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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Duncan Aviation’s Chuck Zahnow Receives the 2016 AMT Next Gen Award

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 10:53 AM

Duncan Aviation team members are among the most experienced in the business aviation industry and the quality of the service they provide is among the best in the world. So it comes as no surprise to us when others recognized and acknowledge what we already know. 

Congratulations Chuck on an award well-deserved. 

Republished with permission from AMT Magazine

Zahnow, Charles_SM.jpg39-year-old Chuck Zahnow is an Airframe Technical Representative for Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, MI. His great uncle worked on aircraft during WWII and he thought that would be a good path to follow.

After high school he attended American Flight and Technology Center, a one-year trade school that has since closed due to low attendance. He has continued his education with aircraft specific training on most of the Citations, Hawker, and Falcon 50 EX and 20 at FlightSafety. Zahnow has also been fortunate in having many people guide him along the way. "I adopted early on that people are always willing to teach, you just have to make yourself available to learn. I have learned from so many I could not begin to list them."

Zahnow started at Zantop Airlines, then went to American International Airways, and from there to Duncan Aviation. He currently works as liaison between the techs on the floor to Textron Aviation (Citation and Hawker) for all facets of airframe maintenance. He is also responsible for managing the tooling needs as it pertains to Textron aircraft and provides additional technical support to techs on the floor as well as external customers. This may mean a phone call, but could also include on-site support.

Mark S. Chaney, senior director, aviation at Coca Cola Bottling Company, says, "Chuck Zahnow has shown a strong commitment to business/general aviation through his incredible work ethic and support of Duncan Aviation customers. I have seen evidence in his support of my company's aircraft as a Duncan customer and reports from other customers. Chuck also serves the industry through his membership on the NBAA Citation 500 Series Technical Committee. I have the pleasure of serving with him as a current committee member and former chairman. He represents his company and Citation operators through a strong personal and professional commitment to safety and product/process improvement. He exceeds all of the qualifications for this award. I expect to see great things for our industry from Chuck in the coming years."

Zahnow is a member of NBAA and its Technical Committee for both the large cabin and small cabin Citation aircraft which helps to better the aircraft for the owners and operators. Duncan Aviation has also given him the opportunity to speak with high school students that are considering aviation as a career either by tours or by visiting with them at a local vocational center.

As for the future, "I have never put a ceiling on my career. I have always considered each opportunity and made a decision that would best serve myself and my family. I have been fortunate to be at a company that recognized and promoted me along the way to get where I am."


Chuck is one among many of whom we are very proud. Meet them all. 

Duncan Aviation Tech Reps

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Announcements, Careers & Recruiting

Aircraft Tool Calibration: 5,000 Years in the Making

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 09:22 AM

Egyptian-Cubit-up-close.jpgHanging in Duncan Aviation's Calibration Services Lab is a poster about the History of the Egyptian Cubit. It depicts the beginning of tool calibration more than 5,000 years ago. Many similarities to modern calibrations still remain.

It is believed that around 3,000 B.C. the Egyptian unit of length was established. The Royal Egyptian cubit was decreed to be equal to length of the forearm from the bent elbow to the tip of the extended middle finger plus the width of the palm of the hand of the Pharaoh ruling at the time. The Royal Cubit Master was carved from a block of black granite to endure for all time (the equivalent of today’s primary standard).

Workers building tombs, temples and pyramids were supplied with cubit sticks made of wood or granite. The Royal Architect or foreman of each construction site was responsible for maintaining and transferring the unit of length to the workers’ cubit sticks (modern tool calibration). It was required that the cubit sticks be brought at each full moon (calibration cycle) to be compared to the Royal Cubit Master to ensure their accuracy. Failure to do so was punishable by death (OK…some things have changed).

The strict accuracy of the cubit is why many magnificent structures, such as the Egyptian pyramids, survive today. Egyptians took their metrology very seriously and as a result, their measurement accuracy was impressive. Over a distance of 230 meters, measurements typically varied by only 0.05%.

