Small Business Suffering from Shortages, Panel Finds - While workforce shortages have focused on airline and larger operator needs, they are also beginning to have a significant impact on small businesses and their surrounding communities, agreed industry leaders testifying before a congressional panel today. Led by chairman Steve Knight (R-C
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FOCUS ON MRO - September 26, 2018
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Small Business Suffering from Shortages, Panel Finds

While workforce shortages have focused on airline and larger operator needs, they are also beginning to have a significant impact on small businesses and their surrounding communities, agreed industry leaders testifying before a congressional panel today. Led by chairman Steve Knight (R-California), the panel at the House Small Business Committee’s contracting and workforce subcommittee explored the “troubled skies” affecting maintainers, airports, small operators, and flight schools. 

Sarah Oberman Bartush, chief marketing officer and business development director for Camarillo, California-based CI Jets, outlined how the shortages have been harming her business on multiple fronts: from the charter operation that lost its two most senior pilots to the airlines; to its flight school that has lost 19 instructors to corporate and regional operators over the past three years and now has a waiting list for flight instruction; to a maintenance shop that has work stacked up from a lack of technicians.

The time of reckoning on the maintenance front will be in 2022, noted Brett Levanto, vice president of communications for the Aeronautical Repair Station Association. That is when the demand for technicians is anticipated to outpace available supply. But repair stations are already feeling the pinch, Levanto said, making the situation all the more concerning.

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MAGnificent Interior Awarded STC for Bell 505

A VIP interior designed for the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X by Mecaer Aviation Group (MAG) has received STC approval from the FAA, EASA, and Brazil's ANAC. The interior, dubbed MAGnificent, features modifications to seating, interior door panels, carpet, and storage areas. The addition of an overhead passenger service unit provides reading lights and outlets for air conditioning.

“The 505 excels on so many levels, and now with an option for a high-end interior, the potential is endless. The demand for our interior has been remarkable,” said Armando Sassoli, co-general manager of Mecaer Aviation Group.

As an optional upgrade, the STC allows the interior to be installed in new or used aircraft. MAG has previously applied its MAGnificent interior to the Bell 429 and in-development Bell 525 Relentless. Lead times for the kits designed at MAG’s facility in Italy are set around five months. Completion of the installations occurs at MAG’s FAA Part 145 facility in Philadelphia.

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AviationManuals Streamlines ASAP Reporting for Bizav

AviationManuals has gone live with its Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) offering for business aviation operators in cooperation with the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) ASAP, the company announced today. This effort combines the FAA/ACSF ASAP with AviationManuals safety management system (SMS) software for one-stop reporting.

“This offering seamlessly integrates the ACSF ASAP and our SMS platform, creating a streamlined reporting channel,” said AviationManuals CEO Mark Baier. “Business aviation operators can submit ASAP reports via our cloud-based ARC SMS software and iPad app. This data is then reviewed directly by ACSF’s ASAP team.”

The ACSF ASAP allows U.S. Part 91 and 135 operators to participate in a voluntary safety reporting agreement with the FAA to help improve safety. ACSF aggregates the data to track safety trends and then relay that data to operators for action.

“Our mission is clear: to promote the highest level of aviation safety,” said ACSF president Bryan Burns. “With all the flight reporting required by business and charter operators, streamlining processes where you can is a win-win scenario for the industry. Now ASAP submissions can be made directly through AviationManuals’ SMS software, eliminating the need for double entries.”

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Duncan Adds To AOG Services

Duncan Aviation has expanded its AOG service options with new engine rapid response teams in the Tampa, Florida, and Columbus, Ohio areas, with another to be established soon in the Houston area.

The Nebraska-based MRO provider claims it has the world’s largest independent business aviation AOG service network, with 27 satellite avionics shops and workaway stations and 16 engine rapid response teams. As part of that total, the company recently added a satellite avionics shop in Bedford, Massachusetts, and upgraded its Austin, Texas workaway station to a full-fledged avionics shop with its own repair station certificate.

“We have 115 avionics technicians in our satellite network and 35 engine technicians who work in our rapid response services,” said Mark Nelson, the company’s satellite operations manager. “With our strategically placed facilities and offices, a Duncan Aviation team is no more than 150 nautical miles from the top 100 busiest business jet airports in the United States.” He added that the company’s satellite shops can perform complex avionics modifications, including ADS-B upgrades, at its locations or even in a customer’s hangar.

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Sky Valet Completes Ibiza FBO Renovation

European FBO operator Sky Valet has completed a major renovation of its FBO in the business aviation terminal at Ibiza Airport in Spain’s Balearic Islands. The company, one of two service providers at the tourism destination, moved into the terminal a year ago and immediately began the modernization project.

