I learn that my next task is not to return to the field with this airplane, but to take a different airplane to Kansas to get the autopilot repaired. Apparently every avionics technician in Canada has washed their hands of this terrible autopilot, and there's a superb shop in New Century, Kansas (I'm guessing that town just celebrated its centennial) where they know how to fix the most reluctant autopilots. Airplane number two is currently sitting in a maintenance shop at another airport, where a different engineer and apprentices are wrestling with the installation of the electronic tachometers. The PRM will drive me there and then I will take the airplane to Kansas and get an airline flight home for my time off. Meanwhile the next shift of pilots will come here to take this airplane back to the jobsite.
So the downside is that I won't get to see the look on the customer's face when he sees that his complaint about the carpet has been addressed in full, but I've never landed in Kansas, as far as I remember. I don't even know much about it. I understand that Kansas is very flat, has powerful cyclonic storms, is located somewhere south of Nebraska and north of Arkansas, and they make Cessnas there. And wheat. I had also heard a rumour that circles in Kansas were officially not quite the way they are in the rest of the world, but that seems to have been Indiana, and not made it into law. I prepare to go to Kansas.
You might think I'd start by increasing my geographical precision beyond the Nebraska-to-Arkansas approximation, but getting there will be the easy part. It's getting permission to get there that will hold me up. I ask the boss if he has started the paperwork with our broker for the flight, or if I should contact them myself. He says that as this is not a commercial flight, I shouldn't bother with the broker, just do it as a private flight to get the work done on the airplane. I start by choosing an airport of entry, one close to a straight line from here to Kansas, with 24 hours customs service, and fairly close to the border so that if anything happens requiring a diversion, I'm not forced to land at a US airport with no customs. I call the airport to find out their procedures. This shouldn't be necessary, but experience has taught me that things are not done the same way at every station and the best way to avoid delays or disapproval is to respectfully find out exactly how they want it done. I reach an amazingly friendly and helpful customs agent who e-mails me the form I need and a link to the appropriate website along with instructions for exactly where to go and what to do at his airport.
As well as filing the usual flight plan and customs arrival intentions, I now have to complete eAPIS paperwork. Except, as the e implies, it's not paper, but electronic. This is where I find out about the work my customs expediter has been doing on my behalf. Mind boggling. Once I see how much work it will be I go to bed, planning to do it in the morning. The airplane won't be ready to go until midday.