BizAvJets USA Spring 2021

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A BizAvJets Inc./In Flight USA Joint Publication • Volume 1, Number 1 • Spring 2021

Ultimate Business Jet, The New “Air Force One”

West Star Aviation Shares Secrets of Their Success

Thoroughbred Aviation Provides Money Saving Services to Their Clients Aircraft Manufacturer Feature on a Higher Plane (Faster Too!)

“Greatest Generation” Charter

Spring 2021

A Letter from the Publishers BizAvJets USA Magazine welcomes readers to our inaugural issue! To say we are excited to launch is clearly an understatement. We have been working for several months and are grateful to release our first issue. We are pleased to share high quality business aviation-related content that informs and educates readers as to the benefits of business aviation jets to humanity. In this issue West Star Aviation graces the cover to include insight of their successful operation. Aerion shares the excitement of upcoming Business Aircraft Supersonic transportation. Helicopter Maintenance Guru Jim Coates’ piece on helicopter maintenance tracking is most informative and crucial to ensuring human organs are swiftly transported to their final needed destination. The “Greatest Generation Charter” article by Matt Odenbrett reminds us of who are the real heroes. Boom Supersonic’s story excites the senses of high speed flight. MTJ Aviation sets the example with life-saving human organ transport. Thoroughbred Aviation offers “Aviation As a Service” to their clientele. Mark DiLullo’s story includes a special member of family in flight. We are confident readers of this issue are more informed of Business Aviation and Aircraft news and events. Be sure to look forward to future quarterly issues. Feel free to reach out to us! Annamarie Buonocore – Co-Founder Elijah Stepp, Jr – Co-Founder

P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650)358-9908, Fax (650) 358-9254 Co-Publishers Managing Editor Production Editor Associate Editor Columnists Advertising Sales

Annamarie Buonocore and Eli Stepp Vickie Buonocore Steve Pastis Paul T. Glessner Mark DiLullo and Matt Odenbrett Paul T. Glessner and Michael Klein

Business matters, advertising and editorial concerns should be addressed to In Flight USA, P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, Calif. 94402 or by calling (650) 358-9908–fax (650) 358-9254. Copyright © 2008-2021 In Flight Publishing. BizAvJets USA is not responsible for any action taken by any person as a result of reading any part of any issue. The pieces are written for information, entertainment and suggestion – not recommendation. The pursuit of flight or any action reflected by this paper is the responsibility of the individual and not of this paper, its staff or contributors. Opinions expressed are those of the individual author, and not necessarily those of BizAvJets USA. All editorial and advertising matter in this edition is copyrighted. Reproduction in any way is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. BizAvJets USA is not liable or in any way responsible for the condition or airworthiness of any aircraft advertised for sale in any edition. By law the airworthiness of any aircraft sold is the responsibility of the seller and buyer.



Spring 2021

747-8 / VC-25B (Photo courtesy of Boeing)

The Penultimate Business Jet – (The New) Air Force One By Paul T. Glessner

The Nat Geo Channel debuted The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress Feb. 15th. The hour-long program details the evolution and some of the history of the aircraft that has carried the call sign ‘Air Force One’ and the insight to the new versions thereof. Unprecedented access aboard the aircraft and interviews with the crew is given. Trying to keep the 30-year-old legacy 747s, (or VC-25As, as they are known under their official Air Force designation) first used by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, is becoming extremely difficult as vendors go by the wayside as the currently flying 747-200 fleet diminishes. Their replacements, based on the 747-8 due to enter service in 2024, are already undergoing the extensive modifications to assume the role of the Flying White House for the President of the United States. The estimated cost for bringing the two VC-25Bs to operational status is $5.3B including two years of flight test. The Boeing Defense Facility in San Antonio, Texas, is undertaking the effort on two 747-8s to add miles of wiring shielded against electromagnetic interference from a nuclear blast, military-grade avionics with encryption that advances the communication system and plenty of top-secret defense systems. These communication upgrades will allow the chief executive to address the nation from the flying Oval Office like never before ¬– a la Bush and 9/11. New engines will have 17 percent more thrust and extend their range 1,000 more miles to 8,800 miles due to the engines’ inherent increased efficiency. Cranked wing tips adorn the new 747s to cruise closer to Mach 1 and still improve its short-field performance. The 747-8 is 18-feet longer than its predecessor

thus allowing for an increase of 5,000 more square feet over current presidential transports; two galleys will allow for preparation of 2,000 meals and a medical bay equipped for the highest level of medical care including surgery for all onboard. Structural modifications for larger boarding doors with airstairs fore and aft are in the new model. A new fully digital flight deck will include the latest military grade GPS subsystems with the ability to land in any weather given the improved instrument landing system. These modernizations halve the cockpit crew to two flight officers. YouTube has a variety of excellent videos on the past, present and future presidential aircraft. Speaking of the future, it looks even brighter, err, faster for Air Force One as Boom and Exosonic are both working on supersonic airliners and Hermeus is developing a smaller, hypersonic airplane. Paul T. Glessner, M.S. is both an FAA certificated commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, SIC G-IV and an aerospace engineer with 30+ years of experience having worked for Boeing, Lockheed, Grumman Aerospace, the F-22 CTF and the F-35 ITF and others in flying/handling qualities, aerodynamics and flight testing. Paul currently works for General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Systems in San Diego.

Spring 2021


Where regulations allow supersonic flight without a sonic boom reaching the ground, the AS2 will operate in the Boomless Cruise™ autopilot mode between Mach 1.0-1.2. (Image courtesy Aerion)

The Aerion AS2 Leaps to Life in the Wind Tunnel

By Aerion Staff A return to the skies for supersonic aircraft may be airframe. As Aerion Technologies EVP Alex Egeler explains, closer than you think. Aerion’s AS2 supersonic business jet, the first pri- “Our in-house design optimization process is built from vately designed supersonic airplane in history, has tak- a combination of NASA-developed analysis CFD soften the next major step towards flying passengers in qui- ware, commercial tools, and our own internal frameet luxury at speeds well above 1,000 mph. The AS2 is work to be highly scalable. This flexible framework filled with state-of-the-art technology and engineering, allows us to simulate millions of parametric design sceinherently environmentally responsible from first flight narios on the cloud and determine robust solutions — and the first supersonic aircraft designed to be powered all in the virtual world at a speed previously unseen in by 100 percent engineered synthetic fuel and reach su- business jet development.” So, why in a world of Artificial Intelligence and personic speeds without the need for an afterburner. But to make this next leap, it was needed to call upon cloud-based computing does a company like Aerion, using today’s most powerful technology to bring us technology dating back to 1871 — the wind tunnel. Up to this point, the new supersonic jet’s perfor- closer together through the power of supersonic flight, mance has been modeled using special aerodynamic need to incorporate a relatively ancient technology like optimization tools developed in-house and run on scal- wind tunnel testing? The answer is simple –– to build able cloud computing technology to provide thousands supersonic jets to Aerion’s exacting standards, such of data points with incredible detail on how subsonic, testing is unavoidable. Aerion’s Director, System Test and Evaluation, transonic, and supersonic flight each impact the AS2’s Bob Lewis, explains: “While the onset of increasingly sophisticated computer modelling technology has greatly enhanced aerospace design, wind tunnel testing remains a key component in the development cycle. Certain aspects of aircraft design remain difficult to fully model virtually and still require validation through wind tunnel testing. We are working with the world’s best wind tunnel model builders and the global leaders in wind tunnel technology to validate our virtual findings and ensure Aerion AS2 completes wind tunnel testing – amassing the equivalent of Continued on Page 6 78,000 nautical miles flown. (Photo courtesy Aerion)


