Every year our airplanes go through an extensive inspection that encompasses the airframe as well as the engine and propeller. It is a long list of items to inspect and sometimes repair so that they are ready to complete another year of safe flying. Matt received his mechanic’s license in the U.S., which allows him to complete these inspections on our smaller, ultralight airplanes, but because he does not have his Brazilian mechanic’s license we need to have someone outside our mission come to help (that is one of the reason’s that Lucas is working on his mechanic’s license in São Paulo). Earlier this summer, the Bearhawk needed this inspection. We asked a mechanic from another mission to help us and he offered to donate his time— we just needed to pay to get him to Santarém!
The first afternoon we dove in. Taking off all the inspection covers, cowling, etc in order to get to all the items we needed to check. During the first few hours, he began to notice a few things— nothing unsafe but things that were unsettling to him about the engine on the Bearhawk.
A few hours into the second morning, Victor pulled me aside and said, “Matt, I recommend that you have this engine sent off to be overhauled. There are so many items that are questionable that I am uncomfortable signing off the inspection”. He was concerned that I would be upset because this will be a very expensive project. My response to him was, “that is exactly why you are here. To tell us these things. You have a lot more experience than I do with this motor.”
This weekend Lucas and his boss traveled up to Santarem to take off the engine and propeller and prepared them for shipment. Praise the Lord again because his boss traveled up donating his time, another mission donated his plane ticket and ASL just needs to pay his food and hotel!!
Please join us in prayer as we make many decisions about this engine. Now that we have it off, is it best to overhaul it? Or, do we sell it as a “core” and purchase one here in the states that has fewer hours? Do we make a bigger jump and purchase an engine with more horsepower now that the Bearhawk is on floats?