Saturday, June 5, 2010

Almost begun

Today, I got a last bulkhead in the PA-31, and unscrewed an inspection panel in order to let someone check a transponder, and the A&Ps finished buttoning up the engines. (Anything worth screwing in is worth unscrewing and checking again, eh?) Then we put towels on the horizontal stabilizer and carefully, gently loaded lead weights on top to push the tail down until it would safely clear the hangar door on its way out. We got the Navajo out of the hangar, tied down, and ran each engine (and both at the same time) to check them out. I pulled a few handfuls of weeds trying to grow in the low spots of sealed cracks and the winter sand that drifted into them.

Inside, I quickly swept and tossed a last few crumpled towels away to leave a clean hangar floor for the next plane coming in for engine change. No matter that dust carries in on every breath of wind, and an amphib turning nearby with sandblast us and pepper us with every pebble its prop wash can pick up - I'm still determined to try to keep that floor clean as I can, keep my hands busy when I have nothing else to do, and avoid having to kneel in metal shaving,

The difference in size left quite a gap between the ring of tools and boxes and stands for the last plane and the perimeter for this one. I moved weights back to their proper stacks, lugged the jacks used to hold it up for gear inspection away, and cleared a spot for one of my wings. Then, I moved all the boxes of parts and pieces and tools away from my wings, making a clear path to move them. Once I was done, I sat and gulped down water, and reasonably decided that I was exhausted enough that I was sloppy, and moving the wing will wait until I am fresh and precise. No matter that it was right there, ready and waiting - this will be better done when there's lower potential for tragedy. But... I'm... Almost... There!

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