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Features 14 CAPTAINS & FOs Personalities in the cockpit by David Ison Knowing your flightdeck mate’s character can be crucial to flight operations safety.
17 FBO NEWS Latest headlines from the FBO sector Pro Pilot staff compilation 22 VERTICAL LIFT ADVANTAGES Executive helicopters by Brent Bundy Rotary-wing aircraft save time and offer comfortable travel. Here’s what’s available now and what’s coming in the corporate helo market.
28 MRO & REFURBISHMENT Where do you go for maintenance, repair, and overhaul? Pro Pilot staff compilation Operators tell which MRO facilities they have visited, and why they chose these providers. 37 PIREPS Reports from the business aviation industry Pro Pilot staff compilation
38 AIRCRAFT LIFE-CYCLE MANAGEMENT Hourly cost maintenance programs by Don Van Dyke Bizjet owners, operators, and maintenance providers update their strategies and plans regarding airworthiness and asset value management with pilot involvement.
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Professional Pilot magazine
8 TERMINAL CHECKLIST Quiz on procedures when flying into BIL
(Billings MT). Answers on page 10.
12 SID & STAR Sid calls in sick and Star captains the Howler helped by an on-call pilot.
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6. Select all that apply. When cleared for the approach from LRSUN IAF, ________ a fly a course of 111° to HEXOS. b limit speed to a maximum of 230 KIAS. c maintain a minimum altitude of 6000 ft MSL until HEXOS. d fly a course of 111° to intercept the localizer course of 102° at WIBON.
5. Select all that apply to flying the approach from Billings VOR. a The initial approach fix is BIL. b The course reversal is required. c The aircraft may descend to 5300 ft MSL outbound on a course of 282°. d A course of 305° to HEXOS at a minimum altitude of 6200 ft applies.
Which of the following apply to BEARE IAF? a Course reversal required. b Maximum airspeed of 230 KIAS. c Maximum airspeed of 210 KIAS. d Minimum altitude of 6000 ft MSL. e Mandatory altitude of 8000 ft MSL.
Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson. Reduced for illustrative purposes.
3. Select the true statement(s) regarding TERPs notations shown on the chart. a The note “TERPS AMEND 26A 3 JAN 2019” may be used to indicate that a minor change to chart information has occurred. b The reverse C inside the black diamond indicates that the circling minimums are based on an expanded seg ment of airspace defined by TERPS. c The TERPS notation in the landing minimums section means that a change to the landing minimums occurred during the last revision. d The TERPS notation in the landing minimums section indicates that the landing minimums comply with a set of criteria that are similar to EU-OPS requirements.
Not to be used for navigational purposes
1. Equipment requirements for the initial and intermediate approach segments are only shown on the plan view. a True b False 2. Select the true statement(s) regarding equipment require ments to fly the approach when flying from LRSUN. a RNAV 1-GPS is required. b The aircraft must have DME. c RNAV (GPS) equipment may be substituted for DME. d The aircraft’s GPS equipment must maintain a total system error of not more than 0.5 nm for 95% of the total flight time.
Refer to the 11-1 ILS Y or LOC Y Rwy 10L for KBIL (Billings MT) when necessary to answer the following questions:
Terminal Checklist Answers on page 10 9/20
b a CDFA requires a vertical descent angle of 3.0°. c a CDFA requires the use of a flight director or autopilot. d the missed approach is at 0.2 DME after passing IBIL DME.
9. Select the true statement(s) regarding the landing minimums. a A flight director, autopilot, or HUD must be used to descend to the DA of 3785 ft MSL. b Minimum visibility may be lowered to RVR 18 if a flight director, autopilot, or HUD is used to fly to the DA. c The PAPI, MALSR, and RAIL must be operational to use a minimum visibility of RVR 24 when flying the ILS approach. d If the MALSR is inoperative, the minimum visibility for all aircraft categories increases by ½ sm for both the ILS and localizer approach.
7. Which of the following apply to the specified fixes? Select the true statement(s) regarding missed approach procedure. 10. a HEXOS—2.9 DME from IBIL. a A minimum climb gradient of 200 ft/nm is required. b LRSUN—6.6 nm from WIBON. b A parallel entry to the holding pattern is appropriate. c BIL—VOR upon which the MSA is based. c A climb to 4500 ft MSL is required prior to turning direct to d D1.0—visual descent point based on distance from IBIL. e ZOBUM—stepdown fix to descend from 4360 ft MSL to BIL VOR. d The missed approach point for the localizer approach may 3785 ft MSL. be identified by timing from HEXOS. 8. Select all that apply. When flying the localizer approach, ____ e The missed approach point for the localizer approach may be a the missed approach point is at 1.2 DME IBIL. identified by DME at 5.2 nm from HEXOS. 8 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / September 2020
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Answers to TC 9/20 questions 1.
b Historically, equipment required for specific segments of the approach was listed in procedural notes and on the plan view. The equipment requirements/ performance-based navigation (PBN) boxes in the Briefing Strip now list the additional equipment or performance requirement needed for the approach. For PBN, the box lists the most restrictive NavSpec to fly the PBN procedure or the PBN portion (segment) published on a conventional procedure. In this case, RNAV 1 capability is required when flying the initial approach segment from BEARE or LRSUN.
a, c According to the PBN equipment box and the plan view notes, RNAV 1-GPS is only required when flying from BEARE and LRSUN. According to AC 90-100A, US Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations, RNAV 1 NavSpecs require that the aircraft maintain a total system error of not more than 1 nm for 95% of the total flight time. Although the equipment requirement box in the Briefing Strip states that DME is required, according to AIM 1-1-17, GPS can be used in lieu of DME on IFR terminal procedures.
b, d TERPS in the upper left corner of the landing minimums section indicates that the landing minimums meet TERPS Change 20 standards or later. TERPS Change 20 is a set of criteria for determining minimums that was designed by FAA to harmonize more closely with EU-OPS. The chart revision dates in the heading section indicate a change to any information. If a procedural update has been made, a new amendment reference number and date are located on the lower left border. The reverse C inside the black diamond indicates an expanded segment of airspace defined by TERPS that protects aircraft during circling approaches and offers additional obstacle clearance.
4. c, e Ballflag 3 on the plan view states “MAX 210 KIAS.” A procedural note below the fix name indicates a mandatory altitude of 8000 ft MSL. From BEARE, the procedure is to fly a course of 064° at a minimum altitude of 6000 ft MSL to WIBON to intercept the final approach course. NoPT indicates that a course reversal is not authorized when flying this initial approach segment. 5.
b, d A feeder route with a course of 305° at a minimum altitude of 6200 ft MSL is charted from Billings VOR (BIL) to HEXOS IAF. At HEXOS, the aircraft may descend to a minimum altitude of 5800 ft MSL outbound on the localizer to perform the course reversal as shown on the profile view. After intercepting the localizer inbound, the aircraft may descend to a minimum altitude of 5300 ft MSL.
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b, d Ballflag note 1 on the plan view indicates a maximum speed of 230 KIAS at LRSUN. NoPT is shown along a course of 111° to WIBON with a minimum altitude of 6000 ft MSL. At WIBON, the localizer course of 102° is charted with a descent to a minimum altitude of 5300 ft MSL.
b, c, d Distance from both BIL VOR (D2.9) and IBIL localizer (D5.0) are listed for HEXOS. The distance along the course to LRSUN is 6.6 nm from WIBON based on GPS navigation. The MSA is based on a 25-nm radius from BIL VOR. According to the profile view, when flying the localizer approach, the stepdown fix of ZOBUM allows a descent from 4360 ft MSL to the MDA of 4000 ft MSL. The aircraft should remain at the MDA until past the visual descent point (VDP) – depicted by the “V” symbol – D1.0 from IBIL.
8. b, d A symbol on the final approach segment labeled IBIL DME indicates the position of the localizer/DME facility. During the localizer approach, the aircraft flies past this point for 0.2 DME to reach the missed approach point. AC 120-108, Continuous Descent Final Approach, states that a CDFA requires the use of a published vertical descent angle (VDA) or barometric vertical guidance (in this case, the glideslope angle of 3.00°), but does not require specific training or aircraft equipment. 9. b Note 1 in the landing minimums section indicates that the minimum visibility may be lowered to RVR 18 with “flight director or autopilot, or HUD to DA.” A DA of 3785 ft MSL applies with or without this equipment. The landing minimums section shows minimums for approaches to straight-in landings with and without an operative RAIL or ALS (in this case a MALSR). An inoperative PAPI has no effect on landing minimums. If RVR is not reported, prevailing visibility in statute miles may be used. The minimum visibility for the localizer approach increases from ½ sm to 1 sm, and from ¾ sm to 1¼ sm with an inoperative ALS, but only increases ¼ sm (½ to ¾) for the ILS approach. 10.
a, c, e According to the AIM 5-4-21, obstacle protection for missed approach procedures is predicated on a climb gradient of at least 200 ft/nm. The missed approach instructions indicate a climb to 4500 ft MSL prior to a climbing right turn to 6000 ft MSL to intercept the 122° radial to Billings VOR (BIL), which makes a direct entry appropriate. Typically, the MAP may be identified by a fix or time from the FAF. However, in this case, as shown by the descent/timing conversion table, the MAP is identified by D0.2 IBIL or 5.2 nm from HEXOS.
