Friday, February 15, 2013

Farewell to the Bandit

It's been a while since I've written a blog post...things have been busy.  You know how that gets to be, right?  Anyway, things at work are such that I don't usually have a camera with me, although I think I should change that.  We have just been working as normal on aircraft, with the exception of this week.  We sold our Embraer 110 for scrap.  This airplane has been sitting at the airport for probably close to 10 years.  It came for the purpose of us taking the engines and avionics and putting them onto a Twin Otter.  Other than that, it's just been sitting there, and we've taken some parts here and there to use on other airplanes.  Well, the time came for it to be dragged out from the woods and chopped up so that the truck/crane could come and get it.  We all got our turn with the chop saw, as you can see below.  It was raining that day, so that's why I have a rain coat on.  We cut off the wings and the tail.  It was sort of sad, you know, knowing that this is the last time this airframe serial number will be in one piece.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Next Steps last post was in April.  That was 5 months ago.  I guess many of you have probably faded away from viewing my blog, and I'm sorry I haven't been up to date.

Just to give a brief insight into my lack of blogging -

Many of you know that I have been working with Samaritan's Purse on loan with AIM Air here in Nairobi, Kenya.  Over the past year or so, things have begun to develop such that SP has decided to separate from AIM Air and open their own base a bit further north in Kenya to better sustain their ministry in South Sudan.  While I find the move to be a good choice on the part of SP, my family and I have decided that we should no longer be a part of the SP team.  We feel that the Lord is drawing us into some different sort of service than what we are a part of here in Nairobi.  We don't know what or where that means, but we know that we need to make steps forward to remain in pursuit of God's will.

Therefore, we are departing Kenya this week to return back to the United States, where we will return to Raleigh, NC.  I will return to seminary to finish my Master's Degree next spring and we will actively pursue the next place of service that God has for us overseas.

I will be working at a place called Rampart Aviation, which is actually the new company that came our from Fayard Enterprises, my previous job before SP.  I will return to the DHC-6 Twin Otters and CASA 212 that I grew to enjoy so much.  I don't know how much blogging I will be able to do around the hangar there, but keep yours eyes open and I will do my best to continue this Silver Bullet blog, even if it is just something simply for aviation enthusiasts.

Thanks for all your support, comments, and emails.  I do enjoy getting emails from folks reading my blog and asking for info.  I gladly give it out when I can and if I can.  If anyone anywhere, inside or outside the USA has anything to add or if you need an A&P at your place, just give me a shout. :)


Friday, April 13, 2012


 Our new silver bullet rebuild project is N342EA.  She's been in the shop for a bit now and we're slowly doing some work whenever we can find the time.  We are planning to bring this airplane to the same status as the previous three we've overhauled, including new engine/prop, new paint, and lots of other upgrades along the way.  

Caleb with the new IO-550-N engine.  We're taking this engine...

...and putting it here.  

Joseph did a nice job fabricating a new instrument panel.  He made it out of 0.063" 2024-T3, according to the AIM Air specifications.  We will powder coat it a nice gray color.  

Sitting without main gear.  We had a crack on the LH outboard gear casting, so we had to replace it.  

 Then we took off the wings.  Jim here is really working hard to keep that thing up. :)

No wings, no engine, no nose gear.  Sorta sad looking.  

Marko and Adamson have been working on some sheetmetal projects, including installing new rear seatbelt attach point doublers.  This necessitates removal of all three rear windows to access the area.  

Tom, one of our newest AIM Air pilots (currently doing his maintenance orientation), working on getting the elevators removed.  We are replacing the trailing edges with non foam filled parts. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DC-3 maintenance

 Wow, things have been busy here in the AIM Air hangar!  I apologize for the lack of blogging over the past couple months.  We have really stayed pretty busy and I just haven't had the chances to take the pictures and document like I have in the past.  However, during a few of the projects, I have been able to get some pictures.  I will try to do better in the future.  Meanwhile, here's a few pictures from the DC-3.  We did just do a Phase inspection on it this past week, but I don't really have any good pictures from that.  Like I said...we were busy!  

 We took off the old props on the DC-3 and installed a new pair.  I don't have any finished pictures, but here is Paul, Caleb, and Joe (L to R) getting one of the new props ready to install.  Well, I think Joe is just goofing off!

 Here's the 3 in the doorway without any props.  You can see by the date how long it's been since I posted anything on here.  

 I caught Joe under the instrument panel in the DC-3 one day trying to get an instrument out.  

I'm not quite sure how that's easier than getting it through the nose cone.  Oh, well. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Propeller balancing

 Some of the guys here at AIM Air have recently been trained on the MicroVib propeller balancing tool.  So that means that with every new inspection comes a chance to balance propellers.  We have done one Caravan already.  This set of pictures is from just yesterday, when we went out and balanced the propeller on 5Y-XPA.  I went along as the driver, while Jim and Paul did the actual balance job.  It went pretty smoothly (pun intended) and we were done in just a couple hours.  

 Jim and Paul getting set up for the first installation of balance weights. 
 Paul watching the airplanes land in the background.  Notice the routing of the prop balance wiring out the bottom right engine cowling and through the top of the co-pilot door. 
 And more calculating.  I started to get a little bored.  So I took pictures of lots of other things. 
 Like this Kenya police helicopter, practicing their hovering.  This is an AS350. 
 This helicopter is relatively new to the field.  I think it's an EC-145. 
 There's the AIM Air Cessna 210, 5Y-BLG, ready for takeoff, with the cityscape in the background. 
  I caught it on takeoff, just when they were putting the gear up.  It looks funny dangling down like that. 
 This picture cracks me up.  This giant billboard out on Langata Road makes it look like this woman is peaking over the trees at me.  Weird perspective. 
 I also caught the MAF PC-12 taking off. 
 I got so bored at one point, I took a picture of the grass. 
 This is a pretty cool looking Cessna 206.  There's always something painted interesting around Kenya. 
 AirKenya operates a couple of these Dehavilland DHC-7s.  Really cool airplane. 
 And of of Air Kenya's Twin Otters. 
I thought this was a neat picture.  You can see all the way to the AIM Air hangar and see the DC-3 sitting outside.  And if you look closely through the haze, you can see one of the line maintenance guys up on the engine nacelle cleaning it.