The Aerion AS2... Continued from Page 5

Spring 2021

the AS2 design exceeds expectations.” With such validation in mind, wind tunnel testing puts scale models of airplanes to the test in a variety of lab-controlled conditions and speeds. Although the general principle of wind tunnel testing is the same, today’s test labs are a far cry from the rudimentary wind tunnel used by the Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio. Aerion recently created two models for wind tunnel tests. The company partnered with Tri Models Inc. of Huntington Beach, California, to build a low-speed model with a nine-foot wingspan, which was used for tests in October. Low-speed by name but not by nature Extensive low and high-speed testing program allows – these tests still simulate speeds up to Mach 1. The smaller, high-speed model, on the other hand, Aerion engineers to assess more than 200,000 in-flight was built by the Dutch specialists, NLR ahead of test- data points. (Photo courtesy Aerion) ing in France with aeronautical experts ONERA. (It at the recently announced Aerion Park headquarters in should be noted, France has a rich history of wind tun- Melbourne, Fla. nel testing since the early 1900s, when Gustave Eiffel The state-of-the-art development––powered by set up his first wind tunnel near the foot of the tower clean energy––will incorporate headquarters operabearing his name). tions plus an integrated campus for research, design, ONERA’s testing, completed in November, saw build, and maintenance of the company’s supersonic testing of speeds up to Mach 3. Of course, the AS2 will aircraft. Last, as an important economic boon to the lonever fly passengers as such high speeds but testing the cal and national economy, we are proud to announce supersonic jet’s design far beyond its flight profile will Aerion’s new HQ on Florida’s Space Coast represents produce a wealth of crucial data for the team. a $300 million investment, expected to create 675 new, The wind tunnel testing provides Aerion’s engineer- high-paying jobs. ing team with a wide range of real-world data, which A return to supersonic flight is closer than ever. will confirm the computer models in some ways but provide areas for future refinement in others. More than 200,000 data points were assessed while hundreds of simulated flight hours were flown – the equivalent of 78,000 nautical miles. All of this vital information will come together in the AS2’s next step towards flying its first passenger, the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). All of these efforts will coalesce in the next few key years. The company’s new supersonic airplane is on track to enter production in 2023. Accordingly, Aerion plans Where regulations allow supersonic flight without a sonic boom reaching the ground, to build 300 aircraft in its the AS2 will operate in the Boomless Cruise™ autopilot mode between Mach 1.0-1.2. first decade of production (Image courtesy Aerion)

Spring 2021

Aviation Leadership in the Public and Private Sectors – The John Goglia Story


By Annamarie Buonocore

In aviation journalism, we often come across high-profile leaders who change the industry for the better. Mr. John Goglia has worked in both the private and public sectors, from leading the Department of Transportation to running his own aviation business. With more than 40 years in the aviation industry, he is the only A&P mechanic ever named to the National Transportation Safety Board, where he served from 1995 to 2004. He has proven to be a true leader, adhering to John Goglia the highest professional standards in the industry and is president of John Goglia, LLC. This quarter, we are proud to feature his story from the beginning. BAJ: At what age do you remember becoming interested in aviation?

because we forgot the basics or we haven’t focused on the impact of some new technology is very unfortunate. Sometimes these accidents occur, and it’s sad. Like I get frustrated over the pilots who run out of gas. There are two things bothering me lately. One is that pilots are not doing a very good pre-flight. I sit and watch them do a preflight, and I check if they really walk around and look up at the sky. Some of them do this, but many don’t. And the other thing is the overconfidence of some pilots. They haven’t flown in a while, and they get out and think that they can just jump in and go off again. And I see that particularly with doctors and sometimes lawyers, but the doctors in particular. They won’t fly for a month, and they’ll show up and go fly their expensive airplane. This is worrisome.

BAJ: Tell me a little bit about your work with the JG: Oh, very young, really young. My mother worked NTSB. What was the timeline for that and what did you for American Airlines when I was in grade school. So, I do for them? had been exposed to it my whole life. JG: I was a board member on the National TransporBAJ: What did she do for American Airlines? tation Safety Board. So I was one of the five presidenJG: She did a number of jobs but mainly passenger ser- tially appointed board members. This is because of my vice. And then she worked for sky chefs at that time, so technical background and my lifelong relationship with aviation. I didn’t just sit in the office, like many of them she was on the culinary and hospitality side of things. do. I was out interacting with aviation and accidents, BAJ:: So what was your first job in aviation? and the people constantly. That constant interaction is JG: My first job in aviation was, well cleaning air- so necessary. planes, I would think. I was trading manpower for the ability to fly with people. I became a pilot when I was BAJ: What was the safety program you developed for 15 years old. I was an airport rat. I would do all those the Union International Association of Machinists? tasks in exchange for going flying. JG: We developed the first maintenance resource manBAJ:: What state are you from and do you still live agement, which were loosely copies of resource management procedures. there? JG: I am from Massachusetts. I still live there, although BAJ: And what kind of investigations did you take on I don’t spend as much time there as I sometimes would for the NTSB? like. JG: I was involved with all of them. All of us were BAJ:: What aviation safety issues are important to you? involved with TWA 800. I worked on many in the Midwest. I would one way or another get myself working JG: Actually, they all are. The unnecessary loss of life Continued on Page 20


Spring 2021


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Spring 2021


Breaking Mach 1.0 (Courtesy Boom Supersonic)

Understanding the Supersonic Flight Experience By Boom Supersonic Staff

What should passengers aboard a supersonic commercial jet expect upon breaking the sound barrier? The answer may surprise you.

is no sensation of speed because there is no reference — you don’t see landmarks on the ground that enable you to recognize your speed.

How does it feel to fly supersonically? Descriptions of breaking the sound barrier are rife with hair-raising myths and legends that promise an exhilarating sense of speed. But if truth be told, the experience is barely noticeable — even in a fighter jet. Speed alone doesn’t deliver the supersonic thrills of popular imagination. Without instruments to indicate an aircraft has exceeded Mach 1.0 (the speed of sound), most pilots won’t recognize the exact moment their aircraft transitions to supersonic speed. In fact, passengers on Concorde may not have known they broke the sound barrier at the very instant it happened. Lourdes Maurice, a retired FAA expert and advisor to Boom, flew Concorde once in 1998 from New York to London. Maurice traveled with her husband and eight-year-old son to celebrate the completion of her PhD in mechanical engineering. “Flying on the Concorde was an awe-inspiring experience, but without the display to indicate that we were flying supersonically, I wouldn’t have known it,” recalls Maurice. “Climbing to 60,000 feet was incredibly smooth. There was no turbulence. We knew we were flying supersonically, but our bodies didn’t give us any signs.” In aircraft designed to fly supersonically, there are no sudden changes that indicate speed is changing. It’s difficult to sense movement. At cruising altitude, there