Maintaining tool accuracy through periodic tool calibrations remains extremely important to guarantee a unit or measure can transfer from one aircraft to another and one country to the next. 

The next time you reach for that torque wrench or micrometer, ask yourself, “am I getting the most accurate reading I need? How do I find out?”

Duncan Aviation Calibration Services

Duncan Aviation’s Calibration Services use NIST traceable standards to calibrate measuring & test equipment (M&TE). Bring your tools with you the next time your business aircraft is serviced at one of our full-service maintenance facilities. They will be returned to you when you are ready to leave, properly calibrated and ready for use.

Can’t be long without your tools? Send them to us and we’ll have them back to you in fewer than five days.

Calibration Services

  • Certified to ISO/IEC 17025:2005
  • Certified ASQ-CCT technicians
  • Calibration data available
  • Repair capabilities on most M&TE

For a complete list of our calibration capabilities, download the Duncan Aviation Calibrations Fact Sheet.

Calibrations Fact Sheet Download Now

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Airframe Maintenance, Tool Calibrations

Aircraft Tool Calibration: 5,000 Years in the Making

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Egyptian-Cubit-up-close.jpgHanging in Duncan Aviation's Calibration Services Lab is a poster about the History of the Egyptian Cubit. It depicts the beginning of tool calibration more than 5,000 years ago. Many similarities to modern calibrations still remain.

It is believed that around 3,000 B.C. the Egyptian unit of length was established. The Royal Egyptian cubit was decreed to be equal to length of the forearm from the bent elbow to the tip of the extended middle finger plus the width of the palm of the hand of the Pharaoh ruling at the time. The Royal Cubit Master was carved from a block of black granite to endure for all time (the equivalent of today’s primary standard).

Workers building tombs, temples and pyramids were supplied with cubit sticks made of wood or granite. The Royal Architect or foreman of each construction site was responsible for maintaining and transferring the unit of length to the workers’ cubit sticks (modern tool calibration). It was required that the cubit sticks be brought at each full moon (calibration cycle) to be compared to the Royal Cubit Master to ensure their accuracy. Failure to do so was punishable by death (OK…some things have changed).

The strict accuracy of the cubit is why many magnificent structures, such as the Egyptian pyramids, survive today. Egyptians took their metrology very seriously and as a result, their measurement accuracy was impressive. Over a distance of 230 meters, measurements typically varied by only 0.05%.

Maintaining tool accuracy through periodic tool calibrations remains extremely important to guarantee a unit or measure can transfer from one aircraft to another and one country to the next. 

The next time you reach for that torque wrench or micrometer, ask yourself, “am I getting the most accurate reading I need? How do I find out?”

Duncan Aviation Calibration Services

Duncan Aviation’s Calibration Services use NIST traceable standards to calibrate measuring & test equipment (M&TE). Bring your tools with you the next time your aircraft is serviced at one of our full-service maintenance facilities. They will be returned to you when you are ready to leave, properly calibrated and ready for use.

Can’t be long without your tools? Send them to us and we’ll have them back to you in fewer than five days.

Calibration Services

  • Certified to ISO/IEC 17025:2005
  • Certified ASQ-CCT technicians
  • Calibration data available
  • Repair capabilities on most M&TE

For a complete list of our calibration capabilities, download the Duncan Aviation Calibrations Fact Sheet.

Calibrations Fact Sheet Download Now

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Airframe Maintenance, Tool Calibrations

Duncan Aviation Releases September Duncan Intelligence

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Have you heard the latest about the FAA's new regulatory requirements for RVSM? How about how WAAS upgrades can impact aircraft sales in Europe?

No? Then you haven't read the September issue of the Duncan Intelligence. 

September Duncan Intelligence

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FAA Removes Regulatory Requirements for RVSM Maintenance

In a recent move, the FAA has removed the prerequisite that requires aircraft operators who fly in RVSM airspace to have an FAA-approved RVSM Maintenance program.

