Nothing like owning a plane, especially when it is in for its annual inspection and your mechanic finds an item that needs to be fixed that will cost a pretty penny. In all of history, I wonder if there has ever been a time when any kind of mechanic has called with good news.
Luckily, I have a mechanic who is decent, honest and not willing to cut corners. And that, at the end of the day, is all I care about. This item could possibly have been covered over and the plane gotten its annual certification, but why would I ever want such a thing? I love flying and I will always want to do it, but I am well aware that it is a risky proposition. One of the reasons I bought my own plane was this exact scenario. Who wants to be in a rental where you don't know what the mechanic has done? Do you want to find out at 5,000 feet that the owner cut corners? It's just not worth it.
As I was discussing the repairs with my mechanic, he told me about a recent crash in New Jersey. Turns out that the pilot had found a crack in his propeller and, instead of paying for the propeller to be repaired by a professional, he filed two inches off of each side. When a piece of metal is turning at 2500 rpm and it is not balanced, the plane becomes uncontrollable. I can't imagine how any pilot could justify such a silly, dangerous home repair to himself.
That's why I may bellyache a little about costs, but I will never say no to getting a professional to repair the plane.