The Duncan Download Blog: Business Aviation Advice & Observations

Duncan Aviation Customer Letter of Appreciation

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 07:00 AM

In August of this year, Thriveni Earthmovers arrived with their aircraft at Duncan Aviation for a large multi-shop maintenance/upgrade event. Chris Neaves, Thriveni’s Director of Flight Operations, took the time to send the following letter to Andy Fernandes, Duncan Aviation Regional Manager to India, and Rich Jones, Duncan Aviation Project Manager, regarding their experience. We decided to share these remarks because although we can say we hold ourselves to a higher standard of service than other service providers in business aviation, nothing says it quite like our customers do.

Thrivani Earth Movers

Thriveni Earthmovers aircraft arrives with a new full metallic paint scheme in Titanium Silver Metallic and Dark Brown Metallic from Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

Click to enlarge.

Andy and Rich,

On behalf of Thriveni Earthmovers, I would like to thank you and the mechanics of Duncan Aviation for your work on our aircraft.

We appreciate that you were able to work with a moving input date and remain flexible enough to take us with just a week’s notice. As you know, we came out of a nightmare-like situation where we had to take the aircraft to the manufacturer’s facility for some upgrades only they could perform. After a four-week overrun on their time estimate and a higher bill than expected at the manufacturer, we were relieved when we arrived at the Duncan Aviation Battle Creek, Michigan facility.

Everything about the whole Duncan Aviation experience—from the moment we arrived on the doorstep to day of departure—was amazing. Nothing was too difficult, and everyone was pleasantly open and forthcoming with both good and bad news as we completed the B, C and D check, Export Certificate of Airworthiness, repaint, a gaggle of new avionics and interior refurbishment work.

Convenient doesn’t even come close to describing and the phone app. I was able to go to the other side of the planet while still communicating with everyone at Duncan Aviation, receive photographs and explanations of issues, as well as approve and deny work orders. The website was great at describing the current expenditure and the progress when we weren’t actually onsite.

Also, no matter who you are, how big or small your aircraft is, everyone is treated as if they are Duncan Aviation’s number one customer. Any issues that arise during the work are dealt with instantly, and the attention to detail is amazing.

Our airframe work was suburb and your mechanics’ attention to detail was outstanding. Actually, every department at Duncan Aviation we worked with impressed us, including interior, paint shop and avionics. Having team members who are so skilled in their trades is quite an asset for both Duncan Aviation and aircraft owners. We experienced a significant savings when the scratches on the wood and the stains on the window shades were removed, leaving our aircraft looking nearly new. The full metallic exterior repaint of our aircraft turns heads. It is a perfect application without a single drip of paint. We are impressed with the aircraft’s overall appearance. The end result exceeded our wildest imagination. Also, your ability to modernize our entertainment system, integrating the new with the old means we now have a system where every cabin seat can listen or watch their own individual selection, or surf the internet, or both—something you never see in a jet this size.

Considering the scope of work, the timeframe we had available and the added full repaint, we were astonished that we came out a day early with a refund, not a bill.

Normally when you do this much work in a short span of time like we did, the last couple of days are a mad rush and it’s a flurry of paperwork to complete, bills to pay and a scramble to ensure nothing was missed, but not at Duncan Aviation. We encountered the simplest, smoothest experience at the end I have ever seen. It also helps that people at Duncan Aviation think ahead, treat the plane and work as if it’s their own aircraft and don’t leave anything to the last minute.

The quality of the Duncan Aviation workmanship was apparent when our aircraft was released for service just a couple of hours before our departure, and we were able to fly to the other side of the world without any faults or problems. Our aircraft performed flawlessly and flew like new, and it still does a month later.

We are starting the process for our next aircraft purchase and will not even consider looking anywhere else but Duncan Aviation for the work on it. With your new Indian DGCA maintenance approvals, we will also be bringing the aircraft back for future maintenance work.


Chris Neaves

Director of Flight Operations, Thriveni Earthmovers Pvt Ltd

Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory/propeller repairs and overhauls.

Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Battle Creek, Michigan. Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and 27 other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with local support and the quickest response to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.

Tags: Customer Testimony, Airframe Maintenance, Announcements, Customer Service

Aircraft Parts On Speed Dial

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Dec 03, 2013 @ 09:39 PM

Kassim Khan

"My customers continue to return to me for service because I turn to Duncan Aviation. They've never let me down."
Kassim Khan, Aviation Parts & Supply

If you’ve ever had to hunt for a specific aircraft part, component or avionics unit, you are well aware of how difficult it is to do a thorough research, locate a reputable supplier, negotiate pricing and schedule delivery. Most of the time, you are under a strict time constraints and need the aircraft part or avionics unit now and you don’t want to deal with all the issues that can complicate the process along the way; issues, such as no available inventory, managing billbacks, no traceability documents and lack of warranty support.

