When most women talk about their "sick babies" in their blogs, they are usually referring to their sweet, innocent, sometimes splotchy, feverish kids wrapped up in blankets on the couch. When Micah says her baby is sick, it means her airplane is torn apart into a million pieces in a maintenance hangar. Sniff sniff.
At least this maintenance was scheduled and expected. It's called an A/B inspection and carefully looks over the airplane every 200 hours of flight time. For the past two years, we have been doing an inspection every six months because we fly so much! This year, thanks to a week home here and there, the airplane just came due for its latest inspection. We took it to the good folks at Hawker Beechcraft Service Center at Mesa-Gateway Airport. As long as nothing majorly wrong is found, our inspection takes less than two weeks. Some airplanes are in there for months while major maintenance is being performed. Their solitary (for now) hangar is packed with airplanes of all types, including Bonanzas and Barons (propeller airplanes), every version in the King Air family (turboprop airplanes), and jets ranging from Hawkers to Beechjets to Premiers. Outside the maintenance hangar, the ramp is filled with another ten airplanes waiting to get in for some loving attention. Hawker Beechcraft makes all sorts of airplanes, and I love 'em all! Thou shalt not be overly picky about airplanes!
It's painful to see no tires on my baby. How am I supposed to land that mass of metal with only one tire? Babysitting the airplane during maintenance is always fun since mechanics tend to have entertaining personalities. It must be a prerequisite to get into A&P school. At least it makes watching paint dry (literally) slightly more exciting than if I just sat there and read a book while they worked (I do that, too).
During my next visit to the hangar, I plan to take some yummy home-baked goodies. It's amazing what sugar does to ignite the fire under these guys! And they like special treatment, just like the rest of us. If it means they like working on my airplane a little more, then I am alllllllllll for that! It's no well-kept secret by now that it's my baby they are working on!