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CAPTAINS & FOs
Personalities in the cockpit
Photo by Rafael Henriquez
Knowing your flightdeck mate’s character can be crucial to flight operations safety.
Depending on who you’re paired to fly with, the cockpit may at times make you feel like you’re at a zoo. Read on to learn about the types of “animals” you may encounter in the cockpit.
By David Ison
Professor, Graduate School Northcentral University
o a Google search using the key word “animal” along with “personality style” or “leadership,” and you will come across a wide range of theories and commentaries as to how we, as humans, have been compared to or associated with particular animal types that describe our demeanors and actions. We have all used wildlife terms such as “snake,” “bear,” or other not-so-nice descriptors equating people we know with animals. A few years ago, I wrote an article about how first officers (FOs) really must behave like chameleons, adapting to their environments and crew pairings to get their jobs done with the least amount of drama or conflict. This got me thinking about what other types of fauna I have encountered over my years as a pilot. The more I pondered things, the more analogies
made themselves apparent. And I’ve seen my share of personality types and habits that some might confuse with those you’d encounter at a zoo. I recall the captain who, like Mr Rogers, would change from a formal uniform into a cardigan sweater and comfortable shoes each time we reached cruise. Another would offer tidbits of wise advice on each leg such as “you can judge the true age of someone by looking at their hands,” and when he or I would grease a landing, he would claim “even a blind hog can find an acorn now and then.” A fellow pilot would make the same exact 5-minute loquacious, patriotic speech before pushback, while another one would bring his cockpit cleaning kit to tidy meticulously the various switches, gauges, and controls that were in much need of such attention – although one time, after cleaning under the parking brake handle, he left it engaged, which we found out upon landing. Among FOs, I encountered an
equally diverse variety. One who was a fashion model as her side occupation provided insights into an industry about which I knew nothing. I met another one who never wanted to upgrade, spending more years as SIC than many spend as PIC before retiring – and he always got the schedule he wanted. And I had another cockpit partner who seemed to be able to read my mind, and was so far ahead of the airplane that I sometimes thought he could have been a psychic. While some of the aforementioned crew members were outliers – and thus I can remember flying with them as clear as day – there do seem to be commonalities in many of the folks with whom I (and likely you, too) have flown over the years. The following descriptions are not by any means all-inclusive, but they represent some of the best and worst of the most encountered typologies. These comparisons, in addition to applying to captains and copilots, can be related to many other positions in the aviation industry.
14 PROFESSIONAL PILOT / September 2020
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Among the positive experiences I have had in the crew member jungle, many have been with the elephant-like personalities. These individuals are social and intelligent, have a good memory, stay focused on tasks, and lumber confidently ahead even in the face of adversity. They can also be aggressive when needed, defending what they know is right – although they can be stubborn. For the most part, elephants are pleasant to work with, and are indispensable powerhouses of knowledge in both normal and abnormal operations. Labrador retrievers have been the most popular dog breed in the US for almost 30 years for good reason. They are easy to train, have an excellent demeanor, are smart, and make good companions. Who would want anything different in the cockpit? Labs are the best of all worlds – they are fun to fly with and know their stuff. One of my favorite L-1011 captains was a labrador type. He was always able to tap his deep knowledge of procedures or systems to shed light on a circumstance that benefited greatly from such advice. He was also steady, dependable, and pleasant to be around. Ravens are like elephants in terms of their intelligence, but they’re much more reserved and a bit less intimidating. They also tend to observe much more before speaking or acting. They also see things many do not. I recall one occasion when a raven listened patiently to a range of communications among maintenance, operations, and other involved parties while these individuals tried to figure out a solution to an aircraft issue. Finally, the raven swooped in with an ingenious resolution that was well supported by policy and procedure. Moreover, all of this was done in a laid back, professional manner. Octopi seem to be able to get everything done, and then some, doing so without complaining. They are also brilliant, so they don’t need a lot of guidance or oversight. They tend to be more solitary, like the raven, if not overtly aloof. Their personalities can run the gamut, but they tend to be more reserved. They don’t advertise their skills by being braggarts. I’ve flown with many octopus-type FOs, and it was almost like having 2 extra people in the cockpit. They’re amazing and make life a lot easier.
get along with everyone, and are fun to be around. I’ve flown with many of them, and some ranked highly on my list of favorite people to fly with – although I always kept note of their weaknesses, often having to babysit them through certain procedures, for example, visual approaches.
Playing safe with the animals
Having a dog in the cockpit can be good or bad, depending on the precise breed. Labs are favored over golden retrievers.
Yellow jackets, bears, peacocks, and golden retrievers On the flip side, there are personalities that are a little more challenging to work with regularly. One sting that I remember clearly was from a posse of yellow jackets. They do not like to be messed with, are aggressive, and will react accordingly with some spice. I have flown with my share of yellow jacket captains and FOs. Do not dare question something they have done, and do not touch their side of the cockpit. Thankfully, there are fewer of these types than in the past, but they are still out there. I think we can all act like a yellow jacket at times, although it’s not our go-to way to operate. Bears are similar to yellow jackets in that they have a propensity to attack, but differ in that they’re more predictable. They tend to be calm until they are not, but will only lash out if there is more than a whim of a reason. To get the bear going usually requires crossing a line of some kind, such as a pet peeve or something of the sort. Thankfully, bears are mostly calm and competent, so managing their occasional awkward spurts is easier. Everyone knows a peacock. They brag a lot and think they’re better than everyone, like God’s gift to aviation. Maverick from Top Gun is a good example. Peacocks can be skilled – or not. Most peacocks I have met lack some sort of ability, like stick flying, book knowledge, or both. Maybe the fluffing of feathers is to make up for something. As long as you know their shortfalls, peacocks can be reasonable to work with. You may think I’m mistaken to suggest that golden retrievers have anything potentially negative associated with them. Yet, as friendly and docile as they are, they are not the sharpest tools in the shed. They’re very social,
So what is the point in all of this classification and categorization? Well, naturally, it helps us deal with the people who are confined with us in the small place we call a cockpit (and with whom we may have to spend lots of time outside the cockpit). It allows us to plan and be mentally ready for whatever may come our way. As I mentioned, there would be some pilots with whom I genuinely enjoyed flying but had to be on guard in some form or another to ensure things never went sideways in a bad manner. Let’s face it, there may be cases when we try to avoid certain types altogether by being sure to be unavailable to hang out after a flight, or even trading trips to prevent unwanted melodrama. If negative personalities cannot be circumvented, it is helpful to enter the ring knowing what you’re in for, playing the role needed to keep the beast at bay. All joking aside, we must do whatever we can to ensure that all of our flights are as safe as possible. This requires effective resource management both inside and outside the cockpit. Knowing the types of people with whom you work best can help you adjust how you act and respond at work – and in life. Coming full circle back to the chameleon, being able to adjust to fit into your environment is a necessary and helpful ability for all of us to hone. Being able to conduct ourselves in any situation, physical or otherwise, fosters safe and effective flight operations. So, next time you feel like you have a wildlife encounter in the cockpit (or elsewhere), take a step back, harness your inner chameleon, and respond accordingly to the situation.
Photo by Álvaro Rentería
Elephants, labrador retrievers, ravens, and octopi
David Ison, PhD, has 33 years of experience flying aircraft ranging from light singles to widebody jets. He is a professor in the graduate school at Northcentral University. PROFESSIONAL PILOT / September 2020 15
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FBO NEWS West Star recognized by Colorado Governor’s Environmental Leadership Program
est Star Aviation has been recognized by the Governor of Colorado as a Gold Leader from the Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) for the 6th consecutive year. “Contributing to the community’s ongoing environmental efforts and improvements gives our company and employees great pride knowing we are focused on growing a green company with innovations and ideas,” says West Star Aviation GJT (Grand Junction CO) General Manager Dave Krogman. West Star entered the ELP recognition and reward program in October 2010, and is a Western Slope leader, assisting other companies to enroll in the program.
New paint facility at FXE
heltair has welcomed Atlantic Jet Reﬁnishing as the newest tenant at FXE (Fort Lauderdale Exec, FL) in its new state-ofthe-art paint facility. The 16,500 sq ft paint hangar is the 1st of its class to be built in south Florida. Its dual-bay layout features upgraded systems built to meet current environmental and ﬁre suppression requirements. The facility’s spacious open span means that Atlantic Jet Reﬁnishing will be able to accommodate aircraft as large as the Bombardier Global Express and Gulfstream G650. Sheltair COO Todd Anderson notes, “This facility was constructed and designed by Sheltair with precise attention to detail. Combined with Atlantic Jet’s lease with us, we are conﬁdent the present and future demands of aircraft painting in south Florida will be met long-term.” Atlantic Jet’s paint facility opens simultaneously with Sheltair’s new 20-acre northside hangar complex at FXE. The complex includes a new FBO terminal to be operated by Banyan Air Services and scheduled to open shortly.
