Vance's "BS-meter" ....and how to spot & dodge dubious deals/dealers!

StanFoster

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
17,025
Location
Paxton, Il
Aircraft
Helicycle N360SF
Total Flight Time
1250
I think I will post a picture of a curved stairway I have built and break it up into 10,000 tiles. You all send me just $10 for each tile...and.... "when" ...all 10,000 tiles are sold....I will build that stairway for the winning tile holder. Meanwhile I will just live on the tile money coming in! That is probably exactly what happened with my tile. By the way, I just remembered that my friend Gabor bought that tile and gave it to me. So someone has long spent Gabor's $50.
 

Martin W.

Active Member
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
408
Location
Winnipeg
Small club held a car raffle every year and the draw was made during the local fair.
Car was usually a Corvette or something and they sold a lot of tickets.

Police chief knew the club president was a bit of a shyster ... and so were some of the members .... but they would get a random person from the crowd to pull the winning ticket from the draw drum so he figured it was legitimate.

One year the lady who pulled the ticket got a glimpse of the name before she handed it to the club announcer .... and when he read out the name it was different than what she had seen

Turns out he would always "pre-select" a winning ticket .... usually a friend or relative .... and already had it in hidden in his hand ... and that's the name he read out. Went to court but it was a he-said she-said situation and he got off.

Cop did a little digging and found out they had been doing it for years ... the "club" was formed in order that they could each end up with a new car over several years .

.
 

DavePA11

Active Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,229
Location
USA
Small club held a car raffle every year and the draw was made during the local fair.
Car was usually a Corvette or something and they sold a lot of tickets.

Police chief knew the club president was a bit of a shyster ... and so were some of the members .... but they would get a random person from the crowd to pull the winning ticket from the draw drum so he figured it was legitimate.

One year the lady who pulled the ticket got a glimpse of the name before she handed it to the club announcer .... and when he read out the name it was different than what she had seen

Turns out he would always "pre-select" a winning ticket .... usually a friend or relative .... and already had it in hidden in his hand ... and that's the name he read out. Went to court but it was a he-said she-said situation and he got off.

Cop did a little digging and found out they had been doing it for years ... the "club" was formed in order that they could each end up with a new car over several years .

.
Wow - I never participate in these raffles, and glad I haven’t. Have to assume this happens all the time with raffles….
 

Kevin_Richey

Yamaha gyro...Oregon, USA
Staff member
Joined
Nov 16, 2003
Messages
2,715
Location
AZ
Wow - I never participate in these raffles, and glad I haven’t. Have to assume this happens all the time with raffles….
I assume the opposite, that the raffles are honestly conducted. But, the criminal element of society is insidiously everywhere, looking for a crack they can crawl into to steal for their benefit, so likely a few raffles are crooked.
 

j4flyer

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2004
Messages
346
Location
Woodland, Ca
As a retired cop I have seen crooks enter every avenue of life. Having purchased and sold aircraft parts for many years I can say I’ve only had two criminal incidents. One was non payment and one was non delivery. I have found that the majority of aircraft people are trustworthy. I know there are scammers as I see them post in Barnstormers every day. When I see a Garmin 430w listed for 3k it will likely be a scam. If I’m tempted to call I look at the area code vs the listed location. If I call I wait to see how long it takes to answer my call. If someone calls back and they want to converse via email , red flag. If the seller knows nothing about the product, red flag. If they only want to use PayPal friends and family with out that account being linked to a credit card, red flag.
(I almost laughed out loud when Vance stated suspicious claims of HP. Anyone who knows Vance should know he lives and breathes that formula. )
There is a saying among buyers that if an aircraft doesn’t fly at Oshkosh at least two years in a row, don’t buy it. I find this is true for all new products including avionics.
There are times when you simply get a feel for a seller and the product. Sometimes this feeling is the hair rising on your neck , other times it’s grandmas cookies. I trust those feelings. The best thing anyone can do is pray about an important decision, wait and think, discuss with others , check market reports , then buy if still interested.
Don’t be an impulsive buyer in Aviation. Be informed, research before you begin the buying process.
 

BEN S

Active Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2007
Messages
2,664
Location
Guam
Aircraft
Sportcopter Vortex
Total Flight Time
300+
How about It's perfectly reasonable to enquire how many students a given CFI has killed or have they had major accidents?
Or how many of a particular machine have burned in and any particular pattern in the crashes?
Or if your buying a used gyro, were any of the pieces or parts involved in a wreck, if so who inspected them?
Going for a ride? Who does your annual? When was it?
Are you familiar with the area? (Admittedly NOT a guarantee)
How is your health? Did you recently get a Vax or Booster shot?

