Our inspection begins with getting to the shop- in our case, we fly the airplane 2 hours to Yaoundé, Cameroon. First we stop at the international airport for the immigration formalities. From there it’s a 5 minute flight to the SIL hangar at the military base.
The team is always super accommodating there- they shuffled around their 3 aircraft and made room in the hangar for me.
Beyond the tail of our aircraft are the SIL aircraft- a Cessna 207 (SOLOY), Helio-Courier, and Cessna 206. Many parts of the C207 and C206 are common. Since our aircraft is a C207, we are blessed that the SIL parts inventory is there as a resource- one of the reasons we chose this particular aircraft!
As part of the inspection, as you might imagine, we’re looking for anomalies, such as cracks. Those, like the one pictured above (engine baffling), we can “stop-drill” to prevent further cracking. Other cracks, however….
Cracks in some critical areas of the aircraft cannot be tolerated. If you look really closely, you’ll see a hairline crack coming from the radius of the corner of this bracket. This bracket must be removed which meant, unfortunately, that we would need to remove both the horizontal and vertical stabilizers and associated control surfaces (elevator/rudder). UGH!
Off they came!
The old bracket came off and the new one was riveted in place.
Then, everything got put back together again… yes… like Humpty Dumpty. Instead of the King’s horses and me, I had the great teammates at SIL- Daryl and Dennis.
Other items all over the aircraft were given attention and, after a couple more weeks than expected… the aircraft blasted off, back to Gabon, and into service once more!