A plane was grounded when I got to work a couple of weeks ago. Not that unusual. What was unusual was the issue with the plane. this plane needed a stab trim cable replaced. We, in Oakland, have no experience with this type of job and in fact it is really considered a hangar job.
Another mechanic, Dr. was also starting his work week and we decided to work the plane since he, like me, enjoys doing jobs that we have never done before. There was a crew coming in from Phoenix to change out the cable but they were not going to arrive until around 11pm.
After checking the paperwork Dr. and I decided that there was plenty we could do while waiting for the Phoenix guys. Since I have a vast experience doing Cabin work (thanks Delta) I went inside and started to take apart the interior. What we had to do was to expose the Idler Pulleys in the system so that the new cable could be routed.
I took out the seats in the over wing area and pulled up the carpet and removed the floor panel and what do ya know...there were the pulleys.
Dr. in the mean time pulled the ceiling out of the bag bins to access more idler pulleys.
The Phoenix guys arrived and brought all those cool special tools that those hangar guys have. The best thing was that "the" cable guy came out with them. This guy, I'll call him The Cable Whisperer, pretty much only does cable and rigging jobs back in Phoenix.
Long story short we learned that changing those cables is not as scary as it first sounds. We learned a lot of tricks. We learned that a guy who has been working at this company for over 30 years can work circles around us!
One of the best parts of the job was when almost the entire roster of Day shift came out the next morning to help us out. Dr. and I had to leave but those guys closed up the plane and she is on her way making us money as we speak.