Quick calculation: if he does it without you overseeing him, it “takes” 10 hours = $1350. If you watch him, he must work all the time, hence only 7 hours = $1295. If you help, you do the work in 5 hours = $1125. If you work on it first he’ll be done in 4 hours = $1100. And if you consult the forums you actually know that he just has to change that small piece and not the whole engine, so it takes only 2 hours = $650.
And to confirm that: I had my car engine light on and went to the dealer, got a check and an offer to make a 5000 bucks repair on the left side VANOS of the V8 with recommendation to do the right side as well, so 10000 bucks total. Talked with some guys on another also very good forum and they told me to buy a new sensor for 125 bucks and replace it myself. The fellow drivers also told me that there are 4 sensors and they will all go bad soon, so maybe change them all. I changed only the faulty one – engine light went off, everything fine. Some time later the second and third sensors went bad and I replaced them as well. Total cost: 375 instead of 10000. I can only imagine that maintenance companies do the same, they just have more leverage because of the legislation and the fear of something breaking while you are in the air.
I actively discourage custom from forumites. They think they know it all and want you to spend far too much time explaining in detail every design aspect of every component that might have failed. Meanwhile, you could be getting on with fixing someone else’s (car in my case) who is just going to be happy that you’ve done your job well and pay the bill.
One can only speculate what forum administrators have to pay
In my world of maintaining 13 vehicles including 2 aircraft, the main thing to avoid is maintenance companies. Like any business their objective is (1) to take your money while (2) doing as little as necessary to get it while not annoying you. Talk and rationalization are just as good in this regard as anything else, except that educated consumers tend to get annoyed by nonsense quite easily.
The labor cost for my recently completed annual inspection and comprehensive hose replacement campaign was three one hundred dollar bills delivered over coffee to my IA friends house. He then proceeded to kid me about my motivation in paying him and the associated avoidance of puritanical guilt. That’s an additional cost
Is this going to turn into one of those all aircraft maintenance company’s/engineers are shit posts?
I can’t see why, and the original post was obviously a joke
“Is this going to turn into one of those all aircraft maintenance company’s/engineers are shit posts?”
Unfortunately it’s so common on most GA forums that those of us who have chosen to work in GA (I came into it from an airline background with a very professional training regime) are slagged off by owners for wanting to make a reasonable living on the back of the sometimes long-winded qualification route we’ve gone though and the experience we can bring support the owner in addition to the high costs we face in regulatory compliance, buying aviation-specific test equipment etc. In so many cases, the first finger of blame gets pointed at the engineer (see the recent post on a GNS530W flight planning issue – definitely NOT an installation configuration issue) when really the owner doesn’t understand his aircraft.
In the end, some of us continue to put up with the hassle, but in reality there are fewer and fewer new staff being trained in GA maintenance as the salaries are being driven down by a shrinking market and unrealistic price expectations from owners. GA aircraft mechanics in the UK earn way less that a vehicle technician, so that ultimately there will be very little capability remaining.
I took this photo over at Elstree last year. I believe it proves beyond reasonable doubt that the maintenance companies are doing much better than they let on.
wigglyamp, not all GA owners fall into the category you describe. I have had the same engineer (he owns the company) look after my various aircraft for decades and I simply would not go anywhere else. Remember I put my life in his hands so if I did not have 100% trust in his abilities to do things properly and safely then I would not use him. He does not “do” avionics but knows who is the best and most competant for any particular issue. I am free to go into the workshop at anytime but especially when he is doing work on one of my aircraft and he always takes the time to explain anything I am uncertain about. He is quite simply just what I need in an engineer.
Long may he stay in business!