Fixer Upper!

Hi everyone,

I'm looking to start a new YouTube series where I take a derelict aircraft and do a complete restoration. This will take place over the course of a year. I'm looking for a Cherokee Six or a Piper Lance to start with. Not looking to pay much as the restoration will be where the money goes in, looking for one that's basically been abandoned. If you see any at your airport or have one, please let me know so I can see if it will work out.




  • Jimmy is already doing it, and quite well.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • edited February 2023

    If interested in starting smaller, let me know.

    I recently found a Maule. Skin looks like it is in good shape. Definitely not going anywhere as the tires are flat. Sitting under a roof, but only a roof.

    Can check on a Tomahawk that I first noticed ~30 years ago. Was told at that time that it had not moved in years. Saw it ~6 months ago in the same spot. This one is completely in the elements.

  • He sure is and so does rebuild rescue. Thanks for pointing that out. Doesn't sound like you can help me but perhaps someone else can.


  • You are welcome. Perhaps you could study those, and a couple others and see what it really takes. Understand, there is very little content in rebuilding anything. The clicks and subs are from the charisma and entertainment values contained within. Moreover, if your content is not better than theirs, you are wasting time thinking you are the next Youtube millionaire.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • My seven-year-old's number one goal in life is to have more subscribers than Mr. Beast and Mark Rober combined. His number two goal is to buy his old man a brand new M600-SLS; so I'm really rooting on him to achieve goal number one!

    : - )

  • Let me know what the trick is. I have the new Gulfstream 700 on my mind.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • I don't' think you realize I have more people watch me than both of those channels combined. Regardless, you seem to have it in for me. You're not helping me find this airplane, you are trying to have me quit! As a 26 year old female, I can't tell you how many times I've had people try and take me down for some reason I can't fathom. I will give you the benefit of the doubt here as you are a fellow Piper enthusiast.

    Be on the lookout for the new series and I hope you enjoy it!


  • Well, that escalated quickly.

    I suggest you stop trying to be a victim and actually understand people have opinions, people communicate them, and not everyone is out to get you. Its a poor stump to project from, albeit a acceptable social manifestation of righteousness this day and age. Perhaps a product of poor parenting or lack of valid life experience.

    I work with sub-30ish people as a profession and see this a lot where they have a perception of self-riotousness and intolerance for anything other that false motivation and incompetent acceptance of their ideas. Participation trophies are to be admired and suppression of opposition views are obligatory.

    I wish you luck in your future fiscal tribulations. And I do reserve my option to critique anything uploaded as customary.

    Good day to you!

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • You have 54k subs. Jimmys World has 322k subs. If you are going to chastise, at least have your facts in order.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • What sort of twenty-somethings do you work with, U74?

  • edited February 2023


    Your enthusiasm is inspiring! What an awesome project!

    People love seeing old relics saved from the scrapper and brought back to life. The Warbird line at OSH is proof. Being Piper enthusiasts, we're looking forward to seeing an old Piper restored to its former glory!

    Post any questions you may have here. There is a treasure of good information and experience on this forum. We're ready to share our aircraft expertise, be it engine, electrical, mechanical, paint, instrumentation, or even cosmetic. We'll be happy to assist you.

    Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • edited February 2023

    U74 ease up guy. She just asked a question looking for an aircraft. You came out on the offensive.

    Regardless of amount of followers. BTW she has 2.1 mil followers on tik tok She can take on any project she likes. And if successful, the project will bring in many many new followers. Good Luck Kay!

    Andy Sikora
    1972 PA28R-200
    Retired Miami ATCT/Tracon

  • I hope he does too. Let him know it takes a lot of dedication and is not an easy road to travel. And BTW, if he gets to half of MrBeast, Piper may just give you the airplane! lol

  • That's a great point Andy, people think that social media is a competition between creators, but it's actually NOT. There's always room for good content. These projects inspire people to become A&P's, Pilots, ATC controllers, etc... That's why I'm so excited to do a series like this.

  • I'm going to attempt to get this back on track with a personal story. I used to fly out of KRYY (Cobb County in Georgia). Along the taxi way there was an airplane graveyard.

    As I'd taxi by, I'd always think what a shame it was to see all of those airplanes wasting away. There were about twenty of them. One day I came down and one of those neglected airplanes was parked next to my club airplanes and a guy was checking it out. I spoke with him and he told me that he had bought it for about a thousand dollars and was going to restore it.

    I believe it was a twin Cessna of some sort. It was in bad shapes but I know I would have loved to follow the progress of it.

    Somewhere out there is an airplane sitting in one of these graveyards that might still have some life. All I'm asking is that everyone keeps an eye out for this and let me know if you see one. Then you can follow along with the restoration on my Piperowner blog or on YouTube.

    Should be an interesting journey!

    Thanks all!


  • I broke my own rule in that, I avoid interwebz arguments because they are utterly childish. It is extremely rare and far too laborious to expect anyone to change their perspective. Its also far too easy to puff up your chest and flap your wings from behind a keyboard when there are copious amounts of stumps to profess from, none of which have any effect. In just about all cases, the juice is sour and the result is irrelevant.

    Because the written word lacks inflection, the reader is charged with adding the tone, as occurred here with Kay. Her retort was a reaction to her perception, which was not the intent of my original posting, and here we go! I can see where she might have felt like I was shooting her down. But that was not the intent.

    Regardless, good luck at your chosen art.