Duncan Aviation updates Battle Creek design center
uncan Aviation has unveiled a new design center at its BTL (Battle Creek MI) MRO facility. The updated design center now has 30% more space, a more efﬁcient work area, and what Duncan describes as “an inviting environment for customers” as they spec out designs for their aircraft paint and interior modiﬁcations. According to Duncan Aviation BTL Exec VP & COO Andy Richards, “This new space is organized and efﬁcient, and it better captures the professionalism of the design team.”
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What’s your story as an aviation professional? Why and how did you land in aviation?
achines and airplanes have always fascinated me. My father was a US Navy aircraft maintenance crew member, and he would show me pictures of airplanes. He arranged my 1st flight in a Stinson. I built model airplanes and visited local airports in high school, and attained my private, commercial, and CFI certifications in college. In my senior year, with 1000 hrs, I was hired by TWA as pilot and flight engineer on a Boeing 707. After 33 years, at the age of 57, I retired as a captain flying a Boeing 767-300. I now fly Citations and Gulfstreams. Walt Bradshaw ATP. Citation I Owner KTR Inc Punta Gorda FL
iving in Montana when I was young, the military pilots used to break the sound barrier over our farm regularly. At that time, I developed a love for aviation. When I was 9 or 10, an uncle asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I stated that I wanted to be a pilot. He then asked what I would do while I was flying. I replied, “I would concentrate on the air.” For many years, that was a big family joke. I then started flying in high school. In 1981, I joined the Manhattan Flying Tigers club in Belgrade MT. That same year, I piloted the Grumman AA-1A Trainer on my own. After returning from Texas for Christmas, I found out that the plane was damaged, so I finished my training in a Cessna 172. After high school, I went into pre-med for a quarter, but then went back to flying at Walla Walla College, and ended up attending American Flyers in Fort Worth TX. I completed my private, instrument, commercial, flight instructor, and instrument instructor licenses. In later years I received my single-engine sea and multi-engine instrument instructor certificates. I haven’t looked back since. Harvey Meharry ATP. Hawker 400XP Flight Dept Mgr & Chief Pilot Southern Multifoods Rusk TX
orn in the 60s, I grew up watching the US space programs Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo. The whole world looked up to the US. All the astronauts were nice, young, clean-cut American boys. I admired these guys. They all started as pilots, and therefore I wanted to fly too. As
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Grumman AA-1A Trainer
luck would have it, back in 1997, while touring the Johnson Space Center, I got to pilot NASA’s Space Shuttle simulator, and I was able to fly the full approach. Lloyd Sharp ATP. Citation XLS+ Pilot ONEsky Exclusive Travel Club Eagle Point OR
enlisted in the US Navy in 1973 after high school for air traffic control (ATC) because I wanted to get into aviation. I gained experience there, then continued my ATC career with FAA, and later on I earned my flying licenses. My goal was to become a professional pilot, but I took the long route to that career by then transitioning into flight instructing and then flying small twin-engine airplanes in the middle of the night on cargo runs. One day, a former flight instructor of mine called and asked about my career path. He mentioned that he might be able to get me into his company flying as his copilot on a Falcon 20 business jet. I was hired, and we enjoyed flying the Falcon 20 and a Challenger 600 together for about 5 years. I gained enough experience to apply for other jobs, and I was hired by Federal Express Corporate Aviation in 1989. I just finished a 31-year flying career with what is now FedEx Express. I went into aviation because I found it both challenging and rewarding at the same time. I loved learning all I could. There is no doubt that I made the correct decision in my young adult life to follow this career path. I was blessed and truly fortunate to have incredibly good people around me. I worked hard and earned their respect while learning
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Squawk Ident everything they could teach me. In aviation, you never stop learning. Every day has the potential to teach you a new lesson. Mark Casillas ATP. King Air 90 Captain NMSU Flight Operations Las Cruces NM
ased on some homework assignments in kindergarten, I did have a plan to become a pilot. I didn’t choose to become a professional pilot until I researched pilot programs at state schools in Massachusetts. I heard positive things about Bridgewater State University, so several years and several student loans later, I’m working as a professional pilot. Ryan Motte Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. Pilatus PC-12 Director of Safety Tradewind Aviation Naugatuck CT
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y father was a naval aviator who flew many types of single-seat piston and jet fighters. After leaving the US Navy, he joined Braniff International. I was 2 years old at the time. I followed in my father’s footsteps. After completing college, I had the required hours and flight engineer certificate to join him at Braniff. In 1985, I joined American Airlines and, after 34 years there, including 22 years as a check airman and FAA designee, I retired and have gone back to corporate. I fly a King Air now. Jeff Jones ATP. King Air E90 Chief Pilot Texas Pacific Land Trust Dallas TX
n 1960 I was 15 years old. I had been working at a drive-in root beer stand for 2 years, earning 50¢/ hr. I found out about a job at the airport mowing grass and fueling airplanes for $1/hr. In my family
Braniff International Boeing 727
there was no one with any experience in aviation. After 57 years, I retired with 10 type ratings. I have also been president and co-owner of 3 FBOs. When I retired, we had 19 pilots and operated various aircraft, including pistons, turboprops, a Global 6000, and a Gulfstream V. Terry Rackers ATP/CFII. Global 6000 & Gulfstream V Former President Central Missouri Aviation Jefferson City MO
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GONE WEST Tribute to Marvin Cetron
omething once reminded Marv Cetron of his days at Penn State, where an injured shoulder had taken him out of the football lineup. He spent that season as the Nittany Lion. And 6 decades on, the memory brought him almost child-like joy. Minutes later, he was looking ahead, not behind, figuring out what to expect years into the future. He did it uniquely well. We are sorry to report the unexpected passing of Marvin Cetron, 90, our colleague and friend, at his home in Fairfax VA. Readers will remember him as a frequent contributor to Pro Pilot. Marvin was born in New York City to Jack and Gertrude Cetron on July 5, 1930. He married Gloria Rita Wasserman on June 29, 1958. Gloria’s death separated them earlier this year. Marvin was a Coast Guard cadet in WWII, flying submarine patrol. Soon after, he received a BS in Industrial Engineering from Penn State. An MS in Production Management from Columbia followed, then a PhD in R&D Management from American University. By then, he was practicing R&D management for the Navy Department. In his early 30s, he led 17 research laboratories and a major forecasting operation. One of his duties was to brief President John Kennedy on technical matters. He advised the White House in every administration through the Clinton years. As founder of Forecasting International, Marvin consulted for 450 Fortune 500 firms, 150 professional and academic associations, and many government departments. His 1994 study, “Terror 2000: The Future Face of Terror,” accurately predicted the course of terrorism in the decade that followed. One client reviewed 103 predictions Marv had made for them – 95% proved correct within 10 years. Marvin is survived by his brothers Allan and Ted, and his sons Adam (wife Kimberley, son Gabriel) and Edward (wife Kathy, son Justin).
