Notices
Gas Engines Questions or comments about gas engines can be posted here

My experience with Cactus Aviation

Old 05-01-2008, 11:04 PM
  #1  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default My experience with Cactus Aviation

I was very excited last year about 2 new planes I had for the 2007 season. A 3.3 Yak55SP and a Pitts Python from Comp-Arf. I waited a few months for DA to come out with their 170 for my new planes. I then heard it would be Xmas before they would be available. So I decided I would give 3W a try again. I see that many have had decent results and I figured with my expertise in building and tuning that I would be able to keep them running. I called the 2 distributors and Bobby at Cactus gave me the best price. I bought 2 170CS engines and after 2 months of delays they were shipped. I was in the middle of my season so it took me a month before we could start on the Pitts Python.

I completed the plane after consulting with many of the 3W experts. I installed the ignition on standoffs inside the fuse with air ducted in to cool it. I installed greeves pipes with the headers at 9.75 inches. When I first started the engine I couldn't get it to run on the factory settings. I turned the bottom end screw out to 3 turns to get it to idle. I called Bobby and he said it was no big deal. So off to the field I went. I flew it about 5 minutes and landed and allowed it to cool to room temp. I follwed that with several more flights with no 3D and gentle flying around. The engine seemed to run well but was very sluggish on the lower 1/2 of the stick. I contacted Manfred Greeves, he suggested making the headers 1 inch longer. That did the trick and really improved the low end response. I was off to the field again.
I, along with my friends proceeded to burn 3 more gallons for a total of 5 gallons in the plane. No problems and then while Jason Cohen was flying it the motor quit at quarter throttle after about 5-7 minutes of flying. I landed the plane and noticed the motor was a little loose. I thought it had closed off the throttle. I tightened the motor and took off again. It ran well and then after 5-7 minutes it shuts off again. upon landing it I noticed a drool of oil coming from the base gaskets. I had a flyin scheduled for 3 days later, so I called Cactus and explained the problem. Bobby overnighted a set of gaskets. He stated that some people were having problems with the 170's sucking base gaskets. I removed the engine and took it apart. sure enough both base gaskets were sucked in at the transfer ports. I cleaned off the old gaskets and installed the new ones with loctite 518. I also noticed when I had the cylinders off that the plugs looked perfect with a med tan color and minimal carbon.
I started the engine here at home and it sounded good with a nice reliable idle. I went to the flyin I had scheduled and put the Pitts together. Needless to say I was a little gun shy after the last 2 flights had resulted in dead stick landings. I took the plane up and it seemed to be running well. 6-8 minutes into the flight my confidence was coming back. I started a harrier roll about 30 feet off the deck. The engine shutoff at 3/8 throttle with no warning, just like I turned the ignition off. The plane was destroyed. The carb was ripped off the motor as it slid in.
I took out the fuel tank and inspected it. It was perfect. I inspected all the wiring for the ignition and once again it was perfect. I removed the engine and called Cactus.

Bobby acted shocked and said they had had some ignition problems on earlier units but not the later ones he instructed me to take the cover off the ignition and ck the build date. It was 4/04/07. He said to send it in and he would ck it out and replace both ignitions. I sent both motors and ignitions in for inspection. Bobby replaced the the carb studs and stated he ran both motors and that they ran perfectly. No mention of any tuning issues were mentioned at this time. I told him I felt 3W owed me a plane. He said He would contact them and see what he could do. I told him to hold onto the motors pending their decision. After 2 weeks of dodging me, I got a hold of Mr. Wilson. I told him I wanted a full credit for the 2 motors on my credit card. He said he didn't do buisness that way. He also stated that it was my fault the motor quit because the plugs were oil fouled from being too rich. I think he forgot that I had the cylinders off 8 Minutes of run time earlier and they were a perfect color. He then went on to say he couldn't refund my money on a used motor. I asked him to refund it on the unused motor that was still in the wrapper. He said he would call me back the next day. I asked why he couldn't make a decision now? I also stated I had been very patient and nice to this point. He stated he had a thick skin and didn't care if I got mad or not! Well now, He's not returning calls( sound familiar?) He also stated I could try to get a refund thru my credit card company because he knew I was past the time limit.

At this point I'm out a $3800 airframe and another couple hundred in headers and related parts along with the $3889 I paid for the motors. With hindsight being 20-20 I should have just waited for the Da 170. I've flown over 1000 flights a year for the past 6 years and I've never had this much trouble. I've also never had this kind of customer service or lack of.

