Sunday, March 4, 2007

I hate airplanes.

OK, I hate working on airplanes.

I am one beat up, bruised and tired blogger.

The plan was to take off early today. It was all set. Cleared.

ALL I had to do was a simple four brake change on a King Air 350. Get the five wheels on and inflated. Do one gear swing. Sell it all to QA. Do the paperwork and get the plane on the deck.

Easy enough right? A 1430 departure was within reach at 0600 this morning. WITH time to spare!

You and I both know better.

"... for want of a nail, a shoe was lost..."

It all started with the o'rings. Typical supply snafu's. I needed eight. Six were ordered. Hey, that should have been good news. If I can only do two brakes and 3 wheels (No nose wheel brake on a King Air.) that eliminates a big chunk of the squawk.

You and I both know better.

Two o'rings had been charged out already and as "Luck" would have it we found them. No biggie. Plenty of time. 0730, start putting things together.

I've got my maintenance manual and parts manual references in hand to follow the steps and, more importantly to sell the job to QA. All of the parts are on hand...

0830 brakes are on and the brake bleeding process begins...

A leak.

Even with paranoid caution and care. Even with generous amounts of lube. An o'ring broke on installation.

See, You and I knew better.

By the way, the sun was coming out and the wind was dying down. Beautiful day to be off.

It all went "Boom" from there.

We did find another o'ring. Don't ask. If you're not a good scrounge and a pack rat, don't consider Aviation Maintenance as a career.

Pulled it apart, put it together, bled them and sold them to QA.

I started to put the FIRST wheel on. I fought me like the dickens. They can be a pain. There are two discs to fit in the wheel. (Just think of an eight pointed star. Now think of a circle with eight corresponding notches to accept the points of the star. Ya gotta get the points of the star to align with the notches in the circle. Now add another star that must align with the same notches in the circle.) I finally called for help. Something was wrong.

Turns out, the brake assembly had been dropped and one of the 'star points' had an odd divot. The disc was warped too!

The day went on and on like that. I left at the usual 1830.

BUT! I saved four hours of leave time that I can still use later.

I hate working on airplanes.

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