y 1st airplane ride was in a Piper Cub with my high school girlfriend’s dad, who was a Consolidated PBY Catalina pilot in the US Navy during WWII. In 1968, I served in the Navy aboard a destroyer on plane guard duties behind aircraft carriers off the coast of Vietnam. It was like seeing the Blue Angels every day, and that experience instilled in me an overriding desire to become a pilot. The GI Bill helped me attain my commercial license, which enabled me to climb up the ladder. I flew everything – turboprops, jets, and helicopters. I truly love my career. I logged over 20,000 hrs. I feel incredibly lucky to have experienced it all. John Ives ATP. King Air 350 & Bell 430 Pilot New York State Police Voorheesville NY
t 17 years old, I was mowing my church lawn across from my high school. My occupations teacher walked over and told me about a lineman position at the airport. I applied and was hired. I recommended my friend to apply there, and he also got the job. He decided to learn to fly, and I thought I’d do it, too. I took my 1st lesson on my 18th birthday, and 11 weeks later I passed my private check ride. That took place in 1982. I’ve been making a living by flying planes since 1987, and have logged 12,793 hrs. Recently, my mom said, “I’m so surprised you became a pilot.” My response was, “There’s no one more surprised than me!” No one else in my family tree has been a pilot. Todd Tobiason ATP. King Air B200 Flight Dept Mgr Tuls Dairies Columbus NE
rowing up on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin, there was an “airway” over the family farm. As a young boy, I’d look up and see various aircraft flying overhead. I recall seeing a Convair B-36 Peacemaker airborne above me. I got the flying bug around the age of 8 or 9. I took advantage of the GI Bill when I left
Aero Commander 681
the US Air Force as an enlisted guy to achieve all my ratings. Upon completion, I was qualified and hired as a flight crew member. In August 1973, I got a right seat job in an Aero Commander with 300 hours in my logbook. I’ve been in aviation since then, and was recently the recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. I’m still flying 200 hours annually. It’s a fun career if you like lots of changes in your life. Jimmy Farris ATP. Challenger 300 Department Manager Farris Aviation Consultants Clarkston MI
ince I was very young I have always loved aviation. My father was an electronics specialist in the Spanish Air Force, so I grew up among ground radars, avionics, aircraft, and countless plastic models, with which I enjoyed playing thoroughly. I joined the Air Force to pursue a career as an officer, and was stationed as a ground and flight instructor at the Spanish Air Force Airlift School for 6 years. Afterwards, I moved to the Aids Calibration & VIP Transportation Unit. When my 36-year Air Force flying career was coming to an end, I was lucky enough to be selected for a position with my current employer. Thanks to this position, I have known the commercial and corporate world. I am turning 50 this September, I feel blessed for my aviation life, and I hope to be able to continue this great journey for the years to come. Manuel Alcaide ATP. Gulfstream G650/GVSP Chief Pilot SEAF/Gestair Alcalá de Henares, Spain
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hile stationed in Turkey as an air operations specialist, I scheduled C-110s (Douglas DC-5s). I was on an empty leg returning to the base when the captain came back and asked if I would like to “wrestle this around for a while.” The hook was set. That was over 50 years ago, and I’m still active part-time. Chuck Tame ATP. Citation II/I Line Pilot Aero National Grindstone PA
ter flight school in May 1977. I’m glad that, for once, I listened to my father. And 45 years later, I’m still flying as an EMS helicopter pilot. Sara Stearns ATP. Airbus H135 Pilot CALSTAR Seaside CA
come from a long line of aviators, going back to the biplane days. My father, uncles, and older cous-
ins were all commercial aviators. My dad used to take me to the airport from when I was 4 years old to see my uncles take off in the Curtiss C-46, Douglas DC-3s, and Lockheed L-188 Electras. I’m 74 and still flying. I still love it and look up every time an airplane passes. No regrets. Edward Baro ATP. Hawker 800XP President Compass Aviation Intl Corp Hobe Sound FL
tarted flying junior year of high school. I attended Arizona State University and graduated with a BS in aeronautical technology. I attained my ratings after college and worked for 2 years as a flight instructor, and then I transitioned into commuter airlines flying a Beechcraft 99 for 3 years. I shifted over to corporate, flying various King Airs, Jet Commander 1121, JetStar II/731, and BAC 1-11 in the span of 12 years. I retired in 2014 after working for UPS for 26 years, rated on Boeing 727, 747, 757, 767, DC-8, and MD-11 aircraft. Since 2016, I’ve been a part-time King Air ground and simulator instructor for SIMCOM. Roger Battiston ATP/CFII. King Air 90/100/200/ 250/300/350 King Air Instructor SIMCOM Florence KY
ad been in show business working as a technician, but my parents weren’t thrilled about it. My dad encouraged me to join the military for flight training back in 1976. I chose the US Army aviation program, and graduated from helicop-
American Owned Owne – American Operated
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VERTICAL LIFT ADVANTAGES
Executive helicopters Rotary-wing aircraft save time and offer comfortable travel. Here’s what’s available now and what’s coming in the corporate helo market. Airbus
By Brent Bundy Phoenix Police Officer-Pilot AS350, AW119, Cessna 210/182/172
he helicopter as we know it can trace its roots to the early 20th century. By the 1940s, both German and US inventors had begun flying practical designs, capped off with Igor Sikorsky’s R-4 in 1942 – the 1st mass-produced model, and the design on which nearly all helicopters flown today are based. Since then, vertical lift aircraft have become one of the most versatile forms of transportation in existence. From the battlefield to the farm field, an aircraft that can take off and land in a reduced space has found nearly limitless usefulness. Much like its fixed-wing brethren, the helicopter has evolved from rudimentary beginnings to the technological wonders we see today.
Along this path of advancement, one of the many roles that rotary-wing aircraft have taken on has been that of luxury transportation. While early models could not carry much more than the fuel and the pilot needed for flight, modern iterations can be had with the finest leather-lined seating, opulent interiors to rival bespoke airplanes, and even galleys and lavatories. And the largest models can carry more than 20 passengers. While that basic design of Sikorsky’s R-4 is still in use, the diversity of applications in which helicopters are found vary greatly between each manufacturer. Let’s take a look at the most popular models on the market in 2020.
Holding a 54% share of the worldwide helicopter market, Airbus leads all other manufacturers. With a portfolio that covers nearly every niche of the market, the manufacturer offers a variety of models to meet corporate and luxury needs. With such specialty demands in this field, Airbus spun off a separate brand in 2017, aptly named Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH). Much like Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ), its stablemate on the company’s jet side, ACH focuses on VIP versions of several of its civil lineup, and has even partnered with the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin for exclusive editions. ACH currently offers luxury examples of 6 of its models – specifically, the light singles ACH125 and ACH130, the light twins ACH135 and ACH145, the super medium twin ACH175, and the newest addition to this premium collection – the ACH160, which was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2015. EASA certification was awarded in July 2020, with FAA approval and customer deliveries expected before 2021. In addition to exclusive interior and exterior styling, ACH promises a concierge-style support service anywhere in the world. Aside from the ACH offerings, with the sheer number of Airbus helicopters available in nearly every country, there are numerous after-market companies specializing in converting civilian models into VIP configurations.
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WE MAKE IT
The new generation H160 boasts a range of unparalleled safety features. Maximized pilot visibility, intuitive information display, unrivalled pilot assistance with Helionix,ÂŽ and unmatched flight envelope protection. Whatâ€™s more, it carries up to 12 passengers with a radius of action of 120 NM, while burning 15% less fuel. With so many impressive features, the H160 is a huge step forward not just for its category, but for the environment, too. Safety. We make it fly.
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Bell 525 Relentless
Having dropped “Helicopter” from its name in 2018, Bell has shown its investment in the future of vertical lift, which is expected to morph into aircraft that perhaps do not fall into the accepted definition of a helicopter. Until then, the company still offers several available in VIP guise. On the smaller end of the scale is the 3-year-old light single 505. With corporate models seating up to 4 people, it is already seeing several aftermarket luxury interiors being offered. The middle of the lineup for Bell is filled out by the latest variant of the venerable 6-pax single-engine 407, and the light twin 429 with its 7-person capacity. The company’s newest flagship model sitting at the top of the fleet will be the medium twin 525 Relentless, which will be the first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter. In an executive layout, the Relentless will carry up to 16 personnel. Bell has released several artist renderings and full-scale mockups which include Wi-Fi, smart-device-controlled lighting, electrochromic windows, and a sound enhancement system. Unveiled in 2012, certification for the 525 is expected in late 2020, with deliveries in 2021.
While maintaining just under half the market share of Airbus, Leonardo offers 6 models available for customization as VIP versions. Corporate editions can be customized for the light single AW119Kx, light twin AW109 in its GrandNew and Trekker versions (the latter being equipped with skids vs wheels), the medium twins AW139 and AW189, and the largest-in-class AW101, with potential seating for as many as 30 passengers. The manufacturer’s newest offering is the AW169, which began deliveries in 2016 and has become a favorite for EMS, SAR, and VIP operators. With class-leading performance and room for up to 8 seats in luxury configuration, its popularity is no surprise. In addition to its standard helicopter models, Leonardo is also the sole producer of a tiltrotor aircraft – the AW609. Based on the military V-22 Osprey, this hybrid helicopter/airplane will be offered in an executive setup with seating for 9. Its airplane speed and helicopter landing abilities will make it a hit among the VVIP crowd. Certification for the AW609 is expected in late 2020, with deliveries to begin immediately after.
MD Helicopters MD is perhaps best known for its small, light single, the MD 500. In fact, there’s a good chance that, if you meet a helicopter pilot, they’ve flown a variant of the 500 at some point in their career, considering that nearly 5000 of them have been built since 1967. Although the MD 500’s limiting factor would be its size, the company has 2 solutions – the MD 600N and MD 902 Explorer. The 600N incorporates MD’s NOTAR (no tail rotor) technology. In corporate configuration, it can carry up to 5 passengers, and it’s popular with the yachting crowd for its safety and quietness – the 2 main advantages of not having a tail rotor.
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People Make The Difference
Leonardo is committed to delivering the highest quality of Customer support, advanced service solutions and a comprehensive range of training programs ensuring mission success; anytime, anywhere. A global network of over 90 Service Centers, 10 Logistic Support Centers, 5 Training Centers and a team of over 1,800 support and training professionals are dedicated to ensuring Customer satisfaction; 24/7, 365. Leonardo is investing in performance and infrastructure to strengthen network collaborations and expand its portfolio of digital solutions, providing state of the art technology for the operation and maintenance of Customer helicopters, offering the best service and support. Inspired by the vision, curiosity and creativity of the great master inventor Leonardo is designing the technology of tomorrow.
leonardocompany.com Helicopters | Aeronautics | Electronics, Defence & Security Systems | Space
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The MD 902 Explorer is also a favorite for operators seeking a lower noise signature, along with the added safety of the tail rotor being replaced with a ducted fan in the tail. This medium twin can comfortably carry 4 passengers and plenty of baggage in the additional 48-cu-ft hold. Like other manufacturers, MD has an in-house design firm that will customize helicopters to the owner’s wishes. If noise level is a concern, MD may be a top choice.
