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ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE FOR MAINTENANCE
INCLUDING... How to Understand Maintenance Regimes Whatâ€™s the Best Way to Track Aircraft Maintenance? Engine Maintenance Programs: Are They Really Worth It?
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Raising the bar for engine in-service support One of the key variables to consider when purchasing a business jet is whether to enrol the aircraft on an engine maintenance program. Ultimately, this important decision can signiﬁcantly impact the overall cost of ownership. To maximize a business jet’s availability, residual value and sales liquidity, an aircraft needs a robust yet simple engine service oﬀering something Rolls-Royce has perfected with over 60 years of business aviation experience. Introduced at NBAA 2018 and oﬃcially launched at the beginning of last year, CorporateCare® Enhanced is the new standard of Rolls-Royce’s marketleading and industry recognized CorporateCare program. The improved service package enhances the comprehensive ﬁxed-cost maintenance program for business jet customers by covering a wide range of additional service items, including unlimited troubleshooting and mobile repair team
reduced aircraft downtime, no matter where you are in the world.
travel costs. For the BR710, BR725 and new Pearl® 15 engine, it also covers maintenance for the whole power-plant, including nacelle, engine build-up and thrust reverser unit. Coverage is comprehensive, including corrosion and access to a large spare parts loaner pool to support operators during potentially lengthier repair tasks. Combined with Rolls-Royce’s extensive global support network of 77 Authorised Service Centers, CorporateCare Enhanced provides 24/7 service from its Aircraft Availability Center in Germany, ensuring faster response times and
With over 350 customers already enrolled in CorporateCare Enhanced, the maintenance program is proving successful. “The program was developed with the mindset of, if we provide it, we cover it” said Alan Mangels, Rolls-Royce VP Sales & Marketing—Business Aviation. “Our customers love that. By listening to them, we continuously strive to improve our service solutions, which ultimately raises the bar for the entire industry.” As the market-leading engine supplier in Business Aviation, Rolls-Royce powers over 3,000 business aircraft in-service. More than 2,000 aircraft are covered by CorporateCare around the world, and over 70 per cent of new delivery aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce engines are enrolled. In the air or on the ground, Rolls-Royce is getting you the very best for your time machine.
Learn more about Rolls-Royce business aviation and CorporateCare Enhanced at
AVBUYER MAGAZINE Vol 24 Issue 2 2020
Editor Welcome F FEB20.qxp_JMesingerNov06 22/01/2020 16:11 Page 1
Guest Editor’s VIEWPOINT Jeremy Cox
Jeremy Cox is president, JetValues - Jeremy LLC. Jeremy has been an aircraft broker, director of maintenance for several different companies and employed by several airframe OEMs’ independent service centers. Contact him via email@example.com
Uncovering the MSG Gotcha n my former career as an aircraft broker, I would become heavily embroiled in the maintenance issues found during a pre-purchase inspection, as well as any other necessary maintenance catchups that impacted the timing and success of an aircraft transaction. Since becoming an accredited senior appraiser my involvement in aircraft maintenance status and analysis has deepened. While my focus as a broker was on corralling the sales transaction to a successful close, now my function is to build an accurate, credible opinion of aircraft value by comparing and analyzing apples to oranges. Comparative aircraft for sale will usually have wildly differing maintenance and modification statuses held against the subject aircraft being appraised. One of the most significant and increasingly common ‘gotchas’ that I see in aircraft maintenance involves interval extensions through the Maintenance Steering Group (MSG) concept and practices. The outcome can be a substantial increase or decrease in value compared to ‘similar’ aircraft on the market. Allow me to explain…
fact that the ‘bottom-up’ approach to monitoring was unnecessarily labor intensive (since it was process-orientated), and it didn’t accommodate any preventative maintenance. The program also lacked an effective corrosion prevention element, fostering a reactive approach instead of a proactive one. So, in 1980 the ATA issued MSG-3, which remains in use today. MSG-3 has been successful because it focused entirely on specific maintenance tasks (not processes), preventative maintenance and system level failures (entire system integrity), as opposed to individual component failures. Essentially MSG-3 is the opposite to MSG-2 in that it provides a ‘top-down’ approach to maintenance. MSG-3 consists of three elements:
1. Hard Time: No compromise – in-service failure is eliminated; 2. On-Condition: In-service failure is highly unlikely because the items are continually monitored, tested and maintained; 3. Zonal Inspection Program: The key element of MSG-3 – chopping a lengthy list of inspection and maintenance tasks specific to airframe, engines and components into manageable work packages, with adequate spacing in hours/cycles and calendar time between the accomplishment of each Zone package.
What’s the Background of MSG?
In the late 1960s the Air Transport Association (ATA) set up a task force to investigate safe and cost-effective processes that created the first ‘on condition maintenance’ approach to aircraft operations. The resulting report was published in 1968, titled ‘Maintenance Evaluation and Program Development’ (later referred to as MSG-1). The first and only aircraft type that had MSG-1 applied to its maintenance schedules was the Boeing 747-100. MSG-1 was modified to MSG-2 in 1971 by removing Boeing 747-specific references and expanding the language to include all other large transport aircraft of the time. MSG-2 also used a logic process applied to specific components to determine their actual reliable safe life from the effect of a components failure on other elements of a system (a ‘bottom-up’ approach). Unfortunately, MSG-2 had several drawbacks, including the
ACTIONABLE INTELLIGENCE FOR MAINTENANCE
INCLUDING... How to Understand Maintenance Regimes What’s the Best Way to Track Aircraft Maintenance? Engine Maintenance Programs: Are They Really Worth It?
4 Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 AVBUYER MAGAZINE
Where’s the MSG Gotcha?
