Linux / UNIX keyboard.

Requests For Quotes

Seman Peru
THE SVERDLOVSK GAMBIT

The unfortunately named Seman Peru, an aviation repair station in Peru, apparently noticed that I had taken a few photographs of aircraft lavatories and concluded that obviously I also sold not only aircraft lavatory parts, but also auxiliary fuel tanks. So they sent me an entirely pointless request for a quote on aircraft parts.

From: "SEMAN PERU" <amorales@seman.com.pe>
To: Bob Cromwell
Subject: REQUEST OF QUOTE
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 08:45 am

Dear Sirs,

Would you please send me your quote for the =C3=ADtems detailed in the
attachment.

All the items are applicable to boeing 737-500

ORD.  ITEM    NRO PARTE / N SERIE     NOMENCLATURA    CANT.   TIPO SERVICIO
1     2       TOILET WASTE TANK       -               -       REPLACE
              CHECK VALVE
2     3       LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN    1/1/10          2       REPLACE
              VALVE COVER SEAL*
3     4       LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN    1/1/10          2       REPLACE
              VALVE INNER DOOR SEAL
4     5       LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN    1/1/11          2       REPLACE
              VALVE MOLDED SEAL &
              PACKING
5     6       LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN    1/1/11          2       REPLACE
              VALVE OUTER CAP SEAL
6     34      PASSENGER OXIGEN MASK   289-601-806     118     REPLACE
7     42      AUXILIARY FUEL TANK     401-5-060-107   1       REPLACE LIFE
                                                              LIMIT
                                                              (ACCORDING STC
                                                              N SA725NE)
8     43      AUXILIARY FUEL TANK     401-5-240-105   1       REPLACE LIFE
                                                              LIMIT
                                                              (ACCORDING STC
                                                              N SA725NE)
10    68      OXIGEN GENERATOR        PB-117003-12    5       REPLACE
11    69      OXIGEN GENERATOR        PB-117003-14    3       REPLACE

Their message was accompanied by an attached spreadsheet.

I again assembled a few relevant pictures and sent them a quote.

From: Bob Cromwell
To: "SEMAN PERU" <amorales@seman.com.pe>
Subject: Re: REQUEST OF QUOTE
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 00:00:05 -0500
In-Reply-To: <5DE149392C6040A7BC53857A93376DAF@seman.com.pe>


Gentlemen --

Thank you for the opportunity to submit a quote on your requirements.
Things have been a bit hectic here, and so a few weeks have passed since
receiving your request.  Hopefully this quote is not too late.  To
refresh your memory given the delay of our reply:

> Dear Sirs,
>
> Would you please send me your quote for the items detailed in the
> attachment.
>
> All the items are applicable to boeing 737-500
>
> ORD.	ITEM	NRO PARTE / N SERIE	NOMENCLATURA	CANT.	TIPO SERVICIO
> 1	2	TOILET WASTE TANK	-		- 	REPLACE
>		CHECK VALVE
> 2	3	LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN	1/1/10		2	REPLACE
>		VALVE COVER SEAL*
> 3	4	LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN	1/1/10		2	REPLACE
>		VALVE INNER DOOR SEAL
> 4	5	LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN	1/1/11		2	REPLACE
>		VALVE MOLDED SEAL &
>		PACKING
> 5	6	LAVATORY WASTE DRAIN	1/1/11		2	REPLACE
>		VALVE OUTER CAP SEAL
> 6	34	PASSENGER OXIGEN MASK	289-601-806	118	REPLACE
> 7	42	AUXILIARY FUEL TANK	401-5-060-107	1	REPLACE LIFE
>								LIMIT
>								(ACCORDING STC
>								N SA725NE)
> 8	43	AUXILIARY FUEL TANK	401-5-240-105	1	REPLACE LIFE
>								LIMIT
>								(ACCORDING STC
>								N SA725NE)
> 10	68	OXIGEN GENERATOR	PB-117003-12	5	REPLACE
> 11	69	OXIGEN GENERATOR	PB-117003-14	3	REPLACE


We are a bit short on B737-500 lavatory and O2 system parts at the moment,
but apparently you have perused our brochure:
	http://toilet-guru.com/
and are familiar with our product line.

