
aircraft). As a 15 time airplane owner, buyer and seller, I am about
as educated as anyone else out there on what to look for when buying
an airplane. I am not a licensed mechanic but I am proud to say I am a
fairly knowledgable owner/operator. I asked what I thought were most
or all of the right questions on the phone and in e-mails. Other than
it clearly not being a showplane, I got the impression that I was
going down to San Diego (with a lump of green cash in hand) to buy a
"fair" quality airplane that was in safe working order. Nothing more
or less, definitely not a showplane but definitely not a deathtrap
either. What I found when I got there was in MY sole opinion a worn
out clunker that needed all of the expensive and complex AD's done,
and SHOULD not have even qualified for a one-shot ferry permit. It was
signed off and "in annual", which was the big shocker. Also, the guy
conveniently forgot to tell me on the phone that a wing had been
ripped off in a windstorm before the last annual, as well as the
nosegear mounts, prop, spinner, etc. The real point of this is that
any first time aircraft buyer should have a very thorough,
professional pre-buy inspection done. This airplane could easily have
caused an accident or incident and put ALL of our flying activities at
risk. I e-mailed a similar warning to friends of mine and business
entities at the seller's airport, so that they might apply a little
pressure to him to be more honest in his sales tactics. The seller got
wind of this and blasted me on my answering machine, threatening legal
action, etc. etc. Below is my response to his phone message. Some of
the RAH old timers and Zoom warriors might crack a smile and remember
my communication "style" fondly

(name of seller), do not call, e-mail, or otherwise bother me again.
After your tactics
and de facto dishonesty you have no right to call me names or tell me
I
can't relate my experiences to others. Below is the final
communication
between you and I regarding the Cessna 175 I saw yesterday and my
notifying
the aviation public to be careful when buying airplanes...feel FREE to
share
it with an attorney, and show it to the local FSDO while you're at it:

You wasted a day of my life, and that is not acceptable to me. That
alone
justifies some action on my part, however there are far more important
reasons. Your sleazy tactics of omitting, minimizing, and sidestepping
several "make or break" safety and airworthiness items is
reprehensible.
This is why used car salesmen and cheap-ass independent contractors
have
such awful reputations.

By not telling me about four or five significant deficiencies in the
safety
and quality of the airplane, you did two things. First you insulted my
intelligence by hoping that I was uneducated and gullible enough to
buy the
airplane because you withheld important information. Second, you
showed me
that you would have been willing to let someone who was inexperienced
and
uneducated buy it, fly away, and potentially hurt someone. Or if they
were
lucky they'd get home and then find that they bought a pile of ****.

A ten minute cursory inspection by only a reasonably educated
owner/operator
revealed the following:

Seat rails near or probably beyond the wear limit. Cessna did not
build seat
rails with oval shaped holes, and rounded edges. This has cost more
than one
life, and you were willing to sell someone the airplane and have them
take a
chance on an accident. Any GOOD mechanic or IA would have demanded you
fix
it before the next annual. I am tempted to request one of them do an
impromptu "ramp check" at Gillespie, so that I can educate myself on
which
airplanes are legal and which are not. Ask around and see what that
kind of
ramp check is like... I've had it happen to me.

Flap tracks worn to or beyond safe limits. There is a big AD on this.
I
moved the trailing edge of your flaps up and down over an inch. I do
NOT
know what the service limit is on that, but I DO know that it is an
expensive repair, and affects the safety of flight greatly. I don't
think
any of your 3 or 4 recent half-assed annuals even mentioned the flap
tracks,
measuring them per the AD, or recommending replacement. But I'll bet
the
mechanic might have mentioned it and you chose not to do anything
about it.
Since I don't know what that wear limit is, perhaps I should ask an IA
or
FAA field inspector to come out to Gillespie and show me what the
limit is.
If it is within limits I would issue you an apology for questioning
the flap
tracks.

