Aircraft Maintenance Technology

OCT 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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26 OCTOBER 2018 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS AVIATION full-cockpit retrofits this summer, has one coming up in two weeks, and has another booked for January. “Folks who might not have otherwise prioritized cockpit system upgrades are now doing them in conjunction with ADS-B. It’s more cost effective to go ahead and spend more money to upgrade the entire cockpit and get the ADS-B issue taken care of at the same time,” Heiss says. However, though the deadline creeps steadily closer, Signature TECHNICair reports on its website that “operators are procrastinating the FAA mandate.” The site further warns, “The limited capacity of equipment manufacturers and installation centers to complete the necessary upgrade could leave aircraft grounded.” The time is now to consider this important upgrade, Deal stresses. “Flight deck enhancements to comply with the ADS-B Out mandate are the most common upgrade,” he says. “Some are scheduled well into Q2 2019. It is difficult to fit anyone into our schedule for avionics work inside four to six weeks out.” Heiss warns: “Schedule this work right away. A lot of spots are already gone. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be to get in.” As aircraft come in for this mandated work, there has been a resurgence of aircraft owners asking for discretionary upgrades, such as cabin management systems (CMS), in-flight connectivity, FANS CPDLC work, and interior and exterior revamps. Aircraft can be out of commission for approximately four to six weeks for ADS-B upgrades and maintenance inspections, making it an excellent time for other upgrades. Evans states, “If you’re coming in to get your avionics worked on or a large maintenance inspection, you can save time and money by doing paint and interior work at the same time, rather than continually coming back to piecemeal everything.” In this article, Aircraft Maintenance Technology considers common upgrades that might fit into an aircraft’s scheduled downtime. First Things First Before any work can be scheduled, most MROs spend time pinpointing exactly what customers need. This assessment includes understanding the aircraft customers have, the maintenance needs of this aircraft, and then learning more about their discretionary needs and desires. “The basic starting point is finding out how they are using the airplane,” Heiss says. “Is it being used for charter? Is it strictly being used as a Part 91 aircraft? Where is it flying? How long is the typical mission? Someone with a mission that is less than an hour will have very different needs than someone who is making international trips and in the airplane for up to 10 hours at a time.” According to Heiss, knowing the answers to these questions can help determine what clients need regarding in-flight connectivity and CMS, as well as the budget for upgrades. He explains, “Someone who is using an aircraft infrequently THE ADS-B mandate is usually the start of aircraft upgrades, such as this G5000 panel. WESTERN AIRCRAFT ELLIOTT AVIATION is currently leading the industry in Garmin G5000 pre-sales for the Citation Excel and XLS (shown). ELLIOTT AVIATION

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