Sikorsky A catalog of executive helicopters would not be complete without Bell Nexus
Sikorsky. While the manufacturer currently has only 2 models in its civilian repertoire, both have been highly regarded in the VIP transport world for many years, including Fortune 500 company execs and numerous foreign heads of state. A perennial favorite of the rotary-wing elite is the S-76. Now in its 10th generation, designated the S-76D, this medium twin first flew in 1977. Regular upgrades to engines, avionics, and interiors have kept it at the top of the A-listers’ list. With configurations customizable for any taste, the S-76D has VIP seating for up to 8 passengers, who enter the cabin through limousine-style doors aided by electrically retractable steps. Once inside, the active vibration control and Quite Zone transmission ensure comfortable travel, aided by the new tail rotor and main blades, which also provide a reduced noise footprint outside. Sikorsky’s larger model, the S-92, sets the standard for large-cabin VVIP helicopters. The medium-lift twin can be ordered with seating for up to 22 occupants in utility mode – but, in the executive design, the preferred seat count is 9. The massive cabin can include wet bars, galleys, closets, lavatories, and state-of-theart entertainment systems to rival its fixed-wing counterparts. A feature not found in many other helicopters is the 6-ft-high ceiling, allowing easier access throughout. The S-92’s size, safety record, and technology were among the reasons for it being chosen as the basis for the next generation of US Presidential helicopter, the VH-92A. To be operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1), the VH-92A will re-
place the venerable Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King and is expected to enter operational service in late 2020 or early 2021.
A vertical future The luxury helicopter fills a niche – not as a replacement for the corporate jet but as a complement. The private airplane can get you nearer to your destination than commercial travel, but the helicopter can get you even closer, and it can do so much more quickly than ground transportation, saving that ever-elusive element of time. The past decade has seen a rise in a new form of vertical lift. Difficult to quantify, it comes in various forms, including quadrotors, tilting rotors, and, eventually, lifting mechanisms yet to be seen. Undoubtedly, these too will be found with luxurious interiors, befitting the elite who will be the first to acquire them. For now, however, the helicopter rules the skies for those who have the need and the means to travel to nearly inaccessible locations in style. Brent Bundy has been a police officer with the Phoenix Police Dept for 29 years. He has served in the PHX Air Support Unit for 19 years and is a helicopter rescue pilot with nearly 4000 hours of flight time. Bundy currently flies Airbus AS350B3s for the helicopter side of Phoenix PD’s air unit and Cessna 172, 182s and 210s for the fixed-wing side.
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MRO & REFURBISHMENT
Where do you go for MRO (maintenance, repair & overhaul)? Which facilities are your favorites? Why?
Photo courtesy Airbus Helicopters
I experienced outstanding customer service from them. There were never any problems and I’d highly recommend them for anything. Arnoldo Rojas ATP. Phenom 300, Legacy 500 & Gulfstream G450 Pilot Noble Systems Kennesaw GA
A Airbus’s helicopter division has a presence in around 150 countries through its 31 customer centers and affiliated sites, 20 training facilities with 26 simulators, some 100 service centers, and 4 technical support hubs.
By Pro Pilot staff
extron services centers are fantastic for our Citation Excel. They always have up-to-date technical information, great facilities, and parts availability. Larry Waylan ATP/CFII. Citation Excel Dir of Ops & Chief Pilot Crew Aviation Louisville KY
onstant Aviation SFB (Sanford, Orlando FL) is my preferred MRO. It’s also where my former company most often sends its Phenom 300 and Legacy 500 for maintenance. Every time we picked up the jets they’d treat us very well and they were always ready to help in any way possible. The company has used their services for 4 years, and overall
vionAero at PWA (Wiley Post, Oklahoma City OK) is the maintenance facility of our choice. We’re very pleased with the services received from them. Bob Brown ATP. Falcon 900/50 & Learjet 45 Contract Pilot Newcastle OK
agle Creek Aviation at EYE (Eagle Creek, Indianapolis IN) is our favorite service center. They perform excellent maintenance work. We’re very satisfied with all aspects of their service. James Head Pvt-Inst. Phenom 300 Owner Head Inc Columbus OH
assault Falcon Service LBG (le Bourget, Paris, France) is our preferred provider. It’s been an excellent experience working with them. We also use the services provided by Jet Aviation DXB (Dubai, UAE) and TAG Aviation GVA (Geneva, Switzerland), and results are always satisfactory. We’re especially pleased with TAG since they were most helpful when we were AOG. Simon Nash ATP. Falcon 900LX Commander & Captain ExecuJet Middle East Dubai, UAE
Photo courtesy Dassault Aviation
Dassault offers MRO services for its bizjet operators around the world through the Falcon Service Network, which includes company-owned facilities, authorized service centers and training providers, and spare parts distribution facilities.
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Photo courtesy Pentastar Aviation
Bombardier MRO provides a full range of component repair and aftermarket services for almost 30 different types of aircraft from various manufacturers.
ombardier’s service center at BDL (Hartford CT) and Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) at POU (Poughkeepsie NY) are my former company’s preferred MRO service centers. During my tenure with the flight department, both facilities delivered exceptional work in a timely manner. James Moore ATP. Global Express & Sikorsky S-76C+ Former SVP & Dir of Aviation Citi Aviation Moneta VA
uncan Aviation PVU (Provo UT) is our MRO of choice. The staff are fantastic and their brand new facilities are first-class. Also, pricing is very reasonable. Kevin Savord ATP. Citation CJ4 Chief Pilot Allied Aircraft Boulder City NV
extron Aviation Service Center at IWA (Mesa AZ) is my favorite facility. Service has always been professional and safety-oriented, with quick turnaround times. I highly recommend this service center! Antoine Diorra ATP. Citation Mustang Chief Pilot Bekins A1 Movers Gainesville FL
pps Aviation at PDK (DekalbPeachtree, Atlanta GA) is where we take our aircraft for service. We use their services for convenience and work ethics. Fred Barasoain ATP. Learjet 40/31 Chief Pilot Remlat Aviation Rome GA
Pentastar Aviation is an FAA-approved repair station with Class 3 and 4 airframe ratings, so its techs are qualified to maintain and complete an extensive range of tasks on any airframe.
ntercontinental Jet Service at TUL (Tulsa OK) is a factory owned and authorized service center for the Mitsubishi MU2. It’s our favorite center for our turboprop. For our Challenger 350, we use only factory service facilities, and we go to the Bombardier Service Center at FLL (Intl, Fort Lauderdale FL). We’re very pleased with both centers due to their quality of work. Patrick Cannon ATP/CFI. Challenger 350 & Mitsubishi MU2 President Mission Air Service Lewisville TX
rivateSky at RSW (Fort Myers FL) is our preferred maintenance facility for getting scheduled and unscheduled maintenance performed on our Gulfstream G550. Their experts can disassemble and remove a custom VIP cabin and galley and install it again, looking better than when it came out. Their work is always on time, and on budget. Great staff to work with! Keith Baird Comm-Multi-Inst/A&P. Gulfstream G550 Asst Dir of Maintenance Skyloft Aviation Ocala FL
Photo courtesy Banyan Air Service
Banyan Air Service FXE (Exec, Fort Lauderdale FL) offers inspections, pre-purchase evaluations, routine maintenance, structural repairs, and aircraft modifications.
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Photo courtesy West Star Aviation
Photo courtesy Textron Aviation
Textron Aviation service centers provide maintenance inspections, parts, repairs, avionics modifications, equipment installations, interior and exterior refurbishment, and other specialized services.
extron Service Center IND (Indianapolis IN) is our preferred center for big inspections. We do as much as possible in-house. That said, when it comes to big inspections we entrust our Hawker to Textron IND. Jim Jacobi ATP. Hawker 900XP Dir of Ops Executive Aero Charter Mgmt Noblesville IN
Photo courtesy Western Aircraft
tandardAero AGS (Augusta GA) is our favorite MRO. They’re located conveniently close to our home base. Also, their work is excellent and performed in a professional way. Jerry Wharton Comm-Multi-Inst. Hawker 800XP Owner & Pilot JW Construction Co Wise VA
West Star Aviation specializes in airframe and engine repair and mx, major mods, avionics installation and repair, interior refurbishment, paint, parts, surplus avionics sales, window repair, and accessory services.
est Star ALN (East Alton IL) is the MRO we’ve selected to keep up with the maintenance needs of our Challenger 605. Mgr of Technical Sales Steve Bates, Dir of Bombardier Programs George Laiten, and Bombardier Global Program Mgr Jason Cohen are excellent people to work with. They have forgotten more about Challengers than I’ll ever know. They can always be counted on for quality maintenance at a fair price. Chuck Deitrick A&P. Challenger 605 Dir of Aircraft Maintenance McCormick & Co Baltimore MD
uncan Aviation LNK (Lincoln NE) is where we go for our maintenance needs. It’s an outstand-
Western Aircraft, an EASA and FAA-certified Class 1, 2, 3, and 4 repair station, is an authorized service center for Dassault Falcon, Embraer, King Air, Pilatus, Piper, and Quest Kodiak aircraft.
