Just days before the presidential election in Venezuela and the threat of a possible airport shutdown, Regis Biarrieta, Rapid Response Engine Technician, battled road closures and heightened security to get a stranded customer’s aircraft up and running. He succeeded, just in the nick of time.
Duncan Aviation received word a customer’s engine was leaking oil and a mechanic was needed as soon as possible. To complicate an already undesirable situation, the Venezuelan elections were concluding in five days and rumors were flying that the airport would be shut down and all aircraft with N-Numbers would be grounded.
The customer planned to fly Engine Tech Regis Biarrieta out on his backup aircraft, but it was experiencing some mechanical difficulties, so he opted to fly Regis commercially and wound up sending him to another part of the country less affected by the election-related security.
Just a few hours later, Regis made his way to Simon Bolivar International Airport of Maiquetia where the aircraft was parked and immediately began troubleshooting to identify the parts he needed – all while next to the heavily-guarded Presidential hangar. He located the necessary parts at an airport just an hour away, but the roads were closed, rendering them useless.
With just a few days left and an ever-increasing sense of urgency, Regis decided to call his team lead back in Florida to track down and expedite the parts. Fortunately, the customer’s other jet was up and running and ready to leave Tampa, Florida. The pilot picked up the parts on his way out of the United States.
Using an alternate airport and land route, the parts arrived. Regis fixed the engine and as they were taxiing out, he noticed they were the very last corporate aircraft with an N-Number left in the airport. He breathed a sigh of relief as they departed – just in time.