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East Coast Pre-Buy Inspections

Justin Werth

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I know the Marc Z. is a west coast resource and the jet guys are central US but is there a East Coast company that can do pre-buy inspections on composite canard aircraft? I am flying to RI next week to look at a Dragonfly.  If I decide to move forward, it would be great to have someone who knows about these aircraft do the inspection.

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12 hours ago, Justin Werth said:

 I am flying to RI next week to look at a Dragonfly.  If I decide to move forward, it would be great to have someone who knows about these aircraft do the inspection.

I don't know one.  You might search the FAA registry for Dragonfly owners nearby.    https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/Search/StateCountyInquiry   or post a message at CanardAviators     https://canardzone.groups.io/g/canard-aviators    I hope you have received extensive pics and info on this airplane before you go see it.  A seller should be willing to post extensive pics somewhere like Flickr or email them to you. 

I see there is a Dragonfly group on the National Fake News site   https://www.facebook.com/groups/162738144297634/    You might find a builder/owner there.    Don't be in a rush to buy something.  Go to some flyins, talk to builders of any kind, see what good workmanship looks like.  I notice you looked at the one with the Corvair engine.  That one looked pretty basic.  There is a lot of info on Corvairs and VWs     https://flycorvair.net/     Also a FB page for the Corvair guys.

I bought a Cozy without knowing too much about them.  It worked out OK but if I had been more aware of engine-time and paint problems, I might have bargained harder.

Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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Thank you for the thoughtful response!

I have looked at 3 aircraft so far in person and my experience with pictures has been that the sellers are selective about what they send.  I am picky about when I will travel specifically for an aircraft at this point.  I have made the mistake of hauling a trailer with the full intention of purchasing something only to haul an empty trailer home.  My rule is that an airplane isn't worth buying if it isn't worth making 2 trips.  I am getting better at being objective and not emotional in the review process.  I also have a mandatory cooling off period before I will make the final purchase decision.

The Corvair plane had more issues than I was willing to accept.  You are right that it was a basic panel.  It also had automotive wiring throughout.  The weight and damage were beyond what I expected.  I put together a rough estimate of how much the engine work alone would cost and it was no longer an option before I even started to address things like the weave showing through on the body and the three fuel tanks.  There was no way it was going to go on a 250 pound diet.  It was in Minnesota and I happened to be there so it was worth the 2 hour drive to see it.

The next specimen on the docket is interesting.  It's low weight (634#) and it was built buy an EAA technical counselor (still researching if that truly means something) but it hasn't flown in years due to the owner's health.  It is running the 2180 VW but an internal inspection needs to occur before I will consider the purchase.  On the surface it looks good but you never know until you put your eyes on something.  The gross weight is also set at 1100 on this one instead of 1150 which is concerning.

I am a member of the Dragonfly and Quickie lists on groups.io but I will check out the canard aviators group.

I love how you call out the National Fake News site.  I cut them out of my life 3 years ago and haven't looked back.  If it isn't on another site it isn't worth selling my soul to those ghouls.

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EAA will let someone be a Technical Counselor if they have built an airplane before so if this airplane is the builder's second airplane, he may know a thing or two.  However, it really doesn't mean too much

I wouldn't make too much of the 1100 pound gross weight (vs. 1150).  It may mean that the builder only tested it to that weight, or he didn't test it at all and just wanted to set a conservative number.  🙂     If it was built right It will probably be fine up to the plans-specified weight  but you should test to that weight and G yourself.  I don't know about the D-flys but the Rutan family is pretty stout and people do fly them heavier than Rutan anticipated.

In this day and age of digital cameras and photo sites like Flickr, there is no excuse for not providing extensive pics and description of an airplane one is trying to sell.   My view is that I want the buyer not only to know exactly what he's buying, but also that he knows the quirks of the design and can operate it safely.

There are cheap borescopes on ebay that would be good to have.  The Vividia VA-400 is very popular but a little more expensive.  I suppose I would look into the cylinders, check the compression, the seller should have cut open the oil filter recently.  Listen to it run.  Any seller should allow that or have already done that.  Old brake fluid can bite you.  I have a friend who wrecked his airplane doing high-speed taxi tests with old brake fluid.

Speaking of borescopes, I saw this idea today on the Vans site   https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=199545

Edited by Kent Ashton
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Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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