The higher the climb, the thinner the air. This fact doesn’t solely apply to mountain climbers; it has implications for all aircraft. At higher altitudes, thinner air means less resistance for the aircraft and a smoother ride, in addition to fuel savings. Today, most commercial airliners cruise between 30,000 and 38,000 feet. At 60,000 feet — Overture’s Continued on Page 10

Supersonic Speed: Myths, Legends & Actualities

The Higher the Climb

Transonic Regime: In the supersonic neighborhood (Courtesy Boom Supersonic)


Spring 2021

Supersonic Flight Experience... Continued from Page 9 cruising altitude — the air will be extremely thin, resulting in little to no turbulence. Commercial airline passengers often come close to supersonic speed without knowing it. This occurs when aircraft travel in the lower spectrum of the transonic regime, which ranges from Mach 0.8 to 1.2. Several commercial aircraft in operation today can achieve transonic speeds, including the Boeing 747–8i (cruising speed of Mach 0.86) and Airbus 380 (cruising speed of Mach 0.85). Private jets also fly in the transonic regime: the Cessna Citation X+ has a maximum speed of Mach 0.935 and the Dassault Falcon 7X can reach Mach 0.90. While these speeds are impressive, they won’t shave much time off a journey. The Boeing 737–800 — flown by Alaska, Delta, and United Airlines to name a few — cruises at a notable Mach 0.785. Its faster counterparts, which reach cruising speeds ranging from Mach 0.8 to Mach 0.9, may arrive at a destination about 10 minutes faster. Weather and wind, as opposed to maximum aircraft speed, can offer a “boost” to beat the clock. Tailwinds (the jet stream) can accelerate an aircraft’s speed traveling east over the Atlantic or east over the North Pacific Ocean during the winter months. In fact, commercial aircraft used the jet stream to set new records for subsonic transatlantic crossings during Feb. 2019’s winter storm. A Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London reached ground speeds of up to 801 mph — faster than Mach 1. But it wasn’t flying supersonically. It was swept along in the fast-moving air, which clocked in at 231 mph.

G forces (Courtesy Boom Supersonic) in velocity. While gravitational force remains constant, the incremental acceleration felt is due to a sudden change in direction or abrupt turn. Pilots describe it as the sensation of the body being pulled into the bottom of the aircraft: stressed muscles, dizziness, and a sense of being weighed down — a feeling of otherworldliness. Pulling Gs is a matter of acceleration (positive or negative), direction, and the duration of time that G forces are experienced. It can lead to loss of consciousness or “tunneling out” when blood pools in the legs — known as a G-LOC (G-induced loss of consciousness). Aerobatic aircraft maneuvers are a good example of G forces: think swoops and circles and turns. On a roller coaster ride, you will feel G forces, but it’s unlikely that it will be anything more than a thrill. Roller coasters are designed to delight, and the G forces they generate are tolerated by most people. You might even Roller Coaster Ride feel a second of pulling Gs when an elevator “dips” beThankfully, supersonic flight isn’t the roller coaster fore reaching the correct floor. Apart from a moment or two during takeoff, it’s ride we might imagine. Speed alone doesn’t create the unlikely that commercial airline passengers will feel Top Gun moments known as pulling Gs or G forces. Pulling Gs is the physical effect of a sudden change significant G forces because aircraft maintain a steady speed and direction.

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In commercial aircraft, speed transitions are rarely noticed. And in supersonic aircraft, passengers who drift off to sleep might be surprised to wake up and learn they’re traveling twice as fast. Imagine flying on Overture at 60,000 feet above the earth — and experiencing zero turbulence. The only sign that you have surpassed the speed of sound is a display that indicates Overture’s speed. Out your window is a stunning view of the curvature of the earth: a view usually reserved for astronauts… That’s the supersonic flight experience.

Spring 2021


Airbus ACH130 (Photo courtesy of British GQ) Sikorsky CH-53 Sea Stallion

Tracking Helicopter & Fixed-Wing Maintenance Successfully

By Jim Coates Anyone who has spent time managing aircraft main- is the expectation and typical outcome. Capturing those tenance or operations knows that staying on top of all calendar, hourly and landing/cycle-driven requirements the maintenance-driven requirements to keep aircraft set forth by the manufacturers is a simple exercise for compliant and available can at times be challenging. most fixed-wing operators, as it is just part of their daily Being aware of what maintenance is coming due and routine. Take-off, land, and enter those values into your when, and what it will take to satisfy or comply with tracking system. That’s it. Calendar requirement tasks it, naturally becomes the focus of the individual tasked are typically driven automatically. The fixed-wing industry has been doing this for with that responsibility. Managing scheduled and preventative maintenance, and regulatory requirements years. Most maintenance tracking products have been and their completion is a complicated process. This is focused on these three simple pieces of information for why maintenance professionals find it necessary to use those same years. In-application tools and work-flows technology to assist them in the successful execution of have been developed around these three simple requirements. Over the years, issues relative to fixed-wing these responsibilities. After spending almost 45 years in the industry in maintenance tracking have already been identified and many different types of maintenance operations, I have resolved by most maintenance-tracking products. The found that choosing and using the right tool is so im- result is an application that works well but has been portant. It’s the difference between success and failure. developed and designed around fixed-wing aircraft and Technical publication revisions, ADs, SBs, approved operations. A big part of this reason for success is that practimaintenance schedules, mixed fleets, inventory, and logistics add to the complexity of this challenge. This cally all fixed-wing aircraft are operated the same way is why many of us choose to use one of the very pow- with a few exceptions. They typically perform one type erful web-based tools that are available for tracking of mission, moving passengers from one place to anand managing maintenance. It’s important to choose a other. There aren’t many unique or aircraft-operational product and vendor who can support your aircraft and driven requirements or equipment installations that affect how you operate the aircraft. Practically all fixedoperation. For the most part, tracking aircraft maintenance by wing maintenance requirements use the same three computer through the use of an industry-driven appli- limitations: calendar, hour,s and landings/cycles. Typcation is now taken for granted. Stating that “long gone ically, 100 percent of these requirements are “one-forare the days of index cards and white boards” can be one” meaning that one hour or landing equals one. The same cannot be said for helicopters. From a said with confidence for most fixed-wing aircraft operations. Typically, an owner/operator makes a choice maintenance-tracking perspective, tracking helicopter of providers, and by using the tools developed by his maintenance requirements with a computer or webvendor of choice, learns the ins and outs of the appli- based system is relatively new when compared to fixedcation. The outcome is successful maintenance track- wing. While some companies have been tracking fixedContinued on Page 23 ing, right? Well, if you are a fixed-wing operator, this



Spring 2021

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Spring 2021

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Concentration is the key

A True Star in Business Aviation, The Story of West Star Aviation

By Annamarie Buonocore West Star Aviation is an MRO, specializing in most cor- Alton, Ill.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; porate aircraft. They offer many services and have four and Perryville, Mo. main locations, as well as several satellite locations to BAJ: What kinds of aircraft do you use/serve? serve their customers. Debi Cunningham, Vice President of Marketing, took the time to talk with us about WS: We work on all corporate aircraft makes and models. the company. BizAvJets: How old is West Star?

