Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Monkey Meat

Over the weekend, I had the chance to bring some elderly missionaries back to the village where they had lived and worked for 10 years back in the 60's. Yes, that would be the 1960's! There has been an evangelical church for many years in the village of Caimito, but this was a special occasion as we were attending the dedication of a new church building.

As these types of things seem to go, there was plenty of pomp as prayers of dedication were held, ribbins were cut and we all filled in to sit on wood benchs in the first row while scores of villagers stood in the back listening to the Word preached for the first time in their new church building. After the service, as guests of honor (pilots are always included even though all we do is fly the airplane) we were served the first portions of a late lunch. Noodles with monkey meat!

The elder missionary that was with us made sure that I received the good parts, like the hand, to pick at. What did it taste like? Beef. Really salty beef. Since there is no refrigeration in the village, salt is used to help preserve the meat. It was like chewing on a dear lick. In the words of an old time JAARS pilot, "where He leads me I will follow, what He feeds me I will swallow."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

High flying and jammed controls

Right now Peru is in the middle of rainy season. We have been getting some pretty good rains off and on the past few weeks. This has made flying a challenge, to the point where flights have been postponed or we have sat around for a few hours waiting for the rains to stop or the weather to improve. I was coming back form a flight at a location 2 hours away. There were many rain shower in the area so I climbed up to 14'500 feet, turned on the oxygen and enjoyed the increased airspeed! In pilot school we learn that the higher you go, the colder it is.

This was very true as it was 80 degrees on the ground and below 40 up at altitude. Also as you go higher up there is less oxygen. This is both good and bad for flying. Its good because there is lest resistance or drag on the airplane so you can fly faster (given the same engine horsepower) at a higher altitude.

The bad part is that unless you have a turbo charged engine, the result of having less air means not being able to produce as much horsepower and you also have to wear this funny oxygen canula which is like a colonoscopy for your nose!

While taxing out for takeoff, I felt limited rudder travel in the foot pedals. I shut down the engine, got out and found a static wick stuck in a hole which was preventing the rudder from moving! I'm pretty sure one of the village kids did that while I was not paying attention. Good thing it was found before takeoff! Thank you Lord!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wing Work

The last couple of week have found the SAMAIR team busy working on the wings of our Cessna 206. Not only have we resealed both wings tanks, but we have also been replacing rivets that have loosened up. We also accomplished some minor sheet metal repairs to cracks in the wing skin. The load bearing portions (spars) were A-OK!

Some places are VERY difficult to get to, so the person with long and skinny arms is the one who usually gets the job of bucking rivets.

In the last two weeks I have stayed late three times and worked until 10pm. Its amazing how much more you can accomplish without interruptions!

I prefer to say the the airplane leaves its mark on us... not the other way around.

Do you have your tickets... to the GUN SHOW! Bonus points for telling who has the "massive muscles".

One wing completed and ready to begin paint stripping. Dave K. really enjoys this part of the job!