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I am beginning to think I have a bad business model!

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  • I am beginning to think I have a bad business model!

    So I do the occasional annual and a fuel valve here and there. Normally I just drop the valve in the mail and the buyer sends a check when they get the valve. I have used this model since I started selling valves and doing annuals. I typically have the use the return address on the box and the price is actual USPS shipping on the box. There is no paperwork unless it is specifically requested. Most owners just install it and forget about it. They will never have another problem with a leaky valve again. The valve is good for 50,000 strokes, which is a few centuries of flying at the rate we turn the gas on and off.

    My other problem is that I did an annual on a super colt that was being sold, the new owner said he was sending out a check a week before I was even to start. It is a solid airplane that flew straight and it came with a 150 hp lycoming. The new owners ferry pilot shows up. He does a 10 minute test flight, hooks up all of his hand held GPS and comm and its gone. Airplane fly's out a week ago. I still have not been paid the $500 I charge for an annual. So now I have to try and reach the new owner again along with the ferry pilot to see what their plans are.

    I have a bad feeling that they will stiff me with the bill and I will have to file a lean and then get a sheriff's sale (which I absolutely don't want to have to go through) then the airplane is auctioned so I can get paid, the current owner gets whatever is left over and they lose the airplane. Sometimes being a good guy sucks. I should have never let the airplane leave without being paid. I still have to worry about if the new owner has an accident and the FAA gets involved and they try to find a violation for me even though I am not paid yet. I am real frustrated now and hope the new owner gets me a check and all will be done. The ferry pilot was negotiating the deal and was a big dick. How do you negotiate price on something you haven't seen yet unless you want to nit pick once you actually see it and negotiate it even more. I really dislike people who deal like that.

    Well I need to get to bed, Rant off. Have a good day. Tim
    N29787
    '41 BC12-65

  • #2
    Hold logs - get paid - return logs. That's how some planes end up with "stolen or lost" aircraft records due to unpaid debt for maintenance. Contact the owner and ask fort payment. Ferry pilot gets to read the current log entries before flight to confirm airworthiness but doesn't take them unless you're paid.

    Gary
    N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
    72 is the new 62 so deal with it

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah Gary, its too late for that. My only recourse is repossess the airplane and auction it off.
      N29787
      '41 BC12-65

      Comment


      • #4
        What's been the owner's response? Money must have got lost in the mail? Sorry for the inconvenience? If a check was sent his loaning institution would have a record of the check number and a demand payment that was cashed. If not it was never handled by him to begin with.

        Horse thieves met bad times.

        Gary
        N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
        72 is the new 62 so deal with it

        Comment


        • #5
          No response yet after calling and leaving a message...
          N29787
          '41 BC12-65

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe they're gone voting...sorry for the bad day for you. Is there a collection agency that you could employ to contact the owner? How far away is the plane?

            Gary
            N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
            72 is the new 62 so deal with it

            Comment


            • #7
              Missouri
              N29787
              '41 BC12-65

              Comment


              • #8
                File a lien at the FAA site ASAP. The lien will cobble up something and eventually you will get paid. Also file in your county. That worked for me.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Filing a lien with the FAA:

                  https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certifi...aircraft_lien/
                  https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certifi.../clear_titles/

                  Good to know.

                  Gary
                  N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
                  72 is the new 62 so deal with it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry to hear about this, Tim. I'm one state over from MO, do you know what airport? See, you should only deal with Taylorcraft people. Best of luck and let me know via PM, (if we still have on of those after the update), lol.
                    Cheers,
                    Marty


                    TF #596
                    1946 BC-12D N95258
                    Former owner of:
                    1946 BC-12D/N95275
                    1943 L-2B/N3113S

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      PM works...today Tim asked about some local float fittings.

                      Gary
                      N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
                      72 is the new 62 so deal with it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I feel your pain. One of the reasons I stopped turning wrenches for a living... It was always a struggle both charging and collecting a reasonable rate for services and expertise provided. The same people were paying two or three times the rate to get their cars fixed.

                        Having said that I had very few bad debts. I believe that was achieved by developing two reputations; 1. Provide excellent service and admit if I screwed up and 2. Demonstrate zero tolerance for people who didn't pay.

                        I was young ... but the first couple of times I had a customer actually tell me he wasn't going to pay, I didn't mess around. Lets just say there are some expensive parts on aircraft that are easily a quickly removed. It's remarkable how quickly people are prepared to pay you if you offer to help them find missing propellers, cowlings etc.!

                        Seriously though, leans and other legal avenues are rarely satisfying even when large dollar figures are involved. Costs quickly eat up any returns and by the time you get paid....

                        Reputation works and real leverage works even better. We like to think that being a "good guy" means being a nice guy when actually the opposite is more true. My advice, lay out your expectations for payment clearly and professionally as soon as you've established a work plan with a customer. This will normally include payment in full prior to departure for itinerant aircraft. No emotion here, it is what it is, friends are friends, business is business. Your customers will respect you for this.
                        Scott
                        CF-CLR Blog: http://c-fclr.blogspot.ca/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I went thru something like that, did the inspection, lots and lots of repairs, half way thru the new owner says he can't pay me cause business is slow, winter was coming on, so he seemed like a good guy, so I kept working, the plane was done, it ran fine, no problems, I told him to take it to a longer runway to practice with his instructor, his instructor is a retired airline captain, they don't go to the longer runway, 3rd flight they run it off the end of the runway, they both say the brakes failed, the instructor has friends that retired from the airline and went with the FAA, so he calls his "friends" to throw me under the bus, my only help were eye witnesses that said the plane landed over half way down a 2K ft. runway, bounced over 500 ft. and each time the main gear touched down the tires were skidding, but I haven't got paid, the owner says I owe him a new plane, so I'll never see the money for all those nights and weekends I worked on that, the instructor used to have a tcraft, he posted on here about the engine quitting on takeoff, he was afraid of the plane so he sold it, good riddance, wish you the best on your end, gary

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had one that was being ferried by a good friend, and the owner was a friend of his, and worked with my friend. Sucker stiffed me for a slug of money and because of my friend, got out the door without paying because they were trying to beat the weather getting to Anchorage. Guy was an airline pilot and had the money. Long story short, I lost a bunch. Last time anything goes out before being paid for. People suck!
                            John
                            I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not to diminish Tim's and other's experiences, but one time I paid a mechanic $9000 cash up front for recover materials and partial labor for an earlier plane. S'posed to help his cash flow which I understood. Later, like months after he paid off his soon to be ex's car, we had issues on the finished job and the material cost. Not enough money from that was apparently set aside to pay for materials. He had planned to use Randolph dope (which he already had) over Stits fabric but in the meantime they changed the Stits STC and the FAA was making sure what was used. It was resolved but maintenance debt can work both ways.

                              Gary
                              N36007 1941 BF12-65 STC'd as BC12D-4-85
                              72 is the new 62 so deal with it

                              Comment

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