wjcandee wrote:yochai wrote:wjcandee wrote:
Do you know whether there is an aircraft in conversion at MEX now, given that N544LA is done and sent to ILN? (Only took 2.66 months!)
I have no idea regarding the MEX site and their output, under 3 months sounds very very fast for a conversion, my hunch is a heavy check rather than conversion.
So let's talk about N544LA. This is what I get for trusting sources like Skyliner against my own better judgment. They said that 544LA had been converted in MEX. It made sense that it could have been converted in MEX. it was certainly at MEX for 2.66 months. And MEX is where IAI/Bedek has its second 767-300 conversion line. Although, as Yochai pointed out, 2.66 months is awfully-short for a conversion, which Bedek usually puts at 90 days just for installing a cargo door.
Yochai was right. It wasn't converted. I know this because I saw a photo of it at MIA on March 11, after it left MEX. (March 11 is the date it flew MIA to ILN.)
It still has windows.
Now the photographer didn't bother to shoot it from the side that would have had the cargo door, so I can't say for sure that it doesn't have one, but it has windows. So it's not a completed conversion.
After they did whatever they did to it at MEX, they painted it all-white. Okay, so that isn't completely-crazy, even if it will be going somewhere for a cargo door. But get this: they then painted "Boeing 767-300ER", in that Boeing typeface, near the tail over the new white paint. Does that sound like something anybody would do if the thing was going in a week to TLV for conversion? Me neither. It's possible, but it seems a little, well, extra.
So now the thing is at ILN, where it has been for over two weeks, newly-painted white, still having windows. We do know that CAM bought it as of March 23, 2020. We know that it hadn't changed hands yet when it flew to ILN from MIA, because Jet Test and Transport flew it up there for the prior owner. So I really don't know what's up with it. Is it going to Omni as a pax plane? But if so, why is it at ILN? Omni usually refurbs and outfits its aircraft at MZJ, as it did with N432AX (formerly N389AA). Is it going to TLV despite the fancier-than-necessary paint job? And if it's going for conversion, why not do it at MEX? Mexico is still working at a normal pace. Israel is not. Of the six aircraft that CAM has at TLV right now for conversion, 3 of them would be home by now under normal circumstances. Yes, the two ex-LATAM aircraft (304CM and 308CM) have taken longer than normal for reasons I can guess that have nothing to do with the virus, but the Covid slowdown in Israel is going to make the whole line even later than it already is. So if were going to be converted, MEX would have been a good place to finish it. As I say, I dunno. And inquiring minds are certainly curious...
Can confirm that N544LA does NOT have a door. Hasn’t been converted.