It is early September. Don and I discussed the annual inspection process. It is quite simple actually. The regulations prescribe what needs to be done, and most mechanics will charge a fixed rate for the work, with the exception of replacement parts and consumables. I was happy with Don’s quote, but he warned me that there may be some stuff that may need to be done, and would be over and above the inspection cost. Again, that seemed to be reasonable to me.
I’m kinda “glass is full” of a guy, so even though I unearthed some nasty surprises already, I was willing to accept that people do make mistakes and sometime overlook even important issues, so I convinced myself that all is well now. I figured, after all, the plane was owned by a mechanic – right? I think I should stop this practice. It is not serving me well. No, I don’t mean to stop being optimistic, I just have to be more realistic about some people. Not all of us are created equal.
Don is a patient fellow. He knows old planes, so things like brakes not being serviced for a while, lubrication not evident in some critical places, and a myriads of other “small” issues were cropping out daily without unduly concerning him. One day, after another bad news, I remembered the saying about shoemaker’s kids who walk around in shoes with holes in their soles – or something like that. Why I didn’t remember this when I was buying the plane, beats me. I guess as a professional, I would never sell anything unless it was in better than original condition, or at least with a full disclosure. On the other hand, not everyone is a professional; however, a sloppy aircraft mechanic? That just does not compute. Since I bought the plane I’ve been hanging around the airport a lot and I will say one thing, there are many planes out there that are airworthy only in their logbooks. In reality who really knows.