First off, please understand what the Q2/Q200 is NOT. It is NOT an:
- Aerobatic Airplane
- Short Field Airplane
- Rough Field Airplane
- C-152 Replacement
Secondly, why are you considering buying it? If you answer includes any of the following STOP. The Q2 will probably NOT be a good fit:
- It is cheap.
- You have 17 hours and want to build time.
- It is cute.
- The current owner told you that it is in perfect/mint condition and flies perfectly (if you fall for this you probably should not be allowed out in public).
- All it needs is "xxxxx" (engine, radio, paint, etc...). See above about gullibility issue.
Owning a homebuilt of this type is a lifestyle. You must enjoy getting your hands dirty, learning the airplane, and be able to maintain it. This is NOT a Cessna/Piper that you take to the FBO every time it makes a funny noise. If you are not of this mentallity, don't buy it.
If I bought a "flying" Q2, I would do the following before flying it myself:
1. Complete condition inspection (obviously).
2. Check and correct main gear alignment (regardless of what the owner tells you).
3. Check all wiring. If ANY non-Tefzel wiring is found it must be replaced. If ANY non-Amp (or other high quality) crimp fittings are found, replace. Carefully check for wire strands breaking, non-gas tight crimps/fittings, and improper support/vibration isolation. If any of the above is found, the entire electrical system is suspect and would seriously consider replacing the entire thing. If not up to the AeroElectric Connection standards, replace.
4. Become intimately familiar with:
a. Electrical System. Exactly how it works, failure modes, etc…
b. Fuel System
c. Entire panel/instruments/radios. Should be able to operate everything without a second thought.
5. Check for use of non-standard fasteners (non-AN hardware). I consider their use in non-critical applications to be barely acceptable.
6. Check operation of brake system (lots of variations exist). Must be very smooth and even. If any grabbing or unevenness, it must be fixed. Best solution is to upgrade to the LaRue/Coughlin/Hoskins version.
- Attempt to fly the airplane cross-country.
- Attempt to make a local flight without significant taxi time to familiarize yourself with the plane, it's controls, and to verify that everything is in working order.