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Thread: A question about assessing a ramp queen for purchase (disassembly of the wings...)

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  1. #1
    geosnooker2000's Avatar
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    A question about assessing a ramp queen for purchase (disassembly of the wings...)

    I spy, with my little eye... a 1969 Cherokee 140 that looks like it hasn't been flown in years. This is at a local GA airport. I think I see (from the closest I can get to it) a broken-out passenger door window, the paint looks BAD... really bad, and even a baseball-sized hole in the pilot's window (although that could be just a vent hole that has lost its fitting). The front tire is flat. The spinner is missing.
    Anyway, I am considering buying it as a project, but I would like to know the condition of the main spar connection bolt holes. Did that proposed AD get passed on the PA-28/32 wings? I can't find it on line. All I can find are articles about a "proposed" AD. I am in the middle of getting in touch with the owner to see if he is interested in selling. Since I have gathered that just removing the wings to inspect could cost up to $3000, I was wondering if it would be LEGAL... for me to disassemble the wings from the fuselage, as if I was going to transport the plane to a hanger by trailer (because really, I probably would do that in the first place if I bought it), and then have an A/P inspect the holes, and if no defects were found, supervise me reassembling the wings to the fuselage? IOW, is it all about the re-attachment, or BOTH the detachment AND re-attachment?

    George
    Last edited by geosnooker2000; 02-07-2020 at 08:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    You can take anything apart that you want, you only need the A&P to return it to service.

  3. #3
    geosnooker2000's Avatar
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    Thank you, sir!

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    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    There may be very good rea$$$ons why the Cherokee was abandoned......
    Sam Buchanan
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    Airmutt's Avatar
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    I see derelict airplanes and think what a waste but you really need to stop and think about the financial and time commitment to rebuild it. We had a guy just give up on ironically a PA28 simply due to the cost for replacement parts and went the RV route.
    Dave Shaw
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    We have several ramp rats at our local airport, have looked them over. None of them are worth more than scrap value. Couple of issues to check before even talking to the owner. First, you say some windows are broken or open. If the plane has sat through more than one bird mating season, then the interior and engine compartment is one huge birds nest/toilet. Bird poop is corrosive, and on a Cherokee they may also have got into the fuselage through the tailcone. So to start your going to need a new interior, and a lot of cleaning, primer to fight off more corrosion. Lycoming engines do not sit well unused, it will need a tear down to check cylinders, cam shaft and lifters, minimum. It may cost you more than buying a good flying airplane.

    Then dealing with the owner. My experience, they either lost their medical and think at age 80 plus, they will get it back someday. Or, they think their $5000 birds nest is worth $50,000 cause that is what they see the top of the line creampuffs go for on Barnstormers.

    Good luck, your going to need it!

  7. #7
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    We don't have any sitting outside here, but there are several in hangars that haven't moved in years, usually due to medical issues. I have looked at a couple after the owners finally decided to sell & I passed because just from what I could see it would cost way more than the plane would be worth (in good condition) to return them to service.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by geosnooker2000 View Post
    Anyway, I am considering buying it as a project, but I would like to know the condition of the main spar connection bolt holes. Did that proposed AD get passed on the PA-28/32 wings? I can't find it on line. All I can find are articles about a "proposed" AD.
    The AD is in progress. Comment period is closed. Most of the comments suggest the proposed AD is too onerous. Waiting on final rule from FAA. The AD is intended to address fatigue cracks in the spar caps, specifically the lower spar cap. The spar bolts are a routine inspection item. Interesingly, there are about 19,000 airplanes that will be affected by this AD. The number of comments during the open comment period was 167.

    You'll need to follow the instructions in the maint. manual to remove the wings. The simplified process is use a cradle to support the fuselage, lift the plane to place it in the cradle, something to support the wings while they are de-mated from the fuselage and a rack to carry/store the wings.
    Last edited by martymayes; 02-22-2020 at 10:33 PM.

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