When the mechanic passed on my decision not to fly the Navajo in its current leaky state to the owner he replied that if I wouldn’t fly it he would come to Oman with his chief pilot who would complete the trip to Bangkok. “Fine by me.” I said. If he could find a pilot stupid enough to fly the Navajo over the Gulf of Oman like that I’ll wish him luck. At least there will be a large oil slick to mark the crash site. I didn’t know how I could make it any more clear to the mechanics that the engine wasn’t “fine” and ready to go. I suspected that they were trying to save face at their inability to locate the problem and just told their boss that there was nothing wrong.
The next morning I got this email from the owner.
Mechanics told me the difference story . They told me that all we have to do are just change 2 vacuum pumps and the aircraft will ready to fly.
Let me tell you about our Mechanics background experience (Mr.XXXXX&Mr.XXX)..
They both came from Thai Airways International company (worked as a director of Thai Airways) .
And also have a FAA licence for 747/MD11/Airbus A300-400 (also 20 years with this piston engine).They worked for Thai Airways since they was a young man and safety is their first priority!! always.
I have no doubt about their experience. their age are 62 and 78.
About oil leak from that picture convince us to believe that their was a big hole or damage from the engine but our mechanics find nothing damage.They told me all engine indicators are normal the engine is running normal.
From my experience ( ATP FAA license A320 )more than 6,000 total flight hour (3,000 with A320) (more than 1,000 hrs on this Piper Chieftain) I also agree with my mechanics that this aircraft is safe to fly.
Please tell Kerry to understand this situation and continue fly or send new pilots to ferry this aircraft to Bangkok.
Look forward to hearing from you soon.