West Star: We started the company in 2002 when our principals bought Premier Air Center in East Alton, Ill. – Premier Air was founded in 1947. We started as a very small company with 75 employees, and our main airframe was the Citation line of aircraft. We worked the Falcon Family into the mix, and from there, started on more aircraft. In Dec. 2004 our principals acquired West Star Aviation in Grand Junction, Colo., combining two strong businesses in aviation. West Star Aviation in Grand Junction had deep roots that extended back to 1952. After just a couple of years of going by Premier Air Center/West Star Aviation, we rebranded as West Star Aviation. We continued a pattern of planned, aggressive growth by purchasing a facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. in 2015, and most recently in 2018, we added our fourth full-service MRO in Perryville, Mo. BAJ: Where are you based?

Debi Cunningham

BAJ: What new updates have unfolded in 2020?

WS: We have focused on keeping our employees and customers safe and healthy in 2020. We were able to stay working as essential workers during the pandemic, and we focused on keeping our facilities clean and disinfected, while also looking for ways to keeping our customers and their aircraft safe and disinfected during this time. We were also determined to stay connected with our customers in order to keep our relationships strong during this pandemic. We started #wsastayconnected program to keep us all connected. BAJ: What are your plans going forward?

WS: We are looking forward to a great 2021, where we are able to get back to our industries’ conferences, outings, etc. and be face-to-face with our customers. BAJ: How do you see business aviation recovering from the problems of 2020?

WS: I believe it will be a strong year in 2021. One thing about aviation is that we have our dips and bends, but aviation comes back stronger than ever. We seem to recover from whatever is thrown at us.

BAJ: What is your role in the company? Continued on Page 14 WS: We have locations in East


Spring 2021


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Continued from Page 13 WS: I handle all the advertising and marketing for the company. I am the VP of Marketing. BAJ: What personal interests do you have in aviation?

WS: I’ve been in aviation for more than 30 years, and I’ve seen the highs and valleys in our industry, and with each challenge, we become better at what we do. I’ve worked as a contract administrator, regional sales manager, I’ve done modification sales and interior design, and what I’ve learned is that every position is essential to a company’s success. Aviation is a great career; you get it in your blood and it stays! BAJ: Where do you see yourself next year at this time? WS: I see myself in this company and getting ready to embark on 2022 as we finish up on 2021 being West Star Aviation’s best year yet. I look forward to working with our group, creating excitement for our company, and bringing new things to our industry.

Spring 2021

Greatest Generation Charter


By Matt Odenbrett, President of Odenbrett Pilot Services One Sunday afternoon I had been assigned to do a special charter. My crew consisted of myself as Captain, First Officer Matthew H., and Cabin Attendant Chloe. We were to take our Gulfstream IV-SP from Morristown, N.J. to Washington Dulles International Airport to pick up our passengers to take to Caen, France. This charter was for an organization that called itself The Greatest Generation Foundation. We had been told our passengers included four veterans of the D-Day campaign and their friends. We were taking them to Caen so they could participate in the 75th anniversary remembrance event of the Normandy invasion. Due to the last-minute nature of this charter, we were unable to park our airplane in Caen. In fact, since the French Open tennis tournament was occurring at the same time, we could not even park in Paris. Dispatch finally found us a place to park in Pau, France, Greatest Generation travelers ready to head out on their latest mission. Photo credit Matt Odenbrett. near the Spanish border. It was a typical spring afternoon along the U.S. East eran, so I identified myself as a veteran as well, and we Coast. Warm and muggy, thunderstorms were building quizzed each other about our service experiences as our right over Dulles airport, but we could not leave early airplane was being serviced. My four D-Day veterans were understandably frail to get there before the thunderstorms would impact our flight. We had to keep to our schedule because this would due to their age; two were 95, one was 97, and one was be a maximum duty day. In any event, we received our 100 years of age. Two were wheelchair bound, so I asked clearance, then started engines and called ground for the FBO for assistance from their line personnel to help our taxi instructions. At this point, Morristown ground bring them aboard when it was time. Chloe texted me when the cabin was ready, so I informed us that due to the thunderstorms, Washington Center was no longer accepting any high-altitude flights escorted my passengers out to the airplane. Of course, into their airspace. Could we accept a clearance to Dull- the family members who were seeing these gentlemen es at 8,000 feet? I always carry extra fuel as a precau- off had to spend 15 minutes taking photos of everyone tion against delays, and on this day, I was thankful I had in front of the airplane before they boarded. They even bought an extra 500 gallons of Jet A, because I sure as insisted I stand in for several shots. While all this was heck was going to need it. We replied in the affirmative, going on, my First Officer Matt H. radioed for our flight and ground control gave us a new clearance that would plan clearance and engine start clearance. By the time have us do an end-run around the severe weather along everyone had boarded and settled in, it was past 20:30, or the Atlantic seaboard nearly all the way to Richmond, 30 minutes after our scheduled departure time. This was a concern to me because we had a tight window for our Virginia before turning us back to Dulles. We plugged new route into our FMS and departed landing clearance in Caen. We started engines and did our after-start checklist, without further delay. However, the longer route and speed restriction of 250 knots below 10,000 feet turned then contacted ground for taxi. Ground abruptly acour 43-minute flight into an hour and 20 minutes of flight knowledged us, and then went back to telling everyone time. By the time we were within sight of Richmond, the on frequency that there was a ground stop due to a VIP thunderstorm had blown through Dulles, and we were movement on the field. Multiple airliners were being told able to turn back north towards Dulles where we landed to shut down their engines where they were on the taxiways. More airliners were shutting down engines on the just 30 minutes behind schedule. Nearly all our passengers were waiting when we ar- airline ramps, while still more were holding at their gates. rived. One had been delayed by his airline connection, I realized then that there were no airplanes taking off or so we had a little time to spare. We quickly had the Gulf- landing. Great, just what I need when I am trying to keep stream fueled, baggage loaded, and catering brought on to a tight schedule – a ground stop for a VIP movement! The ground controller sounded very harassed. At sevboard while I went into the FBO and introduced myself to my passengers and checked over everyone’s passports. eral points, he explained to everyone on frequency that Nearly every one of my passengers was a military vetContinued on Page 16


Greatest Generation Charter... Continued from Page 15 despite multiple phone calls from dispatch offices, there was nothing he could do for them. He also said that he was being given counter instructions every five seconds from higher ups. By this point, I had had my engines running for about 10 minutes. I was beginning to be concerned about whether I would be able to successfully complete my flight. Chloe was sitting in her jump seat, so I asked her to go back to the cabin and explain to our passengers that the entire airport was shut down due to some VIP movement on the field. I was parked on my ramp at the north east corner of Dulles, and I could see the long conga line of airplanes stopped on taxiway Juliet with their noses pointed south in the direction of runway 01R. There had to be at least 15 airplanes waiting in that line, and several more were on taxiway Kilo, facing north. This VIP movement had turned Dulles into a giant traffic jam. I was watching my fuel meters tick down... never a good feeling when you are sitting still. I finally radioed ground myself, “Ground, Mission 28, do you want us to shut down our engines as well?” “Mission 28, Ground, negative. Stand by, I will have taxi clearance for you shortly.” I looked at my FO and said, “Taxi clearance to where? And there’s still no sign of this VIP – whoever he may be.” I figured some head of state was arriving, which would have been odd, since I knew the president was leaving that night for a state visit to Great Britain. Finally, ground control called us, “Mission 28 you are cleared to taxi to runway 01R, via taxiway Juliet, hold short of taxiway Alpha.” Ok, so at least we are getting off the FBO ramp. We started down the taxiway to our hold short point. The situation did not look any better. Airplane after airplane after airplane occupied every taxiway. All were stopped, and most did not even have their engines running. Worse, no one was taking off or landing. As I set my parking brake, Dulles Ground called again, using language I have never heard from ATC, “Goddammit! This isn’t gonna work! Mission 28, you are now cleared to taxi on Juliet to taxiway Bravo, turn left on Bravo, then left again on Kilo. Taxi north on Kilo to Kilo One and hold short of runway 01R. Tower will have you back Taxi down runway 01R for departure.” We acknowledged our taxi clearance and began taxiing as instructed. That was when it hit me. WHOAH! As I made the second turn onto taxiway Kilo, I said to my First Officer, “Do you know what this means, Matt?” “No, what?” “WE, are the VIP movement tonight.” “Naw, we can’t be!” “Yes, we are!” I replied.

