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So there's a C152 that was tied down and blew over onto its back, suffered some damage to its wings (but electric flaps still work) and significant damage to its stabilizers. Can it be fixed by replacing the stabilizers and wings? What else would need to be done aside from repairing obvious damage? E.g. Would it require eddy current testing or any other kind of test for hidden structural damage?

Would there be any lingering safety concerns? How much diminution in value would there be if damaged components are completely replaced?

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  • $\begingroup$ Anecdote: the club I use to fly with had a C152 Aerobat that was flipped over on a landing by a student pilot. The plane was repaired and returned to service, and the pilot went on to complete at least her private. I think she may have even flown the same plane for the last part of her training, but I can't remember for sure. $\endgroup$ Jun 15 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ That would be because the insurance company paid for the repairs, likely deciding that the repair cost+salvage value wouldn't exceed the hull value in that instance. A wreck that becomes available for sale would mean the insurance company decided it was cheaper to pay out the hull value to the owner, and sell the wreck to Zaz or more likely to a salvager. A chum once bounced his '68 Cardinal (modded to 180 hp), and bent the NG, firewall + prop strike. Insc paid out, 60K (which was over mkt value for that particular model). Nobody was hurt and he wanted a bigger plane, so he was a happy clam. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jun 15 at 20:34
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  1. Yes it can be fixed by replacing the stabilizers and wings which just bolt on. Replacements are readily available in the used parts market for 152s.
  2. Generally with metal that's been subject to a single potential overload, if it's not permanently deformed, it's fine. So the only repairs required are to things that are damaged. You would certainly want to do a careful inspection of the fuselage structure for any kind of deformation or overload-related cracks.
  3. I don't think any NDT testing is required, but that would be up to the guy who signs off the work. Maybe some dye penetrant testing of the main wing and stabilizer attach area structure to detect overload cracks, something like that.
  4. The effect on market value is negligible for a Frankenplane if the repair was done properly, everything is documented properly, and the plane flies well. You'll probably take some hit, but if it has a fresh paint job and looks fabulous, probably not too bad.

The question is, is it worth it to do it if you come across a wreck. You'd have to price the job out. I suspect that at the level of parts replacements involved, it's not. Which is why the insurance company wrote it off in the first place.

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  • $\begingroup$ Basically it's feasible, probably would cost more than it's worth to fix. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Jun 15 at 11:36
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    $\begingroup$ A potential candidate would be an airplane that is in fantastic near pristine condition other than the storm damage, terrific low time engine, prop not bent, won't require a full repainting except to make the replacement parts match (white), so all you do is bolt on the replacement parts, paint them, and go. Helps if you can do most of the work yourself. If it requires significant overhaul/repair work, maybe, if you do the work yourself. If you have to hire all that out at 70 bucks an hour, forget it. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Jun 15 at 13:08

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