My next project

Hi Everyone,

I’m the FNG around here…wanted to humbly ask for some help…I’ve placed a deposit on an SR20 project. I’m one of those guys who got some sort of illness where I always need a project plane. I’ve rebuilt a heavily damaged DA20-C1, flew it for 2 years, and sold it for a bit of profit. Now I miss having an X/C airplane and the Super Drifter isn’t cutting it…SOOOOOO

My next project is pending an independent inspection. I’m really hoping someone here in close enough to Atlanta, GA that they could swing by and spend an hour or two inspecting the aircraft. I need someone who has nothing to gain besides a reasonable hourly rate. An A&P / IA is preferred, though not necessary.

Here’s what I know about the bird:

Suffered a hard landing in late Jan this year

Prop is ruined

Gear sheared off, though servicable gear is included in the sale.

A few small spots of composite damage include the wing root and tips, perhaps cowling.

Largest concern on my end is structural damage that can’t be seen in the pictures ie: firewall damage, control surface damage, etc

Can’t tell in the pics, but seller says crank appears straight to the naked eye (this means basically nothing. Needs a prop strike inspection, but I’d like to know in advance if the crank is obviously damaged)

All ADs c/w up to Jan 2013

Parachute serviced 2010

SOOOO…if anyone here is within a reasonable drive to Atlanta and has some extra time, along with a good eye for these things, I’d like to have you take a look. I’d be happy to pay a reasonable hourly rate ($75-150 an hour, DOE)

Also, any constructive advice is appreciated


Wish I knew how to help you! Good luck with your project!

Call me next week. I looked at this plane and passed on it, as there is no financial benefit to doing it .

Justin, I’m sure these projects are addictive and hopefully you find them satisfying. However, a Cirrus may be a bit more of a challenge. Listen to Ross when you talk with him.

These are huge red flags in any Cirrus project.

Composite repairs are a bit of a challenge. Structural repairs seem to be a big deal, with only a few Cirrus shops interested or qualified to make them. And the engineering required to ensure airworthiness is a show-stopper.

Shearing off the landing gear subjects the wing to considerable stress. Where did that stress go?

The inspection areas include areas under the seats and carpet in the cockpit where the spar tunnel and rear spar wing box carry-through are located. They need an extensive inspection.

The annual on my plane found a crack in the aft carry-through wing box under the rear seats that looked like this:

I post this as a caution. The cause of my damage is uncertain, although I did have a wing-tip strike 9 years ago. Hidden? Progressive? Not fully inspected? Dunno. But it will take a knowledgeable and reputable shop a while to get this repaired for me. I wonder how a novice with Cirrus aircraft would do.


In fairness Ross, the economics for an individual might be different than those for your company. A little sweat equity might make this a nice plane for a guy with the skills. That said, your insights would a huge help to a guy considering taking this on. He should take you up on your offer. He needs to understand the Cirrus engineering piece too.

via COPAme

Thanks for the replies gents !

Ross: Thank you so much for the offer to call, I will certainly take you up on that. I assume I can reach you though your business number ? Is there a specific time that would be most convenient for you ?

My composite guy is one of the best in the business, I’ve always been quite impressed with his work. As far as structural integrity and repairs, is there something that makes Cirrus less repairable than something like a Diamond, etc ? I ask because he said that when is comes to structural repairs Cirrus engineering department is much easier to work with and cooperative than the guys at Diamond.

The truth, (in my opinion) about composite repairs is that the difficulty lies in convincing the manufacturer and DER to sign them off. My diamond left the runway, flipped nose over tail and had the gear ripped out, prop strike, etc. After the repairs, then 280 flight hours it looks and flies as new. I realize the diamond is 600 lbs lighter than a cirrus, and lacks much of the complexity.

Given that a professional composite repair shop with lots of Cirrus experience has given a green light as far as structural / composite repairs, I have one question:

Let’s just fantasize that there was no other damage besides the prop strike. Is there anyone here with experience in replacing the prop and doing a sudden stopage inspection on the engine ? I’m wondering what a ball park cost would be for the used replacement prop (if they’re ever available) and the parts price for engine inspection…

I’ll spitball this for you. Engine: 38k
Prop: 14k
Firewall damage: 10k
Engine mount: 6k
Landing gear: 15k
Cirrus Engineering 50k
Paint: 10k
Center MFD / JPI mod: Minus 6k (looks heinous)
Purchase core wreckage: 20k
Flaps: 10k
Wheel pants: 8k

Call me on Tuesday at 218-404-0314. Unlike SR22’s, used SR20 props are few and far between. I would assume one buying a new one. When the nose gear is broken like that, there is likely firewall damage and longeron disbond. There are a few items on a Cirrus that can make is unrepairable such as spar, spar tunnel, roll cage, etc… I would need to see it in person, but I’m pretty sure this one is repairable, it just boils down to the cost. If I remember right, I would have had about $120k into it all done.

OK Ross, I’ll call Tuesday

Since it’s all speculation until the aircraft is actually inspected, I’m still looking for someone to do that. Does anyone have any recommendations ?

Fly Ross, Trip Taylor, or Alex there. The Cirrus migration is next week and a lot of those people will be relatively near Atlanta. Jim Barker would be a good source too but he is pretty hard to catch.


I’m hoping your “spitball” quotes are just there to discourage me from buying a project that isn’t economically viable to some…but come on…

$38K for the engine ? I was quoted $6K for a prop strike inspection by one of the most reputable shops in the country, whom I’ve used several times. Rarely are there issues found with theses engines, but even if they are, $38K is way more than even a MOH would cost.

