Sunday, June 17, 2012

Belt failure

Last week I had another electrical system failure. Previously I had a ring terminal break which connected the alternator output to the main aircraft power bus. So this time when I saw the red and amber warning lights come on while flying I assumed that another ring terminal had broken. 

 After landing I took the cowling off and found that the alternator belt had broken. Thankfully by minimizing all the electrical loads I was able to make it two hours back to home base where we installed a new belt.

Mr. President

On a recent trip to northern Bolivia, I was informed that the President of Bolivia would be visiting the same city as my destination! In the USA, whenever the president travels there is always a large TFR (Temporary Flight Restriction) and no other airplane are allowed in the airspace. Before leaving on my flight I checked to see if the airport was still open and they said YES. Upon arriving, the President of Bolivia showed up within 5 minutes and I was able to walk right up take a few pictures! Definetly a once in a life time experience for me!

In case your wondering, his ride for the day was a Kingair 90. About a $300,000 airplane. Airforce One cost $400 million.

On the return trip, I brought three eye doctors back to Santa Cruz who had been doing surgeries for people in this remote area of Bolivia. All of their work and time was donated and they accomplished over 30 surgeries in two weeks time. My co-pilot for the day was very interested in aviation so I gave him the change to fly the airplane. Everybody else took a two hour nap.

A sunny afternoon dodging clouds on the way back to Santa Cruz. They look like puffy white cotton balls in the sky.