On November first I was able to reestablish phone contact and found that Cactus had shipped the motors through UPS sometime around October 12th without informing me. The motors were shown to have been left on my porch. Well I never saw them! I called Cactus and Bobby stated they were insured and he would turn in a claim. I asked why they were left without a signature? He said they were insured and that a signature was required. I called UPS with the tracking number and asked who signed for the motors so that I could retreive them. I was told the motors were insured but that the box wasn't cked for signature required. I called Cactus again and asked why there wasn't a signature required. Bobby stated that it was a couple of dollars less if you didn't ck the box and that he put some signature required stickers on the box. The claim process was started and I obtained a police report as requested. I have made over 40 phone calls in the past 6 months keeping the claim open to try and get my money. I Demanded a refund when the motors were missing and UPS verified they were insured. A normal buisness would have complied, but not Cactus Aviation. Bobby stated the claim was between UPS and me. He stated as soon as UPS paid the claim I would recieve my refund.

Here we are 6 months later and I finally get a check from Bobby at Cactus. Only thing is it's $849 SHORT. He has put me off for 6 months waiting for UPS to pay the claim on the engines. They paid the claim on March 28th. Bobby then stated that his cpa told him to let the check from UPS clear before he sent me my check. Anybody ever seen a ck from UPS bounce? Now he is trying to charge a restocking fee on engines that he does not have. You might also notice the restock fee went from 15% to 20%. Also he stated I paid $3800, but you can see my receipt and charge slip for $3889. I talked to his wife April 25th who said he was driving the motorhome and couldn't talk to me, but that she would have him call me. Well you guessed it, no call, so I left a message stating he has till april 30th to pay the remainder or I will start legal precedings against him. I also sent him an e-mail stating the same.
I have now filed a claim with the Arizona Attorney General. The reason for this post is not to pressure Cactus Aviation into Paying because I know that's not how they do buisness. I posted it so everyone will know how they do buisness.

Mark Trent
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Zx69930.jpg
Views:	20
Size:	63.9 KB
ID:	941225   Click image for larger version

Name:	Id95775.jpg
Views:	17
Size:	73.6 KB
ID:	941226   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ou49678.jpg
Views:	12
Size:	104.4 KB
ID:	941227   Click image for larger version

Name:	Au56450.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	61.3 KB
ID:	941228   Click image for larger version

Name:	Cn78919.jpg
Views:	16
Size:	178.6 KB
ID:	941229   Click image for larger version

Name:	Pr26586.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	67.7 KB
ID:	941230   Click image for larger version

Name:	Rp43209.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	135.2 KB
ID:	941231  
Old 05-01-2008, 11:14 PM
  #2  
krayzc-RCU
Senior Member
My Feedback: (31)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Kannapolis, NC
Posts: 7,415
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

wow
Old 05-02-2008, 01:07 AM
  #3  
gadix
My Feedback: (2)
 
gadix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: ModiiIn, ISRAEL
Posts: 959
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

only in America...[sm=75_75.gif][sm=75_75.gif]
Old 05-02-2008, 05:58 AM
  #4  
telejojo
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: HUNTSVILLE, AL
Posts: 830
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

I've been told to stay away from 3W engines and now CA. I'll stick with DA................
Old 05-02-2008, 07:27 AM
  #5  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

This post was not aimed at 3W engines. many people are very successful with them. It was aimed at the unfair buisness practices received at Cactus Aviation.

Mark
Old 05-02-2008, 07:32 AM
  #6  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Just for clarification Cactus made money on the original sale of 2 engines, he then is trying to make another $849 on the insurance claim. How do you possibly charge a restocking fee for motors that were not returned? FWIW I was never offered 2 engines to replace the ones that are lost.

Mark
Old 05-02-2008, 09:31 AM
  #7  
Tired Old Man
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Posts: 18,602
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

My experiences have not had nearly the severity but your experiences mirror mine when it come to getting things done and communications at Cactus. That's why I tell people that doing business with Aircraft International is a better decision. 3W generally makes good engines and your problems would likely have been resolved much faster and with better satisfaction had it been handled by Gerhard at AI. Warranty is warranty and can be handled at any official 3w dealership or repair station. Unfortunately the people at the 3W office in Germany are pretty hard headed. The biggest issue you have to overcome is their sense self perfection.

