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Thread: Maybe bought a plane but a deal breaker?

  1. #1

    Maybe bought a plane but a deal breaker?

    Myself and 2 others just bought a 74 sport with a 180hp 0-360, a one time field approval.

    Now the bad news. Seems there is the wrong engine serial number in the log books; it does not match the data plate. I guess (minimum) that we tear down the engine (L19064-36A). Logs say we have L19092-36A. Any help or ideas? Hope you could follow this story of woe.

    There is a posiblity of a refund, due to mis-representation of the aircraft.

    Bob Steward replies:
    Well I'll not go so far as to say that someone is going to JAIL, but you
    have a real mess on your hands, and the FAA, the local District Attorney
    and the best lawyer you can buy all need to become involved.

    This is not the first time I have seen such foolishness. And a PROPER
    Pre-purchase Inspection would have caught it in the first 30 minutes.

    The FAA will want to discuss it with everyone whose name is in the log
    signing off an annual for as far back as they can document the engine is on the wrong plane. Certificates WILL be lost over something like this. It
    is Falsification of Records, and will be a possible $10,000 fine PER INSTANCE, and loss of all certificates by the persons signing the logs. So
    you could have 10 IAs and who knows how many A&Ps that have signed the logs since 1997, who are all on the hook.

    You may be surprised at how much information the FAA can unearth about Ari-Ben and the owners. They can run, but they can't hide.

    The very best outcome is that the previous owner(s) assume the
    responsibility, and coughs up a check for the full amount you
    paid. Hopefully without any months of protracted legal wrangling.

    Let's say that every other option falls through because all parties have
    evaporated, and your $$ are gone.

    The IA is incorrect in saying you must tear the engine down. For Part 91
    operations, the FAA doesn't care about TBO. You will have to establish
    that the engine is up-to-date on all the ADs, which could include some
    limited disassembly (oil pump gears; crank drive gear).

    The correct procedure is to start a new log with all the known information
    (past log entries that can be verified from the log book that you have,
    other shop work orders, etc.) and a statement by the mechanic that the
    engine is TT Unkown, TSMOH Unknown, as of this date and Tach time.

    Then start saving for a Genuine Lycoming Reman, and when the engine becomes unserviceable, exchange it for a ZERO TIME remanufactured engine. This forever removes the stain of all the confusion and lost information. And it also removes about $20K from your wallet for the engine and installation!

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL

  2. #2
    I also have a beech sport with 180hp engine that was part of the fleet of training aircraft at the University of Illinois, all of which were converted from 0-320 to 0-360 engines.
    If your sport was once a part of this fleet of aircraft, the log book error could have happened then. I've looked through and studied my log books many times, makes for some good reading sometimes.
    During one of the three major engine overhauls they installed another engine (spare) in the aircraft so that it could continue flying, after the overhaul the original engine was reinstalled , all s/n on and off were entered in the log books. I hope this puts some light on your situation.

  3. #3
    It may be worth some additional research, just on the long chance that there is a simple typo involved. Assuming you can identify the place the work was done, and the people who did it, see whether they have any other records that are not just copies of what you already have. If they have documents containing the serial number of the engine actually in the plane, and if those documents were used during the approval process with the FAA, it might be possible to prove that someone just became dyslexic while completing the aircraft log entries. On the other hand, if all of their records agree with the serial number in the logs, they could reasonably contend that someone must have exchanged engines at some point during the intervening years. If the previous owner has had the plane throughout that time, and swears that the engine was not changed since the STC work, the FAA will be all over the shop that did the work and completed the logs.

    The other interesting question- is there another 180HP Sport floating around, which has the SN engine that is recorded in your logs? Hmmmm....

    Doesn't mean that there isn't a mess to be fixed, but more research could help illustrate that no fraud or other deliberate falsification was at work. It might also make it easier to identify the true history of the engine. This assumes that there is hard evidence that the currently installed engine is the one the log data actually applies to, and that the serial number was typo'd when the log was started. Assuming that the engine wasn't brand new (or a Lycoming zero-time engine) at the time it was installed, there should be at least one previous logbook for that serial number engine.

    I only saw the note containing Bob's response, so I'm not clear on whether the wrong serial number is in both the airframe and engine logs, or just one of them. Another message contained in this tale of woe is to find out whether the installed prop is actually what the logs show it to be.

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