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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Duncan Aviation Technicians Travel the World in 2011

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 @ 10:04 AM

In 2011, Duncan Aviation team members made hundreds of trips around the world providing AOG services. While providing the most-needed AOG services to our customers on nearly every Continent, team members also took in some local culture, food and sites.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany

In March, Scott Shefke, Challenger/Global Tech Rep, traveled to Berlin,Germany, to perform and assess the viability of restoring a Challenger CL 604 to airworthiness status. The project included performing engine boroscopes, performance runs, system operations checks, fuel sampling and general condition of aircraft.

“Berlin is a magnificent city to visit,” says Scott. “It is rich with history.”

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

In Cairo, Egypt, Dan Soderstrom, Master Turbine Engine Mechanic, and Bill Walker, Engine Tech Rep, were in the right place at the right time when one project turned into two. While troubleshooting a faulty fuel control unit on a Hawker 800XP, a local Hawker 850XP operator approached them for assistance in fixing leaking starter/generator seals.

Both Dan and Bill said that everyone they had contact with in Egypt were very nice and helpful. Dan hopes to have more opportunity to see the great city if he gets the chance to go in the future.  

Bordeaux, France

St. Emilion, France

Ron Grose, Falcon Tech Rep, attended the annual Falcon 7X Steering Committee meeting in May, in Bordeaux, France, a beautiful old city located in southwestern France along the Garonne River, surrounded by elite vineyards. As a member of the steering committee, Ron and others oversee the development of the scheduled maintenance program for the Falcon 7X aircraft.

One of Ron’s favorite places to visit was the small village of Saint Emilion. It is a 1,700 year old village which was, at one time, surrounded by a large moat used for protection against the warring tribes. This quaint village had narrow cobblestone streets, great restaurants and many wine tasting shops.

Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane, Australia

Duncan Aviation Fuel System Lead Technician, Jon Abrahamsen, took a week long trip to Australia in May. He was dispatched to repair a wing junction plate fuel leak on a Falcon 2000EX.

Jon used one of his days to drive two hours down to Surfers Paradise, a large tourist beach. He also took the train downtown to the south shore for dinner and a couple of local beers. Jon says the area was beautiful.

Shanghai, China

Shanghai, China

Scott Howell, Airframe Lead Mechanic, along with three other fellow Duncan Aviation team members, traveled to Shanghai, China to complete a crucial fix on a Falcon 7X. Getting tools and equipment through customs posed a challenge, but the team stuck to the task, completing the project early.

On the first full day of their trip, the group made their way to The Bund, a mile long street lined with shopping. A local gentleman led them beyond the glamour of these stores to another area. Here, they had the adventure of walking up steep wooden stairs, entering into random people’s homes, where they bargained with local merchants for various items. It is an experience they will not soon forget. Scott describes the city’s transportation as very convenient and clean. The food was not what he would have suspected, but enjoyed trying the various delicacies of the region. 

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Ned Shanks, Engine Rapid Response Tech out of Fort Lauderdale, FL, made a trip to Santo Domingo, Chile, in October to assist a customer. The #1 engine on their Lear 35 would not start. Having seen this squawk many times before, Ned suspected there was an issue with the aircraft’s igniter box and prepared for his trip with this in mind. This was a very important job because the aircraft was an air ambulance and was scheduled to fly a sick infant back to the United States for medical care.

After arriving, clearing Customs and making it to the aircraft, Ned quickly discovered his suspicions were correct, a failed igniter box. As soon as he complied with the removal and replacement of the box, ground runs and required paperwork, they were airborne and on their way back to Ft. Lauderdale. Shortly after arrival back home, the aircraft was prepped and sent out on another rescue mission.

Tags: AOG, Hawker, Falcon, Challenger, Learjet

Avoid Hawker Landing Gear Exchanges During Maintenance Events

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 @ 09:57 AM

Contributed by Dan Fuoco, Hawker Airframe Service Sales Rep.

Hawker Landing Gear

Hawker roll-around nose landing gear (NLG) and main landing gear (MLG) used to keep aircraft moving through maintenance.

I’ve worked with Hawker maintenance events for a long time, and I make it my business to make sure everything is in place for an aircraft to deliver on time (if not ahead of schedule). It’s common knowledge that combining Hawker landing gear overhauls with scheduled maintenance and paint saves downtime. What isn’t commonly known is a simple piece of equipment can reduce that downtime by another few weeks.

That piece of equipment is called a roll-around landing gear, which serves as a temporary stand-in for the original gear when it goes in for overhaul during a combined maintenance event.