It’s here that I often find that two nearly identical aircraft (by observation without an audit) are vastly different when their maintenance and inspection status has been analyzed. Let’s conclude with an example. Appraising the Honeywell TFE731-40 engines installed on a Dassault Falcon 50EX, it’s vital to know whether the Compressor Zone Inspection (the engine overhaul) is a 5,000-hour interval, or a 7,000-hour interval engine. MSG-3 was used to develop a set of engine Service Bulletins, allowing for this vast interval extension. The resulting ‘gotcha’ is that a 7,000-hour CZI engine is worth $172,500 more than a 5,000-hour interval engine. Remember that error is ‘times three’ on a Falcon 50EX; potentially a massive error in my work product for my client.
How to Understand Typical Maintenance Regimes
Why you Shouldn’t Scrimp on Preventative Maintenance
What’s the Best way to Track Aircraft Maintenance?
What is CAMO and How Does it Help?
How to Understand & Manage Jet Engine Vibration
Aircraft Pre-Buy Inspections: The Appraiser’s View
Maintenance Programs: Are They Value for Money? www.AVBUYER.com
It’s time to consider CorporateCare® Enhanced. We offer our customers the industry’s most comprehensive global service network and leading edge digital tools, all focused on getting you to your destination as planned. It’s time to protect your most precious resource. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org The future. Rolls-Royce.
© Copyright Embraer 2018. All rights reserved.
Maintenance1Feb.qxp_Finance 21/01/2020 10:40 Page 1
How to Understand Typical Maintenance Regimes
Bohlke’s Sam Black tells Chris Kjelgaard why owners and operators
of business aircraft need to have a firm understanding of the impact
and implications of maintenance, whether scheduled or unscheduled. or any owner/operator of a business aircraft—and for anyone contemplating purchasing a business aircraft for corporate or private use—the need to understand the maintenance program for the airframe and engines is one of the most important requirements in choosing the right aircraft for the mission, and operating it as efficiently as possible. “When you’re operating a turbine aircraft, you need people with experience of both the
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operating and maintenance side of the aircraft, for safety of operation, and the cost of operation,” says Sam Black, vice president, Bohlke International Airways—a long-standing BizAvfocused company. “Maintenance is a significant part of the [overall operating] cost.” Bohlke, established 60 years ago, is based at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and is now in its third generation of Bohlke-family management. Currently led by www.AVBUYER.com
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Chris Kjelgaard has been an aviation journalist for 40 years, with a particular expertise on aircraft maintenance. He has served as editor of ten print and online titles and written extensively on many aspects of aviation. He also copy-edits most major documents published by a global aviation industry trade association.
William ‘Billy’ Bohlke, it has a deep understanding of business aircraft maintenance. Not only does it operate the longest-established FBO in the Caribbean region, Bohlke operates a diverse fleet of business jets and turboprops on FAR Part 145 charter flights (including many medevac and transplant-organ-transport flights throughout North and Central America and the Caribbean, in association with partner AeroMD). Bohlke owns various business aircraft and manages and operates aircraft for their owners, while also operating a Part 145 licensed repair station called Tradewinds Flight Center, licensed to perform MRO on a variety of common business jet and turboprop types and PT6A turboprop engines. For any new owner or operator of a business aircraft, “there’s a very steep learning curve” in www.AVBUYER.com
gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain it properly, says Black. “There are many pot-holes along the way, so you’ll need someone who’s experienced.” If you’re not experienced yourself, make sure you go out and find somebody who is.
Two Types of Aircraft Maintenance: Scheduled
Typically, business aircraft are maintained under one or other of two types of maintenance regime, notes Black. Scheduled inspections specified by manufacturers recommended maintenance programs are largely required at specified intervals measured either in the number of flight-cycles the aircraft accumulates following its last inspection or at fixed calendar dates.
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“Major checks can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to perform, depending on the size and complexity of your aircraft.”
For instance, King Air 200s require a phased inspection (often taking 2-3 weeks to perform) after every 250 hours of flight time, depending on the number of hours the aircraft has already flown and how much it’s utilized. (Older, high-cycle aircraft and those flown intensively may require more frequent inspections). Similarly, the Gulfstream G100 has a high-utilization program which requires a major ‘C’ check every 1,000 flight hours. However, various business jet and turboprop types can be maintained under progressive maintenance programs. These allow the operator to split performance of the maintenance tasks required under what would otherwise be a 2-3week downtime annually for an entire phased inspection, Black explains. Splitting the inspection into smaller tasks over 8 Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 AVBUYER MAGAZINE
time gives the operator the flexibility to have one or more maintenance tasks performed on the aircraft any time it’s not required for flying. That effectively allows maintenance to be performed progressively on the aircraft throughout the year, minimizing (or eliminating) any annual scheduled downtime required. This practice is now common in maintaining many types of business aircraft, and potential buyers of business aircraft may find it useful to find out if the aircraft they’re contemplating offers a progressive maintenance program, whereby periods of mandatory annual downtime can be avoided or minimized, according to Black. “Part of the purchasing decision is understanding the maintenance cycle of the airplane and ensuring it fits within the mission profile of what the owner wants to do,” he says. That said, most aircraft types are still required to have a major phased inspection at certain intervals. For example, Dassault Falcon 900s require an annual phased inspection (an ‘A’ check or ‘B’ check) every 12 months, and major ‘C’ checks every six years, according to Black. Major checks can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks to perform, depending on the size and complexity of your aircraft. The frequency of inspection intervals required for a given aircraft type is dictated by the OEM. But Black cautions would-be buyers and operators need to be aware that different versions of a given aircraft type will have substantially different maintenance programs owing to differing instrumentation, engine-performance, fuel-tankage and other operational characteristics and features.
