Sunday, May 27, 2007

I Gotta do something about

the lacka Nada!

I haven't even been writing and deleting posts here lately.

I've been doing some, well, note taking for other stuff. Still not writing complete pieces.

That does, oddly enough, lead into some random thoughts from this weekend.

On the way to work yesterday a couple of good ideas and lines hit me during the rainy drive. It started out as a good day. All in all it wasn't a bad day in the mines.

"I hope that Piper didn't have anything important in the nose baggage bay!" I had just looked up in time to see him touch down. Front bag door standing up as pretty as you please. Oops!

Later in the day I looked down towards our FBO to see SIX fuel trucks lined up side by side. Hmm... This morning I saw why. There was a C-17 parked out front.

[I saw two C-17's bring aid to Tegucigalpa after Hurricane Mitch. When they departed (free of the tons of cargo)... WOW!!! Proverbial Homesick Angels!!! A sheer delight to see something that freakin' huge go damned near vertical and disappear in a flash.]

Everything we do with aircraft is dictated by the manufacturers manuals and related tech data. When I finish a service or repair or whatever, I have paperwork to do. That paperwork must have a reference from the appropriate manual. I'm actually supposed to have the data in my hand or very close by while I perform the task.

If you don't go by the book it will bite you in the ass eventually.

HOWEVER!!! Using the book will occasionally bite you too. It bit me.

A simple light bulb change. Right hand Nav light. (Nav lights are the little red and green lights on the wingtips and the white one on the tail.)

No big deal. (It was an optional kind of light assembly. A Strobe light, Recognition light and dual Nav lights. The two retainers for the Nav's are different. The forward is 'normal', the aft is not.)

Paraphrasing the Maintenance Manual:
Remove clear plastic wing tip light cover... Remove TWO screws... Remove retainer... Remove green ($550) Nav light lens... remove and replace lamp.

OK, here I go. I've got the lens off and the TWO screws out. The retainer didn't want to move much but it did move. I tried to work gently around the perimeter of the retainer. Then, I heard it.


Damn it.

Oh, yeah. It cracked.

Seems you have to pull the entire light cluster out just to change that bulb. So much for the 'Book'!

Now, I heard a story at lunch today. I can't report it as fact. It is just a story I heard. I wont mention the names of the (probably guilty) parties involved.

A little lead in here. We mechanics don't hold engineers in very high regard. They are somewhere lower than say, earthworm excrement. However, this story made me feel a little bad for a few of them for a little while.

Getting a new model aircraft model 'Certified' is a monumental undertaking. Getting a new construction concept certified is exponentially more difficult.

A fresh crop of baby faced engineers were hired for just such an undertaking. They worked seven days a week and 14 hours a day for years.

At first they were being paid overtime for everything over 40 hours per week.

At some point an edict came down. 'We're years behind and way over budget. From now on you are all on salary. Don't worry. We'll make it right when we get the project certified.'

Eventually, the ship was certified. By that time all of the baby faced engineers were described as, "...used up gray haired old men..."

There was a huge party. Speeches. Press. Lots of security.

After the speeches it was time to partake of the "Birthday Cake". The serving lines began to form.

Security sought out each and every one of the engineers. Even pulling them out of the serving line. They were escorted to the main gate, their company ID's confiscated and they were ordered to depart the premises immediately.


'Don't worry... we'll make it right..." YEAH RIGHT!!!

Shifting gears here... It's rainin' down in Texas! We recorded 5 inches at the Homestead Wednesday night. There is talk of up to 20" during these next few days. The ground is saturated. Flooding in a few places. They were evacuating folks up around Boerne. Mostly campers and tubers I think.

We may STILL not get to do the big burn this week. Hell, I may have to go to Kansas this week anyway.

I ain't complaining. I'm ready for another Road Trip. O.T., Oh Yeah.

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