Your experience is truly sad and unfortunate. Perhaps a letter to 3W accurately describing what has happened may be of some help.
Old 05-02-2008, 10:50 AM
  #8  
P-51B
Senior Member
My Feedback: (5)
 
P-51B's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: An Iceburg in, ANTARCTICA
Posts: 6,747
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Thanks for the heads up on this, good information to have for future purchasing decisions.
Old 05-02-2008, 11:53 AM
  #9  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Thanks for the great idea, the letter has been sent

Mark
Old 05-02-2008, 12:10 PM
  #10  
Robotech
Senior Member
My Feedback: (9)
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Pine Bluff, AR,
Posts: 1,504
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

You were definitely SCAAAREWED. You were way more patient than I would have been.
Old 05-02-2008, 12:34 PM
  #11  
Ralphbf
My Feedback: (27)
 
Ralphbf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 1,450
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Well there is two sides to every story.

So I just sent bobby an email.

"There is a thread at RCU you should see

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_74...tm.htm#7447955

Start at the top of the page.

I'm sure you will want to respond to this."



Let's see what, if anything he does have to say.

I have found that crooks are usually also cowards.
Old 05-02-2008, 01:03 PM
  #12  
Jake Ruddy
Senior Member
My Feedback: (40)
 
Jake Ruddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bear, DE
Posts: 4,104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

wow Mark.. I had no idea this was still going on! We talked a bit about similar problems at Huckfest in ATL when my 260 when in on the start of a HAKE with no warning
Old 05-02-2008, 03:53 PM
  #13  
DadsToysBG
My Feedback: (35)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 2,497
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Here we go again. At first you told him they were never delivered, only when a UPS tracking number showed up did you change your tune. Bobby told you he needed a police report after waiting some time for UPS to get back to him. How long did it take you to get the report? This is old news and to us that know the facts this is getting very boring. You don't do high alpha with a new and rich settings. No company will replace your plane PERIOD and you know that. To put the ball back in your court, "how do we know the engines were stolon, were's your proof. The two or three of you keep bring up old stuff. Buy something else and get over it.
Also you didn't want new engines, you wanted your money. It states right on the invoice about the re-stocking fee. Number two you forgot to mention that there was no charge for repair or shipping on the engine in question.
This a caret or stick issue. You tried to use the stick and it didn't work. Dennis
Old 05-02-2008, 04:10 PM
  #14  
Jake Ruddy
Senior Member
My Feedback: (40)
 
Jake Ruddy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bear, DE
Posts: 4,104
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

I have no intension of getting too involved in this.... but there have been countless threads of this nature against Bobby in the last year... not generally of this magnatude by any means.. but a bunch all the same.

Are you saying you can't do a HAKE with an engine with 5 gallons on it?? Seems to me any engine I have had besides my 85 I could do it on any flight I choose.

I wonder how any one proves something UPS delievered was stolen....
Old 05-02-2008, 04:32 PM
  #15  
DadsToysBG
My Feedback: (35)
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 2,497
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Yes it is the "when was the last time you hit your wife, question" You had this on FG and it was locked down, now you move here. Maybe RCU will lock it down too. If your plugs were fowled thats a bad setting. Bobby doesn't own 3-W he just sells them, if the company says no, thats it. Dennis
Old 05-02-2008, 04:40 PM
  #16  
meridianflyer
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Meridian, ID
Posts: 93
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Man you really took it in the rear. I have an older 3W that I wanted to send to cactus, but after several phone calls and e-mails were never returned, Iwas kind of sucpicous and scared to send him my motor in fear that I would never see it again. I have heard that cactus aviation is run out of the guys garage at home? Anyway AI would be the way to go. Other guys at my field have not had much luck with cactus. I do like my 3w, it is a work horse!
Old 05-02-2008, 05:00 PM
  #17  
Ralphbf
My Feedback: (27)
 
Ralphbf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 1,450
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

My question is how do you charge a restocking fee?

The engines were paid for.

The engines were stolen.

You cashed a check from an insurance claim.

If it wasn't for this to me it would be a he said she said thing.

So what was the logic behind the restocking fee?
Old 05-02-2008, 05:17 PM
  #18  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Dadstobg,

I don't understand your thinking of a restocking fee for engines he didn't have. How do explain all the different figures on the 2 invoices? I might also add that I got the police report immediately when asked to and I will remind you that it is against the law to file a false police report. I never got the motors! Due to no communication from Cactus I didn't know he even shipped them. How do you the nerve to defend this? Would you treat your customers this way? If so I wouldn't do buisiness with you either. I would be careful who I align myself with.