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TR Added to Bombardier Learjet 20 & 30 Model Series Aircraft Maintenance Checks

The Bombardier Learjet 20 & Learjet 30 series Time Limits and Maintenance Checks have recently added a new Temp Revision to Chapter 5-10-29.

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WAAS Upgrades, EASA & Aircraft Sales

If you are planning or may be planning to sell or change an aircraft registration to an EASA-member country, you need to be aware of this.

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Top Seven Questions Customers Have About Aircraft Paint

Duncan Aviation Regional Manager shares the most common questions he is asked about aircraft paint.

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New Duncan Aviation Test Set Helps Reduce AP Function Test Times

We designed and built a new test set that automates the testing process of the Collins AP 106/107 systems, reducing anticipated function test times.

The Duncan Intelligence is a free, technical newsletter for business aircraft owners and operators. Written in-house by Duncan Aviation's technical representatives, each edition includes technical tips and advice on topics and trends in business aviation. It is a free, monthly e-mail subscription for aviation enthusiasts around the world.

Duncan Intelligence Subscribe Now

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Airframe Maintenance, WAAS, Learjet, NextGen, Aircraft Paint

Duncan Aviation & The Art of Minimizing Downtime

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, May 26, 2016 @ 10:24 AM

Simplifying A Puzzle of Complexity

Puzzle.jpgEver put together a 1,000 piece puzzle? How about one with no straight-edges or picture on the box? What if you only had a couple of hours to finish and the pieces kept changing shape? Sounds a little daunting, if not impossible doesn’t it. Yet this is a daily scenario at Duncan Aviation.

Getting Downtime…Down

Operations Planning Coordinators, Brian Barto, Doug Schmitt, and Jason Kinnan have the difficult job of identifying and pulling together all the loose pieces of every aircraft maintenance event at our Battle Creek, MI, Lincoln, NE, and Provo, UT, facilities to determine an appropriate downtime. On any given day, they may have 35-40 schedules to plan.

They are only able to do this with the help of a very skilled team members who are aware of every shop’s maintenance capabilities and the capacity of work that can be expected. They communicate directly with Project Managers, Team Leaders, and Tech Reps.

They know the work required, the manpower necessary, and the time needed to satisfy the customer’s need for the shortest downtime, while maintaining the quality of work they expect from us.

Read more Duncan Aviation Airframe Maintenance

Hitting the Ground Running

Because of the hard work these teams do prior to every customer’s arrival, all the factory-trained technicians assigned are knowledgeable and well-prepared to begin work immediately upon touchdown with all necessary tools and parts assembled. This is a result of hours of team members being in constant communication with each other, making sure that all work is done in the most efficient time, with no overlaps and minimal interruptions.

“We are very aware that downtime is of high importance to customers. That makes it a high priority to us, as well,” says Shawn Busby, Project Manager. “Because we are a full-service maintenance facility, we have the advantage of doing all that is required under one roof in the shortest amount of time. It also requires a higher level of communication and teamwork so we are able to reduce downtime, increase efficiency and save our customers money.”

Read more Duncan Aviation Avionics Install

Unmatched

“Our engine capabilities are so inclusive that other FBO operations use Duncan Aviation engine team members to support them,” said Mike Bernholtz, Turbine Engine Service Sales Rep. “It is difficult for them to match our expertise, capabilities and downtime with our factory authorizations for Honeywell TFE731, HTF7000 and APUs; Pratt & Whitney 300 series, 500 series, 600 series, JT15, and PT6; Williams International and General Electric CF34.”

Read more Duncan Aviation Turbine Engine Services

You Get What You Pay For

We understand that budgets are tight and you want the best value, but don’t mistake the lowest price tag as your best option. When it comes to considering an MRO for aircraft paint or interior refurbishment work, you really do get what you pay for. “We have seen customers go with the lowest offer in order to save money. But end up having to pay more for services their chosen facilities are incapable of providing,” says Suzanne Hawes, Completions Sales Rep.

