New to Me Tripacer Bushmaster - tubing corrosion

jayemtl

Non-Member
Hello All - first time poster here. However, I've been reading...alot of reading, over the last couple of years.

So I'm about to take the plunge and have decided to purchase a PA22 Bushmaster (inspection pending). I'm paying an AME to go over the plane prior to purchase and I myself will lay eyes on it for the first time in person in the next couple of weeks. So far, I've only seen it in pictures and videos.

I have a concern about airframe corrosion and am hoping some the crowd can tell me what I'm about to find out based on this picture of the tail section.

For what it's worth, this plane was torn down and stretched to Bushmaster Specs in the early 90's by a known builder in BC.

Here' a pic I have of the tail area behind the baggage

Any insights are appreciated as to corrosion and degree of issues I'm about to discover. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
 

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Hard to tell from the pictures but I would say you are looking at replacing the lower longerons. Looks like the left one has holes rusted through.


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yeah, that's what I'm seeing at a minimum as well...then the onion starts to peel...

I'm not a welder and would have to have someone do this. I will do what I can as far as the rest goes, but anyone have an idea of cost to have the bottoms cut out and replaced? I've done some searching and found some people are good at welding, but that's not me.
 
Hi,

If you're handy, as in being able to hold the fuselage in place, remove tubing, then replace the tubes before calling a tig welding guy. The costs will be a lot lower than dropping a project off in a shop somewhere. You'll probably also be looking at more than a bit of fabric repair if you can't save where you open things.
 
Hi,

If you're handy, as in being able to hold the fuselage in place, remove tubing, then replace the tubes before calling a tig welding guy. The costs will be a lot lower than dropping a project off in a shop somewhere. You'll probably also be looking at more than a bit of fabric repair if you can't save where you open things.

If you do this, talk to your welder first. Cleaning the tubes prior to welding and proper fit up is just like painting, the prep work has more to do with the quality of the finished job than the actual welding.
 
You can also keep your fabric work to a minimum by pealing back the sides and bottom then glueing a small patch in. Stewart's is perfect for this type of fabric work.
 
My challenge is going to be the fact I'm not local to the area where the plane is currently. I will either need to disassemble and ship it to me and coordinate a fix over the next few months in the east or pay to have it fixed where it currently resides and fly it back in the spring/early summer. I'm trying to get a handle on the 'pay to fix where it sits' route as I have a hangar secured already for the winter there and wasn't planning on moving it until the spring anyway. If anyone has any ballpark idea of lower longerons cost to remove, replace and patch the fabric, it would be appreciated.
 
Hi again,

Any chance you've seen how far forward the longerons are trash? If they need replacing through the gear fittings, strut mounts, maybe to the firewall, it'll change the time required by bunches.
 
Hi again,

Any chance you've seen how far forward the longerons are trash? If they need replacing through the gear fittings, strut mounts, maybe to the firewall, it'll change the time required by bunches.


Not yet. I won't see it with my own eyes til Dec 9th along with an AME I've hired for the inspection.
 
Hi,

Just curious, what does AME stand for? Aviation Medical Examiner rings my bell.
 
Hi,

Just curious, what does AME stand for? Aviation Medical Examiner rings my bell.


[FONT=&quot]In Canada an Aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) is [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a person who is responsible for signing the maintenance release of certified aircraft and is licensed to do so by the national airworthiness authority, Transport Canada (TC)[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. Their job is to ensure that aircraft are maintained in a safe condition.

different acronym than the US?[/FONT]
 
In Canada an Aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) is a person who is responsible for signing the maintenance release of certified aircraft and is licensed to do so by the national airworthiness authority, Transport Canada (TC). Their job is to ensure that aircraft are maintained in a safe condition.

different acronym than the US?

In the US it is an A&P or Mechanic with an Airframe and Powerplant rating. In any case, make sure your AME is familiar with tube and fabric airplanes. Take an Ice Pick to probe the longerons (assuming the seller will let you).
 
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Longeron corrosion is usually isolated to a few bays, if so the repairs should be much cheaper than shipping costs.

Milo would have built it correctly. It should be a good plane. Where exactly is the plane located?
 
Vancouver Island - Comox Valley Area

Not far from me but, difficult to get to because of the ferry rides. My friend here on Lopez Island just had a couple of feet of his lower longeron replaced on a Clipper. It cost him $500 for welding and tubbing. He did the skin himself. The welder came from off Island, Vancouver Island is big and should have someone to do the job.
 
Not far from me but, difficult to get to because of the ferry rides. My friend here on Lopez Island just had a couple of feet of his lower longeron replaced on a Clipper. It cost him $500 for welding and tubbing. He did the skin himself. The welder came from off Island, Vancouver Island is big and should have someone to do the job.

Thanks for sharing that. I had already budgeted some decent $$$ for 'fixes' and 'maintenance items' and that example makes me feel a lot better about it.
 
So I finally got to lay my own eyes on this plane today. I brought a borescope with me and was able to get a few more pics of the airframe. Lowers a completely taped up, but connections to the rest of the airframe do have some corrosion. It doesn't look too crazy from the outside, but who knows what is inside. Trying to add some pics.
 
Tubes do not rust from the inside unless someone has drilled a hole in the tube which allows moisture in. Dirt on the longerons is the biggest issue we see. We cover the belly first and pretty much encapsulate the lower longerons with fabric after we blast, epoxy prime and paint with catalyzed polyurethane (Ranthane).
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I said tape, but it I think it's actually some other material Milo had wrapped the lowers in.

You can see some surface corrosion on the welded intersected joints in these pics.

Bushmaster - 1 of 1.jpegBushmaster - 1 of 1 (1).jpegBushmaster - 1 of 1 (2).jpeg



Tapping all along the lowers, they 'sound' solid (as much as that can tell me from my very limited experience).

Plane is going to need fabric in the future I believe anyway as it's just over 30 years old at this point, but this gives an idea of what I'm seeing in terms of rust on tubes in the lower tail area. All uppers are pristine and forward in the cabin etc have no rust at all. I guess from the tail constantly in the 'splash zone' over the years is why the moisture has done its thing to the lowers?

Library - 1 of 5.jpegLibrary - 3 of 5.jpegLibrary - 4 of 5.jpegLibrary - 5 of 5.jpeg
 
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I don't see any blisters, bubbles etc. Clean and treat. Glue in some inspection rings for access if needed.
 
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