ing repair facility. I wish service costs weren’t that high, though. I’m also impressed by the excellent work done by Silverhawk Aviation at LNK. However, it doesn’t service Learjets. David Samani Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. Learjet 31A & Beechcraft Baron CEO & Pilot David Samani MD Inc Lincoln NE
estern Aircraft at BOI (Boise ID) is our preferred MRO to service our aircraft. I’ve done numerous projects with them over the years and always been happy with the people and the quality of work they provide. They’ve delivered on time, and billing has been fair at all times. They’re very easy to work with. Communications is outstanding throughout the entire process. Whenever there is a part that needs replacement, an engineering requirement, or outside vendor services, they always present options and do what’s best for the customer. They truly understand the meaning of customer service. They also have amazing avionics and interior services. I’d recommend them to anyone looking for large or small services or inspections. Kevin Baughman A&P. Citation X/Excel, Falcon 2000/900, Global Express/ Challenger 650/350, Gulfstream G550/G450/G280 & Phenom 300/100 President Jet Aviation Services Santa Ana CA
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Our Expertise. TM
Fa l c o n Citation Gulfstream Learjet Hawker Challenger Global E m b ra e r King Air Conquest Piaggio Maintenance Av i o n i c s Paint Interiors w e s t s t a ra v i a t i o n . c o m
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Photo courtesy Duncan Aviation
12NG. Pres Daryn Newton, Production Mgr Cory Ciochetti and their entire team have been taking care of our aircraft in a very professional manner. They’ve become a Pilatus authorized satellite service center, performing work on PC-24s as well as numerous PC-12s, delivering outstanding work. Kirk Grimes Pvt-Inst. Pilatus PC-12NG President & Chief Pilot Grimes Well Servicing Edmonton AB, Canada
H Duncan Aviation BTL (Battle Creek MI) performs major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint, and interior services.
uncan Aviation at LNK and PVU are our favorite facilities. They provide superb service for our aircraft. We also go to West Star GJT (Grand Junction CO), where we receive excellent maintenance support. Steven Older ATP/Helo. Pilatus PC-12 Manager Pupakea Partners Waikoloa HI
MAC Aerospace BSL (Basel, Switzerland) is our favorite MRO. They’re always ready to help in a very professional manner and their prices are good. If they don’t have space for your aircraft, they’ll create it for you. We’re always very happy with their services and excellent attention. Alex Panchana ATP. Gulfstream V/IV CEO Alaxair Wislikofen, Aargau, Switzerland
agle Creek Aviation EYE is our #1 choice, hands down! We’ve been going there for 10 years now and I’ve always received personalized service. All their scope of work, customization and down time meet our needs and they also have the best price. Quality of work is unmatched. Thanks, Eagle Creek! Jim McIrvin ATP/CFII. Phenom 300/100, Boeing 737 & Aero L39 Albatros Chief Pilot McIrvin Aviation Washingtonville NY
ewton Aviation at YEG (Edmonton AB, Canada) is the chosen MRO to service our Pilatus PC-
ouston Aviation at SGR (Sugar Land, Houston TX) is our favorite service center for the King Air 200 we fly. We’ve used the same shop for the entire time we’ve operated our aircraft—14 years. They’ve always given us good service and they know the King Air thoroughly. I find it very convenient to use the local shop, since I can be there during maintenance and avoid flying to another airport and incurring the extra flight time and cost associated with that trip. In a few cases when we’ve needed extra help, we’ve gone to Western Airways SGR. They’ve operated and maintained King Airs for over 20 years and are always available to help and provide excellent service. Bruce Rainwater ATP/CFII. King Air 200 Pilot Houston Sigma Richmond TX
ulfstream FAB (Farnborough, UK) is the MRO we usually go to for short-term maintenance, while we use Gulfstream SAV (Savannah GA) for long-term overhauls. In my opinion, major repairs and inspections, as well as unexpected maintenance issues, are tackled more efficiently in big centers due to the availability of parts and specialists. Jorge Barroso Vitar ATP. Gulfstream G650 Captain & Flight Safety Supervisor SEAF Alcobendas, Madrid, Spain
Photo courtesy Gulfstream
Gulfstream’s customer service experience strives to reduce aircraft downtime. The manufacturer’s FAST (Field and Airborne Support Teams) and service centers ensure quick response to AOG situations.
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G e t O n e Ye a r o f F R E E E n t e r t a i n m e n t S u b s c r i p t i o n S e r v i c e s W i t h Yo u r G o g o L 5 I n s t a l l a t i o n by D u n c a n Av i a t i o n
Inflight connectivity helps passengers stay productive and engaged. Install the Gogo Business Aviation AVANCETM L5 internet and WiFi system with Duncan Aviation and ensure the best in connectivity. Duncan Aviation will extend the free of charge period for Gogo Text & Talk and Gogo Vision inflight entertainment to ONE FULL YEAR. LEARN MORE HERE: www.DuncanAviation.aero/GogoL5
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Photo courtesy Embraer
est Star just performed an avionics and paint work on our Falcon 900EX. They did a fantastic job and I would highly recommend them. For our previous aircraft – a Falcon 50 – we used Duncan BTL for an avionics upgrade, and they were excellent. Lawrence Myers ATP. Falcon 900EX Head of Aviation Harron Entertainment Co Lititz PA
T Embraer Executive Care is designed to make budgeting and maintenance of its executive jet line simple and predictable.
mbraer Executive Jets Services & Support FLL is my favorite maintenance facility. I go there because they are the manufacturer and their services are outstanding. John Perrys ATP/CFII. Phenom 300 Captain Professional Aviation Solutions Delray Beach FL
est Star Aviation GJT (Grand Junction CO) is our choice to maintain our Citation Excel. We really like their quality of work, they’re always on schedule as promised, and their qualified personnel are very friendly. Jeff Muntis ATP. Citation Excel Captain ZMK Management Las Vegas NV
nications with my Project Mgr Jarek Jones are clear and honest, and are always in a timely manner. David Gifford ATP. Citation Bravo Managing Partner Gifford Laboratories Newton MA
xecuJet MRO Services HLA (Lanseria, Johannesburg, South Africa) is the facility we’ve chosen for our aircraft. It’s the closest Bombardier authorized service facility in the region and we have confidence in the great maintenance work they do on our Challenger 604. Richard Lane-Poole ATP. Challenger 604 Chief Pilot Executive Airlines Lusaka, Zambia
extron Service Centre LBG is where we take our CitationJet. Their personnel are extremely professional and competent, and are friendly and approachable at the same time. They’re always available for us, and they respect the timelines. Alain Gautron Comm-Multi-Inst. Citation CJ1 Pilot Stephenson Harwood Paris, France
lliott Aviation MLI (Moline IL) is an authorized sales, service, and repair center for an extensive list of products, modifications, inspections, and services. The paint and interior shop is one of the best in the country. Elliott is a 1-stop shop for everything you need to accomplish at inspection time. Eric Smith ATP. Citation CJ3+ & Beechcraft Baron Managing Pilot CB Air Newtown PA
Photo courtesy Elliott Aviation
kytech UZA (Rock Hill SC) is the service center we selected for our Pilatus PC-24. They’ve been topnotch since it was delivered a year ago. We’ve had a long relationship with Pilatus and Skytech operating PC-12s for about 10 years prior. Chris Anderson ATP/CFI. Pilatus PC-24 Captain Joint Implant Surgeons Indianapolis IN
uncan Aviation BTL is our choice to maintain our Citation Bravo. Excellent quality maintenance work is performed with consistency and attention to detail. They provide advice between visits and their warranty coverage is really good. Commu-
Elliott Aviation’s DSM (Des Moines IA) facility is an FAA and EASA-approved repair station for all 525-series Citations. The facility is also an authorized service center for most Williams engine models.
