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Buy a coastal airplane?

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Nov 25, 2010
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I'm looking to buy a 30 year old, 4000+ hour Archer, and I found one that meets all of my qualifications with some caveats: first, it's based at an airport in a coastal city in Florida, and second, it hasn't been flown much in the last few years.

My questions to all you sage airplane owners out there:

It seems that the conventional wisdom is to avoid planes kept near the ocean due to corrosion issues. If that's the case, there are an awful lot of planes that'll never sell - California & Florida seem to be a haven for GA craft. Can I trust a normal annual inspection (which I'll have done for the pre-buy) to catch everything? What if I require the seller to pay for Service Bulletin 1006, which calls for a wing spar inspection for corrosion every 7 years? How bad would the corrosion have to be before I could back out of the deal (in other words, what amount would keep the plane from being airworthy?) If a lot of surface corrosion is found would the plane still be airworthy (and then I'd be stuck paying to have it treated)?

Second, I know that lack of use can be hard on an engine - the question is, would an annual inspection be able to uncover the problems caused by this, and would this make the plane un-airworthy so I could require the seller to pay for the repairs or I would cancel the deal?

Thanks for your advice!

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