Online Community of Zenith Builders and Flyers
Just got a quote from a San Antonio area DAR for an Airworthiness Inspection. $1000 flat rate. Is that the going rate, as this seems expensive from what I've heard in the past?
Will someone please recommend a reasonable DAR in our area (San Antonio, TX)? Thanks.
Call your Local FSDO. Never had a problem getting the FAA to come out and inspect my aircraft. Never waited more than a week for the inspection.
You already pay for this service with your taxes.
They will not even return phone calls or emails.
I would keep calling and go up the chain if they wont assist with certification of the aircraft. It's part of what they are supposed to do and are staffed to do with your tax dollars.
I have heard of backlogs of 3 months in our area. I only had to wait 2 weeks. The person that came out was helpful and nice as could be. All at no additional cost then paying your fedral taxes.
Four years ago it cost me $850. Many FSDOs don't do inspections any more. Oakland hasn't done them for years.
Oh - and for my $850 I got a guy who new nothing about GA aircraft. He spend 1/2 hour telling me his life story and barely looked at my plane or assembly log. Asked very few questions as well. He left after one hour. I did get my AWC but felt kind of ripped off for what I had paid.
Well, maybe that's not a bad price after all. Just kind of caught me off guard.
Ancient history now, but 9 yrs ago my DAR had to make a 2+ hr drive to get to my place, did all the FAA paperwork, and performed a thorough inspection for $350!
Paid $920 last year for a guy to drive 5hrs, kick a tire, tell me there "isn't much to inspect on this", and sign the AWC. Base price was $700 + expenses. Travel expenses were split between 3 of us getting inspections the same weekend. Didn't seem to know much about homebuilts, but luckily had some knowledgeable people from the local EAA chapter look at it.
Almost got my FSDO to do it, and if it wasn't for them being on lockdown because of COVID they probably would have since all the DARs in the area retired in the last couple years.
My standard charge is $550 plus travel expenses for single engine, fixed gear, land and sea aircraft. I have experience on pretty much everything from weight-shift ultralight types to twin turbine pressurized fixed wing and rotorcraft. I have certificated over 1,000 Experimental and Light-Sport aircraft.
Typically, if everything is opened up and ready, physical inspection of the aircraft takes 2 - 3 hours.
FWIW, I no longer do pressurized aircraft.
As far as the San Antonio area, I can do, but travel would have to be worked out. I just did an RV-7 in the Austin area but the gentleman came and picked me up in his personal aircraft.
Contact me at <email@example.com>
For those who aren’t already aware, Mel is highly regarded in the Vans community for being knowledgable, thorough, and fair.
Sounds about right, ours wound up slightly under, but travel wasn't too bad for him, the travel expenses can add up quick.
Paid $550 about 8 years ago. I was pretty much ready for anything (paperwork organized, panels off, videos of certain tests, doughnuts, etc).
The guy said my airplane looked better than a lot of them, after which it was mostly a paperwork inspection. He did want to see it run. He had his own paperwork to fill out, and didn't use the "green pack" from the EAA.
Repairman certificate was a breeze. Went to the FSDO for that.
We are blessed- he charged me the same in 2019- I thought it was a fair price indeed. And FYI to all, he told me he will support anyone East of the Mississippi River, although his travel expenses may grow your individual cost.