Today we had planned to log yet another mile stone passage in our Replica Spitfire Adventures Diary: the arrival of Supermarine Aircraft Spitfire Mk.26B kit 81, the future PH-VLP, “Prinses Beatrix” at Teuge Airport. Assistance with the unloading procedure had been arranged, as well as a fork lift that can reach high enough to lift Prinses Beatrix from the flat rack. Planned time of arrival: 15:00 CET.
At 10:40 Logistics Co-ordinating Officer On Duty, Victor Telkamp (yours truly was not available for that shift due to the results of the outcome of an experiment involving 2 dogs, one rabbit, the Second Law of Newton and myself, results that hopefully will be fixed on the early morning of Wednesday 19th of April) informed the scrambled team about a revised Expected Time of Arrival, 17:00-18:00. Truck driver was behind schedule.
His/her delay added up somewhat more. We now know trucks just can’t drive around the International Harbor of Antwerp unorganized, that would lead to utter chaos. Hence, this is arranged via a method commonly used in international Aviation: assigning so called “slot times”, time frames within which trucks can pass the gates of the harbor, proceed to the arrival vessel, pick up “The Package” and proceed to the exit of the harbor. The earliest alternative Slot Time was later in the evening. But that was conflicting with the driver’s Work And Rest Time Regulations Limitations. As our supervising Aircraft Maintenance Technician is not available until next Monday April 24th, the delivery of our beloved “Prinses Beatrix” is now planned for that Monday, 10:00 in the morning.
We informed Dan Springer, original owner of Kit 81 and builder so far. He shared his concerns on the possible consequences of additional lashing that was done in the harbor of Montreal. The Shipping Company insisted that the thorough lashing done by Victor and Dan Springer, assisted by his professional team needed more lashing before they would accept the cargo.
Victor Telkamp shares these concerns, in particular where the lashes pass the wing root. Putting too much force on the straps will very likely cause denting of that area. Needless to say that such denting is highly undesirable!
However, The Law Of Equal Misery learns that, to balance out for misfortune, some luck will present itself further down the road. With that Law of Physics in mind, we rest assured that coming Monday, after we have removed the straps and shrink foil, an unharmed and beautiful Supermarine Aircraft Spitfire Mk.26B will be revealed. It wont harm though if you help us by crossing your fingers firmly for that desired outcome…
To be continued..