Two Types of Aircraft Maintenance: Unscheduled
During their flying careers all aircraft will also require unscheduled maintenance, commonly known as line maintenance—which is often performed overnight, either at the aircraft’s base or at the airport it’s visiting. Line maintenance ranges from minor tasks (such as replacing lightbulbs in aircraft cabins), to topping up hydraulic fluid, to potentially more
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major tasks (like repairing or replacing avionics equipment). It can also include performing minor or major engine repairs—the latter often following a bird-strike or ingestion of foreign object debris. Unscheduled maintenance eventualities often lead business aircraft owners into considering their risk-management strategies. One of the more major decisions can center on whether to acquire an older aircraft or to purchase a newer one (which in many cases would come with more warranty programs and offer more warranty options, according to Black). A related consideration is whether to subscribe to an hourly maintenance program or to pay for maintenance as and when it’s required and incurred. Maintenance costs can typically be averaged out over a long period of time, so while a 10 R Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 R AVBUYER MAGAZINE
given airframe maintenance event may cost $80,000 to $100,000, its cost can be averaged out over 4,000 flight hours. Some owners prefer the certainty of having an hourly maintenance program in place which covers and pre-pays almost all maintenance eventualities as they arise and makes the costs predictable. “If you own and operate an aircraft, you need to be in the mindset that it is not unusual for maintenance events to occur unexpectedly, and that you have to have funds available to pay for them,” Black highlights, illustrating why hourly maintenance programs are popular today. This is particularly true for engine maintenance, which is usually much more expensive than airframe maintenance, according to Black. The cost of a given overhaul can vary massively from the previous one if the engine’s life-limited parts (LLPs) are nearing life expiry and need replacing. Any turbomachinery damage is typically also very expensive to repair. As a result, “it is very common for you to see an aircraft on the market with an [hourly] engine maintenance program [tied to it] but not an airframe program,” notes Black. “Really the biggest decision point for somebody buying a jet is that [for engine maintenance], do they want to pay hourly or pay at the time” the maintenance is performed? In reality, as business aircraft age and become obsolete, or replacement parts for them become difficult to find, their engines represent more and more of the overall residual value of the aircraft— as long as the engines have plenty of operating-life “green time” before their next scheduled major overhaul and replacement of LLPs. “At that point, owners tend to self-insure and deal with the maintenance [cost] as it arises,” argues Black. But any buyers interested in, say, a Cessna Citation for $300,000 must be very aware that the value almost certainly reflects an aircraft with worn-out engines that would need significant investment to restore to full-life or even-part-life operating condition. Caveat emptor! T More information from https://bohlke.com www.AVBUYER.com
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Maintenance2Feb.qxp_Finance 21/01/2020 10:47 Page 1
Why you Shouldn’t Scrimp on Preventative Maintenance Business aircraft ownership is expensive, and there are some areas that can seem tempting to economize on. Preventative maintenance shouldn't be one of them, as Rebecca Applegarth highlights… he flight department may feel pressure from the finance department to justify costs and demonstrate ability to cut expenses on the operating budget. Or, the busy demands on an aircraft’s schedule may create time pressures within the flight department. There are certain areas that should never be compromised or overlooked, however. Maintenance is one of them — and in particular, preventative maintenance. Preventive maintenance can involve regularly performed checks and maintenance measures on a business jet that will lessen, or prevent, the need for more expensive maintenance costs later. While the time spent on preventative maintenance may seem like an added pressure on a busy flight operation, and the small additional costs may seem ripe for cutting, it will usually pay off in the long run. So, what are the more common areas of preventative maintenance that an operator should focus on? Following are five that the experts at Duncan Aviation and Elliott Aviation shared with AvBuyer...
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1. Use High Quality Fuel
One of the most preventable maintenance issues is caused by the development of bio-organic contaminants in an aircraft's fuel system, which can lead to clogged filters, damaged fuel pumps, and corrosion. The most effective means of limiting this type of contamination is utilizing quality fuel and regularly sumping fuel. Taking the time to sump your fuel regularly will help identify early stages of bio growth, rid the fuel tanks of minor contaminants, and remove unwanted water from the fuel system. Sumping is a straightforward process and could save you tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs. By comparison, the repairs needed for contaminant removal and corrosion repair are very intrusive, leading to longer inspection downtimes and increased maintenance costs.
2. Balance Your Props
Another common preventable maintenance issue with turboprop owners is cracking to the cowling (and its www.AVBUYER.com
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AVBUYER.com Rebecca Applegarth has been brought up around aviation for as long as she can remember. As a current PPL she is developing her passion for writing and flying as an Aviation Journalist on the AvBuyer team.
4. Keep Your Gears, etc., Lubricated
Dry and/or improperly serviced lubrication points are critical areas that are commonly found corroded if an aircraft has not been properly maintained and serviced. To prevent additional maintenance costs in this regard, ensure that after washing the gear and any other critical areas that they are properly lubricated. This will also apply when flying through precipitation as it can wash the grease out of critical areas.
attaching structures). This can be prevented by balancing your propellers correctly. You can complete a prop balance during your next scheduled inspection, or when you first notice signs of vibrations or cracking. Sooner is probably better than later, however. Balancing a propeller can be accomplished for about $1,500 and could save you thousands in structural repairs further down the line.
