What’s happening in the hanger – Week 4?

Hanger week 4 blog 1

Dear Friends,

It is hard for me to believe that tomorrow I will start my fifth week in the hanger. The first four weeks have gone so quickly and Wycliffe, the grounds keeper, reminded Laurie that before we know it our time in Kenya will be over.

Pride can be a terrible thing and come back to bite you. In my first letter I boosted, “Even with the unplanned work, the airplane was complete and the paperwork signed by 5:15PM.” Meeting the deadline was engrained in me before I retired and I was proud that we were able to get the airplane, registration 5Y-CMA, back in service.

Laurie and I had an opportunity for a sight-seeing flight Saturday morning and 5Y-CMA was the airplane that was going to be used. The weather didn’t cooperate so next usage was scheduled for Monday and the airplane left as scheduled.

An adjustable pitch propeller has fittings to connect a grease gun for injecting grease into the hub. These fittings have a check ball that opens under the pressure of the grease gun and then closes when you disconnect the grease gun. Why am I explaining this, because one on the check balls on 5Y-CMA stuck open after service and we didn’t catch it before dispatching the airplane. The pilot reported grease being slung all over the windshield and the line crew had to remove grease all the way from the nose to the front of the wings. (The service limits allow no more than more than six pumps of grease and it is amazing how much area this amount of grease can cover.) No one was in danger and no parts were damaged but the airplane had to return to base for troubleshooting and repair. In my mind these things outweigh my prideful boost of dispatching on time.

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (NIV)

In my last entry I talked about phase inspections but didn’t put times in the description. AIM Air conducts inspections that are somewhat equivalent to a US annual inspect at 100 hours, 200 hours, and then again based on a calendar year. They also conduct less extensive inspections at 50 hours and 150 hours. Most of the AIM Air airplanes are registered in Kenya but they have a couple that are registered in the US. For Kenyan registered airplanes, I can do the work but someone with Kenyan authorization must take responsibility for my work and sign the aircraft log books.

N827DG, a Cessna 206 and part of the AIM fleet, arrived Monday afternoon for a 100 hour inspection. Even though we are in Kenya, since it is US registered I can sign the logs and take responsibility for myself. We started the inspection first thing Tuesday morning with me and Joseph taking care of the engine inspection items. Dan, an AIM staff member, was back from holiday so he and Marco started on the airframe items. Billie, an intern, moved between teams as needed. A second US registered aircraft came in at end of day Thursday for a 50 hour inspection so Dan and Marco switched to the new airplane. This airplane was scheduled out Saturday.

Hanger week 4 blog 2

At the end of business Friday 7DG was ready for service and Dan was working on an oil leak on the aircraft in for the 50 hour inspection. Scheduling was changed for 7DG and it was being packed for a flight into Uganda first thing Saturday morning. Flexibility is really a key here.

The value of me being here was highlighted in a conversation with Chris, one of the pilots, on Friday afternoon. We were talking about what was going on with both airplanes and I shared that I was keeping 7DG moving while Dan was taking care of the 50 hour. Chris thanked me for being here and said words to the effect that if I wasn’t here one of the two projects would be sitting.

Blessings, Terry

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