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To invest in property, or aircraft? TB21 for 240k euros, and other overpriced aircraft.

Don’t know if a good theory but all my aircraft purchases had engines outside TBO. Purchase price adjusted for cost of overhaul etc.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

….buying an aircraft with 500 hours on an engine overhauled in the last 5-6 years, but at a realistic, non-powder puff price, also seems a good avenue. It’s the 1000 hours plus engines with an overhaul more than ten years ago which I effectively treat as run out and price accordingly.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Found this, some place else…

It seems to reiterate some concerns we had…

I recently bought an FAA registered TB20 (-erased for privacy-) and it seems there’s a lot of work to be done (yoke play/slack on both ailerons and elevator, loss of speed due to a retractable gear door not closing well, defective strobe light, etc.)

I’ve been to some service shops but all the guys there look like they see this model for the first time in their life, and everyone has a different opinion on what’s the issue and what needs to be done. It’s already frustrating as I’ve already ordered wrong parts (twice!) from the almost unusable illustrated parts catalog provided by Daher…

I need someone that knows how to correctly identify fauly parts and replace them on a Socata TB20 non GT model. I really love this plane and I want it properly maintained, unlike it’s previous owner…

Last Edited by ch.ess at 16 Apr 14:04
EDM_, Germany

You found that in the mainly-US Socata owners’ group It isn’t any aircraft in this thread AFAICT. The new owner is in the USA.

This is just one of countless cases of a poorly maintained plane. It is more or less the default situation everywhere. If you want to avoid it, you have to either get lucky, or get proactive.

The IPC (illustrated parts catalogue) is OK. It is confusing in some places, partly due to Socata having issued poorly scanned pages to ATP who publish[ed] the CD. However I think a hi-res version of the IPC does exist somewhere.

The stuff about a gear door hanging out is just a total muppet doing the work…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Peter, that message was posted by me a few hours ago. I’ve been asking the same here a while ago, I’ve got some recommendations from some euroga forum members. I’ve been there (most of them in Germany) and in 4 out of 5 repair shops nobody knew how to handle an N registered plane. Not to mention the plane (N660MM) is so old (it was bought from Germany last year) that it was already repaired or had annual inspections done during all these years at most of these maintenance facilities and of course nobody admitted they’ve done such a poor job.

I was so frustrated and I said I can do this by myself. So I started to diagnose the defects, with help from some local Cessna wanna-be mechanics. Starting September last year it was a real nightmare trying to find the issues, find the correct part numbers not to mention parts availability or price. Only to find after the parts that arrived were for the wrong side of the plane or for a different model.

Just an example: I found on your comprehensive TB20 parts list the SN for the outer and inner O-rings needed for the fuel caps. Found them somewhere in US, ordered it via DHL Express (another $180 for the shipping), waited for 2 weeks and fought with the guys at customs over taxes for another week, only to find out that the parts were for the newer, GT model, and that Socata in their infinite wisdom decided to use 3 different types of fuel caps on their TB series.

When I bought the plane things seemed clear to me: buy a cheaper, used TB20 with enough hours and maybe some nice avionics and a TKS system, go to a repair shop, order the 1,000 small pieces (nuts, screws, pins, etc. that are rusted or old), get a nice new paint job, and in 2 months have a new IFR tourer and tease the guys at the local airdrome that paid $500,000 for their new Cirrus that does basically the same.

A heads up and some advice for those which are currently in the position I was then:

1. Check EVERY button, bulb, rod, window, screw, etc. You may end up in paying over $20,000 for just a handful of small plastic and metal pieces that you may have thought it wasn’t more than $300 altogether!

2. Ask the seller a LOT of questions. Yes, you really want to be that annoying guy. Why is the cruise speed lower? What’s that noise? Is this vibration normal? Was it under CAMO? How many previous owners? When was it lubricated last time? Which antennas do not work? How much to replace them?

