I think you will find that with some of the kit manufacturers as well... Parts are very expensive for what they are (mostly OTS stuff) and there is usually a pretty good wait time.I have recently acquired two damaged Cub clones (manufacturer shall remain makes at this stage) that I intend to repair to good as new. One had minimal damage and one had a landing gear torn off in a ground accident. Typical repairs that have been done for literally a hundred years now and present no great difficulty to me.
What I did not count on is the reluctance of the manufacturer to even talk to me. S-LSAs require a letter of authorization for the most trivial work; basically anything outside regular maintenance. They have the last word on who can do what and how it should be done. They can even insist on training for the person doing the work and can demand a complete resume for the mechanic working on it. No such thing as 337 and FSDOs here.
Basically these guys took a month to even get back to me with an answer about parts prices. 5 weeks later I get a quote and "what approved data" will you be using? Told them I'd be happy to discuss it with the owner. The only reply I get from the owner consists of "no structural repairs approved! Liability! Proud of the strength of our aircraft!" Etc etc.
I get where the wind is blowing from...
They have no interest in seeing their aircraft repaired. If you break one, they will happily sell you a new one.
The quoted waiting times for parts was astronomical. 8-10 weeks for simple parts. They buy a lot of stuff from Univair (their part numbers are all over their airplanes) and Univair can get me the same parts in a week.
Luckily, I have an option: I can convert SLSA to ELSA relatively simply. It's in the regs. Having give through this, I would advise any SLSA owner to do the same. Being held hostage by the manufacturer to this degree is ridiculous. ELSA free you from all that. Only downside is your can't rent the airplane out or use it commercially in any way. I'll live with that.
Glasair Aviation is an exception. A recent response for a price quotation on a replacement commercial component was “XX dollars, but it is a [manufacture] part number XXX available at most auto parts stores for [much less].I think you will find that with some of the kit manufacturers as well... Parts are very expensive for what they are (mostly OTS stuff) and there is usually a pretty good wait time.
Some companies are better than others, but some really follow the car manufacturers policy of 300% mark up.
Good luck with the repair and fly safe,
YOWWWWZA ! Aviation is still a pretty small community, taildraggers even more so, and word about this kind of behavior spreads like wildfire. The owner of that business is making a mistake of Biblical Bede proportions.Finally got an email from the owner and the punchline is:
Strip the entire fuselage and all damaged parts and send it all to us to repair.
Buy a new airframe.
That too is my opinion, but it will only stop me* from buying one. I probably would never be in the market for one anyway so it makes no difference to the business owner.The owner of that business is making a mistake of Biblical Bede proportions.
I know a small, privately owned repair shop that gets all the insurance work that it wants. They do outstanding fabric and paint work, wood work, etc. There was an article in Sport Aviation a few years back, about his M14 powered UPF 7.I think the insurance company would send it to their authorized repair center or the factory.
They don't deal with small repair shops. The whole system works against independent shops.
The second has nothing to do with the first. The repair situation described is strictly due to the manufacturers choice. It is not mandated due to the ASTM standards.I found out a long time ago that any modification, repair.....most anything you want to do on the airplane has to be approved and factory letter to keep them legal.
The manufacture of these planes is done under ASTM Consensus Standards not type certification like a Cessna/Piper/Beechcraft.