Friday, October 08, 2004

Mr. Andy's Wild Ride (Part 2)

I had thought that dealing with individuals would be more straightforward than dealing with a broker. What I’ve discovered instead is that it all depends on the person.

Case in point was the owner of the Indiana Traveler. When I contacted him about his airplane and asked him when the annual was, he stated that the annual was going to go on that week. After studying a picture of his airplane, when I asked him the long etch mark on the airplane’s canopy that streamed from the outside air temperature gauge was a scratch or a crack and whether it was going to be repaired during the annual, he said it was and it was already being done. When I asked him when the airplane would be available to inspect and fly, he said it was available anytime. How could that be if the airplane was having an annual performed on it? He then wrote me saying he already had an offer for $30,000 for the airplane ?as is?. I wrote back that I wasn’t ready to make an offer until I inspected and flew the airplane; but if I liked what I saw, I would be willing to beat that offer up to the amount of his asking price, i.e., $34, 950. He then wrote back, apparently forgetting what he had written just a short time before, saying that he was in a Catch 22 because he had this offer for $30K ?as is? and didn’t want to commit to having the annual performed unless he had a firm offer?from me. I responded by asking him to let me know if the other guy bought the airplane.

That ended that ?conversation?.

I told my wife that this guy was not someone I wanted to do business with.

Interestingly enough, that brought my favorite Traveler back into the picture. Not long after we had said goodbye to the one over in Sarasota that had its wings pulled off, I discovered one for sale I really liked and that was based in the same place. It was also being handled by a broker. The name of his company was and is ?Direct Aircraft Sales?. At the time I e-mailed him, it was just after Hurricane Frances; he was in the process of relocating his business to Montana. While I couldn’t know why, I suspected it was because there is no sales tax on aircraft in Montana and because there also are no hurricanes. Anyway, he and I had some very good e-mail conversations and, even better, when I checked on everything he was telling me, it turned out to be true. But as we got close to talking about me going out to inspect the airplane, I got distracted by the Texas Cheetah. I decided a couple of days ago to go back to looking at the Sarasota Traveler, so I wrote an e-mail to the guy telling him I wanted to pick up pursuit on this airplane, asking him what I’d have to do to get a pre-sale inspection, and asking him for terms, i.e., how much down, etc. I still hadn’t gotten a response when I found out that my company was ending me to Kennedy Space Center for a workshop. Airline connections are through Orlando. So, if I could take some time off, I’d be within a two hour drive of Sarasota where the airplane was. I cleared that with my boss. Were things finally starting to fall together? It was too early to tell. But one thing I needed to know for sure was whether someone could meet me on Oct 21st at the airplane to show it off. I only had a few days to find out before my travel arrangements would be made.

If I couldn't make it happen, I'd decided to let the airplane go.