3. Service Your Tires Properly
Incorrectly serviced tires can be a hazard for numerous reasons. It’s important to check tire pressure on a daily basis. A tire assembly can lose up to 5% of its inflation pressure in just 24 hours, but still be considered ‘normal’. Moreover, tires can face many other circumstances under which they require removal and scrappage. Being proactive, you should try to keep your tires at the recommended operating pressures and keep them clean of fluids and foreign object damage by carrying out regular inspections. Incorrect tire pressures can result in them exploding, causing serious (even fatal) injuries. Tire pressure is best checked when they are cool (a temperature change of even 3°C alters the pressure by approximately 1%). Nitrogen should be used for tire inflation, as it will not combust and will reduce damage to the inner liner material. Finally, to prevent unnecessary wear, use brakes sparingly. Improperly maintained/serviced tires can and will reduce their life. And even a small reduction in tire life can increase your maintenance costs as the cost of replacement parts increases. www.AVBUYER.com
5. Don’t Ignore Scheduled Maintenance Requirements
Ignoring or failing to meet a manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance requirements can lead to you overlooking minor maintenance issues that can later develop into something far more significant. There should be no excuse for not following the manufacturer’s scheduled maintenance program. Complying with the maintenance requirements as they come due is your best assurance of addressing an issue before it increases the severity of a developing fault. Ignoring maintenance items will undoubtedly result in costly repairs later on. If a part is left to deteriorate or exceed its recommended inspection, repair, or replacement time, the maintenance cost will be higher and could involve rejected cores, expensive replacements/repair costs beyond the expected, and could compromise safety. In Summary As highlighted, inexpensive preventative maintenance measures, both within the flight department and during your next maintenance shop visit, could save on significant expense later. Preventative maintenance could be as simple as ensuring the aircraft is cleaned, lubricated and checked daily, through to speaking with your local MRO shop about necessary preventative measures to tie in with your next visit. Either way, you’ll be glad you took those steps now instead of justifying the cost when a bigger fault develops further down the line. T With thanks to Duncan Aviation (www.duncanaviation.com) and Elliott Aviation (www.elliottaviation.com) for their input for this article AVBUYER MAGAZINE Vol 24 Issue 2 2020
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MAINTENANCE Dave Higdon is a highly respected aviation journalist who has covered all aspects of civil aviation over the past 36 years. Based in Wichita, he has several thousand flight hours, and has piloted pretty much everything from foot-launched wings to combat jets. Contact him via Dave@avbuyer.com
What’s the Best way to Track Aircraft Maintenance? How can business aircraft owners and operators keep abreast of maintenance events and records? Why is it important to do so, and what are the solutions available to help accomplish this to a satisfactory standard? Dave Higdon reviews… long-time aircraft maintenance technician once told a buyer, who he was helping with a purchase, that an aircraft should only be considered to be as healthy as the depth and quality of its maintenance. Without detailed, up-to-date maintenance records, he stressed, the buyer should consider the aircraft as not airworthy until proven otherwise. With no record of a maintenance task being done, the work should be assumed not to have been done. Though receipts for parts and materials might help (assuming they match up with those installed in the aircraft), who did the work? And what evidence is there that the work was done correctly, and on time? Those, the maintenance technician concluded, are the basic reasons for keeping detailed maintenance records in a managed system. Moreover, should the FAA want to check, there sould be no blanks in the records that could evoke a violation. Operating business aircraft therefore requires some form or system for tracking and managing the maintenance of the aircraft. The open issue is in deciding exactly how to manage information, schedule visits to the
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maintenance hangar, stay on top of recurring maintenance, assure a supply of rotable parts and consumable products and, most importantly, keep both the logs and associated work records up to date. Given the complexity and sophistication of a business aircraft, managing and tracking its maintenance needs is no small task. Between maintaining the airframe, the powerplant system – engine, nacelles, thrust reversers and necessary accessories (starters, starter/generator, etc.) – there's plenty to manage. No wonder operators turn to specialized computer software; an independent maintenancerecording and management company; enroll in a per-hour maintenance program; or develop their own in-house department charged with overseeing the maintenance needs of the corporate fleet.
Maintenance Management Basics
The best outcomes result from disparate parties working together toward a singular outcome: The availability of the company aircraft most hours. Maintaining the company airplane to its best condition naturally contributes to that goal. The flight or maintenance department with aircraft logs and work records available digitally has www.AVBUYER.com
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a solid advantage over those still working with paper. Leafing through pages of paper-based logs, file folders full of reports, and purchase orders, seeking to confirm that parts used were indeed correct, is far more time-consuming. Hence the popularity of aircraft maintenance tracking software. With one such tool, operating crews can enjoy the ability to track, maintain and analyze a complete system of records. Better still, the records are accessible by more than one person at a time, eliminating the choke point that occurs when records, files and logs are accessible to only one person at a time.
What Aircraft Maintenance Tracking Tools are Available?
Some tools available on the market try to be allencompassing while others are focused on fulfilling specific needs. Consider the following sampling an example of the many Maintenance Tracking Tools available for managing the maintenance needs of your aircraft/fleet.
