• PiperForum.com is a vibrant community of Piper owners and pilots. Our over 1,500+ active members use Piper Forum to swap technical knowledge, plan meetups and sell planes/parts. We host technical knowledge of general aviation topics and specific topics on J3-Cubs, Cherokees, Comanches, Pacers and more. In addition to an instant community of pilots for you, PiperForum.com is a library of technical topics, airplane builds, images, technical manuals, technical documents and more.

    Access to PiperForum.com is subscription based. Subscriptions are only $19.99/year or $3.99/month to gain access to this great community and unmatched library of Piper knowledge.

    Click Here to Become a Subscribing Member and Access PiperForum.com in Full!

High Time Warrior

yocksurf

Active Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
11
I am looking at a '78 Warrior that has 9946 hours on the Airframe. NDH. Engine has 735 SMOH but I have no idea who did the O/H since it was swapped out in 2004. Also 4 new Jugs have only 30 hours since 2014, which gives me pause since it has not flown. Compressions are solid mid 70's. Just had a new annual.
Paint is horrendous and the side windows are bad, windshield glass is new, interior is poor and the avionics are probably 3/10.

It Vrefs at $22K, but that can't be true.

Forum crew, what do you think the plane is really worth???

I am not keen on buying a high time airplane but this might be a fun project. I would have a prebuy inspection done prior but don't want to throw money away.

Thanks for weighing in.....
 

Warriorgreg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2016
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
687
If there is no corrosion on the airframe, and you are a hands on guy, it may be worth considering--- at about 15k. Otherwise you will be spending another 15-20k on paint and interior. But then, you're at 30-35k. May not be too bad for a plane with a lower time engine. Depends on panel, too.
 

Gregplatt

Junior Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
79
Reaction score
11
My archer has 10500 hours on the airframe. If i was purchasing a $100k plus airplane i'd have looked for low time. I got a great deal on my plane and it had been consistently used hence the higher airframe time. I've used the money saved to upgrade and have a pretty decent plane. I haven't had any issues but the plane had been serviced as needed it's entire life. I actually am coming up on 2000 hours on the engine and it runs perfect, but never sat and was overhauled about 7 years ago. It really depends on the plane but i wouldn't let high time scare you.
 

datorres88

Daniel Torres
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
636
9,946 hours is not high time. There is this notion that anything over 5,000 is high time and a tired airplane, but this is simply not true. While there are many airplanes out there with life limits on the airframes, the PA28 series has no life limit. The closest thing to a life limit would be found in SB-886 where repetitive wing inspections become mandatory after 65,000 hours (it's more complicated than that but you can look up SB-886 for more info).

If you were looking at a Cirrus, an airplane that has an airframe life limit of 12,000 hours, then yes, 10,000 hours would be a lot. But for a PA28, so long as it is well cared for and there is no corrosion, especially on the wing spar, then 10,000, or even 20,000 hours is still no cause for concern. In fact, I'd rather have an airframe that was flying that often than have a ramp rat that sat on the ground allowing moisture to build up causing corrosion.

The only drawback to having 10,000 hours is the airframe is that most people are still laboring under the notion that this is high time so that impacts market value. But if you are buying a plane for yourself, with no intention to sell it "at a profit", then use this false perception of "high time" to bargain your price down.
 

magman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,735
Reaction score
661
The folks @ Purdue Univ seem to have the handle on maintaining

high time airplanes.

I did the Visual Portion of an Annual prior to looking at Logs.

When I did look @ Logs it appeared I had the wrong ones.

It was really a surprise to me that things I associate with hi-time

had been addressed; repeatedly.

It was about 2002 and the Aircraft was a 1981 (?)

with over 10,000 hrs.
 

datorres88

Daniel Torres
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
1,245
Reaction score
636
One of the great things about PA28's, or just about any low wing aircraft that has the main gear attached to the wing spar, is that the wing spar does not really undergo a lot of "cycles".

Our PA28's have really beefy, strong wing spars to begin with. Add to that the fact that for most of the airplanes life the loading on the wing spar in almost always in a very small range around 1G. On the ground the wing is positively loaded and in normal flight the wing is positively loaded. This lack of cycling reduces potential for metal fatigue.

Airframe hours is really a very poor way of measuring aircraft fatigue. A plane that has 10,000 hours of mostly 4 hour cross country flights in smooth air is likely in far better shape than a 2,000 airframe that has been flown by students doing 10 touch and go's per flight hour, most of them of "learning quality" which imparts up to 2G of force on the spar. Of, course, since there is no other way to measure these "cycles", we use hours as a proxy, but it's still a poor one.

There are many examples of PA28's out there in excess of 15,000 hours and showing no more wear than would be expected in mostly (relatively) lower cost components that are part of normal long term maintenance. The fundamental airframes are still sound. Mine has 9,500 hours. When I first bought it I was a bit apprehensive about the 8,000 hours on it. After owning it for 16 years and doing almost all the maintenance myself I am no longer concerned. 2 years ago I did the interior myself which gave me an opportunity to inspect every inch of the airframe. It looked better than most airplanes on the ramp with 1/5 the total time. I no longer worry about airframe hours in a PA28. I worry about condition. That's all that really counts.
 

Canuck

David Megginson (he/him)
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
6,821
Reaction score
3,488
I am looking at a '78 Warrior that has 9946 hours on the Airframe.
With that many hours, it's probably been a flight-school plane at some point in its history. If it's flown long enough since then without problems, through, then ham-fisted students probably didn't succeed in breaking anything major in their bounce-and-go landings.

D
 

magman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,735
Reaction score
661
Unlike most folks I find the Flight School airplanes that

were PROPERLY MAINTAINED are great.

The "Low-time " Aircraft have sat around &

are rust/corrosion havens.

Critters seem to know the "Flower Pots" & establish

homes there also.

Sometimes they perish on the Wing Spar.

Anyone else have the "joy" of dealing with

a Headliner used as a Bathroom?
 

Latest posts

Top