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Thread: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

  1. #1

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    Default Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    I’m sure the answer is “it depends” but in general terms how concerned or hesitant should I be to purchase a tri pacer with old damage history? As old as these planes are it certainly isn’t uncommon for many of them to get banged up along the way but it seems that every time I come across a nice listing I find some damage history on the NTSB site from 40+ years ago. Seems as with old 182s many of them ended up with botched landings and encounters with ditches at the end of runways.

    should I avoid such planes or simply evaluate it on the pre-buy inspection and not worry about the history? Would this impact value or just slow down the sale process by folks being concerned or walking away?

    thx

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    From my limited experience it shouldn't affect anything as long as it was repaired properly. Pay closer attention to the damaged areas of the pane during the pre-buy is a good idea though. If we all avoided every plane with damage history there would be a lot more planes sitting in tie downs rotting away then there already are.

  3. #3
    smcnutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    I certainly wouldn't eliminate it solely based on damage history. Especially if it's really old history. I would simply note it and ask the owner about it. If they have knowledge about it, I would ask questions about the repairs that were done. I would guess that in all these years aircraft this old have had a lot of "life experiences" that you may never know about.

    A pre-purchase inspection from a knowledgeable mechanic familiar with the make/model would be the most important aspect of buying it anyway. My $.02 anyway.
    “Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”
    ― Victor Hugo

  4. #4
    kchansen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    Our Pacer was ground looped twice in the 1960s. Flies beautifully today. As long as the repairs are completed correctly and documented, I don't see any issue. These airplanes (and many like them) have been around long enough that odds are they've had at least some sort of "oops" in their past.

    That said, if a pre-buy uncovers sketchy paperwork or repairs, that wouldn't be as great.

    My $0.02... and probably worth it.
    CFII -- Owner - 1950 Piper Pacer
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa - 2019 Dues Paid!

  5. #5
    RaggedyAnn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    I'd be more skeptical of undocumented maintenance having occurred if there wasn't damage history on a 60+ year old airplane. If the reports to the Feds about what was done exactly match the way the airplane/repair looks then you've just learned something positive about at least one of the people who was involved in maintaining it at one point in it's life. Damage history proves that it was, and likely how it was repaired. Lack of damage history will never be able to prove it wasn't damaged.

  6. #6
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    It is my opinion, and only my opinion, that the only value to a NDH plane is the possibility that somebody else thinks it has more value and therefore might be willing to pay more for it when you are selling it. So if you are trying to plan a purchase based on how well and how quickly and for how much you might sell it for later, then perhaps a plane that is claimed to have NDH is worth it.

    But I am with RaggedyAnn. The advantage as an operator of an aircraft is that reported damage history has reported corrective maintenance. I have seen lots of NDH airplanes that have poorly repaired damage. Since the damage wasn't reported the nature of the repair wasn't really reported either.

  7. #7
    Administrator Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    Very good information already posted. I was looking at a Super Cub for a customer and it was advertised as NDH. Emailed a friend in the area where the airplane had lived and he sent me a picture of it upside down in a bar ditch. I have seen wrecks rebuilt better than new but when the damage history is hidden I question the repairs. I have seen buyers beat an owner up over damage history but on a rag and tube airplane it is pretty easy to do the repairs correctly without any issues down the road.

  8. #8
    Frank Green's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    I totally agree with Steve. Damage history in the books is a good thing meaning the repairs were done properly and somebody signed their name to it. The bigger concern would be undocumented repairs showing up in a good prebuy inspection that nobody wanted to sign their name to. To a experienced eye you can tell when things don't look right.
    -Super Stub-

  9. #9
    ysifly2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    My airplane may not have the little wheel in the right place if not for the previous damage.
    Evidently, an off runway excursion made it a good candidate for conversion


    Bryan


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Old damage history...impact on value and should I take pause as a buyer?

    Thx for all the replies folks; this helps!

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