For decades, ATP has been one of the most successful aviation businesses to help operators www.AVBUYER.com
maintain the aircraft logs and maintenance records, as required by the FAA. The former Aircraft Technical Publishers served the aviation maintenance community in much the same way as Jeppesen serves the pilot community; providing regular mailings of changes to maintenance manuals and sundry other documents subject to periodic change. ATP (as itâ€™s known today) tailors its services to fit the organization, be it a single airplane user or a fleet operator, digitally. And ATP fits its record-andmanual services to the individual aircraft, allowing the client maximum detail in their files, logs and maintenance records. Updates go straight to where they should be, while remaining ready for access, within minutes (not the hours once consumed filing paper changes). And ATP can set up a client so technicians can access those records from anywhere they can use the Internet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, tablet, desktop or smartphone. More information from www.atp.com
Flightdocs also offers its services and products in digital formats for maximum accessibility and utility. Among the companyâ€™s sundry products are
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two aimed specifically at maintenance and tracking: The Flightdocs Enterprise package and the HMX software. According to Flightdocs, together they deliver maintenance tracking like no other solution. With these software tools operators can streamline workflows, increase efficiency and gain real-time insights into entire fleets, from anywhere and at any time. The guiding hand is what Flightdocs calls its Maintenance Dashboard, designed to inform the user on aircraft status at a glance, thanks to the dashboard's color-coding of status and the compartmentalized organization (always visible at a glance). The Flightdocs approach is designed to be all encompassing, and easy to understand. More information from www.flightdocs.com
Traxxall takes what it calls a “seamless, customercentric enrollment process” to start with a full assessment of an operator's specific requirements. It then works with the operator to align the system and service to their needs. A maintenance analyst conducts a thorough enrollment interview, followed by a ‘general status audit’ that includes a comprehensive review of the aircraft status report and/or due list. Applying its own innovative aircraft maintenance tracking and inventory management solutions, Traxxall uses features that are purpose-built by a team with deep industry experience, thereby serving a vital customer requirement. More information from www.traxxall.com
Taking a Proactive Approach to Maintenance Another avenue exists for owners/operators to both manage their aircraft's maintenance needs and control maintenance costs: The hourly 16 Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 AVBUYER MAGAZINE
maintenance program. Most airframe and engine OEMs offer such a program. For a contracted per-operating-hour fee the owner/operator signs up with their preferred provider. Typically billed on a monthly or quarterly basis, the operator remits to the program provider the amount warranted by the hours flown during the most recent billing period. In exchange the program provider delivers the agreed-upon services. Details such as who performs the work, and where, are typically spelled out in the contract – as is the extent of the services to be provided. Some pre-paid maintenance programs offer powerplant coverage only (which can include rental of loaner engines when the main engines are removed from the aircraft for a hot-section inspection or overhaul). Other programs cover only the airframe, or only the avionics. And then there are those covering the entire aircraft. Coverage may provide AOG service for stranded aircraft or even access to a replacement aircraft when needed, in some cases. The greater the level of coverage, however, and the more complicated the aircraft, the higher the per-hour fee will be for the contracted services.
Be Management Savvy, Not Maintenance-Managed!
As one mechanic told a hot-rod driving friend long ago, “Pay me now – or pay me later”. That closely parallels the attitude of many operators about their maintenance management efforts. They know that if they fail to manage the maintenance of their company aircraft, the neglected aspects will impact aircraft availability and dispatch reliability. And, in the end, that will cost more than staying ahead of the need in the first place. T www.AVBUYER.com
THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS AVIATION EXPERTS Sales & Acquisition
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MAINTENANCE Gerrard Cowan is a freelance journalist who focuses on aerospace, defense and finance. He can be found on Twitter @GerrardCowan
What is CAMO and How Does it Help? What is a continuing airworthiness management organization, how does it help operators, and is it only relevant to European operators? Gerrard Cowan speaks to the industry to find outâ€Ś
f an EU-registered aircraft carries passengers or goods for payment, then it must employ a Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) as part of its maintenance efforts. However, as aviation evolves, EASA is looking to the future of the standard â€“ and providers are looking for new ways of standing out from the crowd.
What is CAMO?
Regulations stipulate that the owner/operator of an aircraft is responsible for the continuing airworthiness of the platform throughout its operational life. As part of this, the CAMO oversees the maintenance condition of an aircraft in all its aspects, ensuring that it complies with airworthiness requirements and is in a condition for safe operation. CAMOs must oversee a range of areas, ensuring adequate base and line maintenance, the provision
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of satisfactory facilities, software, documentation, procedures, expertise, sufficient staff, and more. CAMO certification involves both documentary and on-site audits, including aircraft inspections, to ensure that the platform and its related documentation are consistent, according to Alessandro Zanuzzi, a senior maintenance organization expert at EASA. Within the EU, CAMO certification is typically provided by national aviation authorities with EASA usually only directly certifying organizations from outside the union. Operators are expected to become CAMOs themselves, though smaller or medium-sized operators may set up a small in-house CAMO team and outsource the bulk of the services to external providers. The CAMO concept was established in 2003, when EASA came into being. The move reflected a growing recognition that maintenance and continuing airworthiness are actually two very
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Photo courtesy of AMAC Aerospace
different areas, Zanuzzi explained. While both were covered by the Part 145 maintenance organization approval, “we realised that they are actually two very different areas”. Traditional maintenance is essentially very hands on and focused on the aircraft itself, while continuing airworthiness management is a bit different and requires different skills, different experience and a different approach. This led to the creation of a separate set of rules focused specifically on CAMO, which has remained largely the same since 2003, Zanuzzi says.
CAMO: What’s Changing?
Two significant changes will be introduced in March 2020 that are designed to reflect the evolution of aviation and the prevalence of smaller operators. The CAMO rules “can sometimes be too much for the General Aviation environment,” Zanuzzi notes. The two new regulations aim to lighten this
load: Part M-Light and Part-CAO (Continuing Airworthiness Organizations) will aim to simplify and ease the demands on operators of smaller aircraft, with Part-CAO particularly focused on the CAMO domain. “This will be a big change,” says Zanuzzi. “Another significant change,” Zanuzzi adds, “is the requirement for CAMOs to have safety management systems (SMS) in place.”
Finding Help with CAMO Needs…
While larger operators function as their own CAMOs, there is a range of providers that offer services to smaller operators, for whom outsourcing the services makes sense. For example, Netherlands-based SAMCO Aircraft Maintenance provides services for regional jets and turboprops, including heavy base maintenance checks, line maintenance and CAMOs. In a competitive market, providers like SAMCO seek different ways to stand out.
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“...there is a relief of considerable burden when operators choose to outsource both CAMO and maintenance.” Erik Blaauwbroek, SAMCO's head of continuing airworthiness, says his company supports its CAMO to be independent, “but there is a relief of considerable burden when operators choose to outsource both CAMO and maintenance.” It is common for operators to choose one company to support it with CAMO services, while others might conduct base or line maintenance. AMAC Aerospace, meanwhile, offers a number of CAMO services, according to Reto Sgier, manager, CAMO. With more and more CAMOs emerging around the world, organizations are developing a tendency to specialize in specific areas. AMAC focuses on offering an in-house and customized service for its clients, providing maintenance, refurbishment and other services that allow the customer to handle his or her project with one entity. “The goal is to be able to manage and coordinate any aircraft maintenance project with the best efficiency and safety,” Sgier added.