Kassim Khan, co-owner of Aviation Parts & Supply, an aviation parts broker supporting several corporate flight departments, has relied solely upon Duncan Aviation for 18 years to provide the parts needed to serve their customers. “The bottom line is that Duncan Aviation has never let us down,” says Khan.

Read Aircraft Parts on Speed Dial on page 29 of the Fall 2013 issue of Duncan Debrief and find out why Kassim has only one number in his phone when it comes to finding aircraft parts. 

Duncan Aviation maintains a large inventory of aircraft parts for sale. Our streamlined services and competitive turntimes satisfy hundreds of requests throughout the world 24 hours a day, 7 seven days a week. Our many awards testify to the quality of our service.

Tags: Customer Testimony, Parts & Accessories, Avionics & Instruments, Aircraft Parts, Customer Service

Customer Letters: International Pre-Purchase Evaluation Done Right!

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Mon, Dec 31, 2012 @ 07:42 AM

International Pre-Purchase Evaluation

When purchasing a business aircraft with a foreign registration, select a pre-purchase facility that knows what they are doing.

Our customers have come to expect a higher standard of service from us when it comes to the maintenance and care of their business aircraft. And although we can say that we do it better than any other major repair and overhaul service (MRO) provider in business aviation, our customers say it best. Below is a customer letter written and sent to Monte Reeves, Duncan Aviation’s Manager of Customer Service located in Lincoln, Nebraska, explaining his recent international pre-purchase experience with Duncan Aviation. All customer information has been removed at their request.


I wanted to write you to express my thanks, as well as appreciation, for the recent work Duncan Aviation and your team provided on the pre-purchase and paint of our Falcon 2000 EASy. In order to give you the proper perspective of our experience, here is a little background.

Previous Pre-Purchase Experience

Sixteen months ago, we purchased a German-based Citation Sovereign. Although we have purchased a number of business aircraft over the past 20 years, this was our first experience acquiring one registered in a foreign country. The experience was difficult, tedious and took much longer than we had expected. The process of de-registration and re-registration was cumbersome, as was the pre-purchase inspection that was accomplished in Germany, at the seller’s insistence.

Shortly after taking ownership, we made the decision to have extensive airframe and paint work accomplished and took the Sovereign to one of your competitors where we were told the paint work would take five to six weeks and in actuality took over seven. In the end, the quality of the work and new paint were fine, but the experience was much longer (over six months) and more difficult than we anticipated.

Our Duncan Aviation Experience

When we began the process of acquiring a Falcon 2000, we were very leery about purchasing another foreign-registered aircraft, due to the previous bad experience. However, we found the right aircraft for us based in Belgium and decided to proceed with the purchase. Our only stipulation was to accomplish the pre-purchase inspection in the United States. The seller agreed.

After consulting with several people in the industry, we contacted Duncan Aviation and brought the aircraft to Lincoln, NE. Even though we have been in the aviation business for some time, this would be our first experience with Duncan.

We, like every other operator purchasing a new aircraft, wanted to get it in right away. Our Director of Maintenance talked with Tim Klenke, Falcon Airframe Service Sales Rep, and explained our needs, including bringing the aircraft into the country under foreign registration, performing the pre-purchase inspection, de-registering, re-registering, etc. With this instruction, Tim coordinated everything with your production teams and Duncan Aviation was able to accommodate our tight schedule. I was able to talk with Dan Moody, MRA Project Coordinator, personally and got a good comfort level of how the registration process would happen.

When we arrived, we were met and greeted at our aircraft by our Project Manager Steve Ballard. The next morning we had a briefing with a representative from every department that would be involved in our project. I was impressed that there was not only airframe and engine representatives present, but also interior, documentation and engineering. We were able to review each of the items on the pre-purchase, as well as extra items that we wanted done at our request outside the scope of the pre -purchase. Each one in that meeting was not only knowledgeable, but professional and friendly.

As we took a tour of Duncan’s Lincoln facility, the first thing that surprised me was how busy everyone was. Over the next several weeks, we not only saw a great work ethic, but your people were genuinely friendly and extremely knowledgeable. If we had questions or concerns about the project or our aircraft, they responded quickly and followed up when necessary.

Half-way through the pre-purchase, we decided to add a new paint job to the workscope. Due to scheduling constraints of your very busy paint shop and registration issues, there was some doubt that our request could be accommodated. However, Steve, together with many production people, came together and worked out a plan that included a new paint and kept the project very close to the original schedule.

