Unlike many of you, I didn't build my Zodiac. It was built in a factory in the Czech Republic and I wouldn't have it any other way. I have the bent bicycle wheel that I attempted to straighten and the cable tv box I blew up with a little handy homeowner outlet I installed. No one wants me building or fixing an airplane. So I read the letter and learn there is going to be a tidy little "kit" to install and exorcise the demon in the machine. A kit sure sounds pretty easy. I then turn to the Zenith page and see three pages of the "kit." It looked like the backyard barbecue from hell-that flies kit. It took me less than a second to realize that there was no way I was going to be installing the kit.
The panic filled my head, who is going to install this kit and how much will the kit cost? I have no idea how many hours of work are involved with this fix but I am guessing 40 hours at $120/hr; if you can find a shop that can and will do it. In this cover-your-butt world, I would think long and hard about doing this work if I were a mechanic: big potential downside. My guess is there will be a handful of specialty shops that you will have to beg to take your business at around $10,000. The exciting part of this for Zenith is they get to sell the kits. Again, because of the liability and limited application, Zenith will be the only one's selling the kit and they will want to make enough to cover their profits and their butts so I am guessing $5,000 minimum. There is also the matter of loss-of-use of the plane, higher insurance, logistics for the repair, which will probably add another five grand.
This leaves me looking at $20,000 for an airplane that I paid $35,000 for and is probablly worth about $15,000 now - if I sell the Rotax engine and instruments. Clearly, I need a bail-out, I think I will write my congressman.