Gee, updates is becoming a habit.
So is moving the Beechcraft. On the 6th of April Vice President Grant called a short notice meeting to discuss Jackie Cochran’s Beechcraft. The jest from the meeting is the Beechcraft and all associated support must be relocated to the main Northwest Campus hangar very soon. Yep, no runway, no watching aircraft take-off and land, etc. The reason is to make room for TCC’s FAR 147 aircraft upgrades. Sad, but necessary. We will have to make some difficult decisions. At this point this is all I can say. I am visiting the new location next week for the first time. The good news is that the restoration project is being supported – not abandoned.
You can just imagine that Thursday night I got zero sleep. That is just my way of dealing with rapid changes. Basically, I was imagining the move + how to make a smooth transition. The move will occur very soon. When the tail structural repair and installation of the tail landing gear is finished – we move the airframe.
This brings me to today. Bob Pratt and I walked around tagging items to be moved. The external storage facilty was inventoried and the right wing assembly, right wing tip, interior fabric, spare engine mount, and portable generator were moved into the hangar. Left behind are two seats and equipment items.
We moved all of the data received for the new G2 into the pant booth being very careful not to disturb any of the pallets packaging. I am certain the pallets are arranged for acceptance of the new aircraft. The King Air 200 has not arrived yet. The MLG support frame was moved next to the aircraft.
The right wing was placed in the wash rack and cleaned for the move. Bob Pratt loves to get drenched with Ivory soap and water overspray. Bob, no need for a bath tonight – too clean already!
Linden Clack and Teddy Felcara just begged to assemble the tail gear assembly. Such enthuiasm. Of course, we need a new part – a small pin. The Beechraft part number is 102809A125-022. Got One? Another little challenge.
They used the Beeechraft maintenance manual and the parts manual to complete the assembly. The lubrication chart was followed to assure no-friction between the moving parts. The part is not airworthy until we get the pin.
The tail wheel axle races and bearings is being ordered. The inspection revealed pitting corrosion on the races scored bearings.
Augh, the tail structure repair. Andy tePoele, John Giglio, and Gabriel Montalvo worked non- stop for over 6-hours + shooting rivets. The goal was to complete the riveting today. As per normal – things happen. The crew worked flawlessly. However, this repair is tough and about 1/3 completed today. The working conditions inside the tail section is cramped. I mean really cramped. Using 2 X 4” pieces of wood to kneel on structurally sound areas and working through cabling is a real blast. We did not have the right size bucking bar for “a” rivet and need two rivet sizes not on hand. The life of a professional aviation maintenance technician brings forth the best – period! Never- say – never!
We are not working next Saturday. Most of the families have plans for the 15th of April. Certain team members are checking their commitments to work the structural repair before the 22nd.
Allie Hoyt is working outreach issues within TCC and with in-kind donations. Plus, looking at foundations that support the type of work we are accomplishing.