Spring 2021

We contacted tower and we were cleared to conduct a fast taxi, back taxi down runway 01R. I made a very brisk taxi, knowing that we were literally holding up thousands of people on the ground at Dulles. At least 50 airliners were waiting on us on the ground, and I had no way of guessing how many more were flying holding patterns in the air before they would be cleared to land. All the way down I kept thinking the same thought, “Who the heck are these guys!?!?!?” Two thirds of the way down tower called, “Mission 28, you are approaching taxiway Kilo Six. Seven thousand three hundred feet available for takeoff. Will that be enough for you tonight?” I know he was thinking about airliners overhead that were probably already diverting to alternate airports, as well as the mess on his airport. He wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible. I could not blame him. We slowed our taxi and replied we could take off from there. “Mission 28, you are cleared for takeoff Runway 01R at taxiway Kilo Six.” We acknowledged, turned around on the runway, and took off. As per protocol, we did not discuss anything other than checklists and ATC instructions until we passed 10,000 feet. I turned off the seatbelt sign for the cabin and gave Chloe the thumbs up to go back to the cabin and begin the dinner service. As we continued our climb we had to dodge the same line of thunderstorms that had messed up our schedule to begin with, but we had time to reflect in the cockpit on what had just happened. I have been flying since I was 21. I have been around airplanes all my life. Out of my 34 years in aviation – including 20 as a full-time professional pilot – I have never heard of an international airport being shut down for a VIP movement for anyone other than a head of state. Usually that head of state is the President of the United States. The President of the United States... Damn! These guys have some friends in very high places! Once we reached our initial cruising altitude of 41,000 feet, I could not hold my curiosity any longer. We completed our cruise checklist, and then I handed the controls over to Matt H. and left my seat for the cabin. I walked aft into the cabin, having light conversation with my passengers, until I came to the lead passenger who was sitting in the rear of the cabin. I said to him, “Sir, apparently WE were the VIP movement tonight at Dulles. They shut down that entire airport so we could take off in a timely fashion. In my 20 years as a professional pilot, I have never seen anything like this happen. So, I have to ask you this; who the heck are your friends?” He smiled nonchalantly at me and replied, “They are up in Continued on Page 22

Spring 2021


Sasha’s ride home in a Gulfstream V. (Photo courtesy of Mark DiLullo)

Kindness is Virtuous

By Mark DiLullo, Founder of the Threshold Aviation Group “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole” --- Roger Caras

I have been in corporate aviation for more than three decades. Our industry is a service industry, which caters to a select clientele. I have always strived to provide my customers with professionalism and the highest quality of service. This has provided me with many longterm clients for whom I am happy to go above and beyond. In June of 2020, we were notified of an impending assignment and began planning an aircraft retrieval project. The mission was to recover a Gulfstream V from Basel, Switzerland for a client whom I had advised on the purchase. The aircraft was being stored at a Sasha maintenance facility at the airport in Basel. Normally, dealing with aviation bureaucracies in foreign countries is difficult enough; add the requirement for a Special Flight Authorization and COVID-19 to the mix and it becomes a nightmare. My team had to coordinate and satisfy all of the requirements for several government agencies, including the U.S., France, and Switzerland. Please understand the Basel Airport (LSFB) is located in France but is operated jointly by both the French and Swiss governments. Additionally, we contracted with the maintenance facility to perform inspections and required maintenance in preparation for our departure. In October, we had fulfilled all of the maintenance requirements, satisfied all government agencies, and were given permission to conduct the flight. A Special Flight Authorization (SFA), commonly called a “Ferry Permit” was in hand, with our crew ready to bring the

former Isle of Man jet back to Chino, Calif. The crew departed from three different U.S. locations, and assembled in Switzerland. We spent a few days going over the aircraft and planned to depart in the G-V on Oct. 9. Shortly before our planned departure to Switzerland, I received an urgent call from one of my long-time clients. He explained that due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the family dog, a female Weimaraner named “Sasha,” had been stuck in Milan, Italy for the past eight months. The family was desperate to get the dog back to the U.S. and was requesting any assistance my company could provide. I explained that, as luck would have it, I was going to be in Switzerland in the next few days and was dedicated to assisting in getting Sasha home. We quickly formulated a plan to get Sasha from Milan to Basel by aircraft. My first thought was to simply fly the G-V from Basel to Milan, then fly to our home base in Chino, Calif. Unfortunately, my simple and elegant plan was impossible, given the SFA and COVID mandates, which would not allow deviation from our original filed flight plan route of Switzerland/Bangor/ Chino. We coordinated an alternative, which included chartering a PC-12 to fly Sasha to Basel. Upon receiving Sasha’s ETA, we began pre-flighting and completing a 40,000-pound fuel upload in preparation of our departure. We were just finishing up our pre-flight when the Pilatus taxied up. As the doorway opened, Sasha emerged tail wagging. She bounded up the G-V’s stairway, the door folded smartly into the closed and locked position – we were on our way home. Continued on Page 18


Kindness is Virtuous...

Continued from Page 17

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As we departed Basel, we began our assent to FL400, then sat back and relaxed for the next eight and a half hours. The flight was relatively uneventful, with the exception of our one special passenger who kept us company and entertained throughout the trip. The Gulfstream aircraft, in a genuine statement to power and performance, climbed immediately to 40,000 feet and easily accelerated to its cruise speed of 0.83 Mach. Though the aircraft was completely capable of a nonstop flight, U.S. COVID protocols required a stop in PC-12 that flew Sasha to Basel to meet the G-V. Bangor where we let Sasha stretch her legs while clearPerformance is measured in many ways but not ing customs. Shortly thereafter, we were off again for matched by that which makes the heart whole. Welthe six-hour trip to Chino. come home, Sasha! As we descended into Los Angeles airspace, we received a communication from our dispatch that there Mark DiLullo is the founder and was a large party awaiting Sasha’s arrival. Several famDirector of Operations of Threshily members were present to welcome Sasha home. old Aviation Group. He has 20,000 An extremely happy and grateful client and his family + flight hours and is rated in 32 jet greeted us at our FBO (Threshold Technologies, Inc.) at aircraft, ranging from the Boeing Chino airport (KCNO). 747 to the Northrop F-5 Freedom As the stairway opened, Sasha flew down into the Fighter. He can be contacted at arms of her anxiously awaiting family. An extremely happy and grateful client and his family greeted me.