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Photo courtesy Clay Lacy Aviation
detail and professionalism throughout the entire process. Cutter Aviation’s southwestern network is tops for a chain MRO. We’re very pleased with the work that both companies deliver. Steve Cirino ATP/CFII. Pilatus PC-24, PC-12 Supervisory Pilot U-Haul Inc Desert Hills AZ
S Clay Lacy Aviation has been providing jet aircraft maintenance services for more than 50 years. Factory-trained experts perform light line maintenance, heavy airframe inspections, jet engine and APU maintenance, avionics and cabin entertainment upgrades and repairs, and complete interior services. The company services Dassault Falcon, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker, and Learjet bizjets.
agle Creek Aviation EYE is the MRO we typically use. We’re very pleased with the maintenance service they performed on our Phenom 100. William Straw Comm-Multi-Inst/CFII. Phenom 100 Owner Osprey Aviation Group Osprey FL lightstar at CMI (Champaign/Urbana IL) is the maintenance provider for our Learjet 45. It’s a Bombardier authorized service facility and it does great work. It’s so comforting to see a hangar full of Lear 45 and 75s on our arrival. These guys know their Lears and strive for ontime delivery. Keith Cook ATP/CFII. Learjet 45 Chief Pilot Basler Electric Highland IL
CR Aviation at LGB (Long Beach CA) is the maintenance facility of our choice. We’re satisfied with the services that our Piper Saratoga has received. Ray Grimes Comm-Multi-Inst. Piper Turbo Saratoga Captain OCSD Los Alamitos CA
pectra Jet SGH (Springfield OH) is our preferred maintenance service center. They’re the best independent shop that provides attention to
tandardAero AGS is where we have our Falcon 2000LX serviced. The location works really well for us, their prices are reasonable, and the maintenance service provided for our aircraft is exceptional. Ben Brewer ATP. Falcon 2000LX Chief Pilot Institute of Nuclear Power Operations Atlanta GA
extron Service Center MKE (Milwaukee WI) is our preferred MRO facility. They’ve proved repeatedly that they are reliable and efficient. We’ve had issues with some other service centers in the past. We’ve also used West Star Aviation ALN (East Alton IL), and they’ve been dependable, efficient, and professional as well. Glen Jackson ATP. Citation Sovereign Chief Pilot, Savannah Ops CC Industries Midway GA
CAC Aviation at OJC (Olathe KS) is where we take our Pilatus PC12/47E for maintenance. Communication during the whole process is outstanding and the service provided is exceptional. Don Yager Comm-Multi-Inst/A&P. Pilatus PC-12/47E Pilot Pure Air Ventures Columbus IN
Photo courtesy Jet Aviation
Jet Aviation has a worldwide network of MRO service facilities throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.
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Honeywell opens UAS-focused avionics lab
Honeywell UAM cockpit
oneywell has unveiled a new R&D laboratory at its Deer Valley AZ avionics facility. The lab highlights the company’s technological capabilities in hardware and software for the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM) markets. The laboratory resembles a conceptual UAM vehicle flightdeck with real hardware. It has 1 seat in front of a primary display, with 3 additional large wraparound displays to view the simulated outside environment. According to Honeywell, it is the first of its kind to demonstrate actual fly-by-wire (FBW) controls and avionics in-
tegrated in a lab setting. It will be used to develop, test, and demonstrate the company’s technology aimed specifically at simplifying future UAM vehicle operations. Honeywell Aerospace VP & Gen Mgr UAS/UAM Stéphane Fymat says, “With the influx of new UAM vehicles taking to the skies in the coming years, we’re seeing a growing need for operators to test real-world technology in a lab setting. It is essential that these vehicles are as intuitive as possible and that we have a dedicated space to ensure our systems make that a reality.”
AW609 being studied by Tokyo Metropolitan Government
eonardo’s AW609 is being considered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to improve connection to Japan’s Ogasawara Islands (approx 620 miles south of Tokyo) and provide air access to the remote archipelago, which is an environmentally sensitive World Heritage Site. The first 2 production AW609 tiltrotors are currently being assembled in Philadelphia PA. Leonardo reports substantial interest in the AW609 from around the world and covering a variety of missions, including EMS, SAR, VIP/corporate transport, offshore resource development, and government/public service duties.
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AIRCRAFT LIFE-CYCLE MANAGEMENT
Hourly cost maintenance programs
Image courtesy Duncan Aviation
By Don Van Dyke ATP/Helo/CFII, F28, Bell 222 Pro Pilot Canadian Technical Editor
Maintenance expenses for bizjets depend on aircraft age, size, and inspection cycles. Some certified centers offer jet owners priority access to their charter fleet when the owner’s personal aircraft is down for maintenance.
raining and proficiency underlie aviation safety, security, and efficiency. Pilots can contribute their knowledge and experience of advances in aircraft technology, sophistication, and reliability to decision-making, which includes meeting today’s financial, operational, and cultural challenges. In this way pilots can help to develop a deeper understanding of aircraft maintenance management. Maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) costs are related to aircraft make, model, age, and types of operation. An airworthiness program reflects 3 main parameters – utilization (flight hours), cycles (landings), and calendar-based events (scheduled maintenance). Over time, aircraft maintenance accounts for as much as 35% of an aircraft’s annual operating budget.
Warranties Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) issue limited warranties on new products and components, so that in the event of accident or equipment fault involving these proprietary items within linked periods, related expenses are largely covered. Airframe and engine OEMs typically issue separate warranties. The primary structure of a production aircraft (eg, fuselage, wings, stabilizers) will have the longest warranty – up to 20 years or 20,000 flight hours. Warranties on
Bizjet owners, operators, and maintenance providers encourage pilot input to update airworthiness and asset value management strategies and plans. engines and APU often cover 5 years or 3000 flight hours, while avionics are typically warrantied for 3–5 years or 3000–5000 flight hours. Some OEMs offer extensions (eg, 2 years or 500 engine operating hours) to provide warranty-like protection beyond the original warranty period. Warranties add appreciably to the value of the purchase. According to Conklin & de Decker, labor and parts for new aircraft may cost 15% and 30% less, respectively, during the warranty period. Sellers of aircraft under warranty benefit from covered repairs of faults identified during pre-purchase inspections. They will also benefit from the higher price buyers are willing to pay for aircraft transferred under this protection.
The MRO aftermarket The post-warranty period (known as the MRO aftermarket) is active and complex. OEMs continue to monitor reliability data so that maintenance programs prescribed for each aircraft, system, or component can be amended – subject to regulatory approval – to avoid unnecessary upkeep. Related operational and financial planning must consider the effect of inspections, Airworthiness Directives (ADs), and Service Bulletins (SBs) on the maintenance budget. In addition to airworthiness requirements, provision must be made for future regulatory mandates likely requiring aircraft modifications or upgrades. In either case, significant liability for maintenance expenditure may adversely affect aircraft value. Unexpected maintenance is inevitable during the lifetime of an aircraft. It’s difficult to predict without qualified opinion based on a database of events involving similar aircraft by make, type, and utilization. A widely held rule of thumb says that, on delivery, engines represent 20% of the new aircraft value, with the rest of the aircraft representing the remaining 80%. Approaching end of life, the ratios reverse, with engines accounting for 80% of the aircraft’s value, and the remainder of it accounting for 20%. For this reason, aftermarket
maintenance budgeting tends to focus on provisions for engine MRO. Budgeting is multifaceted and complicated by maintenance needs, which become less accurately predictable as an aircraft ages. Provisioning for unscheduled maintenance may be best developed by an independent broker or trusted consultant, especially for the smaller operator.
Aftermarket MRO providers Aftermarket MRO tasks may be performed in-house (self-insurance), by the OEM, or by independent 3rd-party contractors meeting requirements for airworthiness suppliers. The main competitive differentiators are their relative effectiveness in meeting airworthiness requirements, containing maintenance costs, and avoiding or minimizing operational interruptions. Self-insurance. A self-insurance strategy requires the owner to assume total risk and cover related costs. If scheduled and preventative MRO is reliably sustained, and wide maintenance-cost data is available, operating cost forecasts can be compared with fixed-cost maintenance plans. Even when costs are comparable, self-insured owners may choose to share scoped risk with an outside maintenance plan provider. OEM provider. Factors favoring the OEM provider may include offering comprehensive coverage, plan price, and widespread recognition of brand-name value. The OEM can often complete a repair more quickly on a component covered under its own plan. Finally, the OEM provider uses new parts in performing repairs and overhauls, particularly on engines it currently produces. In all cases, only OEM-authorized new parts and service are offered. 3rd-party provider. While OEM providers appear to dominate the aftermarket segment, independent contractors can compete with flexibility (alternatives to comprehensive full-service contracts), mobility (supporting remote needs), and pricing (through utilization of quality used serviceable materials [USM] for both proprietary and non-proprietary designs).
