Recreational maintenance

Or what is better known as “Why are we doing things this way?”  Seems one of our go fast Embraers (as opposed to our go really slow Cessnas) needed to be weighed.  It’s something that happens every three years and the next occurence is  pretty much scheduled right about the time you’re doing the current one.  Everyone knows when the next one is going to happen.   Weighing an airplane requires that the whole thing be put together and all the bits are in place.    We had the interior pulled out, the tail section opened up, the cockpit seats and floor out, and (the only plus here) all the gas out of the tanks so we could knock out some scheduled maintenance and do a couple of upgrades to the flight control electronics.  

Aircraft scales are sent out for calibration regularly and our set is due to be calibrated next week.  So word comes down from on high that we need to get this done before the scales go out.   It also takes someone designated by the company to do the actual weighing (I’m not one of those guys). My two cohorts and I are elbow deep in fixing the problems we’ve found during the checks in addition to the work we already had planned.   The two guys who can weigh this particular plane are tied up in training next week so we have today to get it weighed.  Two days ago, this airplane was broken down into what appeared to be individual molecules.  We stopped the work, made damn sure anything we hadn’t finished was written in the maintenance book, slapped the parts back together into something resembling an Embraer, and put all the access panels back on. 

We got out the scales, grabbed Inspector 12, and got the weighing process finished.  Now we get to take it all apart again to finish what we were doing.   Now I understand the whole best laid plans thing and I’m a firm believer that flexibility is the key to airpower, but someone in our records department should have caught this.   We could have done all this a month ago at the beginning and only had to take things apart ONCE.

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