There are approximately 31,000 helicopters active in the global fleet, excluding military craft. These whirlybirds provide excellent maneuverability, requiring a tiny space for landing and take-off. With the FAA clocking over 25 million general aviation flight hours per year, the rotary-wing aircraft often require regular maintenance and repair services for aircraft components to keep them in top shape.
You may have a damaged component that requires repair. Despite the urgency, you may dread having to find an MRO to fix the part. Calendar juggling aside, you may have to contend with power-by-the-hour programs and warranty requirements that may complicate your aircraft’s return to the skies.
Amidst the confusion, many aircraft owners tend to skimp on their background checks, making costly mistakes during the hiring process. Here are four common pitfalls to watch out for as you seek repair services for aircraft components.
1. Failing to Understand In-House Capacity
The technical capabilities of the staff may affect the quality of service that you receive. Most repair shops may not have 100% maintenance facilities in house and may have to outsource some services. Outsourcing any repair services for aircraft components may add to your AOG downtime. Inquire to find out the MRO’s capacity to repair the damaged component. What’s their timeline for Sikorsky Black Hawk parts? Does their internal quality assurance protocols meet the standard quality and engineering approved by the FAA?
2. Poor Communication
Efficient communication during the entire repair or replacement process is key to reducing your downtime. You may need to maintain an open communication channel with the repairs project manager. Accurate and on-time communication allows you to get alerts about the repair services for aircraft components in a manner and frequency most convenient for you. It also avoids any delays that may result from untimely approvals.
3. Ignoring Transparency
Repair services for aircraft components are often urgent and time-bound, with every minute the aero craft remains grounded, bleeding money from the coffers. You will need to find a helicopter spare parts supplier who is honest. Why did your component fail? What and how long will it take to repair or replace the component? What’s the labor rate for service rendered? While the questions may seem basic, they can help you determine the right fit for you.
4. Failing to Take an Active Role in the Repair Process
Most owners tend to take a seat back after the helicopter docks at the hangar. To significantly shorten the grounded time, you may need to become actively involved during the repair process. Are there any discrepancy approvals that you need to provide before the repairs? You may need to remain abreast of the solutions provided by the technicians. An active role may also streamline the sourcing of any helicopter replacement parts that may be required. You can further reduce the downtime and overall cost of repair.
Finding the right shop to carry out repair services for aircraft components is critical to get your helicopter off the ground. Avoiding the four mistakes above can help streamline the repair process. For more information, feel free to contact Rotair Aerospace Corporation.