Roll-Around Landing Gear

Typically, a maintenance event will finish weeks ahead of a landing gear overhaul. Since an aircraft can’t be painted without a landing gear, operators typically have two options: let the aircraft sit for two weeks while the original gear is overhauled, or exchange the gear for another unit. A roll-around landing gear presents a third, more efficient option.

When an aircraft arrives for maintenance, the original landing gear can be immediately replaced with the roll-around gear. This allows the aircraft to be moved through all phases of maintenance, including paint, while the original gear is overhauled. When the aircraft paint process is finished, the original landing gear is usually ready for reinstallation.

2 Weeks of Downtime Savings

I strongly recommend that operators choose a Hawker service center that has roll-around landing gear, especially when planning for a combined maintenance event. Operators will probably save about two weeks of downtime if they work with a service center that has roll-around landing gear available.

Roll-around landing gear are available at Duncan Aviation for all series of Hawker aircraft; Challenger 600s, 601s and 604s; and Falcon 50s, 900s and 2000s. Duncan Aviation has a Hawker Authorized Service Center, and a Hawker-authorized accessory shop for landing gear overhauls in Lincoln, NE (LNK). Please contact me, Dan Fuoco, or a member of Duncan Aviation’s Hawker team for more information.

Dan Fuoco serves as a Airframe Service Sales Rep. at Duncan Aviation’s full-service facility in Lincoln, NE (LNK), specializing in Citation and Hawker aircraft. He started his aviation career in 1974.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Hawker, Falcon, Maintenance Event Planning, Challenger

Accessing the Hawker 800 Avionics Bay Without Recertifying RVSM

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 @ 10:25 AM

By Dan Fuoco, Airframe Service Sales Rep.

hawker avionics nose bay access

Rotating avionics boxes will make them accessible from the nose wheel bay, avoiding RVSM recertification issues for Hawker 800 series aircraft.

Picture yourself on a trip, in the middle of nowhere, and you have to open the nose avionics bay access panels on your Hawker 800/800XP series aircraft. You’re at a field with limited or no service available, and you can’t open the access panels without recertifying RVSM. Now you’re stuck. Your only option is to fly out well below RVSM-approved flight levels.

For Hawker 800 series aircraft, the avionics bay door panels are located in the RVSM critical area. If these panels are disturbed, the critical area will have to undergo a recertification. Typically, these access panels are opened only as necessary. Also, just as typical, when these panels are opened the aircraft is in the worst place at the worst time. The only way to avoid disturbing the RVSM critical zone is by making the avionics boxes accessible through the nose wheel bay.

In this modification, the avionics boxes are rotated and the avionics shelves are modified to tilt down for box removal from the nose wheel bay. The avionics panels are permanently sealed and painted so you can’t tell they were ever there.

The modification can pay for itself very quickly, and can be completed in about one week. Although it requires repainting the entire nose section, you’ll be able to access the avionics nose bay without disturbing the RVSM critical area ever again.

The STC for this modification is only available at Duncan Aviation.

For more information, download the Duncan Aviation Field Guide to Protecting Hawker RVSM Certification.

Dan Fuoco is an Airframe Service Sales Rep. at Duncan Aviation's Lincoln, Neb. (LNK) facility, and specializes in airframe services for Hawker and Citation aircraft. He began working in aviation in 1974.

Tags: Avionics Installation, Hawker

How to Avoid Hawker Landing Light Maintenance Problems

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Feb 03, 2011 @ 12:37 PM

Contributed by Dan Fuoco, Airframe Service Sales Rep.

hawker boombeam landing lights

Deciding whether the melted lens maintenance headache is worth the cost of the cure depends on how much the issue impacts your operation.

Photo courtesy of LoPresti and Jose Gibert.

It’s common knowledge that the original equipment landing lights can be a frequent source of frustration for Hawker operators. If left on for too long, heat buildup from inside the lens can cause the lenses to melt.

Filament lamp technology was a standard for Hawker aircraft until a few years ago, when a mercury/xenon gas lamp was developed by LoPresti. These “BoomBeam” landing lights are now standard equipment for newer, out-of-production Hawker aircraft.

Filament lamp technology is prone to overheating, vibration and shock. Customers have reported that lens melting can begin after only a few minutes of operation. After several melting events, the problem will become very noticeable. The lens will begin to look discolored, and over time the lens contour can become physically distorted.

To repair or replace a landing light lens can be costly. Some lenses, if still within limits, can be overhauled while others will need to be replaced.

The only way to avoid these issues entirely is by switching to the new lamp technology. The LoPresti Hawker BoomBeam landing light kit won’t overheat, is more resistant to vibration and shock, and is much brighter. However, the upgrade also costs around $16,000 and takes about five days to complete. It consists of a power supply, shielded high-voltage wire harness, plug-in HID lamp, mounting hardware and lens reflector assemblies.

