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Thread: PA-20 project or run?

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default PA-20 project or run?

    Hello all,

    Nice forums going here, after lurking for a while I thought I would ask for some advice.

    Background on myself.
    Professional pilot, A&P, owned a couple airplanes (this was one), never recovered a tube & fabric but have a strong desire to now for some reason? Above average mech skills, have to do everything myself you know.

    The good news> I found my old plane, the one I owned in the early nineties and still regret selling. The 1950 PA-20 is sitting in a hanger mostly dissembled but surprisingly complete. Current owner has aged and not able to do what he loves anymore, build and fly airplanes. Current owner's wife say YES it is for sale.
    The bad news> De-registered, No logs, no data plate. He bought for parts as did the previous owner. The prior owner de-registered it and stated the data plate was then missing (I have the FAA records CD). The engine looks to be a basket case.
    I understand a dataplate is available from Piper but requires a FAA visit and letter plus about 1k!
    Logs Im not too worried about.

    Price???..

    Am I nuts even thinking about this?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cappt; 03-26-2016 at 12:26 PM.

  2. #2

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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    A few more pics.
    Seems a shame to be parted out.
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    As long as you realize you'll never get your money back out of it---have at it. You'll have a great sense of pride and accomplishment when finished.
    Paul
    Salome, AZ

  4. #4
    Zac Weidner's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    Quote Originally Posted by pmanton View Post
    As long as you realize you'll never get your money back out of it---have at it. You'll have a great sense of pride and accomplishment when finished.
    Paul
    Salome, AZ
    That sums it up. You can have a Pacer that suits your needs and wants, and you'll have a special sense of pride every time you look at it for years to come.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    I say go for it. Kind of like getting back together with an old girlfriend. You know the one your mom is glad you broke up with. Your going to pay. Might as well be with an airplane you know. From looking at the pics it's a treasure. I don't like to see them parted.

  6. #6
    pa20's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    I agree with the comments above. If the project can be bought "right", you will have a good basis to start from. You might start a relationship with a good FSDO MX guy, as you are going to have to get them involved. If my addled memory serves me correctly, you will need to endure a Conformity Inspection to get the paperwork back. Also, is it possible to get a new data plate from Piper if you can provide all the supporting details?
    I too hate to see a plane parted out, especially a PA-20 as there were so few built. S/N 93...That is an early model! Mine is 567, and was certified in late Dec. 1950. I can't remember how many Piper built that year.
    Where are you located? There are a few pristine PA-20's around the country, whose owners are members of SWPO. I am sure that seeing what your plane could be might increase your appetite for the project.
    As pmanton stated, you will have more in it than what it is worth, but that is the case with the majority of SWP folks. You have value in the sentimental attachment to the plane, just as I do with mine. Everytime I put more money in mine, I ponder the fact that it will never come back. Then, I push the "order" button anyway!
    Last edited by pa20; 03-26-2016 at 12:56 PM.
    Mark Ohlau
    PA-20 N7744K 2018 Donation Paid

  7. #7

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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    Kind of like getting back together with an old girlfriend
    I like that analogy! Yeah I'd like to get my hands back on her.

    Where are you located?
    Nevada, Reno area.

    All good advice about the $$ spent not to be re-couped in sale.

    There is a slim chance the data plate is still on the A/C. I don't recall where it was but under the floor matt is vaguely familiar, maybe because I've read that. In the pics the floor board is missing. The prior owner also stated in his request to de-register that he could not locate the data plate because parts (floor boards?) where missing.
    I say there's a slim chance because it just may be in the tail since it's an early Pacer, some where wired on to a brace or under the instrument panel. The only way to be sure would be to inspect for it.

  8. #8
    Clayton Harper's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    It's not many S/N from the Clippers that the data plate was on some weld wires aft of the stabilizer adjusting screw. The picture show a Clipperish trim system. Are you one of those Pro Pilots that doesn't really have a boss looking over his shoulder and a nice jet in a nice hanger? Will he let you stand-by and work on your airplane? I had a gig like that once, but didn't last long, however some do.
    Last edited by Clayton Harper; 03-26-2016 at 10:06 PM.
    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
    Socrates

  9. #9

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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    I would go for it....l still see my old Tripacer occasionally, (which l bent and restored it in the late 70s) and if the lady that ownes it ever decides to sell it l would be first cab off the rank! Shortwings seem to be a bit like a friendly old dog....they get under your skin and find a special place in you heart!��

  10. #10
    mmoyle's Avatar
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    Default Re: PA-20 project or run?

    I've seen blank Piper data plates on eBay. I haven't reinstalled my data plate in the tail yet. Before disassembly my data plate was in the wrong place...riveted to the instrument panel...on our original 1950 Pacers the data plate is wired to the left diagonal tube in the tail aft of the Jack screw. Maybe the former owners didn't know where to look? Might still be there? Andddd...my Pacer was my first fabric airplane rebuild...has come out pretty good...so "you can do it".


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