Frozen or over tightened aileron rod ball joints. I moved your
elevator up
and down with light finger pressure, which is correct. I needed heavy
finger
pressure to move the ailerons, and it was very difficult. Moving the
yoke
revealed that it took four times as much pressure to move the ailerons
as it
did to move the elevator. When I tried to rotate the ball joint at the
ailerons, the joints were so tight that you couldn't wiggle them
(rotationally) with finger pressure. This happens for one of two
reasons.
Either the joints are frozen, or they were so loose that some
half-assed
owner or mechanic simply wrenched the bolts clamping the ball joints
so
tight that it wasn't loose any more. I'd be interested to know WHICH
of
those two safety deficiencies your IA mechanic signed off on. Could
you ask
him for me? Never mind, I can ask someone at the local FSDO because
they are
interested in things having to do with PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS.

By the way, speaking of primary flight controls, I noticed that the
pilot's
side control yoke could be moved up and down a couple of inches in the
instrument panel bushing. The co-pilot yoke could not be moved 1/4 of
that
distance. Was this some sort of luxury or cosmetic upgrade Cessna
offered on
the 175?

The engine cowl was really shoddily repaired, using hardware store pop
rivets and scab patches. Any decent repair would have used inside or
flush
patches, and regardless of where the patch is the FAR's REQUIRE the
use of
aircraft rivets. Why? Because, you Bozo, it's right behind the
propeller and
there is a tremendous amount of vibration, air loads, prop vibration,
etc.
The vibrations are different and conflicting between engine speed and
propeller speed on that airplane.Your IA mechanic signed off an annual
with
pop rivets and ****ty repair work holding together a 40 pound engine
cowling. By the way, an engine cowling on a 175 is heavy enough to go
thru
the windshield killing the occupants, or heavy enough to remove a wing
strut
or tail surface on it's way off the airplane inflight. You have the
gall to
be mad at me for pointing things like this out? Tough ****. Why don't
I cc
this e-mail to a few folks in the aviation maintenance business...

Finally, you decided that I didn't deserve to know that the whole
airplane
was windstorm-flipped out of the tiedown RECENTLY and an entire wing
was
replaced, nosegear mounts, and other parts. Any potential buyer would
have
wanted to know that kind of thing before they traveled any distance or
burned up a very rare day off of work. Wings get replaced all the
time, and
if it's done right it's not a problem. But you OWE a potential buyer
that
information before they make arrangements to drive 250 miles round
trip.

Each and every safety or cosmetic deficiency on your airplane is
tolerable
under the right circumstances. If you would have been honest with me
during
our phone call or e-mails, I could at least have considered the facts,
and
figured out what it would have cost me to fix them.Chances are I would
have
said "OK, I am willing to fix A, B, and C, and I might even be willing
to
buy an airplane with major damage history...but I will offer X dollars
instead of Y dollars". It is the CUMULATIVE effect of all the
deficiencies,
and the reprehensible use of "lies by omission" that is the problem
here.
YOU and your withholding of information are an even bigger safety
hazard
than the nuts and bolts problems with the airplane. You would have
sold that
restoration project to some brand new private pilot, and he would have
had 6
or 8 months in which to crash before a proper mechanic got his hands
on the
airplane. If by some miracle nothing failed in flight during that
time, the
owner would have been hit with a huge repair bill on the next annual.
Basically, you acted like a sleazy used car salesman selling a salvage
title
car to an unsuspecting kid, or a **** quality contractor selling a
teardown
quality house to desperate new homeowners.

Those of us in aviation who care about safety and integrity are a very
close
fraternity. We frown on jackasses like you who are less than honest
and
would risk someone's life just to sell an airplane for more money.
I've
sold unsafe and crap quality airplanes more than once but I let the
buyer
know what he is buying. I sold an antique glider with a bad spar for
$200.00
to the one person in the area (San Diego, incidentally) who can safely
rebuild a wooden spar and make a pile of matchsticks into a museum
quality
antique that is safe to fly. Why? Because EVERY single airplane crash
could
be the last straw that takes away our ability to fly private
airplanes. The
guy buying your 175 could have been flying over a little league
baseball
game when the flap or cowling came off, or when the ailerons froze up
and he
lost control. THAT is why it's my business to expose your kind of
airplane
seller to other potential victims.