Read more Duncan Aviation Interior Completions

“In the case of hidden damage and corrosion, if the low-cost service provider does not have engineering and structural capabilities, the customer ends up having to hire a separate engineering consultant to assess the damage. And potentially even a third facility to do the structural repairs..  

At Duncan Aviation we have the experience, that if the damage is beyond tolerance, we work directly with the OEMs to create a repair disposition and have a structures team able to complete the repairs in-house.

Read more Duncan Aviation Aircraft Paint Services

We Have Anticipated Your Needs

There is no simple solution to keeping an aircraft airworthy. The regularly scheduled maintenance events and those that are not expected all add to the cost of doing business by air. As an aircraft operator as well as a service provider, Duncan Aviation understands the daily complexities and has already anticipated your needs before you have.

We make it our business to take the complicated puzzle of aircraft operation and ownership and make it as simple as possible for you.

The best and most economic choice for maintenance events, all the time, every time, is Duncan Aviation. The years of experience and the long list of capabilities at all of our facilities has proven that when we promise to do a job, we are promising to deliver on time, at a fair price, and with the highest quality of work.

This isn’t a random guess disguised as a promise; it is the expert opinion of team members who make it their job to know.

Tags: Engine Maintenance, Airframe Maintenance, Interior Refurbishment, Aircraft Paint

OH...FOD!  Checked Your Drawers Lately?

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 @ 10:20 AM

FOD-small.jpgThat screwdriver that mysteriously went missing from the toolbox, a scrap of wire or a pack of Lifesavers might not look threatening. But as any A&P Tech will tell you, anything that’s somewhere it doesn’t belong sets the stage for a potentially dangerous situation. Such objects are known as FOD, and Duncan Aviation’s technicians are finding more of them more frequently.

It is common knowledge that any foreign object in, on or around an aircraft can have tragic results. Yet some of our airframe techs have discovered many of these objects during inspections across all makes and models of aircraft. Everything from small bits of trash to misplaced pieces of on-board equipment have been found trapped under floorboards and lying on top of wire bundles.

The definitions of FOD can be as varied as the objects that can cause it: Foreign Object Damage, Foreign Object Debris, etc. One thing all aviation experts agree on is that if FOD is in your aircraft or if it affects the external areas of your aircraft it can lead to an extremely serious situation. FOD comes in many forms–typically debris from other aircraft. It can be nothing more than a small rivet or any other type of object on the ramp or runway.

Tire punctures are common with runway FOD. Hopefully this type of debris is caught during pre-flight inspections and the result is only an inexpensive tire replacement and not a blowout during takeoff.

Internal FOD can result from work crews leaving an object trapped behind a panel or floorboard somewhere on the aircraft. It can even be a part of the airplane that was moved and not returned to its proper place.

During inspections, our techs have discovered items ranging from tie-raps, avionic control buttons, pencils and even an auxiliary gear handle that was lying on top of the flight control pulleys under the co-pilot floor. Any FOD trapped under floorboards can be a potential hazard to the safe operation of an aircraft. Sharp objects found lying on wire bundles, hydraulic lines, pitot static lines, etc., are especially dangerous and can have a chafing potential which can again lead to a catastrophic failure.

Real-World_FOD_033_FIN.jpgDuncan Aviation's technicians found this red Auxiliary Gear Handle (which belongs to the aircraft) sitting on top of the flight control pulleys.
Consider this fictional nightmare scenario: After a maintenance event, an auxiliary gear handle is left under the pilot’s floor lying on top of the flight control pulleys. The crew has done a thorough preflight, but does not have X-ray vision and has no idea what’s below them. They start down the runway for the flight home and just as the PNF (pilot not flying) calls V1 (the decision speed to abort the takeoff or fly) one engine quits, so the PF (pilot flying) immediately adds rudder for directional control. The auxiliary gear handle slips from its resting place due to the abnormal side loads and wedges into the rudder cables. The rudder is designed to travel a set number of degrees to give a pilot the required directional control at the speed above V1. Since the handle is now restricting the designed amount of deflection, the pilot’s only option is to reduce power on the good engine to match what rudder is available and PRAY that is enough.