Spring 2021


Thoroughbred Aviation Offers Á La Carte, On-Demand ‘Aviation As a Service’

Most aircraft owners assume they have two options when it comes to managing the complex operational control of their small Part 91 aircraft department: hand over the reins to an aircraft management company, or build their own in-house. But what if there was a better way? Some aviation experts, like Nathan Winkle, founder and president of business aviation consultancy firm Thoroughbred Aviation, LLC, believe there is. Winkle points to recent trends that are impacting corporate flight operation management—like technology advancements, shifting generational preferences and a notoriously dismal Part 91 safety record, to name a few—as proof the industry needs to evolve. Companies like his are rising to that challenge by reimagining traditional models of the past and offering progressive, cost-effective alternatives that are flexible, transparent, and safe. That alternative is Aviation As a Service—a new, on-demand approach to flight management, scheduling and maintenance that offers aircraft owners an à la carte “use it when you need it” approach. Just as Lyft and Uber disrupted transportation and Airbnb hospitality, Winkle believes this advanced shift toward services is poised to radically transform the business of flight department management. “What we’re proposing is a way to mitigate wellknown risks in the industry while adding tangible dollars and sense value,” he says. “This is a completely new way of thinking in business aviation.” In addition to running Thoroughbred Aviation’s full maintenance and aircraft management services to owners and operators around the world, Winkle collaborates with like-minded leaders such as Lindsay Ancora. She’s founder and president of L/D Aviation Services, Inc., a concierge aviation scheduling and dispatching company that’s leading the way in this novel Aviation As a Service world. Her team of experts are well trained in Part 91 corporate environments and capable of assisting with a full spectrum of concierge tasks, from flight scheduling and dispatch to FBO selection and optimized fuel-purchasing plans, vendor account set-up assistance, weather and NOTAM checks, flight logging, record retention, and more. “Each member on my team understands the unique expectations and high service-level requirements our clients and industry demand,” she says. They also alleviate the strain of responsibility that’s

Aviation As a Service is a new, on-demand approach to flight management, scheduling and maintenance that offers aircraft owners an à la carte “use it when you need it” approach.

often placed on a small number of flight department personnel who are already in charge of a high volume of tasks, freeing time to focus their attention on the critical elements of their jobs, like safety. “Large flight departments have dispatchers and complex software with subscription services,” she says. “Smaller flight departments don’t have the same capabilities, which historically leaves details to pilots and administrative staff that pushes the limits of duty hours to handle the logistics.” Aviation As a Service also eliminates the financial burden of paying someone full-time to be available around the clock. Ancora’s team of experts are available when you need them, from anywhere in the world, at the click of a button. “We want to be that lifeline that expands an owner’s horizons and complements a flight department’s capabilities—to let them operate in a way that’s lean, safe and compliant,” she says, adding that the goal is to provide flexibility and options so clients can be as hands-on or as hands-off as they want to be. “We actually like to set up the tools for the flight department in the client’s wheel house, so the software and services are set up in the company’s own name,” she says. “That way, if they ever want to do this on your own, the infrastructure is already set up and we just transfer it over.” Continued on Page 20


John Goglia

Continued from Page 7 JG: I literally grew up a block away from Logan Airport, which is in Boston. So everyday from about the fourth grade, because my mother worked for American, I would go with my best friend at the time. We lived close together, and we would go to the airport everyday, every single day. They had a sky view at the time where the top of the building had walkways where you could look out at the airplanes. We were always waving and talking to the pilots and flight attendants. The airport was like our playground. And then as time went on, my mother was pushing me to become a pilot because she saw that it was a good job and that I liked airplanes. So, I went off and learned to fly. I soloed when I was 15. So then after that, I finished high school and was looking for someplace to go. I was thinking about being a state policeman, but you had to be 21, and it a difficult job. I decided to give aircraft mechanics a shot. I went to school to be a mechanic and A&P, and I finished that. And then while I was in school, I discovered girls and that sort of changes everything. I got married soon after I got out of school. Then the first kid came along, so I didn’t fly much because there is not enough money for everything. Then the second one came along, and I had three, so flying kind of went on the back burner. I wanted more than mechanics, so I worked for the airlines and in general aviation. I did a number of things, including promoting and dealing with human factors in flight. I got to work with Continental, United, and Northwest Airlines. In my role, we started to build them a robust system to identify the problems that mainte-

Á La Carte Aviation...

Continued from Page 19 This model of lean service is particularly relevant, Winkle notes, in light of Covid-19 when resource allocation is critical. It also appeals to a new generation of owners that demand transparency. “With these services, everything is as available as you want it; if you want to log in and see what’s going on, the tools are all there,” he says. Winkle and Ancora are both quick to point out that aviation is not a one-size-fits-all, and that different flight departments have different needs. “We’re not advocating for disbanding everything and throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” Winkle says. “What we’re saying is, we believe there’s a space for this in the industry and a way to help the safety record improve by hiring services as you need them. This

Spring 2021

nance personnel were having. We looked at that from their eyes and saw some of the mistakes that they made. We asked how we could eliminate those mistakes. Often times these were very costly mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes don’t show up until late. So it took a lot of work to try to figure it out. BAJ: You had your own company in general aviation. What specifically was that?

JG: I mentioned that I was working at the airlines. I started with being a mechanic for Continental, and I grew that to be quite a big company. That’s where I left all my hair. That’s it. You know, people problems, so I started my own maintenance company, working on planes as a mechanic and grew that into a good-sized business.

BAJ: I understand you have received quite a few awards. Tell me about the most recent one you received. JG: The most recent was the Laura Taber Barbour Award given by the Flight Safety Foundation. After leaving the board. I spent two years as the president of AMA (Aviation Maintenance Association). I have also been running the Aerospace Maintenance Skills Competition, which is a large honor as well. This organization has done a lot of good in helping students and those in the military. It has been a pleasure to serve them.

BAJ: Do you have anything else you would like to add?

JG:: I just remember this one thing. You know, pilots and maintenance are supposed to fit like ‘hand in glove.’ They have to get along for safety. That’s important.

is a potential solution for that flight department that has one or two people who are overwhelmed by doing everything.” He adds that this approach allows a smaller flight operation to access deep expertise and big flight department horsepower for a fraction of the cost. “By hiring an on-demand service, I can almost guarantee you you’re going to save more than you spend,” he says. “But ultimately, it’s about the value you’re getting and the increased safety of the team. You just can’t put a number on that.” Lindsay agrees: “I’m so passionate about this new niche. Pilots, schedulers and dispatchers are often put into an administration “only” role and I really want to challenge that. That’s what this is all about: working as a team to bring aviation safety to another level.”