However, you (and your attorney) will notice that I went to the
trouble to
NOT mention you by name, or your airplane by number. My intention in
putting
out e-mails and internet advertisements was simply to make sure a
person
looking to buy ANY Cessna 175 in the San Diego area has a qualified
pre-buy
inspection done, and pays attention to several important details that
could
mean life or death or at the very least a huge repair bill. I am
hoping that
your attorney would not want any innocent victim to fall prey to the
kind of
sleazy tactics, withholding of information, etc. that I didn't fall
victim
to. Or would he?

You are more than welcome to exercise your rights to contact an
attorney,
and attempt to file suit against me for whatever you think I did to
harm
you. However, any harm you think I have done you will be publicly
compared
to the harm that was done to me, and the potential harm done to me or
others, and your participation in seriously risking air safety near a
major
metropolitan area, in an election year, and with the added pressures
of the
TSA risking private aviation's existence at every turn.

In the event of a court, FAA or NTSB proceeding it would be my intent
to :

Produce testimony from FAA airworthiness inspectors,
Produce testimony from experienced IA mechanics familiar with Cessna
100
series aircraft,
Ask the FAA to investigate the maintenance records and practices on
your
aircraft,
Ask the FAA to determine whether your aircraft was indeed airworthy
per
FAR's at the time your mechanic signed off on the annual with pop
rivets,
worn flap tracks, worn seat rails, and frozen aileron ball joints, and
WHATEVER ELSE you failed to mention.
Forensic maintenance investigation to determine whether hasty repairs
were
made after I saw the aircraft but before the FAA/NTSB proceedings, to
cover
up or hide the potential deficiencies I found.

Although I am not a licensed aircraft mechanic and I am not in a
position to
determine the legal airworthiness status of any aircraft, I am well
within
my rights to call into question anything that I believe could
adversely
affect flight safety, cause an air accident, or to identify any
potential,
suspected, or possible fraud in the sale of an aircraft. I am also
VERY well
within my rights to remind my brothers and sisters in the aviation
world
that there are indeed fraudulent sellers here in SoCal who would pass
off a
marginal or possibly unsafe aircraft to make a quick buck.

I TRULY look forward to having the opportunity in a court of law or
FAA/NTSB
hearing to discuss my safety concerns and personal experiences with
you and
your aircraft if the opportunity arises. Until then, keep your voice
out of
my answering machines and your e-mails out of my inbox, and you can
thank
God that one or two in particular of my A&P / IA friends wasn't along
for
the ride when I saw your airplane yesterday.

If you have one shred of class or concern for integrity, you will
either
repair the problems on your airplane and adjust your asking price
accordingly, or represent the airplane as 'probably needing
significant
repairs immediately or in the near future'.

Bill Berle

cc: Bill Reid A&P / IA
Charles B. Gorden-Robinson A&P / IA
Dane Walker
David Boeshaar
Richard Riley
rec.aviation.marketplace
barnstormers.com





  #8  
Old June 18th 04, 03:24 PM
C J Campbell
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Speaking of omissions, why would you go off on such a rant, purporting to
'beware,' and not tell us precisely what or whom to beware of?


  #9  
Old June 18th 04, 05:02 PM
Jim Weir
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

What do I hear?

A little brat whining because he was looking for a cheap plane and found one.

A statement to the effect that, "I'm not an airplane mechanic, but I like to
play one in the newsgroups."


Jim



Jim Weir (A&P/IA, CFI, & other good alphabet soup)
VP Eng RST Pres. Cyberchapter EAA Tech. Counselor
http://www.rst-engr.com
  #10  
Old June 18th 04, 10:37 PM
Clay
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bill,
You were right to say your piece.
One of the problems in the world today is lack of honesty.
I do not blame you for being upset with the individual who
misrepresented the C-175 and caused you to drive such a long distance.
Even if it had been two or three hangers down from you, the man
should have been upfront.
Good luck and keep smiling.