Depending on the type of FOD, a loss of any system aboard an airplane is possible. This can lead to a life-threatening scenario during takeoff, flight and landing. Normally these types of FOD issues don’t arise because of the professional training and maintenance ethics of A&Ps. Vigilance to the task at hand can eliminate many forms of FOD.

When it comes to FOD, carelessness should never be tolerated and strict procedures must be followed. Duncan Aviation is extremely serious about FOD and has an inspection system in place that is strictly adhered to in order to ensure that all foreign objects, regardless of area of origination, are secured prior to panel/floor close up. At Duncan Aviation a task on or around an aircraft is not completed until FOD is eliminated. Make sure to review the FOD procedures at any maintenance facility you might choose and make sure they take FOD as seriously as they should.

Engine FOD Potentially Catastrophic

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Engine FOD can be the most dangerous of all FOD. Any material that rips through any engine can cause a catastrophic failure. Engine FOD is both internal and external. Internal FOD can be mitigated through the use of strict procedures. (Check to see the procedures your service provider uses.) External FOD requires proper planning and observation to eliminate.

Internal FOD may include any tool, part or anything a technician may use while servicing an engine. Rivets are common FOD elements for engines. Years ago, a chief pilot decided to test his flight crew’s FOD procedures by placing his hat inside an engine intake. Before he could warn them of his plan, they tested the engine. Several thousand dollars of damage resulted.

External FOD is much more dangerous if the aircraft is in flight. External FOD may include airborne debris such as a sand storm or volcanic ash from an eruption or even hail or ice ingestion. Be aware of FAA NOTAMs in the area of your flight plan. Also be careful when taxiing behind large aircraft as their jet blast and general size can kick up quite a bit of debris.

The damage to the TFE731 engine above was caused by a bird strike. We found damage to the fan blades, nose cowl leading edge, fan stator, and compressor impeller... just to name a few. Depending on the strike, one bird can cause more than half-a-million dollars in damages.

Tags: Engine Maintenance, Airframe Maintenance

Duncan Aviation Provides In-Field Avionics Services in Chicagoland

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

ChicagoDuncan Aviation's Battle Creek, Michigan, avionics team recently rolled out an off-site avionics service that allows business aircraft operators in the Chicago area to schedule comprehensive avionics line service in their hangars and at their airports instead of at one of Duncan Aviation's maintenance facilities.

"We value our many customers and contacts in the Chicago area and want to make sure they receive the avionics line support they need," says Paul Cummings, avionics manager at Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek facility. "So we have evaluated our avionics team and determined a way to provide scheduled in-the-field service for operators at the Chicago area airports. This saves the customer fuel and travel time, decreases their aircraft usage and makes avionics line maintenance events less disruptive to their overall schedules."

To schedule avionics line service in Chicago, call +1 630.207.7460.

Here are other in-field services available to operators across the United States.

Engine

Duncan Aviation also continues to staff an engine Rapid Response Team (RRT) in the Chicago area. Duncan Aviation engine service offices support AOG engine emergencies and scheduled engine maintenance events at our full service facilities in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, with RRTs supporting operators in the field. Each service office is interdependent, sharing staff and resources to support customers wherever and whenever they need engine service. To reach Duncan Aviation's engine RRT services, call 877.522.0111.

In-The-Field Interior

Duncan Aviation interior service specialists are able to provide scheduled, unscheduled and road trip interior service to customers requiring aircraft interior needs outside of a major Duncan Aviation facility.

In-The-Field Maintenance

Duncan Aviation has airframe maintenance teams ready to spring into action when needed for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance services in the field. Duncan Aviation has several company aircraft at its disposal to help move people, tools and parts quickly to best meet customer needs.

