Aircraft Maintenance Technology

APR 2014

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

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G E N E R A L A V I A T I O N JEROME GREER CHANDLER is a two-time winner in the Aerospace Journalist of the Year competition's Best Maintenance Submission category; he won in 2000 and 2008. His best-seller 'Fire and Rain' chronicles the wind shear crash of Delta Flight 191 at DFW. Chandler's passion for aviation safety is more than professional. It's personal. Two of his relatives have perished on commercial airliners, one of them in the infamous Braniff Electra crash of 1959. 6 April 2014 AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY T he continued increase in international business jet f ly- ing is pacing Part 91 opera- tions these days. Consider: Argus International's January 2014 Business Aircraft Activity report shows large cabin bizjet departures in North A merica rose 9.7 percent from January 2013 through January 2014. It's precisely these aircraft that shoulder the lion's share of the load internationally. A Dec. 16, 2013 New York Times story quotes National Business Av iation Association president and chief execu- tive officer Ed Bolen as saying, "The segment of business aviation that has grown the fastest in the last five years is the ultra-long-range jets that are capable of f lying halfway around the world." W h i le t hese long-ra nge f ly i ng machines make it possible to access far-f lung pieces of the planet in one fell swoop, they – in an increasing number of cases – also make it imperative that the companies operating those aircraft possess safety management systems (SMS). "According to the ICAO requirements everyone will need to have an SMS program," says R ichard Komarniski, president of Canadian-based Grey Owl Aviation Consultants. "As we've seen in the [Part] 91 world, most corporate opera- tors [have] already gone ahead and imple- mented SMS in order to facilitate interna- tional travel. You're not allowed to operate into some … countries unless your f light department has an SMS program." Komarniski says corporate aircraft are already getting ramp-checked for SMS documentation in places such as France, Barbados, and the Cayman Islands. More to it than access The director of maintenance for a Part 91 operator of heav y business jets acknowledges SMS is the price of admis- sion to some key international airfields these days. W hile "that's correct, there are some entities that [already] require it," he argues the real value of a safety management system goes far deeper. An SMS impels people "to actually recog- nize safety and understand risk." Be the operation international or domestic, corporations which employ operators to ferry their employees to oft-time out-of-the-way job sites insist the people f lying and maintaining the aircraft have safety management sys- tems underpinning their operations. Komarniski says in the United States some la rge rota r y-w i ng operators possess SMS " because it's a customer requirement. SMS has been a customer requirement for probably 10 or 12 years" of major petroleum companies. North of the border he says small- er operators who aren't required by Transport Canada to have an SMS are nonetheless " being audited by mining companies to see if they have an SMS program before they allow their employ- ees to be transported in their [aircraft]." This emerging SMS ethic extends beyond the hangar doors of corporate f light departments, and the board- rooms of companies looking to mini- mize risk to their employees. A lthough not yet mandated by Federal Aviation Administration regulation, it's winnow- ing its way into Part 135 charter and Part 145 repair shop operations. "Looking at the landscape, we can see the regulations coming," says Tom Burt, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Duncan Aviation's Part 145 repair station in Battle Creek, International Imperatives, Customer Considerations Propel SMS The emerging SMS ethic extends beyond the hangar doors of corporate fight departments, and the boardrooms of companies looking to minimize risk to their employees By Jerome Greer Chandler AMT_6-9_Intl imperatives.indd 6 4/3/14 1:53 PM

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