Spring 2021

N560MT ready to serve


Another organ being expedited

Pivoting Toward Saving Lives By Annamarie Buonocore

It is always exciting when you come across an aviation company that is out to serve the greater good of humanity. Below is the story of how one NASCAR driver and his manager started an aviation business that nearly went dead during the COVID-19 pandemic. When they pivoted to flying organs as a Part 135 operator, the sky became the limit. (Part one of a two-part article) BAJ: Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

MTJ: Let me start out with this. I have been involved with NASCAR for 35 years. For the last 14 of those years, I have been managing one of the top NASCAR drivers. His name is Martin Truex, Jr. Three years ago, I sat down as part of his pre-recharge time and planning, if you will, for, for his post retirement. We talked about what companies and businesses made sense for him to invest in outside of sort of his traditional investments. The one that popped up was aviation because we had internally been managing Martin’s private aviation for about seven years. It was a pretty easy transition for us to take what we had learned and buy an aviation company. We developed a brand and launched the company a year and a half ago. So we’re still very young. Later, we felt like we knew the business well enough to be able to launch a company externally to the public. We bought a company called X Eight Aviation, which is a Part 135. We really just bought it for the certificate. We went to work we hired a chief pilot and director of operations. In the beginning, we were flying mostly NASCAR drivers and Martin to racetracks. A lot of the top drivers fly privately. What happened was the economics of racing, like any other sport competition, was decreasing

for drivers. So they were progressively selling off the airplanes. We were lucky enough to be in the right position to take advantage of that. That was really the primary purpose of the business. Then we opened up to corporate. The pandemic hit us hard, like everybody else, in March when we started. They started the lockdown, and our business stopped completely. No one was flying. Their planes were grounded, and we were furloughing employees. Then one of our employees came up with the idea of flying organs, so we quickly got certified to fly organs. It’s called waiver. This helped our business grow by 60 percent. We transport hearts, livers, and kidneys.

BAJ: Did you become a pilot after you were involved with NASCAR or before?

MTJ: You’re crazy. I’m not a pilot. You are welcome to interview our Chief Pilot, Guy Cooper. BAJ: Do you have any specific medical conditions that you cater to?

MTJ: We’re not specific to what the condition is. We have helped children fly to Disney with their families. We flew a 14-year-old girl in Texas that needed treatment. She couldn’t be exposed to the public. BAJ: Do you also have a foundation?

MTJ: We have a foundation, and it’s called the Mark Trish Junior Foundation. We started it about 14 years ago in 2007. We donate all of our funding to pediatric cancer initiatives. We have our dedicated website. BAJ: How far do you fly?

MTJ:: We can fly up to 18 miles, but for the most part, Continued on Page 26


Greatest Generation Charter...

Continued from Page 16 some fairly high places.” I shook my head and went back to the cockpit. I settled into my seat in the cockpit, still not satisfied. I knew instinctively that only the White House could have shut down Dulles like that. So, what was the connection? Thank God for the Internet, now available in flight thanks to some awfully expensive technology that I do not understand. I grabbed my iPad and started doing Google searches on my veterans. Three of my D-Day veterans’ names turned up nothing, but the fourth gave me my answer. Joe from Santee had been at the 2019 State of the Union address with three different D-Day veterans, and the four had been personally singled out by the President during his speech. Joe had served with the 101st Airborne Rangers and had parachuted into Normandy behind Utah Beach on D-Day. I also found several other photos of Joe shaking hands with both the President and the First Lady. Wow. Just wow. Oh, and he lives in Santee, Calif., which is close by my home. In fact, I own a house in Santee, which I rent out. An hour later, another passenger came to the cockpit to visit. This gentleman was able to fill in a few more details. Originally, the four veterans were supposed to fly aboard Air Force One to the remembrance event, but for some reason, this could not happen. Instead, the Foundation (or somebody!) chartered my airplane to take them

directly to Caen. Air Force One is too large for the Caen airport to handle, so it is understandable. Also, the President was flying into London for a state visit, to coincide with the 75th Anniversary event. They would have had to charter a smaller airplane to transport everyone across the English Channel, even if they had ridden aboard Air Force One. The rest of the flight was uneventful, but on landing in Caen, a local French television station was present to greet our flight, along with an interpreter to interview the D-Day Vets. I tried to stay out of their limelight while I worked with my Handling Agent and Customs to clear passengers and myself into France, and to get my flight plan and clearance onto my destination. I’ll never forget that flight of heroes.

MTJ Aviation is an ARGUS Gold certified Part 135 charter operator, based in Mooresville, NC. We are a private charter aviation company that caters to clients that prioritize safety and care about cost. We make private aviation easy. No long term contracts • No fractional ownerships. Request a quote • Book your trip • Fly.

Katie Reifers VP of Sales & Marketing 269-720-6564

Spring 2021

MTJ Aviation, LLC 156 Cayuga Drive Mooresville, NC 28117

Matthew Odenbrett is a 12,000 hour ATP and CFII with Gulfstream IV and Citation type ratings. During his 22 year career, Matthew has served as Chief Pilot, Check Airman, and Flight Department Manager for various companies. Matthew currently serves as Captain on a Gulfstream IV for a charter company, and is a Contract Captain on both the GIV and Pilatus PC-12.

Spring 2021


Helicopter Maintenance...

Continued from Page 11 wing for many years, few if any can say the same about helicopters. This doesn’t mean that helicopter maintenance tracking hasn’t been done. If you are using one of these available options, you are most likely left to continue to use other means to capture and drive those requirements unique to your aircraft to ensure you stay compliant. A whiteboard or the spreadsheet or some other form of documentation is needed because the application cannot completely support your operations and aircraft activities. Why do these available products not fit all of the needs of a helicopter operation? If we track fixed-wing, why is tracking a helicopter different, or is it different especially with today’s technology? What level of engagement and responsibility lies with, or is needed, by the operator to be successful? What are the differences between tracking your helicopters and your fixed-wing aircraft? Why are these differences important to understand? The answers are simple enough but are made more challenging by the fact that each helicopter manufacturer uses different techniques to determine how to measure, drive, and capture the stress of operating a helicopter or what is called “low-cycle fatigue”; that stress that is applied to some helicopter components not captured by an hourly, cycle, or calendar requirements. That stress is applied to certain components because of how a helicopter flies or the missions it performs based on equipment installed such as cargo hooks or hoists. Secondarily, but just as important is the fact that those same operating stresses also affect most engines used on helicopters, and each engine manufacturer also uses different techniques to determine, capture, and calculate those operational effects. So how should helicopter-tracking applications work for helicopters? The short answer is they should work as well as they currently do for any fixed-wing. The longer answer is the road to getting the same accurate result for your helicopters is a little more challenging than it is for your fixed-wing fleet and may take more understanding and involvement from you, the operator, to get the same result. Additionally, the choice of maintenance-tracking products is more difficult, as not all vendors have recognized or have figured out, or even developed how to include automating, capturing, and calculating those operational requirements that are formula driven such as lifts, hoists, and takeoffs. Welcome to the world of helicopter maintenance tracking! Here are a few simple steps that all helicopter operators should do to have a successful experience with their maintenance-tracking system. The steps may be simple but are all important if you want a successful

Airbus Twin Star AS355 result. Fixed-wing operators can benefit from this also. 1. Make the effort to completely understand how to enter aircraft totals: If your helicopter tracks “torque cycles” in some format, or captures operational events that apply a penalty to some components, make sure that you and your team know how the system captures and calculates. Your helicopter most likely has parameters or events, other than hours or cycles, required to drive airworthiness limitations that need to be captured, entered, and calculated. Additionally, the vendor will in most cases use names for these events that cannot be readily found and identified in a maintenance manual. • Internal Load and External Load operations as defined by the aircraft manufacturer. Continued on Page 24

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Helicopter Maintenance... Continued from Page 23

• Weight-driven requirements that result in some type of penalty against components. • Does the application calculate and capture formula-driven requirements such as RIN (Retirement Index Number) for your Bell or other aircraft or “Penalty,” “Sling,” and “Roping” cycles for other manufacturers? • How does the application capture environmental operational events such as starting and stopping in high wind or operating in sand- or salt-laden air or in cold climates? Be sure you understand how the application has been set-up for you to capture these events and the resultant behaviors. If you operate more than one make/ model, you may need to learn each, as they are most likely different. Ask for training.

