The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

When Aircraft Maintenance Exceeds the MRO’s Capabilities

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Oct 07, 2011 @ 10:20 AM

Contributed by Janet Beazley, Project Manager

Matching MRO capabilities with your needs.

Can your chosen MRO handle a workscope that goes off track?

As an aircraft owner / operator, you know as well as anyone, that an aircraft workscope can expand at a moments notice for any number of reasons. It can quickly go beyond the capabilities of the service facility performing the work.

The following are items that can paralyze a project and add to the maintenance downtime.


Aircraft parts can be a HUGE issue at times. The older the aircraft, the more difficult it is to locate the appropriate parts. It is also common to experience significant lead times on getting parts delivered from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Challenges can and do arise, if sending a part to a third party vendor for repair or overhaul, including delays in shipping or a repair that requires a longer turn time than originally promised. Does your provider have a parts inventory or the capability to fabricate aircraft parts to keep the project on schedule?  


In this day and age, very expensive tooling is required for even the most basic work on business aircraft. Additionally, many aircraft models often require the use of special tooling during a maintenance event. Whether a company has the tooling and whether you will be charged extra for it could make a difference in the work performed on your aircraft. Has your Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility invested the in special tooling required for your aircraft?


If your aircraft is an older model or has lived much of its life in a corrosive tropical saltwater environment, the probability is high that your project will include removing corrosion. Does your facility have an in-house structural repair and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) services?

Engineering & Certification

Not all unexpected maintenance requires additional engineering and certification services, but when the need arises, having a company that can respond quickly with experts and experience will save time and money. Aircraft operators choosing to work with a facility without designated authority or that is not in direct contact with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will quickly learn the time required to get a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or Major Repair and Alteration (MRA) certified through these channels takes longer than it does to complete the actual modification.

SBs & ADs

Unknown Service Bulletins (SBs) or Airworthiness Directives (ADs) that are out of compliance can hold up a maintenance event. ADs are a no-brainer; they must be complied with—period. A MRO will not clear your aircraft to fly if there is an outstanding AD. Some SBs are mandatory and will involve time to complete. Having your aircraft logbooks researched prior to any scheduled maintenance could save you time and money. 

Duncan Aviation has an extensive list of capabilities and the expertise to anticipate many issues that can interupt a maintenance project. Download all of Duncan Aviation's Capabilities Fact Sheets.

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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 1982.

Tags: Airframe Maintenance, Maintenance Event Planning


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