As for the auxiliary fuel tanks, I think we may have something out back in
the parts lot.  The following is predicated on the assumption that your
B737-500s have been modified to accept external wing-mounted drop tanks,
specifically those with the old Soviet-gauge mating flanges.  You see, we
have some of those left over from a previous operation.  It is unclear from
your spreadsheet: do you need two of them, or do you need one lot of 42 and
a second lot of 43, for a total of 85?  Also, since these come in pairs,
I assume that the numbers are of the pairs needed, not tanks.

We realize that wing-mounted drop tanks are infrequently used on the B737
family, but we have been pleased with the extended operational capability
they provide.  For example, our successful delivery of a herd of gazelles
in the SVERDLOVSK GAMBIT.

To set the record straight, as that operation received distorted coverage
in the media, the flight in question had declared a routing from Yangon,
Myanmar (ex-Burma) to Helsinki (an itinerary simultaneously of startling
peculiarity yet of real interest to almost no one), with a planned refueling
stop in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The customer, Rodion Raskolnikov, was a real traditionalist who insists on
calling the city Sverdlovsk despite its return to its pre-Soviet name in 1991
(hence our titling the operation as the SVERDLOVSK GAMBIT, but note that the
name still applies to the surrounding oblast).  Raskolnikov was a wealthy
oligarch with his wealth based on Belarussian mail-order bride scams.  Most
of his wealth came from bait-and-switch victims in the south-eastern United
States, a demographic susceptible to Raskolnikov's marketing of the girls
as White Russian (certainly true given the meaning of "Belarus", but not
"white" in the sense demanded by his unreformed Confederate clientele) and
"having southern accents" (which is true, but only in the literal sense of
"from southern Belarus and therefore influenced by Ukrainian").  While
Ukraine and Belarus are the Bridebasket of Europe, Raskolnikov's stable
was not filled with beautiful young girls -- few were at all attractive
or young, and many were not even females.

Raskolnikov desperately wanted a herd of gazelles for his sprawling hunting
preserve, specifically the famed variety found in Borneo and considered one
of the most challenging four-legged prey.  Yes, importing Borneo gazelles
to western Siberia is as weather-doomed as was the transportation of those
Saudi-owned Bangladeshi laborers to northern Quebec in the Laurentian Shield
Expedition debacle, but it would be Raskolnikov's ill-gotten funds wasted.

Speaking of Bangladeshis, we had learned some lessons from an earlier
operation undertaken for the Grand Panjandrum of Chittagong, what we
titled OPERATION BANGLADESHI BUFFALO JUMP.  That was when we air-dropped
one hundred water buffalo using cargo chutes with a survival rate
of 95% (three parachute or harness failures, one buffalo drowned when
tangled in the parachute after landing in a river, and the delay in
pushing the last buffalo out the rear ramp of the cargo plane caused
it to drift beyond the landing zone and into an electrical substation).

But our problem, as you have probably anticipated, is that with skittish
swift-running ungulates like gazelles you will have a very difficult time
recovering the expensive cargo parachutes and modified harnesses.  No,
gazelle delivery requires a landing.

So, the plan was to modify a cargo configuration B737 for mounting three
droppable auxiliary fuel tanks under each wing, and then fly it to Borneo
to load the gazelles.  We then flew around Burmese airspace and arrived in
Sverdlovsk/Yekaterinburg for the declared "refueling stop".  We off-loaded
the gazelles using the expedient of simply taxiing to the left boundary
of the taxiway, opening the main cabin door, and allowing the thoroughly
terrorized creatures to leap to the soft ground.  Raskolnikov's chief
factotum then had the task of rounding them up before they managed to
jump over the airport perimeter fence.