Jules wrote in message . ..
Nicely done!

It's wrong but people do need protecting when it is possible. Yes you
can't help all the people all of the time. But each of us can make a
difference.

Bill Berle wrote:
This is a very lengthy but worth reading post. For the purposes of
possibly saving someone's life or at least preventing serious injury
to their wallets, I am posting below the text of an e-mail I sent
recently to someone who had advertised a Cessna in the San Diego area.
I was looking for a super low priced 4 seat Cessna, and found an
advertisement for one on a very popular aviation classifieds site (a
fantastic website which is also based at the same airport as this
aircraft). As a 15 time airplane owner, buyer and seller, I am about
as educated as anyone else out there on what to look for when buying
an airplane. I am not a licensed mechanic but I am proud to say I am a
fairly knowledgable owner/operator. I asked what I thought were most
or all of the right questions on the phone and in e-mails. Other than
it clearly not being a showplane, I got the impression that I was
going down to San Diego (with a lump of green cash in hand) to buy a
"fair" quality airplane that was in safe working order. Nothing more
or less, definitely not a showplane but definitely not a deathtrap
either. What I found when I got there was in MY sole opinion a worn
out clunker that needed all of the expensive and complex AD's done,
and SHOULD not have even qualified for a one-shot ferry permit. It was
signed off and "in annual", which was the big shocker. Also, the guy
conveniently forgot to tell me on the phone that a wing had been
ripped off in a windstorm before the last annual, as well as the
nosegear mounts, prop, spinner, etc. The real point of this is that
any first time aircraft buyer should have a very thorough,
professional pre-buy inspection done. This airplane could easily have
caused an accident or incident and put ALL of our flying activities at
risk. I e-mailed a similar warning to friends of mine and business
entities at the seller's airport, so that they might apply a little
pressure to him to be more honest in his sales tactics. The seller got
wind of this and blasted me on my answering machine, threatening legal
action, etc. etc. Below is my response to his phone message. Some of
the RAH old timers and Zoom warriors might crack a smile and remember
my communication "style" fondly

(name of seller), do not call, e-mail, or otherwise bother me again.
After your tactics
and de facto dishonesty you have no right to call me names or tell me
I
can't relate my experiences to others. Below is the final
communication
between you and I regarding the Cessna 175 I saw yesterday and my
notifying
the aviation public to be careful when buying airplanes...feel FREE to
share
it with an attorney, and show it to the local FSDO while you're at it:

You wasted a day of my life, and that is not acceptable to me. That
alone
justifies some action on my part, however there are far more important
reasons. Your sleazy tactics of omitting, minimizing, and sidestepping
several "make or break" safety and airworthiness items is
reprehensible.
This is why used car salesmen and cheap-ass independent contractors
have
such awful reputations.

By not telling me about four or five significant deficiencies in the
safety
and quality of the airplane, you did two things. First you insulted my
intelligence by hoping that I was uneducated and gullible enough to
buy the
airplane because you withheld important information. Second, you
showed me
that you would have been willing to let someone who was inexperienced
and
uneducated buy it, fly away, and potentially hurt someone. Or if they
were
lucky they'd get home and then find that they bought a pile of ****.

A ten minute cursory inspection by only a reasonably educated
owner/operator
revealed the following:

Seat rails near or probably beyond the wear limit. Cessna did not
build seat
rails with oval shaped holes, and rounded edges. This has cost more
than one
life, and you were willing to sell someone the airplane and have them
take a
chance on an accident. Any GOOD mechanic or IA would have demanded you
fix
it before the next annual. I am tempted to request one of them do an
impromptu "ramp check" at Gillespie, so that I can educate myself on
which
airplanes are legal and which are not. Ask around and see what that
kind of
ramp check is like... I've had it happen to me.