Deciding whether the maintenance headache is worth the cost of the cure depends on how much the inconvenience impacts your operation. Those who have them love them, but if you can limit the use of landing lights to only a few minutes and don’t mind an occasional replacement, it might serve your interests just as effectively.

Dan Fuoco is an Airframe Service Sales Rep. at Duncan Aviation's Lincoln, Neb. (LNK) facility, and specializes in airframe services for Citation and Hawker aircraft. He began working in aviation in 1974.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Hawker

What Projects to Schedule with Blended Winglets

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Nov 04, 2010 @ 11:55 AM


winglet scheduling

Winglet upgrades can be scheduled with inspections, additional modifications with similar turntimes and prebuy evaluations.

A business aircraft is a corporate workhorse, and an extended downtime for winglets alone isn’t feasible. To maximize the time an aircraft is out of service, the upgrade can be scheduled with an inspection or paired with additional modifications that require a similar turn time.

Falcon 2000 Series Winglet Scheduling

It takes about four weeks to achieve a blended winglet modification for Falcon 2000 series aircraft. Projects with similar (or longer) downtimes that can be worked with winglets include:

  • “C” check (downtime extended by about a week),
  • Dry-bay modification (no additional downtime),
  • Interior refurbishment,
  • Paint refinishing.

Hawker 800 Series Winglet Scheduling

Downtime for Hawker 800 series aircraft is even shorter, about 21 calendar days. Projects with similar (or longer) downtimes include:

  • 24 / 48 month inspection cycles (aircraft age and inspection findings can affect downtimes),
  • LoPreste landing and taxi light modification eliminates the risk of lens melting (no additional downtime),
  • RVSM avionics nose bay modification makes avionics boxes accessible through the nose wheel bay (downtimes vary),
  • Interior refurbishment,
  • Paint refinishing.

Winglets & Pre-buy Evaluations

Pre-buy evaluations also present an opportunity for a winglet modification. It’s an important item to consider, says Gary Dunn, Vice President of Sales at Aviation Partners, Inc. “The modification can be achieved during that same downtime, and it can be rolled into the financing at that time.”

Winglets for both airframes can also be paired with phone systems and interior modifications.

Find out more about Falcon 2000 series and Hawker 800 series winglets at www.DuncanAviation.aero/airframe. Or contact a member of Duncan Aviation’s Falcon or Hawker Airframe Service Sales team for information about our winglet installation capabilities.

Tags: Winglets, Hawker, Falcon

3 Factors That Affect the Value of a Winglet Modification

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Oct 12, 2010 @ 11:01 AM

hawker winglets

What is the value of increasing your flight capabilities? For Hawker 800 series, winglets allow you to fly non-stop across the US, or comfortably reach Jeddah from Paris. You can also complete shorter missions with greater payload and fuel reserves... without buying a new aircraft.

Photo source: AviationPartners.com

Residual value, perceived value and fuel savings are important factors to consider when calculating the return on investment for a winglet modification.

1. Residual value.

Aircraft Blue Book values for both Hawker 800 series and Falcon 2000 series aircraft estimate a conservative 75% residual value for winglet modifications, says Gary Dunn, Vice President of Sales at Aviation Partners, Inc. Aircraft with winglets are “worth more and sell more quickly.”

2. Perceived value.

Winglets are quickly becoming a standard. As the number of winglet-equipped aircraft on the resale market increases, Gary speculates it will become increasingly difficult to sell an in-service aircraft with conventional wingtips.

Gary explains that in the case of the Gulfstream II, 70% of the fleet is now equipped with Aviation Partner’s winglets. “It became a standard,” he says. “We’re seeing a similar trend on the Hawker 800 series. It’s becoming a piece of equipment that people expect.”

3. Fuel savings.

Additional value is realized through improved fuel burn. For example, operators who regularly fly longer missions (coast-to-coast or US-to-Europe, for example) can cut their fuel bills significantly. Operators can also fly faster for the same fuel burn, saving valuable time and lowering direct operating costs (DOCs) for their operation.

The longer range, improved cruising speeds and fuel efficiency realized through a winglet modification is far more cost effective than upgrading to an aircraft with similar capabilities.

For tips on managing the cost of a winglet installation, look for next week’s blended winglet blog post.

Find out more about Falcon 2000 series winglets and Hawker 800 series winglets at www.DuncanAviation.aero/airframe. Or contact a member of Duncan Aviation’s Falcon or Hawker Airframe Service Sales team for information about our winglet installation capabilities.

Tags: Winglets, Hawker, Falcon

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