Mark
Old 05-02-2008, 05:40 PM
  #19  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

I have no beef with 3W. I have a problem with the unethical buisiness practices at Cactus Aviation.
Old 05-02-2008, 06:10 PM
  #20  
Rcpilot
My Feedback: (78)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,793
Received 9 Likes on 8 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

So file a police report for fraud. Contact the insurance commissioner and file a fraud complaint in AZ. Insurance fraud is a prosecutable offense and people end up in jail for it.

Old 05-02-2008, 06:31 PM
  #21  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Unfortunately the claim was not between me and UPS. It is between the shipper and UPS. I have filed a complaint with the AZ Attorney General, 3W in Germany, and I consulted my attorney here in missouri.
If need be I will file a claim in small claims court where they will be responsible for all costs in resolving this. If you guys can think of anything I've missed, please let me know.

Mark
Old 05-02-2008, 07:31 PM
  #22  
torquen
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Lodi, CA
Posts: 68
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

I was asked to post this for Cactus Aviation.



Pertaining to the Mark Trent thread.

My name is Bobby Wilson, owner of Cactus Aviation.
I will start from the beginning for those of you that are not aware of the previous thread from Mr. Trent. Please keep in mind that I will not answer any questions about this thread, nor will I talk to Mr. Trent on the phone.

I received 2 engines from Mr. Trent, one had damage to it and the other was new. Mr. Trent said he was doing a rolling harrier and the engine quit. Upon inspecting his engine, we noted the plugs were very carboned up indicating some rich running. When an engine runs this rich( at or below transition) and is somewhat new, you need to keep clearing this out by bumping the throttle or stop the maneuver and go WOT to stop the loading. Never the less, we fixed his engine with new carb block, cleaning carbon off pistons, going through carb, test running and returning it to Mr. Trent.
I talked to him and informed him of what we found and he didn't want to hear this and wanted to return the engines. I said we couldn't do this and sent them back to him.
Some time went by and I saw he had put a post on FG saying I had not returned his engines. He made a big thing about this. People were posting that I should be strung up and go to Tucson and get me! hmmmmmmm.
I had some friends post the UPS tracking #. UPS said it was left on the front porch. I had talked to the dispatch in his area and they said this was common practice with Mr. Trent as he lived in a very affluent neighborhood. I believe they said he had a closed porch of some kind.
He then said they were stolen off his porch. I offered to replace the engines if they honor the claim. Mr. Trent said he wanted the cash settlement.
I contacted UPS and started a claim. I waited to hear from them and after sometime, I called. They said under the circumstances, they would not honor the claim unless Mr.Trent provided a Police report. He did so. After some months and many conversations to UPS, they finally settled. Which I too got the blame for this taking so long.
I have heard from different customers that Mark has had unkind words about me.
OK, I didn't charge him for the repair, no shipping charge back to him, he didn't want the engines back and now they have been stolen.
I have stipulations on my invoice that are very direct about the rules of a return. This is not like he just purchased the engines and wanted to return them within 30 days.
Since he has been anything but cooperative, gone on the W.W.W and trash me and I have done everything I could do to get UPS to settle, I choose to invoke the 20% restocking fee.
In reference to the thread about Cactus Av. last week, we have been in business for 12 years and have the same 10 customers trashing us over the net. I say for all the customers we have sold to over the years, 10 angry cust. is not to shabby, (6 are repeats when they see a thread about Cactus).
I am sure ZDZ, DA and others would be happy if they have this percentage. No trashing on these companies, I have heard of nothing but great customer service from customers about Desert Aircraft.

My personal feeling is these threads have gone from modelers helping each other to being a place for peoples own agenda's to be expressed. If this kind of service is going to be provided to the public, it needs to be policed very closely. The last thread about Cactus was left on for 3 days. By the way, it was settled between us and the customer and all is ok.

Thank You,
Bobby Wilson
Owner, Cactus Aviation Models
Importer, 3W Modellmotoren
Old 05-02-2008, 08:31 PM
  #23  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

.
Old 05-02-2008, 08:43 PM
  #24  
trentmark
Senior Member
Thread Starter
My Feedback: (15)
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: St Peters, MO
Posts: 173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

"I have stipulations on my invoice that are very direct about the rules of a return. This is not like he just purchased the engines and wanted to return them within 30 days."

There was no return and no it's not like I just purchased them and wanted a return. You don't want to respond to this because you KNOW YOU'RE WRONG.

Mark Trent
Old 05-02-2008, 09:57 PM
  #25  
50%plane
My Feedback: (5)
 
50%plane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: California
Posts: 3,943
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default RE: My experience with Cactus Aviation

Mark, how many other sites are you spamming? FG shut it down and you go to other sites to bash Cactus....

This is getting old. [:@]

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.