The Benefits of CAMO
A CAMO can be an asset in the sense that it can schedule and organize aircraft maintenance and save costs for the operator. CAMOs are “an essential aircraft maintenance management entity for operators that don’t have the necessary background or resources to ensure their aircraft’s airworthiness,” Sgier says. As the technology implemented on aircraft
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constantly evolves, CAMOs keep track of the new products of aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers, advising operators on the latest technologies that would add value, comfort or safety to the asset. Pointing to specific examples, Sgier notes that the introduction of ADS-B Out is a typical example of “a new feature where the CAMO needs to be accurately informed to be able to give the right option that would best suit the customer’s needs”. Carrying an increasing number of passengers while decreasing aircraft safety incidents is a constant challenge, Sgier reflects, so there’s an increasing recognition of the need for CAMO organizations that can oversee all the safety-related items required by authorities or manufacturers, allowing operators to focus more on the business side. And he adds that CAMOs are necessary even for operators that do not generally follow EASA’s regulatory framework, should they wish to operate within EASA’s jurisdiction (AMAC has worked with many such companies).
Keeping an Eye on the Future
In an age of urban air mobility, electrical propulsion and other new technologies, EASA is already considering how CAMO will need to evolve in the future, Zanuzzi reveals. “We have a lot of challenges ahead of us, and the regulation will have to adapt to these changes.” T
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Bill Walker is Engine Technical Representative at Duncan Aviation. He has worked on corporate aircraft since 1996 and joined the Duncan Aviation team in 2004. Bill began his aviation career in the US Air Force in 1979 and did the Field detachment training on the CF34 (TF34 in the Air Force) in the early 1980s before his eventual transition into civilian aviation.
How to Understand & Manage Jet Engine Vibration Are you looking for practical tips and expertise on managing the vibration levels of your business jet’s engines? Duncan
Aviation’s Bill Walker shares insights on the common causes
and preventative maintenance operators should undertake… ll aircraft engines experience vibration. That is normal and acceptable. However, because of the tight manufacturing tolerances of today, it’s important to balance the rotating engine groups as low as possible for reasons that include:
A • • •
Avoiding early wear and deterioration of parts; Avoiding damage to the aircraft; and Optimizing passenger comfort.
What Causes Jet Engine Vibration Issues?
The causes for engine vibration issues vary. Most of today’s turbofan engines have two rotating groups: • •
The fan (Low Pressure) and The core (High Pressure).
The fan section spins much slower than the core but is larger in diameter and is usually the culprit for engine vibration. www.AVBUYER.com
Common Core Vibration Causes: Once balanced by a designated overhaul facility, the core won’t usually cause vibration problems. When vibration is experienced it tends to be that there is foreign object damage (FOD) or an oil-related issue. Common Fan Vibration Causes: Fan vibration issues are more varied, and could be caused by dirt and contaminants from the atmosphere or lack of lubricant (dry lube) on the fan blade tang or fan disk bushing migration (depending on engine type), preventing the fan blades from moving freely. Typically, fan blades that are loosely installed find their proper load position with an engine at RPM. Fan blades that are tight or locked in place may not find their load position and could prevent others from doing so, causing an unbalance which results in increased vibration.
How to Stay on Top of Jet Engine Vibration
It’s relatively easy to monitor your engine’s vibration levels. Operators who perform Engine
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“Monitoring vibration levels and addressing them early will help to prevent lengthy, expensive maintenance events.” Condition Trend Monitoring (ECTM) to track engine vibration will usually get an early detection of increased vibrations. This helps them investigate the cause and consider the preventative maintenance steps ahead of their next scheduled inspection interval. Engine vibration or an unbalance can usually be corrected without removing the fan (Low Pressure) rotating group. With the help of approved test equipment (including a vibration pick-up or accelerometer, a tachometer source, test harnesses and a vibration computer), the unbalance can be corrected while the engine remains on-wing.
How to Prevent Engine Vibration Issues From Developing
There are many preventative maintenance measures operators can take to address engine vibration. These include: • •
How Long Does it Take to Fix Vibration Problems?
Some engines, such as the General Electric CF34, are easier to balance. In the case of the CF34 engine, the newer fan disk and spinner have screwin type socket weights that help reduce the time it takes to balance the fan. Honeywell’s HTF7000 and TFE731, and newer Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce engines use different thickness washers as weights that are under spinner bolts, making the job just as easy. However, some older model engines use riveted saddle weights or washer/nut/bolt weights mounted inside the spinner that are less easy to access, slowing the job down. 24 Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 AVBUYER MAGAZINE
Periodic fan blade inspections: With gloved hands, rotate the fan and wiggle each fan blade, making sure they all move freely. If a fan blade is removed, inspect the blade tang lubricant or bushing for migration. These are common causes for fan blades not moving freely. If the lubricant has deteriorated consider cleaning and re-lubing, or doing a touch-up of all the fan blades per the appropriate engine maintenance manual. (The engine maintenance manual will list the approved lubricants. These are usually readily available.) It’s a good idea to do a daily inspection of the fan for FOD. Always adhere to the engine maintenance manual for blending allowances.
