As with any vehicle, helicopters do degrade over time. Indeed, helicopters are more heavily relied upon than many realize, with around 31,000 existing in the global fleet, excluding military helicopters. Outside of the military fleet, helicopters are used for search and rescue purposes, to evacuate those who are severely injured or ill and take them to hospitals, and even for personal use. Where planes cannot access many locations, the small size and maneuverability of helicopters make them vital for a number of different functions. At the same time, some pay for helicopter rides, simply enjoying the process of moving throughout the sky and looking down at what’s below. Though helicopters rarely crash, it’s certainly possible for them to do so. Helicopters must be inspected on a regular basis, though how frequently they’re inspected may depend on what the helicopters are being used for, how often they fly, and where they’re being flown. Ultimately, it’s important that any company using helicopters has a reliable helicopter spare parts supplier on hand so that helicopters can easily be repaired as needed. But how do you decide on what supplier to use?
1. The Variety Of Parts
Ideally, most would like to buy as many helicopter parts from one place as possible. Those who use helicopters on a regular basis may very well keep or refurbish multiple different types of helicopters. Therefore, if a supplier is able to supply parts for different types of helicopters, versus just one type, they make life much more convenient for clients. For example, if a helicopter spare parts supplier supplied only Black Hawk parts, a company later looking for other Sikorsky parts would have add on an additional supplier. Working with a diverse supplier means that clients can make a single order that will resolve many problems.
Of course, not all suppliers of helicopter replacement parts are the same. Many operate with different standards and source their helicopter parts differently as well. But the fact is that an accredited helicopter spare parts supplier is held to a different standard compared to those that operate simply within their own standards. A trustworthy, reputable supplier will provide only FAA-PMA approved helicopter parts. This means that you’ll be able to know that the parts you’re buying have been inspected and approved before being sold and have undergone rigorous testing. Only after the proper amount of testing can you be sure that the parts you’re buying are of the quality necessary, and unless a supplier is accredited you can’t be sure that they’re conducting that testing.
3. Quality Control
Continuing along the lines of testing, quality control is a crucial factor that any reputable helicopter spare parts supplier should prioritize. You need to look at any supplier you’re considering and ensure that they have a department solely devoted to inspecting the parts they sell and ensure that they are of the highest quality. When buying helicopter parts, you’re essentially trusting the supplier that you work with, and you shouldn’t do this unless you know exactly what they’re doing to address the quality of their parts.
4. Experience And Reputation
A supplier may offer tempting prices. But it’s important for you to remember that there is such a thing as “too good to be true”, and a supplier’s prices may be low simply to generate sales before its shortcomings are discovered. Therefore, you need to be sure that your supplier, even if it’s somewhat more expensive than others, is experienced. While some newer suppliers are high quality, a more experienced supplier is less likely to sell parts that haven’t been properly tested or to make mistakes when sourcing their parts. Furthermore, many experienced suppliers often have access to a more extensive range of helicopter parts, compared to newer suppliers which may very well only sell newer parts.
Helicopter parts are not the types of items that anyone should attempt to skimp on. Buying parts simply because they’re cheaper could lead to disaster. It’s important that the supplier you work with is trustworthy, experienced, and ethical.