$14K for a prop ? Nope, bought a 0 SMOH prop for $5500 shipped. Was easy to find, in fact there’s a few more on the market at comparable price

$10K for firewall ? Nope, a mechanic that I have used a lot in the past quoted 25 hours plus material for replacement, and that’s if it’s not repairable. Worst case is $2800, but $1800 is more likely.

Serviceable landing gear was included. Some of the fairings might get pricey if I can’t find em on the used market, but I bet I can.

Cirrus Engineering for $50K is just off the wall. None of the damage found so far even requires a DER, much less Cirrus involvement.

Anyway, I appreciate everyone’s help and advice. After much searching, I talked someone there in GA into inspecting it for me. No major issues found. When I began my last major rebuild, I did hear a lot of “not economically viable” opinions, all of which were, in the end, WAY off base. Here’s hoping some of the ones I’ve heard about this project are the same. We’ll see, there’s certainly some risk involved. For what I’ve got in the project at this point, I could easily part it out and make a profit if I find something I don’t want to fix.

SOOO, I’ve joined COPA and will start a rebuild thread once the aircraft arrives here at KFMN.

Thanks again guys!


Good luck, please keep is posted on your progress.

I think Alex was giving you real world worst case estimates. Since he hasent seen your plane…
Take pics and keep us updated!

I just sent yo an email

Justin, sorry I didn’t see your post earlier - I have repaired a G3 ‘20 with extensive damage -. I’m not sure how one decides whether a fire wall inspection is or isn’t warranted - perhaps by interpreting how the NLG failed and where - with reference to other points , but if it does have to be done, it means a full strip and removal of the stainless sheet metal, which can land up needing replacement. Firewalls usually are cut in half along a W.L and bonded in as opposed to replacing the whole thing. ( $5k for the part) - if there is NLG related damage and it is lot of work. the easiest check to do is to lift the rear seats and look at the floor - like Ricks’ - ( I’m guessing Right wing damage previously) Wingtip strikes do get repaired with out checking the floor - but the rearward moment squeezes the floor and ruptures it. It can be repaired, depending on the location of the failure - but must have the floor replaced - from behind the spar tunnel to the front of the baggage compartment ($2K for the part) . I would advise any one to look there at a prospective buy.

Many are naysayers but don’t be too hard on Alex! At the end of it, it depends on how much of your own skill you can put in. For composite work, there is a highly respected repairer in North Carolina, I think - perhaps premier , or platinum . Jim something…He was well regarded by good people at Cirrus. You won’t need a DER if all the repairs are covered in the manual.

Mine is finally airworthy, but I am left wondering just how smart I was…still - I’ve learned a lot and met some good people.

Good luck !

Just a question what did it sell for? I was thinking it would go for $15-25K Ross from Midwest and I discussed it, I love projects like this and have my own full time painter in house and have done lots of composite stuff. If you talk to Ross his staff are all X-Cirrus employees and they are extremely knowledgeable. They are also tight with the factory so they get stuff done fast… I would recommend the structural repairs with him, props and engines and avionics are all over the board. We did a FRM and new prop on my SR-22, it was probably $60-70k but the resale on a 22 with TKS is different than this 20, I wanted this 20 as a back up plane and for my buddies to fly so they could get out of their 172 and have more room.

Thanks for all the advice everyone, just wanted to write an update to track progress…

I did purchase this project. I had it shipped from GA to Performance One Aviation in Mesa, AZ for repair.

Inspection and repair has begun. Interior has been stripped, and the floor and spar box thoroughly inspected with no damage found. This is not surprising, as the wing damage is largely superficial. Looks like the composite gear legs did a good job of dissipating the energy. The attach point inside the wings are very strong. One flap was damaged in shipping, one was damaged in the accident. The good news is that there’s so many sr20s out there in salvage yards, so used parts are widely available.

Light damage to the cowling has been repaired. Serviceable landing gear was included in the sale, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

The engine mount looks repairable. Only damage is to the nose gear yoke attach points. It’ll be checked for straightness once the engine is off. Newly overhauled replacement prop was purchased for $5700.

Overall repair costs will be determined by the firewall repair. Initial inspection suggests that the hard points behind the engine mount attach fittings are undamaged, so we’re hoping for an easy repair. Basically the nose gear yoke contacted the center of the firewall causing a tear.

May I ask a potentially stupid question about the regulatory process involved?

My understanding is the manufacturer needs to approve the repair process and it’s result for the aircraft to remain airworthy. Is that correct? And if so, how do you get Cirrus to do that, assuming there is some accepting of liability involved? And secondly, how much money does that cost? Thanks!

Nice Glasair III and Lancair in the back of that shop. It looks like you are in good hands. Stay on your project.

There are allot of nervous nellies in COPA with good intentions and good input. They would never buy a plane unless it has never had a scratch, always been maintained by a Cirrus Service Center, managed by Savvy and then inspected by Jim Barker. That is all fine, but sometimes a little overboard.

Love to see how close your costs are in comparison to Alex’s spitball and for what you are able to sell this damage history plane. Interesting project and congratulate you for taking it on.

I hope noone minds if I continue posting in the non-members section, despite being a member…

Another quick update:

Lots was done in October ! All composite repair work is done, main gear is back in the wings. Repairs primed for paint. The engine is removed and will be on it’s way to the shop for prop strike inspection soon.

A few interior panels were damaged during a careless disassembly by the salvage company. One flap was damaged in the incident, and one damaged in shipping. No further damage was found during detailed inspection of the structure, so the only repair needing input from engineering is the firewall.

So all that remains is engine inspection, engine mount and firewall repair, nose gear mounting, paint, and reassembly. Total bill so far for repair is 110 man hours and $250 in composite materials. My best guess is another 18-28K dollars in parts and labor.