Its remodeled facility offers 6,200 sq ft (575 sq m) of space for luxury passenger lounges, dedicated security screening, conference room, offices, and crew lounge with snooze rooms and showers, as well as an additional 2,150-sq-ft (200-sq-m) welcome and transit area.

“Ibiza is an increasingly attractive destination for VIP passengers who come here seeking another business travel experience,” said facility manager Edouard Cubero. “We must meet the highest standards, while managing a significant passenger flow volume.”

Sky Valet Spain also offers full ramp services for aircraft of any type with its dedicated handling team. The company, which is operated by France-based Aeroports De La Cote D’Axur Group, has 22 locations throughout France, Spain, and Portugal.

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Metrojet Receives Mx Nod from Aruba's Aviation Agency

Metrojet’s MRO facility in Hong Kong has received approval from Aruba’s Department of Civil Aviation to conduct maintenance on Gulfstream and Bombardier business jets registered in Aruba. The approval is expected to help foster regional growth of P4-registered aircraft, since Aruba offers aircraft registration through domicile for foreign operators.

“Metrojet is committed to optimizing our capacity continuously, providing quality and cost-competitive options for customers in the region,” said Lanny Schindelmeiser, the general manager of Metrojet Hong Kong MRO.

The agency approval encompasses maintenance to be performed on the Gulfstream G650/650ER, G550, GV, G450, and the G200 series, as well as the Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000/Express and Challenger 604/605 and 850. Metrojet is additionally authorized to perform maintenance of aircraft registered in Macau, Thailand, the Philippines, Bermuda, Canada, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, and San Marino.

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Latitude Technologies Earns FAA STC for Satcom Solution

Canadian avionics manufacturer Latitude Technologies has received an FAA STC with approved model list of Part 23 aircraft for its SkyNode S200 suite of satellite communication and tracking solutions. The STC also supports the installation of the IONode flight data monitoring system, which can provide fully automated data gathering and distribution, real-time alerts for flight operations, and maintenance quality assurance, including fuel management programs.

According to the Victoria, B.C.-based company, the S200 includes an internal fast-fix 20 channel WAAS GPS receiver, and provides multiple voice communication interface options.

Among the business airplanes supported by the STC by both the FAA and Transport Canada are the Embraer Phenom 100 and 300, Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Caravan and Grand Caravan, and Viking Series 400 Twin Otter. Rotorcraft include the Bell 204, 205, 206, 212, 214, 407 and 412, and Airbus AS350, AS355, EC130B4, and EC135. For pressurized aircraft installations, Latitude also offers an additional library of antenna installation STCs.

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Flying Colours Finishes Third Global 8C Inspection

Flying Colours has completed a third 8C check on a Bombardier Global at the company’s facility in Canada. The two others were completed within the past 12 months. The 10-year heavy maintenance inspection required the aircraft to be stripped for full structural inspection, including removing the interior. Flying Colours redelivered the third Global at the end of July and expects additional 8C inspections for 2019.

“We know there will be a significant number of Global C-checks due next year, so we have readied the team with specific training and added extra equipment, including a customized tail-dock, to meet demand. As a Bombardier authorized service facility, we are well positioned to support the upcoming mandatory checks,” said Flying Colours executive vice president Eric Gillespie.

The latest 8C check involved fully overhauling the landing gear, replacing cabin seats, exterior paint, and refurbishing and refinishing interior items. Bombardier Challengers and Learjets, as well as Dassault Falcons, are also undergoing heavy maintenance checks at the company’s Canada and U.S. facilities. Flying Colours has the capability to provide “interior modifications and technical upgrades in parallel, which minimizes the aircraft downtime, helping the owners to save time and money,” explained Gillespie.

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Count on AIN for Full Coverage of NBAA

As ever, you can count on AIN for full coverage of NBAA-BACE 2018. Our team will publish three of our award-winning daily NBAA Convention News editions at the show on October 16, 17, and 18. We will also have comprehensive real-time reporting of all the top news at AINonline.com and in our daily e-newsletters. If you are an exhibiting company that wants to share news or propose pre-show interviews and briefings please contact show editor Chad Trautvetter.

Recent Airworthiness Directives
AD Number: Transport Canada CF-2018-24
Manufacturer: Bombardier Business Aircraft
Model(s): Challenger 600
Published Date: September 20, 2018
Effective Date: October 4, 2018
 

Adds a new procedure in the aircraft flight manual operating limitations section that requires activation of the wing anti-ice system if the outside air temperature is 5 degrees Celsius or below while the aircraft is on the ground. Action is intended to prevent takeoff with contaminated wings.