Flap tracks worn to or beyond safe limits. There is a big AD on this.
I
moved the trailing edge of your flaps up and down over an inch. I do
NOT
know what the service limit is on that, but I DO know that it is an
expensive repair, and affects the safety of flight greatly. I don't
think
any of your 3 or 4 recent half-assed annuals even mentioned the flap
tracks,
measuring them per the AD, or recommending replacement. But I'll bet
the
mechanic might have mentioned it and you chose not to do anything
about it.
Since I don't know what that wear limit is, perhaps I should ask an IA
or
FAA field inspector to come out to Gillespie and show me what the
limit is.
If it is within limits I would issue you an apology for questioning
the flap
tracks.

Frozen or over tightened aileron rod ball joints. I moved your
elevator up
and down with light finger pressure, which is correct. I needed heavy
finger
pressure to move the ailerons, and it was very difficult. Moving the
yoke
revealed that it took four times as much pressure to move the ailerons
as it
did to move the elevator. When I tried to rotate the ball joint at the
ailerons, the joints were so tight that you couldn't wiggle them
(rotationally) with finger pressure. This happens for one of two
reasons.
Either the joints are frozen, or they were so loose that some
half-assed
owner or mechanic simply wrenched the bolts clamping the ball joints
so
tight that it wasn't loose any more. I'd be interested to know WHICH
of
those two safety deficiencies your IA mechanic signed off on. Could
you ask
him for me? Never mind, I can ask someone at the local FSDO because
they are
interested in things having to do with PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS.

By the way, speaking of primary flight controls, I noticed that the
pilot's
side control yoke could be moved up and down a couple of inches in the
instrument panel bushing. The co-pilot yoke could not be moved 1/4 of
that
distance. Was this some sort of luxury or cosmetic upgrade Cessna
offered on
the 175?

The engine cowl was really shoddily repaired, using hardware store pop
rivets and scab patches. Any decent repair would have used inside or
flush
patches, and regardless of where the patch is the FAR's REQUIRE the
use of
aircraft rivets. Why? Because, you Bozo, it's right behind the
propeller and
there is a tremendous amount of vibration, air loads, prop vibration,
etc.
The vibrations are different and conflicting between engine speed and
propeller speed on that airplane.Your IA mechanic signed off an annual
with
pop rivets and ****ty repair work holding together a 40 pound engine
cowling. By the way, an engine cowling on a 175 is heavy enough to go
thru
the windshield killing the occupants, or heavy enough to remove a wing
strut
or tail surface on it's way off the airplane inflight. You have the
gall to
be mad at me for pointing things like this out? Tough ****. Why don't
I cc
this e-mail to a few folks in the aviation maintenance business...

Finally, you decided that I didn't deserve to know that the whole
airplane
was windstorm-flipped out of the tiedown RECENTLY and an entire wing
was
replaced, nosegear mounts, and other parts. Any potential buyer would
have
wanted to know that kind of thing before they traveled any distance or
burned up a very rare day off of work. Wings get replaced all the
time, and
if it's done right it's not a problem. But you OWE a potential buyer
that
information before they make arrangements to drive 250 miles round
trip.

Each and every safety or cosmetic deficiency on your airplane is
tolerable
under the right circumstances. If you would have been honest with me
during
our phone call or e-mails, I could at least have considered the facts,
and
figured out what it would have cost me to fix them.Chances are I would
have
said "OK, I am willing to fix A, B, and C, and I might even be willing
to
buy an airplane with major damage history...but I will offer X dollars
instead of Y dollars". It is the CUMULATIVE effect of all the
deficiencies,
and the reprehensible use of "lies by omission" that is the problem
here.
YOU and your withholding of information are an even bigger safety
hazard
than the nuts and bolts problems with the airplane. You would have
sold that
restoration project to some brand new private pilot, and he would have
had 6
or 8 months in which to crash before a proper mechanic got his hands
on the
airplane. If by some miracle nothing failed in flight during that
time, the
owner would have been hit with a huge repair bill on the next annual.
Basically, you acted like a sleazy used car salesman selling a salvage
title
car to an unsuspecting kid, or a **** quality contractor selling a
teardown
quality house to desperate new homeowners.