Sikorsky S-92

Spring 2021

2. Vendors have to make decisions based on what results they are looking for when developing functionalities. Completely understand your helicopter’s operational- driven requirements and how the application you are looking at or using has been designed to capture and enter them accurately. This might seem like a repeat of number one, but I cannot stress enough how important a complete understanding of what needs to be captured and how based on the application’s behavior, and then where and how to enter it into the application. Not entering all the data correctly, where and when it should be, could cause inaccurate information and an “over-fly” situation. 3. If you use your provider to manage and enter all your maintenance activity information into the application, make sure that they clearly understand the documentation you are sending them. Additionally, provide any specific direction to your analyst to ensure that the expected results are reflected accurately. 4. Component Changes: Make sure that you provide all the documentation required, including copies of both the removed and installed Component Cards, for a successful component change. 5. Assembly/Component Management: Ask about how the application supports managing component assemblies. Moving assemblies off and on an aircraft, Continued on Page 25

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Spring 2021

Helicopter Maintenance...

Continued from Page 24 managing assemblies in inventory or while at a vendor, awareness of where those assemblies are, and their serviceability status. 6. Historical Records: If the application you are using has the ability to archive maintenance documents, it’s a good idea to take advantage of that ability. When the need comes up to demonstrate that you have met any requirement, it simplifies that process. It also provides a back-up for aircraft records. 7. Penalty or “torque cycle” requirement tasks: Ask for help with setting up your system to allow these unique items to be grouped together if possible. This simplifies finding and viewing their remaining time and next due. Find out how and if your system can be used to include these in maintenance due projections. The ability to project large amounts of torque cycle events for an upcoming contract or mission can help identify the right asset to send out on that mission and reduce any surprises or possible over-fly situations. 8. Take advantage of any offered training and develop a relationship with your analyst or field representative if the company provides one. They are the real key to becoming an expert in identifying application work flows and applying those tools that are provided by your vendor. It also promotes value for the money you’re spending.

Picture Yourself on a “JetColleagues” Networking Event 702-465-2027 •


Sikorsky S-76 9. Communicate to your analyst or field representative what your in-house processes and work-flows are for things like AD & SB management, returning an aircraft to service, or producing log entries for example. Ask how the application can support these types of activities within those processes you already use. Tracking helicopter maintenance can be challenging. High-tech complicated aircraft, operational-driven engineering requirements, mixed fleets, operating in remote areas, managing component-driven airworthiness directives, and other regulations are a few of the items that add to this challenge. On top of these, are the dayto-day responsibilities: training, logistics, inventory, personnel, and other applications, like financial or HR Continued on Page 26


Helicopter Maintenance...

Continued from Page 25 software to name a few. Reduce those challenges by choosing a provider that has an experienced team and an application whose development is industry driven to support you and your operation. Use all provided support that the vendor offers and conduct regularly scheduled training events for you and your team. Take the time to learn about all the great integrated tools within the application and how they can simplify your operation. Understand how the system behaves based on your fleet and what is expected to be successful. Start small and build on your understanding. Write your questions down for the next training event. I’m sorry to inform you fixed-wing operators who are thanking your lucky stars that you do not need to pay attention to “low-cycle fatigue” requirements. The industry has identified for some time that those same stresses typically applied to helicopter airframes and engines, also apply to some fixed-wing aircraft based on how that aircraft is operated. Touch-and-go landings and dropping water or chemicals to fight fires are a couple of examples of the same “low-cycle fatigue” stresses. These are activities that may need to be captured, calculated, and applied to those airframe structures, components, and engines. To get the most out of your maintenance-tracking product and to meet the expectations that you are looking for, first identify what is important to you and your operation. Make a list of those things that you address or need to resolve everyday and then those actions that you wish you had a better way to address; how do I manage ADs and SBs? How do I project what’s coming due? How do I plan for that work and are there tools such as Work Order or some other planning or scheduling tools available? Who needs access and can that access be managed and how? What kind of support is provided and what does that look like? How do I report an issue with the application and what can I expect?

Spring 2021

Is there a phone or tablet application, and if so, what does that look like and what can be done with it? And so on… If you already use a product, this list can be used to help your vendor better identify how to meet your need and will also identify those gaps that cannot be filled with your current product. If you are looking at making a choice for a vendor, this list will prove to be an important first step in making the best choice to meet your expectations. Good luck!

Jim Coates has a passion for all things mechanical and his high test scores in the US Air Force ASVAB test led him to serve as an F-4C Crew Chief. Since receiving his A&P Rating, he has held various positions from GA Mechanic and Jet Engine Build Mechanic to Jet Engine Test Technician, and Quality Control Lead to Director of Airworthiness Compliance for a large complicated helicopter operation where he successfully implemented their first web-based maintenance tracking product for over 60 aircraft, fixedwing and rotor-wing. He has also held positions with two of the industry’s largest web-based aircraft maintenance management and tracking companies.

Saving Lives

Continued from Page 21

we’re up and down the East Coast, east of the Mississippi for the most part, but we have flown farther west than that. TCOA is a partner. They’re basically, in addition to flying the Oregon there, they’re also pitching to these hospitals. They can take on the entire process: fitting the organ, finding the recipient, and working in the hospitals. We’re just a small part of that. BAJ: Do you have any stories of when you met somebody who was in need of the life-saving treatment and they thanked you for it, or just any personal stories?

MTJ: I have met a couple, but this is a better question for our Chief Pilot, Guy, because he has flown a lot more of these flights. BAJ: Thank you! Agusta AW-139

(See our interview with MTJ’s Chief Pilot, Guy Cooper, in our next issue.)

Mr. Owens’ p

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L. Forrest Owens, B.C.S. Attorney at Law

cross-border t

J.D. Valparaiso University School of Law 2005 Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007

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Mr. Owens’ practice concentrates on T: 888-6FLYLAW aircraft and aviation related transactions, F: 888-635-9529 M: 954-882-8090 cross-border transactions, civil litigation, and airman defense before the FAA and Department of Transportation.

CREDENTIALS • Florida Bar Certified Specialist—Aviation Law • Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic for more than 20 Years • Private Pilot for more than 20 Years • Over $225 million in aviation transactions in the past 3 years L. Forrest Owens, B.C.S. Attorney at Law J.D. Valparaiso University School of Law 2005 Admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007

T: 888-6FLYLAW F: 888-635-9529 M: 954-882-8090

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Maintenance Management Service A New Way to Fly

SCAN ME SCAN ME Pedigree is Everything!

ee is Everything!

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