During the pre-take-off checks, the fuel pressure on my right engine was high. Not just a little higher than normal, not just touching the red line on the gauge, but right through it. With the electric fuel pump turned off (leaving just the engine-driven pump supplying fuel to the engine), the pressure fell to normal. I turned the pump back on again. The needle went back through the red line. What to do?
The high fuel pressure probably would not do any harm. What's going to happen? It's not as if the pressure is going to get so high the engine explodes. It would be different if it were low fuel pressure. This airplane was needed for multiple flights. The weather was good. We had a clearance. A number of people, not to mention my entire day's income, depended on that airplane flying. Other pilots would also lose income, as would the company, if the airplane didn't fly. Maybe it was just parallax error that made the gauge appear to read in the red. Maybe I didn't notice it during take-off. The electric fuel pumps would be selected off during the flight, anyway. Yeah, right.
When I have a borderline serviceability issue, I ask myself: if I did this flight, and something happened, how would I feel explaining my decision to take off to Transport Canada, or to a passenger's family. I said out loud, "There's a reason why the manufacturer painted a red line on that gauge." We taxied back, and I recorded the problem, in ink, in the aircraft journey log. No changing my mind.
The required part was on order stock. The airplane is off line. The ripple effect is going to carry right through the week, disrupting schedules and disappointing people. No one gave me a word of criticism: not maintenance, not the customers, not my co-workers, not even management. But I didn't get to go flying today, received no flight pay, and I'm sure someone was pissed off.
It's just like being a responsible teenager. Safe decisions result in lower popularity, and missing out on the fun.