    I own and fly a 79 PA32RT-300T. Previous aircraft are a 79 Archer and 76 Arrow.

  • To expand on Unit74's good inputs (in the above post) about the challenges with communication via text only, another is ignoring (or not focusing on) inputs. Also, we might have some disconnected expectations.

    Valid inputs were offered, however they were rejected in what is starting to look like a 'go-big-or-go-home' effort to out-compete the competition. Just say-in. This forum certainly is for self help, although looking to use it for creator / influencer revenue might not prove highly effective.

    While the goal of rehabbing that big reward is appealing, there is also a lot of value in rehabbing *any* aircraft. Better yet, rehab an aircraft which does not already have good coverage. But I get-it that this is not the goal as it appears that the focus is to one-up a landscape of competition. With this additional context, might consider changing the focus as I am aware of one case where an individual made a HUGE amount of per-view revenue on slime (Yes: snot-like stuff) as it was a niche topic at the time. Point is, to maximize money from the creator / influencer landscape, the content actually needs to not compete. <At the risk of insulting, recommend stopping here for a moment and reflecting on the previous sentence.> Pulling this paragraph full circle, the profit motive should come from getting more money after the plane's sale than what it cost in acquisition + parts (and sweat equity) to rehab, along with building a reputation as a reputable rehab / rebuilder; residual per-view revenue should come-in as a distant secondary benefit when looking to work with planes that already have coverage. When these priorities are backward, instability lies ahead. If the focus remains to make money (or at least a living wage) off the per-view residuals, then the topic needs to have niche status. Sure, we can remain on the path of out-competing the competition, but the prediction is this focus will quickly lead to burn-out (read: there are plenty of examples of this effect).

    So, there are the inputs which this effort NEEDS for success. Work with them, or not 😉

    In any event, if I happen to see a requested type of aircraft, will pass details along. If the scope changes, will adjust the inputs accordingly.

  • Happened to glance at the ads and found one which might meet the requirement:

    While not exactly a barn find price or derelict, it is about as close to that level while still (reportedly) legal to fly. Definitely is well into the project territory.

  • At 14,447 TTAF, and a nearly run-out engine, it definitely falls into the fixer-upper category.

    Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

  • Another idea and excuse for an adventure is to head to the southwest in Lil’ Red. Most of those airports have a line of abandoned unloved airplanes. Go to a few midsize and larger cities and look for “Death Row” it might be fun.

    Crazy Brian, Cirrus on floats, has a death row at his airport, he did a video on it, shopping for stupid airplane projects or something. As I recall he found red ants and ill tempered snakes and several money pits, Jimmy would be pleased.

    Sorry I can’t help, I am from the Rust Belt, you don’t want our planes or cars.

    1973 Arrow II factory AC removed

    G5’S, G275, GNX375 Still can get lost.

  • Well, don't want anybody coming back at me with an accusation of less than helpfulness.

    Agree that the TTAF also raises the question of whether it is still a perfectly good plane, but if the bones are good, then the bones are good.

    Toward death row planes lying around in the arid plains, the offer of scouting for aircraft other than a 6 or Lance was discouraged. So that is where my mental note lies.

    Not knowing where this is headed other than a "restoration" is not helping the search. Also not really helping is that (as of this date) the OP only appears to have 1 thread in Piper Owners and 8 contributions to that 1 thread. This also adds to the question of where this is headed.

  • Having had six "project" airplanes I can say that it's fun and hugely rewarding to have an airplane exactly as you want it. So here are some of my experiences with airframes of 5,000 hours ( no where near 14,000+ hours).

    1. A Seneca that I had purchased from Florida was only 4 years there. The remainder of the 40 or so years was in Norway. Years after purchasing the plane I started to find life threatening corrosion. While I had the problem repaired to "factory new" it cost upwards of $20k.
    2. I purchased a Seminole from Embry Riddle in Florida. Several years into the purchase my mechanic found a broken nose spar. thousands and thousands to fix.
    3. In any barnfind make sure that you have a parts source if the plane is mid-1970's or earlier.
    4. If you spend $75k or more on a restoration of an airframe with 14,000 hours, will you get your money out of it later?

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • There’s a 140 and an archer up here that haven’t moved for years…KBED. Can get pics if you’re interested.

  • Check post #2 with the suggestion of consideration for smaller planes (one was a Piper).

    And then post #4 with the polite rejection.

    So, it is looking like a go-bigger or go-home type of event.

  • Thanks for all the input. I'm surprised this thread came back up. Good suggestions!


  • edited January 30


    The plane jacobsja found seems reasonable. It's not a derelict, but there's a high probability that starting with an airworthy plane will cost you less in the long run. If it's airworthy, chances are that A/D's are up to date, or close. An airworthy bird will also have parts or avionics that you may remove and sell, lowering the overall cost of the project.

    A derelict plane will require you to fire the money cannon at it point blank. On the other side, there is definitely more impact (for your followers too) to see a derelict plane brought back from the brink of the graveyard and returned to pristine flying condition.

    I've done 2 restorations. After the first one, you'll know every nut and bolt on the plane. Scott has 4x my experience, so he knows the nuts and bolts on a first name basis. 🤣 There is a ton of great knowledge on this forum. I learn new info here all the time.

    Do you have a price point for starting your project?

    Jim "Doc Griff" Griffin
    PA28 - 161
    Chicago area

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