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Light Aircraft Maintenance

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Light Aircraft Maintenance

Old 27th Aug 2015, 13:24
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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Light Aircraft Maintenance

I'm putting this out into Ppruneland, to satisfy my curiosity, and, I suppose to find out if we've been done, or are just victims of EASA's Part M!


Our group has recently had our 1974 AA5 Traveller annualled. It had only flown thirty odd hours since the last one, and has about 4000 hours total time. It was not a star annual, and as far as I can see, there were no major repairs required. I think the biggest parts needed, was a couple of new tyres. When the bill arrived, we all got a bit of a shock!


I'm not going to mention the amount, as that would be unfair to the maintenance organisation involved, and I'm not looking for a quote for future work, but I know some of you, out there, operate maintenance facilities, and I would be interested to get an idea of what you would charge for an annual, based on the above, limited I grant you, information.


For commercial confidentiality, a PM may be more appropriate!
jaycee46 is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2015, 18:51
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Chap here used to put his C of A aircraft in for its annual.

Often took more than four weeks, and the bill was often around 6k.

All for around 40 hours a year.

He sold it for about 12K!

He now owns a Permit to Fly, LAA-type that has retractable undercarriage, wibly prop and does 140kts in the cruise.

And costs, probably, about 1k a year to maintain!

Most of the blame is EASA (building on UK CAA previous, it must be said).

ps. Ten years ago, there were three aircraft here: two microlights and one C of A. Now there are 34 aircraft, and not one on a C of A. Perhaps that says most of it (although, it is true, we are not ideal for many C of A aircraft)
xrayalpha is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2015, 21:46
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An Annual inspection on a AA5 is no big deal, like the 50 hour check it is well within the abilities of most technically competent pilots.
However first you need to be confident to undertake the work and get your hands dirty. Have a look at owners permitted maintenance tasks in Annex VIII.
Second you need to be able to work in your aircraft's hangar. Incredibly some airfield owners prohibit maintenance work by residents on their own aircraft.
Thirdly you should have a copy of (and thoroughly understand) the aircraft manufacturers maintenance programme. Failing that one of the ludicrous CAA generic programmes ... LAMs LAMP or one of the made up programmes cobbled together by the part F & G organisation. The manufacturers programme is the one to use as it gives specific tasks on specific items. You then need to operate your aircraft out of the controlled environment. That means you become your own CAMO and take responsibility for the continuing airworthiness of your aircraft ... ADs, service checks, time expired items, etc. Not a task for the faint hearted. One or two owners maintenance tasks may not be permitted under appendix VIII and these can be done by your local maintenance organisation. But you have to establish who is boss. You are requiring the engineers to carry out a specific job ... no more and no less ... and they must give you a time and cost estimate for the work. Also you are their client and you must check that they have carried out the work to your satisfaction. If you have been in the habit of giving your aircraft to the engineers and leaving them to do as much or as little work as they see fit, then for sure you are going to be ripped off. Sadly few UK pilots really understand EASA part M, and still assume it works like the old CAA system. There is a good chance that a less onerous maintenance system called part M light may appear soon, but EASA aircraft will most probably still need an ARC every three years or annually if out of the controlled environment. In short you can save money if you do it yourself but there is quite a lot of hassle and you will spend more time doing paperwork and spannerwork than flying.
vee-tail-1 is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2015, 08:50
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Don,t forget the new Part m. MIP minimum inspection program for aircraft under 1200 kgs. This only came in last month. Now you tell your CAMO what work you want done. Thinks like TBO,s and lifed parts you tell them to disregard.
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Old 28th Aug 2015, 19:42
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guidance from those who know?

A "simple" aircraft on regular CoA with CAMO, and with no major extras shouldn't be more than 3k, but a lot will depend on location.

But a question for the team..........Under new rules less than 1200Kg what about requirement to rebuild mags at 500 hours? Does team think this can be deferred? How advisable on mags that were brand new 500 hours ago? As was engine...........
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 04:35
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Just out of interest my mags are coming up on 500 hours what kind of ballpark bill could i expect from the refurb shop if I pull them of myself, post them to a repair facility and get a my local guy to put them back on? so basically the overhaul costs only?
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 09:21
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Just out of interest my mags are coming up on 500 hours what kind of ballpark bill could i expect from the refurb shop if I pull them of myself, post them to a repair facility and get a my local guy to put them back on? so basically the overhaul costs only?
EASA aircraft about 800 each depending where you send them and what needs replacing.

Non EASA probably much cheaper.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 10:58
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Aircraft Spruce has a new set for 1300 quid
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 11:01
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We had our Permit aircraft mags done recently. Around 950 for the pair.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 11:21
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As with all things it depends on who you know and who does the job.

Mags are quite simple bits of kit ... they need the points gapped & timed and bearings lubricated. They need cleaning and checking for cracks or damage. Not much more difficult than the distributor on a 1960s car.

My two Bendix mags were overhauled for 100 each at the last 500 hour check. They went with a batch of mags sent from my local flying school to a well known aviation repair and overhaul company in the west country.

Don't even think of trying that as an individual owner ...

I took my mags off and refitted them myself using a simple electronic timer obtainable from LAS. Can't remember if that was a permitted task under annex VIII, but who cares when such ludicrous amounts of rip-off money are involved.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 17:14
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what about requirement to rebuild mags at 500 hours? Does team think this can be deferred? How advisable on mags that were brand new 500 hours ago? As was engine...........
Slicks need the 500 hr O/H or IRAN. Unfortunately, Slick parts are expensive. In U.S., it's almost as cheap to buy new ones as O/H old ones. Bendix mags are generally more expensive to buy, last longer, and cheaper to repair. Quite a few magneto specialty shops in U.S., but no idea of the shipping and other charges to over there.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 18:26
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To answer your question. I would expect a non complex single to cost about 30 hours at the shop rate. You may be able to knock that down if you work with them to do some of the basic tasks; removing inspection panels etc. Add to that the materials used and external charges etc so about 2000 all in at the most. Repairs and rectifications would be on top of that.
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Old 29th Aug 2015, 20:23
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Is it common practice when overhauling or replacing the Mags to put on a new wiring harness also? or should the harness only be replaced on an as needed basis
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 09:28
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piperboy

A 500 hour inspection is just that an inspection.

Based on the m.m for the type, if they are slick mags there is around two hours each on the bench, plus any parts, if they have only run 500 hours they will only need cleaning and a drop of the special oil (according to the m.m which is hard to get hold off).
If they have run more time they often need a little more tlc and one in a while its cheaper to get a new mag if they need many parts, coils and things are quite expensive.
The harness is a separate issue and on condition, you can buy the complete kit two mags and harness etc.

A Bendix mag requires more work for the 500 hr/4 year. If the mags are old you may have to get exchange mags depending on the part no etc.

800!
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Old 1st Sep 2015, 10:43
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The last set done at the strip cost 135 - I think that was for the pair - may have been each, but 800 is silly money.

Rod1
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