Those of us in aviation who care about safety and integrity are a very
close
fraternity. We frown on jackasses like you who are less than honest
and
would risk someone's life just to sell an airplane for more money.
I've
sold unsafe and crap quality airplanes more than once but I let the
buyer
know what he is buying. I sold an antique glider with a bad spar for
$200.00
to the one person in the area (San Diego, incidentally) who can safely
rebuild a wooden spar and make a pile of matchsticks into a museum
quality
antique that is safe to fly. Why? Because EVERY single airplane crash
could
be the last straw that takes away our ability to fly private
airplanes. The
guy buying your 175 could have been flying over a little league
baseball
game when the flap or cowling came off, or when the ailerons froze up
and he
lost control. THAT is why it's my business to expose your kind of
airplane
seller to other potential victims.

However, you (and your attorney) will notice that I went to the
trouble to
NOT mention you by name, or your airplane by number. My intention in
putting
out e-mails and internet advertisements was simply to make sure a
person
looking to buy ANY Cessna 175 in the San Diego area has a qualified
pre-buy
inspection done, and pays attention to several important details that
could
mean life or death or at the very least a huge repair bill. I am
hoping that
your attorney would not want any innocent victim to fall prey to the
kind of
sleazy tactics, withholding of information, etc. that I didn't fall
victim
to. Or would he?

You are more than welcome to exercise your rights to contact an
attorney,
and attempt to file suit against me for whatever you think I did to
harm
you. However, any harm you think I have done you will be publicly
compared
to the harm that was done to me, and the potential harm done to me or
others, and your participation in seriously risking air safety near a
major
metropolitan area, in an election year, and with the added pressures
of the
TSA risking private aviation's existence at every turn.

In the event of a court, FAA or NTSB proceeding it would be my intent
to :

Produce testimony from FAA airworthiness inspectors,
Produce testimony from experienced IA mechanics familiar with Cessna
100
series aircraft,
Ask the FAA to investigate the maintenance records and practices on
your
aircraft,
Ask the FAA to determine whether your aircraft was indeed airworthy
per
FAR's at the time your mechanic signed off on the annual with pop
rivets,
worn flap tracks, worn seat rails, and frozen aileron ball joints, and
WHATEVER ELSE you failed to mention.
Forensic maintenance investigation to determine whether hasty repairs
were
made after I saw the aircraft but before the FAA/NTSB proceedings, to
cover
up or hide the potential deficiencies I found.

Although I am not a licensed aircraft mechanic and I am not in a
position to
determine the legal airworthiness status of any aircraft, I am well
within
my rights to call into question anything that I believe could
adversely
affect flight safety, cause an air accident, or to identify any
potential,
suspected, or possible fraud in the sale of an aircraft. I am also
VERY well
within my rights to remind my brothers and sisters in the aviation
world
that there are indeed fraudulent sellers here in SoCal who would pass
off a
marginal or possibly unsafe aircraft to make a quick buck.

I TRULY look forward to having the opportunity in a court of law or
FAA/NTSB
hearing to discuss my safety concerns and personal experiences with
you and
your aircraft if the opportunity arises. Until then, keep your voice
out of
my answering machines and your e-mails out of my inbox, and you can
thank
God that one or two in particular of my A&P / IA friends wasn't along
for
the ride when I saw your airplane yesterday.

If you have one shred of class or concern for integrity, you will
either
repair the problems on your airplane and adjust your asking price
accordingly, or represent the airplane as 'probably needing
significant
repairs immediately or in the near future'.

Bill Berle

cc: Bill Reid A&P / IA
Charles B. Gorden-Robinson A&P / IA
Dane Walker
David Boeshaar
Richard Riley
rec.aviation.marketplace
barnstormers.com

 




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