Island Air’s Pride & Joy – ‘Whisky Whisky Hotel’

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Island Air Charters

Every aircraft engine is only permitted to fly for a given number of hours before it must be totally overhauled, remanufactured or replaced with a new one.

This regulation is referred to as TBO or ‘Total Before Overhaul’.

Island Air’s pride and joy is a six-seater Cessna U-206 G (ZKWWH) and its Continental engine was coming to the end of its TBO in 2018.

Tough Decisions

Chief Pilot and CEO Paul Ensor considered his options. The Continental IO 520F engine is a 6-cylinder, 300HP fuel injected piston engine.

It had already been overhauled 5 times previously, so this time Paul chose to bite the bullet and decided it was time to replace it with a new factory remanufactured engine from the Continental factory in the USA. Because of high orders, Continental required a three-month lead time for delivery.

Paul carefully lined up the delivery with (as we say) pilot’s precision. He ordered the engine ready to coincide with the TBO expiration of the old 206 engine.

When he received notification that the engine was off the assembly line and on its way, he sent the 206 to the aircraft engineers and the old engine was removed from the aircraft ready for the new arrival.

Down but not out

Imagine everyone’s surprise to get a phone call after the old engine had been removed, advising that the truck carrying the new Cessna 206 engine had rolled on the LA freeway and the engine had broken free and bounced down the road and was totally destroyed!

Luckily, the good people at the Continental factory allocated a replacement engine from their production schedule and the delay was only 6 weeks before the new replacement engine finally arrived safely in Tauranga.

The delay caused some issue for Motiti Island residents, one who wanted to move a fridge back to the mainland for repair and other hefty freight to and from the island had to wait for the heavier lifting capacity of the 206.

All’s well that ends well and Island Air had its pride of the fleet back up and running in time for Christmas!

Paul is grinning from ear to ear thanks to the new engine bringing the 206 back into the fleet.

Anyone ready for a little sightseeing?

By Paul Ensor, Chief Pilot, Island Air – “I write for this magazine because I like its local vibe!”