Sunday, May 07, 2006
Shock and Awe
It was an average week at the hangar. Lots of little flight added up. Eleven point four hours for the week. Not bad. Certainly not low flight hours found in the winter months.
There was a buzz in the hangar this week. It was a kinda like a calm before a storm. Not for the pilots or flight crew, but for the flight engineering staff at the hangar.
A couple of weeks ago one of the flying machines was taken apart for some structural work. The work would have to be done at airframe shop. The preparation took 6 days of pain staking disassembly. In aviation, every screw, every part has to be labeled and inspected. It takes time. But it keeps us all safe when we fly.
Friday the structural work was completed and the airframe was delivered back to the hangar. Now the real work begins and to complicate things, the machine is needed to fly by the middle of the week. Can it be done? Anything is possible I suppose.
It is a complete rebuild and it will be done in four days.
But this project is what has consumed Mike and his team of tool welding warriors this week. They have had that "thousand yard stare" this week. They knew that the parts waited for them and their skillful assembly. Can they make it fly on such a tight timeline? I am sure they can and you cannot help but be in awe of that kind of accomplishment.