Learning Experiences

August 2003 Issue

Shop of Horrors

“In retrospect, there were some other signs that this guy was not up for the world’s greatest mechanic.”

I owned a Cessna 172 and tried to keep the plane up properly. I never cheaped-out on maintenance and never hesitated to report a squawk. I always paid my bill on time.

I got along well with the mechanic, but then I started noticing small things about the way he did his work. Since my plane was older, it already had a few scratches on the paint, but it always seemed like it had one or two more after being in the shop. I would report problems (some admittedly intermitent) and it would come back “fine, couldn’t find anything.”

On one occasion, when I was just 20 pounds under gross, I noticed a “jerk” while climbing out on takeoff. Since I was over rocks and hills, and since the plane seem...

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