Monday, June 22, 2015

In (and out of) the Engine Shop

For the past several weeks, I've been working in the engine shop overhauling a Lycoming IO-320 for a ministry based in Texas. This ministry currently works in Africa, and is expanding into Mexico. To facilitate this expansion, they have purchased a Piper Twin Comanche and sent one of the engines to MMS for overhaul.

The past few weeks have been spent disassembling, cleaning, inspecting, repairing, and sending out various components for inspection and overhaul. Here are a few photos of the project:

The engine as it came to us on a palette

The engine on the stand, with some parts removed

More parts removed, including the rocker box covers.

Cylinders removed; crankcase and crankshaft remaining.

The crankcase was sent out for overhaul, and we painted it after receiving it back from the overhaul shop.

The crankcase is painted and ready for reassembly.

There's a lot more to this project, from paperwork to small repairs, making new hoses, and more. These photos are just a small glimpse into the work I've done so far.

Now, for the "out of the engine shop" part of this post: tomorrow (Tuesday), a mission-owned Cessna 182 is coming from Chicago to MMS to have wing extensions installed. Unlike many of the projects I work on as an apprentice, this job requires a quick turnaround because the airplane needs to be displayed in mid-July at EAA Air Venture (the largest aviation event of its kind in the world). Since Jim Newman and I have done this job before on another Cessna 182, we were assigned to the project with the goal of completing the work by Friday (about 3-1/2 day turnaround).

I appreciate your prayers as Jim and I work on the wing extension project this week. On the last project we encountered some complications that required extra work, and we are hoping things will go a little smoother this time! I'm a little anxious due to the time constraints, and the fact that this airplane will be displayed for as many as 250,000 people to see! However, I know I'm well prepared for the project by my prior experience at MMS, and trust that God will give us the ability to do the job well for His glory!

After I finish the wing extension job, I'll be back in the engine shop working on the IO-320. I will also be spending a week at EAA Air Venture in July, but before long, I'll be building the engine back up. Keep an eye on Facebook or Twitter for more frequent updates, or check back here every now and then to see how things are progressing!

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