IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

6 Replies

IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by JEROME PONCET on Jun 20, 2018 3:04 am

Hello,
We have an issue with the AP/IA who performed our annual. The records for the inspection that he delivers to us was a very bad copy/paste of another aircraft annual. It was of course full of mistakes such as wrong serial number or type of aircraft, compression given for a 6 cylinders engine while we have an I0-360 mounted on the aircraft (PA28R200), and so on. I sent him back the proper information and underline the mistakes in the record and I don't have any reply.
What would be the best course of action if he is not sending the proper records? I must notice that of course, every single cents of the invoices have been paid. 
Thanks in advance for your help and advices
Kind regards
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Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jun 21, 2018 8:16 am

Given that you've already paid for the work, the most effective next step would probably be to have your attorney write a letter threatening further legal action if the situation is not resolved quickly, and send it via registered mail.  If you paid for the work by credit card, you can also have the credit card company withhold payment until the dispute is resolved -- that would give you more leverage.  Also, since it appears you have possession of the airplane and the maintenance records, the possessory mechanic's lien (allowing the mechanic to keep possession of the airplane until the money is paid) which might provide leverage to the mechanic is not applicable.

One thing many people do first is call the FSDO and complain.  The problem there is that the first question the FAA Inspector will ask you is whether you've flown the plane since the previous annual ran out.  If the answer is "yes", you're on the hook for violating 91.409(a)(1) since you have admitted to flying a plane that didn't have a valid annual inspection properly entered in the maintenance records within the preceding 12 calendar months.  The mechanic may get fried for violating a couple of sections of Part 43, but you'll get fried, too, so be careful about this avenue.

BTW, this incident is a good example of why you never pay for maintenance until you've confirmed that the job is done properly and the maintenance records have been correctly completed.

Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by JEROME PONCET on Jun 22, 2018 9:52 am

Hi Ron, 
Thanks for the reply, For my luck, I was in a process to anticipate annual and the deadline is end of June. So I should be legal to fly the aircraft until the end of June 18. However, I agree with you, starting from July, the aircraft is not legal to fly anymore. 
I sincerely don't understand the way this guy is acting. His behavior is properly insane and I would prefer to avoid to send the case to an attorney. We fly for pleasure not to overcome such kind of crap.
The problem of not paying when you need your aircraft and the guy is out of schedule: you find yourself in a tricky situation that is more looking like blackmail than proper relationship between a AP/IA and an aircraft owner. 
Have safe flight.
Jerome

Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jun 22, 2018 8:51 pm

JEROME PONCET:
Hi Ron, 
Thanks for the reply, For my luck, I was in a process to anticipate annual and the deadline is end of June. So I should be legal to fly the aircraft until the end of June 18. However, I agree with you, starting from July, the aircraft is not legal to fly anymore. 

Good planning, and that helps you if you decide to report this to the FAA.

I sincerely don't understand the way this guy is acting. His behavior is properly insane and I would prefer to avoid to send the case to an attorney.

Can't help you with understanding the guy's behavior, but sometimes a letter on a law firm's letterhead gets people's attention and motivates them to do what the law requires.
 

The problem of not paying when you need your aircraft and the guy is out of schedule: you find yourself in a tricky situation that is more looking like blackmail than proper relationship between a AP/IA and an aircraft owner. 

All true, but since you're never going back to that mechanic, it doesn't matter much if your relationship becomes adversarial as long as you get what the law requires and you need.

Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by Craig Roser on Jun 25, 2018 8:07 pm

First I must say this kind of behavior would be maddening to me.  Second, you may find the best and least stressful course of action is to get an annual from another source.

Finally, if it was me, I would get another annual, go to small claims court to recover the cost of the second annual from the second mechanic.  You can represent yourself.  The mechanic won't likely show up.  You'll get a judgment and will be driving the first mechanic's car if he doesn't have wages to garnish.

Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jun 26, 2018 7:59 pm

Craig Roser:

Finally, if it was me, I would get another annual, go to small claims court to recover the cost of the second annual from the second mechanic.  You can represent yourself.  The mechanic won't likely show up.  You'll get a judgment and will be driving the first mechanic's car if he doesn't have wages to garnish.

You might want to discuss this with a competent attorney before heading down that road.  The viability of this course of action depends a lot on your state's laws on such actions as they vary between states.

Re: IA failure to deliver proper records after annual

Posted by John Mcglynn on Jul 2, 2018 9:06 am

I recall an FAA safety event at Danbury (DXR) in the early 90’s where the subject was maintenance records.  The FSDO presenter made it clear that he wanted to know about “sloppy” IA bookkeeping practices.  I think local recommendations from aircraft owners you trust is a good way to find a competent IA/AP.