When I first opened Skydive Twin Cities I got the meat bombs skydivers up to altitude in 2 Cessna 182’s, 2 Cessna 206’s, and a 1952 De Havilland Beaver. Running 5 planes at once was a big job and keeping enough pilots trained was a nightmare. In our second year a hungover pilot aborted a takeoff and ran one of the 182’s off the end of the runway and onto a road, no one was hurt but the plane’s nose wheel was folded under and the prop, engine and firewall suffered damage. With that incident in mind and being tired of the 5 plane hassle the next year I started leasing a Twin Otter as my main jump ship. I still used the small Cessna’s and the Beaver for loads too small for the Twin Otter but over the years my fleet shrank down to just the two 206 Stationairs.
With the Twin Otter taking the bulk of the work I only needed one of the planes operational at a time, so I parked one in a hanger with the intention of getting it flying the next year. That next year was five years ago. When my mechanic and I finally dug the poor neglected 206 out of the back of the hanger it was a sorry sight, covered in a thick layer of dust, the tires a little flat and the interior filled with junk because I’d been using it as storage for all kinds of crap. When we did a compression check we found that two of the cylinders had fairly low compression and needed to be changed and I figured that as long as I was replacing one third of the cylinders I might as well replace them all and call it a top overhaul.
The whole project took about two months but last week I was finally able to get my beloved Juliet (from the N number on the tail N207J) back in the air.
And seeing that that the cylinders need to be broken in I have no other choice but to fly to work all week.