Customer Comments for Keith Peterson's Inspections
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Here are a few comments from people who Keith has worked with on the inspection of the Cardinal they were hoping to purchase:
After adding my SEL rating to my private certificate (Glider), I worked on my complex endorsement on a C-172RG Cutlass. As I tried to download this aircraft on MS Flight Simulator, I was surprised it didn't exist. One fellow on a forum recommended downloading a C177RG Cardinal, which I never heard of but fairly similar to the according to him. Well long story short, I did download one RG, found it quite pretty and started lo learn more about this great airplane. I browsed some for-sale adds online and quickly ended up on the Cardinal Flyers website, a must-join membership site for all people who are serious about the Cardinal.
The site gave me access to tremendous knowledge (articles, stories, classifieds, sponsors) and the more I learned about its beautiful design and cost-effectiveness, the more I was convinced this was the right plane for my missions. I also quickly realized these birds are still in high demand (refer to Keith's article), unfortunately at my expense.
The first one I looked at was already sold when I contacted the owner. The second I looked at had a contract on it and the third just had its price revised downward and after I contacted the owner, talked to mechanic, I learned that someone was actually coming to see it (and bought it). I was ready to throw the towel when I found one for sale on the Cardinal Flyers site's classified section which I was looking at daily. I quickly contacted the owner after he posted his add, talked to him on a Friday and suggested organizing a pre-buy inspection as I was determined not to let this one go.
At the same time I talked to the A&P who maintained the plane, I wasn't sure where to start with this pre-buy but I realized the power of the Cardinal Flyers site. Through its Digest and Members Directory, I was able to reach out to the Cardinal community and received several advice emails and calls until someone suggested reaching out to Keith for the inspection as well. After a conversation with Keith, it was clear I had a breakthrough, and in just 24h! I would leverage the local A&P who has maintained this airplane for years and came highly recommended in the area - but who also represented the seller - and would also benefit from the experience of a leading Cardinal expert in the world to represent me the buyer for a honest pre-buy. Best of both worlds.
Keith has committed from the beginning to make this a learning journey about Cardinals and this plane as well. And it was! Keith worked with me to prepare this pre-buy inspection, worked on logistics and demonstrated flexibility on the schedule (including a change of travel plans on a few hours notice due to winter weather).
On premises, the pre-buy inspection started early with a complete analysis of the log books, followed by an outside and inside detailed inspection including borescope pictures, engine compartment careful examination and a test flight, and here I was, tagging along. Thanks to Keith's throughout inspection, I left with a solid and clear impression that I knew exactly where I was going to step in.
Another added bonus from the Cardinal Flyers was Paul's recommendation to contact AIR for insurance coverage. Joe was able to provide me with a very competitive quote, as much as 40% lower than the best quote I had received.
Overall, I am grateful to Cardinal Flyers for the knowledge I was able to gain in the past months and especially to Keith for bringing me peace of mind in this process of buying my first aircraft and limiting the pain and surprises.
new C177RG owner
Pete from Texas
Having spent a year or two perusing aircraft options, I settled on Cardinals as the best all-around economical travelers with great visibility and utility of cabin/doors, etc.
It was with delight that I found CFO and what a fantastic support for the aircraft. I began looking for fixed gear (the usual choice for someone who intends to learn to fly, with no previous experience) and am grateful that I spoke with Keith Peterson before buying for a couple of big reasons.
The first was that Keith pointed me in the direction of the RG instead of FG. I had thought that since I was going to learn in the airplane, I should go with FG (as well as for insurance reasons). Turns out that learning in an RG (just finished my solo x-country--what an amazing thrill !) was great and I appreciate learning to put the gear up and down (especially down) from the very beginning is great. I'm glad that I didn't learn in an FG and then have to retrain myself to not forget this "new step" to landing. Now, I'll be flying RG for the rest of my career and if I someday fly an FG aircraft and accidentally go to put the gear down (forget that it has fixed-gear) it's not going to be quite as big a deal :).
I was lucky to find a great airplane N1548H advertised on CFO. She is a '75 RG with the original turbo from FliteCraft (no intercooler, etc). I plan to fly to Colorado, and in particular, Telluride, so the turbo was important. This airplane was babied by a former airline pilot in his mid 70's who'd flown her thousands of hours and always hangared her and was giving up flying to begin travelling by ground in an RV with his wife.
I didn't know squat about how to inspect an airplane or assess it for quality of airframe (except for all the layperson, common sense stuff) so I really focused on meeting the owner and assessing him. That worked pretty well, and he's a great guy who I could feel assured was honest as they come. But to make a purchase of an aircraft based on just talking to the seller isn't something I was ready to do, so I figured I'd need to get a pre-buy inspection done. That's when I hit on another stroke of luck in calling for some advice from the CFO community.
I wanted Keith to look at the advertisement and see what he thought. When I called him, he was in Scottsdale, AZ, checking out two Cardinals for potential buyers. I didn't know Keith ever did this for people and was absolutely ecstatic when it worked out in his schedule to fly to CA and check out 1548H for me to tell me what he thought.
When considering spending a ton of cash on an aircraft which I know next to nothing about, I thought, "Who better to look it over and give me their estimation of the quality of a Cardinal than Keith?!" Keith flew to CA (of course I paid him a reasonable fee and covered his travel expenses), rented a car and drove a couple of hours, spent the night where the airplane was and gave her a full look-over. He wasn't able to fly in her (due to logistics) but he was able to give me a good overall sense of the quality and solidness of the airplane and what kind of overall shape she was in. He looked her over very well and it made me very comfortable in negotiating a price and buying my first airplane.
1548H has been great. I'm sure I could have gotten her for a few thousand less if I really spent a lot of time going over some small details that weren't perfect and I didn't have a chance to really talk to Keith about pricing and what he thought the value was before he had to fly to Japan, so I negotiated myself. Nevertheless, the previous owner was great and I feel I got a solid good deal. The best part was knowing that the airplane was solid and that Keith thought it was a very good Cardinal. This has turned out to be very true.
I have a Sandel HSI, which I have a lot to learn about before I know how to use it very well (for now, it works well as a compass :) ) I have an Apollo GPS stack with Garmin MX20 MFD, STEC 50 AP, Stormscope, etc and most of all a solid airframe (even with over 5,000 hrs on it). I didn't have an A&P do a pre-buy, but I didn't really need to in this case, it turns out. Keith even went through all the airplane's logs with the owner in detail for me.
I just wanted to let the community know, if you're considering buying a Cardinal, you'd do yourself a great service to talk with Keith Peterson. If you're buying an FG for insurance reasons or learning in, you should seriously consider an RG. The insurance really wasn't much more and learning in an RG is the way to go, if you ask me.
If you can possibly talk Keith into inspecting the Cardinal you're looking at, I think it'd be well worth the peace-of-mind having someone who knows Cardinals so well looking it over tip to tail. I am very grateful to have such a great airplane and very grateful to Keith for letting me know just what kind of airplane I was getting and for steering me right into the RG.
Pete, almost a certificated pilot! :)
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