Exceeding Expectations

The paint process was split into two phases. Dan Moody assured me the new plan would have no impact on his process and the interior shop assured us they could get their work done around the schedule changes. At this point, I should also mention when I first talked to the people in Duncan's paint and design department, I was told the aircraft paint project would be completed in three weeks. Now if I hadn’t already known of Duncan Aviation's reputation for quality aircraft paint work, I would have been very suspicious since we just watched our Sovereign take seven weeks somewhere else.  

The end of the story is that our Falcon 2000 was delivered four days ahead of schedule. The work quality was excellent, including the paint and interior work. And the registration process was so smooth, it was almost a non-issue. All of the Duncan Aviation people on our project worked hard, but not at the expense of the customer relationship. We were always treated with respect and felt they understood how important our aircraft was to us, even though they must deal with the same relationship with every customer. They really did want to get it right.

As our Project Manager, Steve was on top of everything all the way. He and some of the department leaders handled a few difficult situations that arose early on in the project between the seller and buyer with courtesy, professionalism and knowledge; defusing some potentially rough spots in the process. On the occasions when we weren’t on-site at Duncan Aviation, kept us connected and made things understandable and easy.

Whatever You are Doing, Keep Doing It

I could try and list as many people by name as I could to say Thank You, but I know I would be leaving too many out. Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. Please make sure that everyone from Line Service to the Front Desk; Paint and Design  to Engineering, including Interior, Airframe, Engine, Detailing and any other department that touched our aircraft while at Duncan Aviation, knows what a great job they did and what an excellent experience we had.

You Get What You Pay For

Initially, I was concerned that your labor rate was high. However, it soon became obvious that for every hour of labor I bought, I actually got an hours worth of labor. The end cost was less than when you pay a lower hourly rate and only get part of an hour's work. Imagine that!

Pre-Purchase Services For Buyers & Sellers

Duncan Aviation's only focus during a pre-buy evaluation is to provide the most accurate assessment on the condition of an aircraft to the buyer and seller. Our comprehensive services allow us to correct most discrepancy repairs in-house.

New avionics systems, interiors and industry-leading paint can be updated during the process, providing buyers with a high-quality product with as little downtime as possible.

Business Aircraft Acquisition Services

Locating and purchasing a pre-owned business aircraft is incredibly complex and risky. The stakes are huge. A small oversight can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But a little insight can gain an equally large advantage. Talk to an experienced business aircraft acquisitions expert, to located the business aircraft that matches your needs. Duncan Aviation is the largest, family-owned maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in the world providing complete acquisition sales and support services for business aircraft.

Tags: International Considerations, Aircraft Sales, Customer Service, Pre-Purchase Inspection

Duncan Aviation's Core Values Continue to Resonate

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 07:00 AM

Contributed by Erin Hart, Corporate Apprentice

At the foundation of any company stands its Core Values, the ideals that guide day-to-day interactions between employees, customers and competitors. They serve as the bedrock upon which decisions are made by the leaders of the company.

A number of years ago, a team of Duncan Aviation employees put to words what they felt made the company so unique. They identified the characteristics that lie at its very core; family atmosphere, strong work ethic, good values and team approach. These Core Values are now established into the heritage of the company. It is not required that employees have them memorized or learned. They were simply a description of who we are and how we do business every day.

Watch as Duncan Aviation team members express why the Duncan Aviation Core Values resonate so much with their teams and how they can be seen in every aspect of their workday. 

Download a copy of Duncan Aviation's Core Values.

Erin Hart is a Duncan Aviation Apprentice working in the Marketing Communications department at the Lincoln Nebraska facility. She began working in aviation in 2007.

Tags: Careers & Recruiting, Customer Service, Community

How A Nose Wheel Steering Malfunction Left A Lasting Impression

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Jun 01, 2012 @ 08:59 AM

Brad Sides

Brad Sides is a 12-year Duncan Aviation veteran, leading by example by delivering what is required to meet a customer's expectation. "It's all in a day's work."

In late March, a customer contacted Duncan Aviation for off-site assistance with a nose wheel steering malfunction. This customer sent the following letter to Allen Sward, Duncan Aviation Airframe Team Leader, regarding the experience. We decided to share these remarks because although we can say we hold ourselves to a higher standard of service than other service providers in business aviation, nothing says it quite like our customers do. The customer's name and company have been removed at his request.