An oldie but goodie...
"Are you SURE thats the field? It doesn't look like the numbers we are looking for..."
"Are you SURE we can fit all of that stuff AND us in there and take off? (The word safely was implied, it should not have been)
"Wow, thats a lot of fog up ahead, you don't have to impress me"
"Have you ever ridden one before? (The word safely was implied, it should not have been)

I could go on, but pilots are just people who go up, that means plenty of them suck. They suck as pilots and/pr they suck as people.
Watch your back and remember you don't know what you don't know!
Don't be afraid to ask pointed questions.
 

Andino

Active Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
117
Location
near London, U.K.
Aircraft
many FW airplanes + various autogyros
Total Flight Time
>1000 hours
Gyroplane claims that cause me to calibrate my BS meter

Unrealistic takeoff distance
Unrealistic range
Unrealistic fuel consumption
Unrealistic cruse speed
Unrealistic top speed in level flight Vh
Unrealistic horsepower numbers
It is thoroughly tested
Revolutionary design
Unrealistic sales numbers
Uncommonly low price
Too many excuses
Free anything
Good list! "Coming soon! " is one that I'd add. I'm tired of waiting for the PAL-V. :cautious:
 

Aerofoam

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
138
Location
Az.
Aircraft
Pteradactyl, AC 447/503, too many UAVs
Total Flight Time
Over 3k....(From the ground !)
Gyroplane claims that cause me to calibrate my BS meter

Unrealistic takeoff distance

Unrealistic range

Unrealistic fuel consumption

Unrealistic cruse speed

Unrealistic top speed in level flight Vh

Unrealistic horsepower numbers

It is thoroughly tested

Revolutionary design

Unrealistic sales numbers

Uncommonly low price

Too many excuses

Free anything

Welcome to the UAV world. 95% BS/snake oil 95% of the time.....
I have to compete with performance claims that are so ridiculously overstated that it is almost comical.
But they get the contract with the shiny new "Whizbang 9000" that some retired general thought looked cool and $4mil. later, it barely flies.....

About once a month, another UAV MFG. friend and I have a conversation about getting into carbon fiber musical instruments, or ANYTHING other than DOD contracts
because of the BS that abounds in our industry... Your tax dollars at work.....
 

WaspAir

Supreme Allied Gyro CFI
Joined
Oct 21, 2006
Messages
5,373
Location
Colorado front range
Aircraft
Bell 47G-3B-1 / A&S 18A / Phoebus C, etc.
Total Flight Time
stopped caring at 1000
That's what Kaman did - intermeshing rotor helicopters for DOD, and composite-back Ovation guitars for the rest of us.
 

Aerofoam

Active Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
138
Location
Az.
Aircraft
Pteradactyl, AC 447/503, too many UAVs
Total Flight Time
Over 3k....(From the ground !)
That's what Kaman did - intermeshing rotor helicopters for DOD, and composite-back Ovation guitars for the rest of us.

Awesome!
I accidentally discovered the first Ovation concept, a Colombian classical guitarist friend showed me a Bolivian instrument that is just like a Ukulele
with the back made out of an armadillo shell...
I wonder if the first Ovation was a big turtle.....
 

Butch

Newbie
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
96
Location
Jackson Ca
Aircraft
Bensen Gyro
Total Flight Time
50 hrs
As always ...EXPERIENCE is a HARD teacher ...& some of us have been through the maelstrom & wringer ..when it comes to the darker-side of a FEW people involved in Aviation ....as in life-as-a-whole ...all Aviation groups have their share of seedy characters & outright crooks!
The latter DO get caught when their greed pushes them too far & trusting board/committees ..members WAKE-UP --- ( case-in-point our local EAA chapter in ICT KS ...is recovering from an energetic & seemingly wonderful president ...who STOLE a lot of money over the last few years ...he is in the legal prosecution process at present ...albeit ...Covid delayed - but he was caught red-handed in embezzlement of Chapter funds & property!). :(

It seems like Jim & I were crossing paths with SO many scammy-types on our search for a suitable ..."BIG-BOY" capable gyro.
When things did not add-up (& ... we almost pulled the trigger on one of those deadly UFO's) ...from Doc-B (then in KC area) ...but RESEARCH & learning from good folks HERE on the forum & listening to our spidey-senses ("THE BS-meter") ... held us back!

Then came OSHKOSH ...2010 ...when Jim followed Larry Neal up to OSHKOSH ...next he went to Mentone (against Larry's strong persuasion - and many here still recall the FUBAR of PRA$ mismanagement that LN did with the convention in Waxahachie TX) ..well before our time on the scene!
2010 ...the year that Jim Fields was plugging his "safest-ever" design gyros the HoneyBeeG2 range! ...we all know how THOSE turned out for the unfortunate money-man supporting the venture ...AND the poor CO kit buyer who actually got one after a long struggle & the company dissolution! My Jim came. back from OSH/Mentone ..full of enthusiasm & we looked hard at the HoneybeeG2 ....BUT MY BS-Meter was in full air-raid siren mode!