Certain media outlets have darkly hinted that our surreptitious delivery
was driven by official worry over unregulated livestock movements given
the "biological Chernobyl" of the 1979 anthrax release.  However, that
event was caused by human error at a Soviet biological weapons facility,
Military Compound 19.  Our low-profile delivery was intended only to
avoid the usual demands for baksheesh from the local authorities.

We then quickly hosed out the cabin, bolted down four rows of seats,
refueled, and took on our return cargo of twenty-four Belarussian
mail-order brides purchased by the Sultan of Brunei (knowing of
Raskolnikov's record, the Sultan had sent his factotum to personally
select the two dozen girls).  Declaring a change in plan and an urgent
return to Yangon due to the whims of the Myanmar junta, we then departed
back to the southeast from whence we had arrived.  We again skirted
Burmese airspace and returned to the island of Borneo, this time landing
in the small enclave of Brunei.  The girls were not forced to jump but
were deplaned with a roll-up air stair before disappearing into the
Sultan's stately pleasure dome.

Our chief pilot, Holland M Murdock (formerly Captain, USAF, discharged
from active service under obscure conditions), was the command pilot on
the SVERDLOVSK GAMBIT.  He is fluent in Russian, but he can affect a
nearly impenetrable Vietnamese accent coming from close to a decade with
a Vietnamese common-law wife (hot-headed and prone to hurling scalding
hot woks and their lemon-grass-flavored contents, she had nonetheless
endeared herself to him).  In this guise of a flustered Vietnamese pilot
of a Burmese aircraft, Murdock deflected any suspicions by the few
Russian air traffic controllers who remained unbribed by Raskolnikov.

Anyway, the external tanks worked flawlessly during the SVERDLOVSK GAMBIT,
and also, now that I think back on it, OPERATION BANGLADESHI BUFFALO JUMP.
The range of that flight from Sri Lanka to Chittagong was well within the
normal range of a B737, but the heavy load of a full herd of water
buffalo pushed the maximum gross weight limit and greatly reduced the
range.

Can your men handle small boats?  We were thinking of dropping the tanks
(retarded by small parachutes, of course) into Lima harbor where they
could easily be rounded up.

So, let us know how many drop tanks you are looking for (as I mentioned,
assuming that your B737-500s have been modified for the Soviet-gauge
mating flanges), whether a harbor drop would work, and when a good
delivery date might be.

Bob "Really, all I did was photograph some toilets" Cromwell
C130 cargo aircraft landing on a remote air strip in Africa.

One of our earlier operations in Africa.

Koltsovo Yekaterinburg / Sverdlovsk airport details: communications, navaids, ILS and radar.

Koltsovo Yekaterinburg / Sverdlovsk airport details.

Southwestern Siberia enroute chart: navigational aids, approach vectors, compass headings, airways.

Southwestern Siberia enroute chart.

Southeastern Asia aviation chart: Bangkok, Singapore, Borneo, Brunei, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City.

Chart of Southeast Asia.

Map of Sverdlovsk.

U.S. D.O.D. map of the Sverdlovsk area.

Map of Belarus.

Map of Belarus showing Ukraine to its south.

Some of Raskolnikov's better inventory of Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarussian mail-order brides.

Some of Raskolnikov's better inventory.

Running gazelle.

The wily Borneo gazelle.

Grazing gazelles.

The wily Borneo gazelle.

Cargo being dropped on a remote strip from a C130 cargo aircraft.

Three head of water buffalo in a SkidPak are slid off the ramp without landing.

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei

Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei

Holland M Murdock, our chief pilot.

Holland M Murdock (file photograph)

How to exit an airliner.

Egress method employed with gazelles.

SPOT image of Lima harbor showing cargo drop location.

SPOT image of Lima harbor

Other forms of nonsense