Tags: Avionics Installation, Airframe Maintenance, AOG

Transforming an Embraer Legacy 600 for Embraer Executive Jets

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Embraer-Legacy-600-April-2015

To the average person, a 96-month Embraer Legacy 600 inspection looks a lot like organized chaos—organized being the key word.

Neatly catalogued aircraft parts surround a gutted fuselage. Airframe technicians line the interior and exterior of the aircraft, checking and testing every inch, looking for needed repairs.

Add an interior refurbishment, new paint, a Wi-Fi system installation and you'll start to understand why a project of this magnitude takes time to plan and complete.

"Upon delivery, the jet is, in many ways, new again," explains Project Manager Tracy Hein. "Every inch of that aircraft is touched by several professionals—from airframe technicians to interior install experts and paint team members. And before delivery, we go over it again, ensuring the aircraft leaves our facility as flawless as it was on its first flight."

Read more about the Embraer Legacy 600 custom solutions, spot-on paint and final business jet touches here.

Or watch the tip-to-tail refurbushment in the following three-minute video.


 

Tags: Airframe Maintenance

Falcon 50 EX: Individually Crafted with Passenger, Pilot in Mind

Posted by Duncan Download Blog on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Duncan Aviation works with a variety of customers. The majority use their aircraft for business purposes, some have personal aircraft and a small portion are pilots themselves. A very select group fit all three categories.

Falcon50EX_April-2015When a customer came to Duncan Aviation's Battle Creek facility with a Dassault Falcon 50EX, his mission was to leave with the best upgrades in the cabin, as well as the flight deck.

"Our customer dubbed the Falcon a Time Machine, and wanted to ensure this time saver was the most comfortable and efficient tool to get from point A to point B," says Completions Sales Rep Nate Darlington, confirming that the creative tail number M-CFLY was, in fact, a Back to the Future time-traveler movie reference.

After completing a pre-buy inspection through Duncan Aviation, the aircraft went directly into an airframe inspection, complete interior refurbishment, complete aircraft paint refurbishment, Cabin Management System (CMS) installation and flight deck upgrades.

Read more about the completed Time Machine in the Spring 2015 issue of the Duncan Debrief.

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Tags: CMS, Airframe Maintenance, Interior Refurbishment, Paint Refurbishment, Pre-Purchase Inspection

Hawker Airframe: Don't Forget Chapter 24

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, May 28, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

In the April 2015 Duncan Intelligence, Dave Ungvarsky, Hawker tech rep, talked about how some of the information in Chapter 24 of the AMM goes unnoticed or unheeded.

Hawker-Torque_blogDuring a recent project, the Duncan Aviation Hawker airframe team troubleshot an aircraft with intermittent static plate heat. Their investigation revealed a damaged terminal block which most likely resulted from improper torqueing of the terminal nut and improper orientation of the terminals themselves.

Most of us are familiar with the torqueing of fasteners as required in the AMM for the task being performed. If no specific torque value is noted, then we rely on Chapter 20 (Standard Practices) for determining the proper torque value. Unfortunately, sometimes the information on torque loading contained in Chapter 24 (Torque Loading of Electrical Connections) goes unnoticed or unheeded.

That appears to be the situation here with the damaged terminal block. Not only were the terminals not oriented correctly, it appears an improper torque was applied.

Chapter 24 contains essential information to assure that electrical connections are properly made to ensure that systems operate correctly and are safe.

Duncan Intelligence

Do you want to read more technical articles about the Hawker airframe? Go to the Hawker Duncan Intelligence archives  here.

For more than 18 years, Duncan Aviation has been producing the Duncan Intelligence, a free, technical newsletter for business aircraft owners and operators.

Written in-house by experienced technical reps, each edition includes technical tips and advice on topics and trends in business aviation.

It's free. Subscribe now and have it sent directly to your in-box every month. 

Duncan Intelligence Subscribe Now

Tags: Airframe Maintenance

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