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The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

4 Things That Could Delay Your Aircraft Maintenance Project

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

Contributed by Janet Beazley, Project Manager

Aircraft maintenance update meeting

A careful eye and good comunication will reduce setbacks and delays for your aircraft maintenance project.

When your aircraft is down for maintenance, it’s important to make sure your project meets crucial milestones and stays on schedule. You and your maintenance provider need to keep a careful watch on the following four items. A setback in any one of them can delay a project.

1. Vendors

Parts are often sent to outside vendors for repair during a project. Many challenges can and do arise during this phase, including delays in shipping or a repair that requires a longer turn time than originally promised.

My advice

Communicate with part vendors often to check on progress and ensure they are ready for any unforeseen delays.

2. Parts

The procurement or fabrication of parts can cause a major delay in any maintenance project if your service provider hasn’t planned ahead. Ample time must be allowed to receive or fabricate these parts long before the aircraft arrives for maintenance.

My advice

Find out what your provider’s plan is for getting parts ordered or fabricated to keep the project on schedule.  

3. Milestones

A large maintenance project is best managed when short-term goals are set along the way. These milestones ensure the project stays on schedule and delivers on time. When milestones are not met, it’s not the end of the world; but everyone involved needs to be able to react and adjust in a timely manner to get the project back on track. That is why we watch the milestones so closely, always keeping the teams ready to react if unforeseen delays occur.

My advice

Schedule regular updates with your provider to discuss appropriate milestones.

4. Communication

Proper communication is key to any project and will resolve many situations that may arise due to parts, vendors or schedule. I know that we need to be in contact with outside sources, internal teams and customers on a daily basis.

My advice

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Be available to answer questions and provide approvals. If communication is lacking, ask questions.

As a Project Manager at Duncan Aviation, I am well aware of all the things that come up during a project that can cause delay. With proper planning and open communication, as a team, we will continue to be successful and deliver your aircraft on time.  

Janet Beazley is a Project Manager at Duncan Aviation's Lincoln, Nebr. facility, serving as the main point of contact for her customers' projects ensuring overall project quality and timely aircraft delivery. Her aviation career began in 1988.

Tags: Customer Service, Maintenance Event Planning

How MROs Determine Aircraft Maintenance Downtime

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 @ 01:27 PM

Contributed by Doug Schmitt, Operations Planning Coordinator

downtime planning

Good planning is required to deliver efficient downtimes for aircraft maintenance.

Your aircraft is an important business tool and needs to be available to fly when needed. However, scheduled maintenance and inspections are a part of aircraft ownership and require downtime. And downtime requires planning. Just how does your MRO of choice take into consideration all that is required and deliver the most efficient downtime schedule to meet your needs? It’s all in the planning.

The following are the Best Practices of a skilled aircraft scheduling team.

1. Detailed review of quoted workscope.

It all begins with a thorough and accurate workscope that includes required dates, aircraft information, detailed description of work and accurate man hours for each area.

2. Consideration of available space and manpower.

Everyone involved has input. A scheduler from each production team manages and schedules projects specific to their expertise. All schedulers work together, negotiating a full down time that maximizes capacity and manpower.

3. Review of parts and material needs.

As the development process occurs, parts and material needs should always be considered. Lead times should be analyzed and considered as the flow of the project is determined.

4. Present the schedule to the customer.

A final schedule with relevant milestones is assembled and presented to the customer. At this time, all concerns arising during the creation of the plan will be discussed.

5. Critical Communication.

The complete schedule, plan and flow are effectively communicated to each team within the facility. Flow charts are developed and published, allowing any employee access the schedule. This plan and flow is continually referenced throughout the project and is updated with more detail several times before delivery.

6. Planning doesn’t stop.

Planning doesn’t end at the development of the schedule. Throughout the entire project from input to delivery day, the schedule must be referenced and managed. Each project is assigned a Project Manager who takes the lead in managing of the project. They work with the teams to stay on schedule, achieve milestones and deliver on time.

As an aircraft scheduling coordinator, I know how critical the downtime of a customer’s aircraft can be. Whether you own one aircraft or a fleet, having your aircraft down for maintenance changes the way you are allowed to do business.

Duncan Aviation has a multi-step process developed by a team of experts who have perfected the art of planning over many years.

Doug Schmitt is an Operations Planning Coordinator at Duncan Aviation specializing in maximizing the full utilization of the Lincoln, Neb. facility by coordinating pending projects and aircraft schedules. He began working in aviation in 1986.

Tags: Customer Service, Airframe Maintenance, Maintenance Event Planning

MRO Maintenance Event Planning: Pre-Planning Benefits

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Mar 09, 2011 @ 08:34 AM

maintenance event

Planning maintenance events in advance helps establish expectations for both you and your chosen MRO.

Whether or not you have an in-house flight department capable of minor inspections and maintenance on your aircraft, occasionally, you will need to visit a Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) for larger inspections requiring specialized tooling, more available trained technicians and the hangar space to efficiently perform all required maintenance.

Whether the workscope is large or small, the planning should be done well in advance in a well organized and methodical manner. The result will be a better experience and a united service expectation for both you and your chosen MRO.

Preplanning helps both the operator and the service facility get what they want—a quality job done efficiently and on time.

How preplanning benefits you:

  1. You are in control.
  2. Freedom to choose a convenient downtime.
  3. Choice of service providers.
  4. High-quality job, delivered on time, for the best value.

How preplanning helps the service provider:

  1. Time to dedicate the best technicians to your aircraft.
  2. Schedule the correct amount of resources.
  3. Better coordination, scheduling and parts provisioning.
  4. Time to perform at peak efficiency and quality.

Every maintenance event is an opportunity to achieve maximum results with minimum downtime. Learn how to leverage scheduled and unscheduled events to your advantage through preplanning and compare key points when selecting an MRO and planning maintenance events.

If you have questions about maintenance event planning, call a Duncan Aviation Sales Representative for your airframe.

Tags: Avionics Installation, Airframe Maintenance, Maintenance Event Planning, Paint Refurbishment, Interior Refurbishment

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