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Hourly cost mx programs
TABLE 1. Typical HCMP provisions
Rolls-Royce invented and announced its trademarked Power-bythe-Hour maintenance management framework in 1962 to support the Viper engine on the Hawker Siddeley HS.125 business jet. Confident of its predicted maintenance costs, complete engine and accessory replacement service was offered on a fixedcost-per-flying-hour basis. This aligned the interests of the OEM and the operator, who only paid for engines that performed reliably. Other OEMs quickly followed suit with a range of additional features and benefits, making the concept more attractive. This evolved into the hourly cost maintenance programs (HCMPs) concept. Although originally perceived as insurance, they are more closely allied with pay-forward savings accounts, which materially help to sustain operational efficiency, improve financial stability, and secure asset value. HCMP goals include avoiding unplanned maintenance, downtime, and organizational stress; preserving service availability and operating flexibility; stabilizing costs to improve budgeting; protecting leasing and financing terms; enhancing aircraft resale residual value; and reducing administrative burden by consolidating billing annually. Given current industry volatility and vulnerability, well-founded forecasts of onward MRO requirements are as needed as they are difficult to formulate. HCMPs remove cost uncertainty by providing predictability for scheduled maintenance budgeting, while concurrently mitigating the consequences of unexpected repair costs. Although offered under different names, applications, and terms, HCMPs are available from all major airframe, engine, APU, and avionics OEMs, plus one non-OEM – Jet Support Service, Inc (JSSI). Their shared objective is to improve safety and efficiency by optimizing asset reliability, longevity, and durability, while making related costs and maintenance events predictable. Table 1 identifies coverage usually offered under HCMPs and associated features, as well as plan benefits and common exclusions. HCMP providers achieve economies of scale by aggregating MRO services and offering the savings to clients to buffer the cost of aircraft ownership. These programs raise an expense based on disclosed or estimated aircraft utilization for defined major components (eg, engines, avionics, APU), virtually
HCMP Type Aircraft
Line replacement units (LRUs)
• Line maintenance
• Life cycle limited components
Parts and labor for:
• Hot section inspection (HSI), mid-life inspection
• Major periodic inspection (MPI) of turbine, fan, reduction gear
• Overhaul/core zone inspection (CZI)
• Required removals
• Scheduled maintenance events
• Unscheduled maintenance events
Exchange, repaired, new parts
Consumables and expendables Airworthiness Directives (ADs)
Service Bulletins (SBs)
Labor at set rates
Rentals covering overhaul and unscheduled events 24/7 global support
FEATURES AND BENEFITS: Single source maintenance solution; renewable, assignable, flexible term; single source for OEM parts; supplemental lift; FOD insurance liability gap coverage; technical oversight; no transfer fees COMMON EXCLUSIONS (unless otherwise stipulated): Labor, freight, taxes and duties; uninsured FOD, abuse, negligence, corrosion, erosion, accident, deposition or failure to follow prescribed maintenance actions; parts supplied by other than authorized sources; discretionary removals; rental engines at HSI; parts associated with APU; optional service bulletins; life-limited components (LLCs) Data in this table is representative only and is based on best information available. The information provided does not purport to be comprehensive or authoritative.
up to the entire aircraft. HCMP enrollment of a used aircraft with no accompanying HCMP may require a substantial buy-in fee. HCMP providers may offer different levels of coverage that are tailored to customer requirements. Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) offers up 5 differently-priced levels of its Eagle Service Plan (ESP) coverage of certain turbofan engines. JSSI makes available options that cover different aspects of the overall engine maintenance requirement, thus allowing owner/operators to avoid paying for unwanted services. HCMP coverage can help to stabilize maintenance-related financial exposure, particularly for those owners or operators without significant internal resources to support their aircraft maintenance needs. The backlog on certain engine programs and the normal lag time of af-
termarket activity has allowed some independent shops to remain open, particularly in North America, as many business aircraft operators are choosing to use the current downturn to complete inspections or book their assets for early maintenance and upgrades. Retained value. A well-structured and managed HCMP can also help to retain asset value by providing a secure, verifiable database of related maintenance activity. This avoids issues in technical documentation and records, which can otherwise significantly reduce retained asset values or even render them worthless. Aging aircraft operated under an HCMP are thus made marketable for resale, often with shorter resale times. Importantly, this encourages viewing the aircraft – from at least one perspective – as a financial instrument.
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TABLE 2. HCMP coverage by airframe and/or engine/APU OEM
GE Aviation: OnPoint Power
Bombardier – Smart Services CF34: CRJ100, 200, 440; 700, 900, 1000 Challenger 600, 601, 604, 605, 650, 850, 870, 890 Passport: Global 7500
Bombardier – Smart Services BR710: Global Express, Global 5000, 6000 Pearl 15: Global 5500, 6500
Embraer CF34: Embraer 190; Lineage 1000, 1000E
GE Aviation & Honeywell Dassault – FalconCare CFE738: Falcon 2000
GE Honda: Engine Maintenance Care (EMC) Hondajet HF120: HA-420
Honeywell: Maintenance Service Plan (MSP) Bombardier – Smart Services HTF7000: Challenger 350, Global 5000, 6000 TFE731: Learjet 40/45/55/70/75 Dassault – FalconCare TFE731: Falcon 10, 20, 50, 900LX, A/B/C, DX/EX APU: Falcon 2000EX/DX/LX/LXS/S(EASy), 50EX Embraer HTF7350: Legacy 450/500 HTF7500E: Legacy 450, 500, 600 Gulfstream – FAST HTF7250G: G280 APU: G450, G500, G550, GIV, GV, GVII Textron – ProAdvantage HTF7700L: Citation Longitude TFE731: Citation III, VI, VII
P&WC: Eagle Service Plan (ESP) Bombardier – Smart Services PW305: Learjet 60 PW307: Learjet 85 Daher – Total Care PT6: Kodiak 100, TBM 910, TBM 940 Dassault – FalconCare PW307: Falcon 7X, 8X PW308: 2000EX/DX/LX PW308C: Falcon 2000S/LXS Embraer PT6: EMB-110, 121 PW535: Phenom 300 Gulfstream – FAST PW815: G500/G600 Pilatus PT6: PC-6, PC-7; PC-12 NG; PC-21 Piper PT6: M350, M500, M600, Cheyenne, Meridian Textron – ProAdvantage PT6: B200, B300, B350, C90GTi, F90, Conquest I, 208 Viking Air – Maintenance Plus (M+) PT6: DHC-6 300 & 400 series
Embraer AE3007: Legacy 600 Gulfstream – FAST BR710: G500/GV /GV-SP, G550 BR725: G650, G650ER Tay: G300/GIV/ GIV-SP, G350, G400, G450 Pearl 15: GVII Textron – ProAdvantage AE3007: Citation X
Textron: PowerAdvantage (Honeywell) Textron – ProAdvantage HTF7700L: Citation Longitude
Textron: PowerAdvantage (P&WC) Textron – ProAdvantage PW306: Citation Sovereign, Sovereign+ PW500: Citation Excel PW530: Bravo PW535: V, Ultra, Encore+ PW545: XLS+ PW615: Citation Mustang
Williams Intl: Total Assurance Plan (TAP) Bombardier – Smart Services FJ44: Learjet 25 Cirrus – Jetstream FJ33: Vision Jet Pilatus FJ44: PC-24 Textron – ProAdvantage FJ44: Cessna Citation CJ1, CJ1+, CJ2, CJ2+, CJ3+, CJ4+, M2, 501, 550
Other HCMPs The benefits of connectivity on business aviation are profound, and the avionics industry is at the forefront of connected aerospace. Maintenance plans are customized to cover avionics equipage and requirements of both the flightdeck and passenger cabin, including entertainment, communications, and information technology (IT). HCMPs tailored to avionics are available from several OEMs, commonly offering provisions for 24/7 aircraft on ground (AOG) emergency service, obsolescence, no-charge loaners, large fleet and high aircraft utilization discounts, and other benefits that may be either included or at rates limited by US Government economic indices. OEM support provided is identical to the original factory warranty. Customized coverage for APUs is another important HCMP variant. Extended coverage, often available for
a small hourly fee, includes many of the additional charges associated with APU repairs, such as labor for APU and LRU removal and reinstallation, freight-in and freight-out expenses, and allowances for lengthy troubleshooting, among other common expenses. HCMPs for avionics and APU are both typically fully transferable without fees to the new owner. A more recent HCMP variant regards nacelles, which traditionally have not been included under engine maintenance programs, falling into the coverage gap between airframer and engine OEM. At NBAA 2018, Rolls-Royce announced that its CorporateCare program would include nacelles on engines for which it has a direct procurement relationship with the nacelle provider. This announcement benefits aircraft including Bombardier Global 5000, 5500, 6000, and 6500, and Gulfstream G500, G550, and G650.
Conclusion Return on investment (ROI) in an HCMP will reflect the value of reliably meeting operational and utilization goals against associated maintenance costs and asset management. Maintenance planning and budgeting only from an airworthiness perspective, not including cost-saving measures, and failing to account for operational demands, are serious management oversights. HCMP frameworks ensure a formal approach to asset management which satisfies diverse ownership and operational needs. Table 2 provides an overview of HCMPs by major airframe and engine/ APU OEMs. Enrolling an asset in an HCMP is an exceptionally sound strategy to improve the reliability, usefulness, and accuracy of budgeting and planning for one of the most critical cost centers in aircraft operations. Don Van Dyke is professor of advanced aerospace topics at Chicoutimi College of Aviation – CQFA Montréal. He is an 18,000-hour TT pilot and instructor with extensive airline, business and charter experience on both airplanes and helicopters. A former IATA ops director, he has served on several ICAO panels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and is a flight operations expert on technical projects under UN administration.
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CITATION 525 SERIES 550 | 560 | 560XL
FULL SERVICE CAPABILITES.
The jet-maintenance specialists at Western Aircraft now offer full MRO services for Citation aircraft including Citation 525 series, 550 series, and 560 & 560XL aircraft. An industry leader for Cessna Aircraft, we specialize in superior Citation maintenance, interiors, and avionics, meeting standards set by Cessna. We are a large boutique MRO with customized programs and the kind of friendly, personalized service that puts customers first. Our focus is on offering you quality, cost-effectiveness and a genuine customer-centric experience.
RANDY MILLER Regional Sales Manager 970.640.5880 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Professional Pilot Magazine September 2020