The Battle is won!

Oil leak
Now identified, the forward engine seal was the culprit.

For a few months oil had been gathering in increasing amounts, at the forward section of the engine compartment of our trusty T206H, based in the western highlands of Guatemala. With limited ability to obtain proper replacement parts and special tools, I went about removing as many suspected areas as possible, under the circumstances. The offending oil leak remained hidden for a few months.

Engine seal install tool
Special tool fabricated by a volunteer in Collinsville OK.
Propeller nut wrench
This handy tool makes installing propeller fastener hardware a snap.

Now back in Guatemala, and armed with the needed special tools and parts, I set about the job of getting the Mercy Wings International (MWI) aircraft back in order. Special care must be taken when installing prop-nuts, as the work area is space limited, and correct torque is critical.

The oil leak was caused by the engine seal becoming dislodged from the forward engine bore. The seal is replaced only after painstaking removal of all traces of old adhesive and oil is completed. Then, in an incredibly small work area, (imagine doing brain surgery using crowbars), it is that brutal yet delicate at the same time. The specially fabricated tool is used to stretch a 3 in. seal over and around a 6 in. crankshaft flange, without leaving any nicks or cuts on any surface.

Once reassembled, a test flight is in order to verify integrity of all of the above. From our mission base in Guatemala I performed a test flight, climbing to 10,500 ft. at maximum performance. After landing, an inspection showed not oil present. Next, a longer flight to Guatemala City, again not leak. On the return leg, again a full performance climb this time to 14,500 Ft. Post flight inspection verified no oil present.

My thanks to the many that contributed their time, experience, equipment, and parts to restore this aircraft to 100%. Next is the Annual inspection, due by the last day of October 2015………..but that’s another story.


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