Monitoring vibration levels and addressing them early will help to prevent lengthy, expensive maintenance events. And if you’re ever in doubt, discuss the necessary preventative maintenance measures with your MRO shop. T More information from www.duncanaviation.aero www.AVBUYER.com
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Maintenance6Feb.qxp_Finance 21/01/2020 12:47 Page 1
MAINTENANCE Jeremy Cox is president, JetValues - Jeremy LLC. Jeremy has been an aircraft broker, director of maintenance for several different companies and employed by several airframe OEMs’ independent service centers. Contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org
Aircraft Pre-Buy Inspections: The Appraiser’s View Jeremy Cox discusses the pre-buy inspection from an
appraiser’s perspective. Why don’t appraisals pick up everything that comes up in the inspection? And why are sellers strongly advised to pre-empt the inspection with a ‘mock’ inspection?
have yet to meet a director of maintenance (DoM) in charge of an aircraft who’s not extremely proud of the care they give their aircraft. However, as a broker I would often feel bad for the DoM whenever their aircraft was subject to a pre- buy inspection. That aircraft was akin to a child who’d been under their supervisory care. As the list of squawks piled up they would tend to take the list very personally as though they’d been negligent in some way (which is rarely ever the case). Consequently, the pre-buy environment from a seller’s point of view is rarely a happy place and can be likened to finding oneself behind enemy lines. The simple fact is that it’s the MRO’s job to find issues with your aircraft. The reality is that there’s no such thing as a perfect aircraft. Not even if the jet just came off the production line, has been testflown, and has been freshly issued its certificate of airworthiness. But how can you lessen the list of squawks found on your aircraft in a pre-buy inspection? We’ll give this some thought over the following paragraphs.
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What Is and Isn’t Covered by an Appraisal?
Today, as an appraiser/auditor, I’m frequently engaged to develop an opinion of value based on condition, maintenance status, upgrades and compliance during the sales transaction. Usually this is prior to closing and on behalf of the lending bank who will finance the purchase. Often, upgrades, modifications and/or refurbishments (paint, interior and engine overhauls) are included in the financing that the buyer has applied for. In these instances, an appraisal report may be composed with a ‘hypothetical condition’. This condition may be directly related to a specific assignment, contrary to what’s known by the appraiser to exist on the effective date of the assignment, but is used for the purpose of analysis. Hypothetical conditions are contrary to known facts about physical, legal or economic characteristics of the subject property, or are about conditions external to the property (such as market conditions or trends), or about the integrity of data used in an analysis. Rarely (if ever) included in in the report is a www.AVBUYER.com
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value allowance for squawks found during the performance of the pre-buy. The assumption is that the aircraft is airworthy in respect to status and condition, or that it will be before closing. Conversely, if the seller were to engage an appraiser prior to putting the aircraft on the market the report should include: • • • •
A list of desirable (sale-enhancing) features on the subject aircraft A list of detracting (sale-injuring) features on the subject aircraft Suggested asking price Predicted sale price
Consider Performing a Mock Pre-Buy Inspection…
No appraiser will remove inspection covers, panels, or perform any conditional tests. Observations will be made visually as well as through logbooks and records analysis. Any hidden squawks or value/desirabilitydetracting conditions will remain hidden, unless you’re smart and have your aircraft undergo a ‘pre’ pre-buy inspection, which can save time and www.AVBUYER.com
money, and avoid potential buyer rejection once your aircraft makes it to the real pre-buy inspection, as paid for by the aircraft purchaser.
What are the Common Squawks Found in a Pre-Buy?
Some – but not all – examples of squawks that are regularly found during an appraisal audit or prebuy inspection, notwithstanding malfunctioning or failed systems or components, follow. They should highlight the value of having a mock prepurchase inspection before the aircraft is placed on the market… • • • • •
Poor math, handwriting and/or reporting of time and cycle tracking over time; Maintenance tracking program does not match the aircraft’s records; Actual major component serial numbers do not match the aircraft records; Loaner components (i.e. engine, APU or landing gear) is installed in place of the correct component(s); Component overhauls have been overlooked/missed;
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“The assumption is that the aircraft is airworthy in respect to status and condition, or that it will be before closing.” • •
• • • • • • • • • • •
The aircraft is currently being operated on a non-transferrable OEM extension letter or AOC-approved aircraft inspection program; Mandatory and recommended Service Bulletins have not been complied with. (Depends upon the negotiated terms of the purchase agreement); Missing paperwork (i.e. interior burn certifications and reports); Outdated equipment list (items listed have been removed/new items not listed); The AFM is missing required supplements; The interior configuration is unapproved following changes that were incorporated; Missing ‘fly-away kit’ items; Unknown or undisclosed damage history; Some logbook entries are written in a foreign language; STC-equivalent modifications installed which do not conform to, or meet with FAA standards through reciprocity; Unapproved parts installed; Corrosion found; Existing damage (dents or buckles) have not
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been reviewed for airworthiness eligibility and compliance; Flight Data Recorder’s recorded parameters are insufficient to meet the requirements of an operating rule or regulations that will govern future flight operations. (Depends upon the negotiated terms of the purchase agreement); Inability to receive importation certification on a foreign registry. (Depends upon the negotiated terms of the purchase agreement).
Pay Now or Pay Later
The age-old saying is relevant when an owner/seller is faced with having their aircraft undergo a pre-buy inspection in the near future. Either pay now or pay later. Either way, you’re going to pay, but the longer you wait the more it is likely to cost you. Please heed our advice and arrange a ‘mock’ pre-buy before you undergo the ‘real’ one. And engage an appraiser prior to putting the aircraft on the market. T More information from www.jetvaluesjeremy.com www.AVBUYER.com
D U NC AN AV I AT I O Nâ€™ S IN T E RI O R CO M P L E T I O N S E X PE R TS CO L L AB O RAT E D ON T H E I N T E R I O R O F T H IS 201 0 G U L F ST RE A M GV- S P. T HE CO M P L E T E LY R E F U RB I S HE D I NT E R I O R IS H IGH L I G HT E D BY A C U STO M STANDA LONE CR E DE N Z A W IT H A R O U N DE D WAT E R FAL L E DG E A ND AU TOM AT E D F L I P - U P MONITO R DE S I G NE D BY T H E CAB I N E T S HO P A ND E NG I NE E RI N G . T HE A IRC R A F T CA M E I N F O R A 9 6 - M O NT H AI RF R AM E IN S PE C T I O N, AV I O NI CS U PGR A DE S T HAT IN C LU D E D A CM S , L E D L IGH T I N G , G O G O AVA NCE L 5 CONNE CT I V I T Y, CO MPLE T E I N T E R I O R A ND PA I N T.