On March 28, 2012, our C680 had a Nose Wheel Steering malfunction in Nebraska City, NE. Our in-house maintenance department contacted Duncan Aviation in Lincoln. Your maintenance technician, Brad Sides was assigned the task of repairing our aircraft remotely. Brad made the drive down to AFK immediately and began the work required. He worked non-stop until late that evening, and then returned again the following morning to complete the repair which allowed us to ferry the aircraft to LNK for the functional tests required.

I have been in corporate aviation for 21 years and have experienced maintenance at many other service facilities. Duncan Aviation and Brad Sides made this maintenance event the best I have ever experienced.

Things that impressed me regarding Brad:

  • He was there when we were told he would be.
  • He stayed until late to get the part off of the aircraft for repairs.
  • He coordinated with Lincoln to move the part back to the shop quickly.
  • He was very pleasant, friendly, and professional.
  • He explained everything easily and kept me informed on the process.
  • His expert skills speak for themselves.
  • Bottom line........he gave 100%!

“Great People make Great Companies!” so,

Things that impressed me regarding Duncan:

  • They responded quickly.
  • They obviously have people who know their job.
  • All of the employees seem to work very well together communicating and closing the gaps.
  • Everyone involved in the maintenance was friendly and professional.
  • The front desk staff was very helpful, friendly, and professional.
  • The best part.......we were out of there when Duncan said we would be!

Thanks again for making this event as pleasurable as possible.

Senior Pilot, Fortune 300 Company

Brad Sides, Duncan Aviation Lead Mechanic from Lincoln, NE, believes one of the most important parts of his job is to deliver exactly what the customer expects, but strives to deliver more. "This customer came to Duncan Aviation expecting the best. That's the level of service that I want to provide." Brad is a 12-year Duncan Aviation veteran, his aviation career began in 1998.

Duncan Aviation offers emergency AOG services and 24/7 troubleshooting for grounded aircraft in your hangar or around the world, with remote AOG engine Rapid Response teams based at several strategic locations across the United States. All AOG teams that respond are equipped with the resources necessary for most aircraft and engine emergencies, and are supported by Duncan Aviation's two full-service facilities and network of avionics satellite repair stations.

Duncan Aviation’s mobile app is available for download on iPads®, and makes it easier to contact service locations, service representatives and department listings.

Tags: Customer Testimony, Airframe Maintenance, Customer Service, AOG

How to Apply for PMA Parts Under ODA

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 @ 11:59 AM

Contributed by James L. Ferguson, ODA PMA Administrator

MaxViz Camera pod

Max Viz Camera pod machined from a solid piece of aluminum with no welds. Designed, modeled and fabricated in-house, this part was completed in approximately 8 hours. Duncan is currently researching the viability of PMA approving this part.

Aircraft service providers that hold aircraft Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) authority under ODA have a significant advantage in FAA approval response times. These service providers are able to respond almost immediately to any issues in the application and/or certification of new PMA parts. However, the pathway to PMA authority isn’t easy.

Duncan Aviation recently received approval through the FAA’s Wichita Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to add PMA to its revised Organizational Designated Authority (ODA). FAA order 8100.15 details the many steps we navigated through to prove we had the capabilities, processes and aviation professionals in place even to be considered.

PMA aircraft parts applicants must qualify, make application and be granted this approval by the FAA Organizational Management Team (OMT). 


In order to be considered for PMA aircraft parts authority under ODA, applicants must already hold PMA authority through their local Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO). At the time PMA authority is being considered under ODA, the PMA holder must show the FAA that they meet the required qualifications for delegation as identified in FAA Order 8100.15.


An application is submitted by the ODA holder documenting how the requirements are met along with procedures on how the ODA PMA will function.  These procedures are documented in the ODA Procedures manual.

Review Process

After application, the OMT reviews the history of the PMA parts applicant, qualifications and the procedures manual. The OMT includes the applicant’s local ACO, Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), MIDO and Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG). All must give approval during review, which includes on-site visits as necessary.


Once delegation is received, PMA becomes a part of the applicant’s ODA. There is usually very little impact to production since the procedures, experience, and training already in place for previous PMA delegation are still applicable. The most significant change comes in how new PMA supplements (granting authority to produce new articles under PMA) are added and the maintenance of current PMA supplements.

Under ODA PMA, delegates no longer submit application to the FAA for approval in the way that they did previously. The ODA on-site now reviews the applications for each supplement or supplement addition and grants approval. This is where the advantage in response time is realized.

PMA Response Times

Since the application and approval process is accomplished internally, in coordination with the FAA when applicable, Duncan Aviation is able to respond almost immediately to any issues in the application and/or certification of new PMA parts that may be vital to the maintenance of a customer’s aircraft. It makes the process much simpler and more easily managed.

