I am looking to purchase a Lancair 360, tail number N96AC. Information about the airplane via the advertisement on Trade-a-Plane is as follows:
General Specs (cont.
Engine 1 Time:1200 SMOH
Prop 1 Time:1200 SNEW
Flight Rules: BTH
# of Seats:2
Fast Lancair 360! 236MPH fast cruise. 218MPH cruise at 6500MSL burning 9.5GPH. ADS-B Out added this past year. IFR Certified. LYCON IO-360 EXP (bigger cylinders) 220HP, Tru Trak Autopilot, Builder won outstanding workmanship award at Oshkosh 1997, Always hangared. Selling because I want a seaplane!
Avionics / Equipment: Tru Trak Autopilot
Airframe: 1200 Hours
I have looked at the airplane twice. The airframe appears to be in good condition and the engine appears to be meticulously maintained. The landing gear had developed a hydraulic leak and the airplane was up on mounts when I saw it, but I have been advised the landing gear is functioning properly now without issue. I am looking at the airplane again tomorrow, this time accompanied by a friend who serves as a safety pilot for me when I fly actual night IFR proficiency flights, and who is a former USAF F-16 maintainer and current CFIII and A&P.
The panel concerns me a bit: toggle switches on the right side of the panel, which normally would be in the up position for "ON" are inverse, e.g. "ON" is when the toggle switches are in the down position. (I suspect this is an easy fix by pulling the panel and simply putting the switches in the proper position, then putting the panel back in place.)
The aircraft was raced in its early life. There is an unlabeled knob or two on the left side of the cockpit which I suspect was used for racing, but I do not know what those knobs are for at this time, and the current owner, who appears to be a stand-up person and excellent aviator (a former Marine Harrier pilot now ATP-rated charter/airline pilot) was not certain. (He does not touch the knobs.)
The engine is not turbocharged nor turbo-normalized, however if I buy the airplane and save my pennies, when it comes time for TBO in some 800 hours or so, I would seriously consider installing a turbo-normalizer (and associated automatic waste-gate) on the rebuild. Winds permitting, and breathing oxygen via a cannula, I intend to fly high on long cross-country trips from NE TX to southern CA, as well as across the Continental Divide to Oregon and Idaho. A turbo-normalizer would be quite the nice addition--in addition to the improved true airspeed--on those trips. Advise on this topic is also sought and welcomed.
Instrumentation in the panel needs updating in terms of a NAV-COM/GPS with at least some small moving map--and I definitely ask for advice on this topic.
An AV-30E primary flight display was recently installed in the panel. I'd like to add an HSI I can slave to the future NAV-COM/GPS and/or to a VOR. I seek advice about this.
At this time, the plane can legally fly a VOR or ILS approach, but not an RNAV approach. The GPS in the plane is on a mount on the front panel (but not installed in the panel) and is certified for VFR flight only. I intend to remove it entirely but, with a future NAV-COM/GPS, legally fly and navigate the aircraft in known IMC to RNAV, VOR and ILS approaches.
A month or so back, I saw an excellent bulletin or article on this website about all the many things a would-be owner of a Lancair should look for, obtain copies of, and get proper thumbs up from the FAA over (and the A&P who does the pre-buy), however I cannot locate that document now. If anyone knows what I am referring to, please advise. I'd very much like to print a copy out and give it to the pre-buy A&P and for my own inspection purposes.
What specific things do I need to be ultra attentive about regarding the pre-buy and decision to purchase the airplane?
I'd love to own and fly this Lancair. I seek counsel and advice from those who own them and fly them.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
ThadJustice [at] gmail.com