www.DuncanAviation.aero/GV-SP Aircraft Acquisition & Consignment | Airframe Maintenance | Avionics Installation Emergency Assistance (AOG) | Engine & APU | Engineering & Certification Services | FBO Services Government & Special Programs | Paint & Interior | Parts, Avionics, Instruments & Accessories
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Maintenance Programs: Are They Value for Money? What is the value of an aircraft maintenance program? What’s the actual worth to the operator, and the advantage realized on the aircraft resale market? Rebecca Applegarth asks Asset Insight’s Tony Kioussis… t’s well known that there are many advantages to enrolling an aircraft on an hourly maintenance program – particularly if the program is transferrable to the aircraft’s new owner following resale. But just how much advantage can operators hope to see when the time comes to sell the aircraft? Broadly speaking, that can depend on aircraft category, according to Tony Kioussis, president and CEO, Asset Insight. Each aircraft group’s value behaves differently. “Aircraft make/models perform differently, too,” he explains. “If a very small percentage of a make/model’s fleet is enrolled on maintenance programs, the value of the program to that aircraft [at resale] will be minimal. Conversely, if a larger percentage of the fleet is enrolled, the value is greater.” Where most of a make/model fleet is enrolled, “the aircraft that’s not covered could experience a price reduction as the buyer is likely to feel compelled to enrol the aircraft in order to maintain its value,” Kioussis adds. However, market dynamics can also play a role. “If
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there is limited inventory available, a buyer may not be able to convince sellers to accept a price reduction – even if the majority of the make/model fleet is covered by an hourly maintenance program.” Eventually, most transactions will follow the value set by previous transactions and the current state of the market, Kioussis suggests. “When the market tanked in 2008, most buyers would not consider an aircraft that wasn’t enrolled on a program. They could get a great deal on a program-covered aircraft.” A significant factor in today’s market revealed by Asset Insight’s analytics is that an aircraft will take longer to sell without program coverage – meaning exposure for the owner to a substantial loss in value, since aircraft are depreciating assets. “Ultimately, each aircraft financing entity has its own way of valuing maintenance programs, so determining the exact value that any one financier may place on the coverage is difficult,” Kioussis highlights. “However, the savings differential over the term of a loan or lease could be substantial.”
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them could exceed what it would have cost to cover them through a maintenance program. Lastly, not all LLP limits are the same on an aircraft, with some requiring replacement far sooner than others.
Beyond the Engine Maintenance Programs…
What Direct Advantages do Maintenance Programs Offer?
According to Kioussis, enrolling aircraft on maintenance programs is less about guaranteeing lower maintenance costs and more about ensuring the cost of maintenance will be the cost of the program, thus eliminating nasty aircraft maintenance-related surprises during ownership. Nevertheless, “some operators believe they can cover unscheduled maintenance risks and would rather manage that by investing and managing funds they would have paid into a program,” he notes. “What those operators are not considering is the additional and direct value that maintenance programs offer them, over and above the value to their aircraft. These include, for example, additional coverage while the aircraft is under warranty. “Though a warranty is valuable, its coverage can be limited to the cost of repairing the affected component.” However, a maintenance program could additionally include shipping affected components to the maintenance facility; shipping rental components to the aircraft; installation; cost of rental components; removal of rental parts; return shipping for the rental/original components; and logistical support. But with different levels of maintenance coverage available, is there a right level of coverage for operators to consider? “The primary differentiator for many programs tends to come down to whether or not they cover Life Limited Parts (LLP),” Kioussis argues, noting some operators forego Life Limited Parts coverage because they “won’t need replacing for years, and rarely fail”. This short-term view overlooks the fact that LLPs will have to be replaced eventually, and a lack of coverage may negatively impact the aircraft’s value in the long-term. Moreover, LLPs do fail and the unexpected cost of replacing 32 Vol 24 Issue 2 2020 AVBUYER MAGAZINE
With high engine maintenance costs commanding the operator's attention, it can be easy to overlook other areas of coverage that can either be incorporated into a tip-to-tail program or covered by avionics-, APU, or airframe-specific programs. “Like engine coverage, avionic, airframe and other coverage can be very useful in guaranteeing an operator’s maintenance costs, especially since they cover the unknown, unpredictable cost of unscheduled maintenance events,” Kioussis explains. “The other maintenance program types generally add little to the value of an aircraft upon resale, though,” he adds. “Avionics program pricing to the buyer is usually the same whether an aircraft sells ready-enrolled on a program or is enrolled by the aircraft’s new owner. “Airframe programs are generally structured to address the specific utilization pattern expected by an operator and the aircraft’s anticipated maintenance events. So pricing is likely to change when aircraft ownership changes.” This is why, Kioussis says, less value has traditionally been placed on airframe maintenance programs over the years; a view that Kioussis describes as illogical. “Some unscheduled airframe maintenance events can be costly. A short-term view means that some operators only examine the scheduled maintenance they anticipate they’ll experience. That can result in a substantially higher operating cost figure.” And that microcosm of thinking summarizes the world of maintenance programs generally: Essentially, it is the more risk-averse owners, those that accept the very real danger of unexpected, high-cost maintenance events, that are more likely to enroll on a program. Those willing to gamble, or who are simply uncertain about their asset’s potential exposure, are less likely to. What’s certain is that betting against an unscheduled maintenance issue comes with very high stakes... T More information from www.assetinsight.com Rebecca Applegarth has been brought up around aviation for as long as she can remember. As a current PPL she is developing her passion for writing and flying as an Aviation Journalist on the AvBuyer team.
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