Since 1981, Duncan Aviation has been manufacturing aircraft parts under its PMA authority with the FAA’s approval. In 2011, Duncan Aviation added ODA PMA authority. 

For more information about aircraft parts manufacturing and other Duncan Aviation ODA services, contact Stacy Carnahan in ODA Engineering Sales.

James L. Ferguson is Duncan Aviation’s ODA PMA Administrator. He has been an Aviation Professional with Duncan Aviation since 1979.

Tags: Regulations, Aircraft Parts, Customer Service

3 Things to Look for in a Business Aircraft Autopilot Support Team

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 @ 02:44 PM

Contributed by Kevin Miesbach, Avionics and Instruments Shop Manager

computer wifi troubleshooting

Duncan Aviation's Avionics Tech Reps, Curt Campbell and Larry Troyer help operators troubleshoot squawks and coordinate autopilot repairs.

The autopilot is a vital component on an aircraft. When it isn’t functioning properly, there can be all kinds of problems. There aren’t many places where operators can find the autopilot knowledge, experience and technical expertise all in one place.

What if operators could create their own autopilot team? They would be able to troubleshoot the system in the aircraft more efficiently, ensure the right box or boxes are removed for repair, access autopilot loaners while equipment is in for repair and schedule appropriate turn times.

Here are three criteria to look for when selecting an autopilot support center.

1. Autopilot Technical Experts

Sometimes an experienced technical representative can ask questions to walk an operator through a series of troubleshooting steps over the phone. However, being able to troubleshoot an autopilot squawk over the phone requires an intimate knowledge of the system and how it works on all airframe models. Qualified autopilot tech reps are able to troubleshoot and isolate autopilot problems on aircraft over the phone and by utilizing test flights for the more intermittent glitches.

2. Autopilot Customer Account Support

Customer service is very important when an autopilot needs to be repaired. Account reps should be intimately familiar with scheduling and turn times associated with different types of autopilot equipment. They should also maintain good communication with avionics teams, and be knowledgeable about which technicians are most experienced with the autopilot specific to an operator’s aircraft. If the need arises, they should also be able to connect an operator directly to the avionics tech to clarify squawk information or quote options.

3. Skilled Autopilot Leaders

Managing a team of autopilot technicians, coordinating test equipment and ensuring downtimes are met has its challenges. Verifying a squawk for a simple function check can exceed eight hours on some a/p computers. A skilled autopilot team leader can use their resources effectively to repair and return an autopilot on time and on budget.

Duncan Aviation’s Component Solutions team includes autopilot technical experts with the expertise and capabilities to work on many aircraft models, including Learjet, Citation, Falcon, Challenger, Hawker, Westwind/Astra, King Air, Piper Cheyenne and Rockwell Commander. Search our aircraft parts and capabilities list to verify our expertise on your autopilot. For more information please call Duncan Aviation's Avionics Customer Account Reps or Technical Representatives.

Kevin Miesbach is the Avionics and Instruments Shop Manager for Duncan Aviation’s Component Solutions team located in Lincoln, Neb. His aviation career began in 1985.

Tags: Avionics & Instruments, Customer Service, AOG

The Final Delivery Checklist for Aircraft Maintenance

Posted by Diane Heiserman on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 @ 11:56 AM

Contributed by Janet Beazley, Project Manager


What is on your MRO’s Final Delivery Checklist?

There is a lot of activity that continues to surround a project   after the aircraft maintenance or inspection is completed. It is during those final days and hours just before it is cleared to fly that a dedicated maintenance team will pull together to deliver the aircraft back to the operator, in most cases, in better condition than when it arrived.

Every aircraft Maintenance Repair Organization (MRO) has a checklist of activities they perform before handing the keys back to the operator. Below is what you might find on the Duncan Aviation Delivery Checklist.

The Final Delivery Checklist

  • Meetings at the aircraft with all team members
  • System function checks in the hangar
  • Pressurization of the aircraft
  • Pitot status checks
  • Weighing of the aircraft
  • Airframe and engine runs
  • Compass swings
  • Test flight
  • Paint touch up
  • Aircraft interior and exterior cleaning
  • Paperwork complete
  • Maintenance entries complete

No matter how you look at it, the delivery of the aircraft is an important part of each project. For the customer it can feel like a brand new aircraft, for the maintenance team it represents a huge sense of accomplishment and for the Project Manager, it’s all in a days work. It is all about Customer Service.

What's on your aircraft MRO's checklist?

For more information about business aircraft maintenance event planning, visit

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

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: Airframe Maintenance, Customer Service, Maintenance Event Planning


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