"OK so we dodged Scammer # 1 & scammer #2 .....and fell into the hands of LN!" ...Butterfly gyro's ...had been around some time & seemed well proven, he was CarterCopter's chief respected test-pilot ...he had lots of good men in the Nth TX gyro club community vouching for him!
It took a friend several years later who told us to read Martha Strout's book ..."the Sociopath next Door" ...before we understood how we & so many others were hoodwinked so completely by LN!
Now I DO NOT regret ALL of the GREAT times we had in the first 2 years...with Larry & our Butterfly gyro journey ... we learned SO much & his single-seat & ultralight models were GOOD machines ...at the time! My OZ-rora /Aurora is an awesome machine ...albeit now kinda heavy & crude in many parts when seen beside GyroTechnic's beauties! The Tiggy-B project was a lot of fun & we met amazing people made wonderful friends & had many good times !
...Sadly as the truth of Larry's shortcomings, incompetence & cover-up, denials ...then outright dangerous actions .(sending Jim & TiggyB home with a defective rotor to practice" balancing-on-the-mains"). became more evident as time went on and the project to get Jim a useable flying trainer stalled with issue after issue!
In retrospect I now grieve deeply and & am SO SAD for the toll it took on Jim's mental & physical health .... The ugly decision ( after 3 years of many 2nd -nth chances and hopes for a different outcome after learning-what-didn't work via experience, to hold Larry accountable for his broken signed contract, all the promises and then his hostility when challenged over ANYTHING ...his strange & increasingly "weird" behavior & his washing his hands of Jim & Tiggy-B ...) Jim had no option but to begin legal proceeding! (I knew it was futile ... but by then other skunked ...2 -place Butterfly owners had come to light & Jim was on a "Don Quixote" crusade to prevent others from being hoodwinked by Larry's sweet-talk ...inability to deliver!)

Jim DID get the satisfaction of a face-to-face deposition with the lawyers ...in late 2014 ...where Larry DID fess up to the issues that Jim wanted him to admit to ...in his dealings with Jim & the Tiggy-B project!
Just one week prior to a meeting with a Judge for mediation & settlement of Jim's lawsuit against Larry ....Larry Neal took his own life.
We then met Larry's daughter Lori a few weeks later trying to figure out what REALLY happened & the fate of the Butterfly LLC assets ( we were invested as DEALERS) & learned SO much more about the character of LN ..prior to becoming involved with gyroplanes! (It's NOT nice or "normal"!)

I KNOW there are still people around this forum who LOVED Larry & will be loyal friends ...to the end! (My airing of ..OUR REALITY of experiences with him will cause them pain!) WE HAD LEGAL PROOF & a wrapped-up case ..that was never able to come to fruition ...because he checked OUT!

...JUST as there are people here who think John did pretty serious stuff to screw up PRA ...I & others on the board .still have good friendship feelings towards John BUT in strict business mode we had to do hard things TO MOVE -ON ... WE ARE NOT throwing John, his efforts, or REPUTATION ...under the bus!
If other individuals ...like Teddy have axes -to grind with JR dealings ...PROVE REAL offenses ...but DO NOT slander ...without provable cause!

well ...that seems to be a provocative start to this thread ...more will come I'm sure !

keep this stuff OUT of the positive PRA thread - Thanks.
I have never been scammed so much as when I started my journey with my bensen. I spent a small fortune taking lessons and trying to have safe equipment. I had 2 sets of bensen rotor blades so I decided to sale one of them. Someone who is a member contacted me and said that he was interested. He drove here to see them. He told me that the blades were not usable on a powered gyro but might be ok for a bensen gyro glider. I let him have them cheep. As he was leaving he came back in and told me that my second set of blades were also bad. He talked me out of those. I sold him both sets for $ 1500.00. I figured with that I could find some good blades. I had no blades now for my gyro. 3 weeks later I was looking through barnstormers and there they were. 1 bensen gyrocopter with blades and 1 bensen gyroglyder with blades. The name on the add was the same that bought them from me. I thought to myself what a snake and chalked it up to a lesson learned. I saved some money to add to what I got from the blades and thought that I could get some good ones. I answered an ad which said new blades for a bensen so I called on them. The guy told me that they were brand new and were an xtra set for his bensen. He wanted $ 2400.00 for them and it cost me $ 1300.00 for shipping. I was exited and couldnt wait for them to arive. When they got here and I opened the crate I found a used set of blades that were too big and heavy for my bensen. I tried several times to reach him but he would not return any of my calls. All that money and I am on a set income of social security. I answered another add for some reasonible bensen blades but again when I received them they are very coroded and I am afraid that they are unsafe. So here I sit out over $ 3400.00 and still no blades. I have not been able to fly in over a year
 
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