3. Take the asking price, multiply it by 2, add another 10% and that’s the REAL price you will have to pay for an used, not too well maintained plane. Don’t forget about insurance, annual inspections, hangar costs, fuel price, and so on. And add some minor gadget prices: $1,000 for the shiny new LED strobe, another $2,000 for the other lights, $3,000 for an electric tug, $4,000 for the new tinted windshield, and many, many things you didn’t even know existed before…

And one last thing, the experience will change you. Say good bye to that shy boy that used to say hello every morning to his neighbors, pay his parking tickets the same day and never questioned any authority. You’ll find it’s simply impossible to keep it all legal. After you learn all about regulations, FAA, EASA, TSOd replacements, Field Approved mods, 337 paper, DER, STCs, you will find you cannot do anything on your own, not even change a light bulb!!! without a properly documented procedure, involving several (hundreds) of emails and a ton of paperwork. After the rage against stupidity of the various rules and authorities eventually cools down, you will WILLINGLY want to disobey any f…ing stupid rule you will ever encounter. You will want to argue with any inspector over anything. You’ll be a lawless rebel. Why do I need that? Why didn’t my friend need it for his plane? I don’t care what you say, I will install it anyway! You will ask 100 persons that will say 100 different things and never know if you’re really fully legal with that (fill in here anything you can think of: registration, VAT form, ADs, STCs, customs, mods, etc.) You will always be on edge when you see any man in uniform walking towards your plane on any airfield….

If, after reading this, you still want to go this way, happy flying and see you around on the forum!

LRIA, Romania

OK, yes, you were initially asking about it here and were (basically) advised to not buy it.

It does look badly neglected. It’s probably been parked outdoors for many years, and been maintained by muppets.

In Europe most people buy parts from Troyes Aviation. They usually keep no stock and order it back to back from Socata at Tarbes, France. They also don’t assist with part numbers; you have to read the IPC, referring to any variations based on your airframe S/N.

The person who posted today on shows his address as California, perhaps in error, and as the owner since 2015, hence I thought he was in the USA. And your identity here is totally anonymous, even to me so I could not put the two together. Also check your PMs.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes, I know I was advised not to buy it, unless I pay way less than the $85,000 I was initially asked for it. I was offered a $10,000 discount and I thought it was enough to cover all the repairs…

Now I know I will probably end up in spending more than $50,000 in order to repair and refurbish it.

I’ve started with the easy ones, the interior and the lights :) I’ve attached some pictures with the interior, if you are interested in refurbishing yours, you can contact, they did a very good job.

Last Edited by AlexTB20 at 16 Apr 16:43
LRIA, Romania

The plane needs the mother of all Annuals. A comprehensive dismantling of all the mechanics especially the landing gear. That gear has a great chance of getting stuck. And it is quite likely that if the pump fails (which is itself likely, due to age) the emergency release won’t work due to all the corrosion and dirt in the gear bushes, and that will probably just write off the plane. This plane hasn’t seen grease in years, let alone had any applied to it.

Cosmetics is one thing but you don’t want a gear up landing.

While the gear and other stuff is out, it can be overhauled, stripped and repainted. This will take 2 people about 2 months to do.

It really makes one wonder who can own this plane and be happy with it, and then who is happy to “maintain” it in that condition. I guess careless people find each other

N-reg is not relevant. The work has to be done under the supervision of an FAA A&P, and anybody can do it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Please explain again how one can get 15% annual return on a plane… that’s an investment I’d be very interested in. Thanks.

LOWG Graz Austria

Dry lease rates for a well presented 152 (£35k capital value) are around £45 ph to a good club/flight school. Typically a 152 will fly 400 hours p.a., a Warrior around 300 hours. On this utilisation around £5k profit can be expected, and around £7-8k in cash flow.

Probably not enough to justify the management time, although a useful source of depreciation for self employed using a limited company.

The model breaks down once you venture into complex aircraft (CS, Retractable).

Barn find projects are quite fun but do it for fun, don’t expect a profit.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)
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