AD Number: EASA 2018-0209
Manufacturer: Airbus Helicopters
Model(s): AS332C/C1, AS332L/L1/L2
Published Date: September 21, 2018
Effective Date: October 5, 2018
 

Requires modification of the draining system of fuel tank compartments by removing the drain plugs located under the bottom structure.

AD Number: EASA 2018-0206
Manufacturer: Airbus Helicopters
Model(s): AS350, EC130, AS355
Published Date: September 20, 2018
Effective Date: October 4, 2018
 

Applies to all derivatives and all serial numbers of AS350, EC130, and AS355 helicopters equipped with a main rotor mast (MRM) having P/N 350A37-1290-XX, where XX can be any numerical combination, and S/N as listed in Alert Service Bulletin 62.00.42, EC 130 ASB 62A017, or AS 355 ASB 62.00.37. Requires a one-time inspection to verify correct installation of the MRM upper bearing retaining rings and, pending this check, repetitive inspections of the MRM upper bearing sealant bead.

AD Number: EASA 2018-0208
Manufacturer: Leonardo Helicopters
Model(s): AB139, AW139, AW169, AW189
Published Date: September 20, 2018
Effective Date: September 27, 2018
 

Applies to AB139 and AW139 helicopters equipped with an emergency flotation system (EFS) float assembly having P/N 3G9560V00332, 3G9560V00432, 3G9560V01432, or 3G9560V01532; AW169 equipped with an EFS float assembly having any P/N; and AW189s equipped with an EFS float assembly having P/N 8G9560V00331 or 8G9560V00431. Requires removal of each pin-puller of the inflation system and replacement with a serviceable part. AD also prohibits installation of an affected part on a helicopter.

AD Number: FAA 2018-19-08
Manufacturer: Leonardo Helicopters
Model(s): AW189
Published Date: September 21, 2018
Effective Date: October 26, 2018
 

Requires inspecting the tail gearbox fitting for a crack. Prompted by a report of a crack on a tail gearbox fitting that was found during a scheduled inspection.

AD Number: FAA 2018-19-05
Manufacturer: Dassaut Aviation
Model(s): Falcon 900
Published Date: September 21, 2018
Effective Date: October 26, 2018
 

Requires revising the maintenance or inspection program to incorporate new and more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations.

AD Number: FAA 2018-19-09
Manufacturer: Sikorsky
Model(s): S-92
Published Date: September 25, 2018
Effective Date: October 30, 2018
 

Supersedes but retains requirements of AD 2017-14-03, which mandated an inspection and reduced the retirement lives of certain landing gear components. New AD reduces the retirement lives of additional landing gear components and requires repeating the inspection. Prompted by a revised analysis of the fatigue life of the landing gear.

AD Number: FAA 2018-19-10
Manufacturer: Airbus Helicopters
Model(s): AS355E, AS355F/F1/F2, AS355N
Published Date: September 25, 2018
Effective Date: October 30, 2018
 

Requires measuring a vibration level in the tail rotor drive. Prompted by reports of bearing degradation.

AD Number: EASA 2014-0118R1
Manufacturer: Bell
Model(s): 212, 412/412EP
Published Date: September 25, 2018
Effective Date: September 25, 2018
 

Supersedes but retains requirements of Emergency AD 2014-0118-E, which mandated repetitive inspections of nuts (P/N MS21042L4) that connect a flexible coupling with the coupling adapter on the engine-to-transmission drive shaft line and replacement of each affected part with a serviceable part having a different P/N. Updated AD includes instructions to also replace nuts having P/N MS21042L5 with P/N NAS9926-5L.

AD Number: EASA 2018-0210-E (Emeregency)
Manufacturer: Airbus Helicopters
Model(s): EC135, EC635
Published Date: September 25, 2018
Effective Date: September 27, 2018
 

Applies to all EC135 and EC635 models, except EC135P3H, EC635P3H, EC135T3H, and EC635T3H variants. Requires a one-time inspection of the Goodrich electrical hoist carrier assembly and, depending on findings, replacement of the hoist carrier assembly. Also requires the same inspection before installation or reinstallation of an affected part on a helicopter.

AINalerts News Tips/Feedback: News tips may be sent anonymously, but feedback must include name and contact info (we will withhold name on request). We reserve the right to edit correspondence for length, clarity and grammar. Send feedback or news tips to AINalerts editor Chad Trautvetter.
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