New Airbus Helicopter CEO Guillaume Faury and the head of its U.S. arm, Marc Paganini, were visibly penitent when discussing the company’s traditionally problematic customer service yesterday at Heli-Expo. Faury left no doubt that he is committed to focusing more company resources and attention on product support. “It is time for new priorities,” he said. Paganini echoed that sentiment, admitting, “We need to do better.”
Maintenance and Modifications
News and issues about aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), covering all segments of the aviation industry; and modifications for aircraft and engines. Subjects include product support of aircraft, engines and avionics, MRO company mergers, acquisitions, announcements and personnel, Airworthiness Directives, Supplemental Type Certificate approvals and other topics.
Mid-Continent Instrument (Booth No. 3636) has received FAA and EASA approval for its new True Blue Power TB17 advanced lithium-ion engine start and main ship battery. The TB17 is the first lithium-ion battery to receive certification for general aviation applications. The 16-pound battery is designed for light turbine and piston aircraft and weighs up to 45 percent less than lead-acid or nicad batteries. The company says the TB17 is designed for less maintenance, lower cost and longer life than traditional batteries.
Rolls-Royce has signed multi-year service agreements with four large fleet operators, encompassing operational support for more than 220 M250-engine powered rotorcraft. Yesterday at the company’s booth, Tim McGrath, the engine OEM’s vice president of customer business, signed the agreement with Mike O’Reilly, president of Calgary-based Eagle Copters, which specializes in sales, leasing, MRO and STC manufacturing and owns 15 M250-powered helicopters including the Bell 206B, 206L3 and 407.
Landmark Aviation hosted an open house at its newest acquisition on February 20. The Houston-based FBO/MRO network recently took possession of the former R.J. Reynolds flight department facility at Winston-Salem, N.C.’s Smith Reynolds Airport (KINT). The hangars will be used for MRO activities, but also include office space, a conference room and an avionics shop. Attending the open house celebration were Landmark v-p of operations Ted Hamilton and v-p of MRO, Skip Madsen and members of the Forsyth County Airport Commission, including executive director Mark Davidson.
Berlin-based Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) opened its new line service operation in Zurich, Switzerland, on February 20. Following a two-day review by German aviation officials acting on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the facility was cleared to begin operations. ExecuJet Europe has partnered with LBAS to offer line maintenance support for Bombardier business jets, including the Learjet 40, 45 and 60, as well as the Challenger series and Global Express, XRS, Global 5000 and Global 6000.
Precision Aviation Group (PAG) has expanded its footprint in Australia, adding 5,000 sq ft to its facility in Brisbane. The Atlanta-based company now has 10,000 sq ft under roof at Brisbane, and the expansion will allow for a new repair station for its Precision Accessories and Instruments Australia (PAI-AU) division. That unit joins PAG’s Precision Heliparts division (PHP-AU), which began serving the Australian rotary-wing market in January last year.
Yukon, Oklahoma-based maintenance provider Legacy Aviation has doubled-down on its investment in supporting the Beechcraft King Air line. Company president and CEO R.J. Gomez said, “Our market research indicates that nearly 600 King Airs are based within a 500-mile radius of our facility.
FlightSafety International (FSI) received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Embraer Legacy 500 maintenance training program on February 21. Embraer Executive Jets factory and authorized service center personnel are already receiving training on the under-development Legacy 500, and FSI will begin providing training services to operators of the new jet immediately following its certification.
Swiss MRO and FBO specialist Air Service Basel has received its maintenance approval certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands. Air Service Basel is also a Beechcraft authorized service center for King Airs. CEO Claudio Lasagni said the CAACI approval complements existing EASA Part 145 and FAA repair station approvals held by Air Service Basel. “By adding this approval, we meet the increasing demand of our customers for flexible line and base maintenance services,” he said.
Jet Support Services has updated its online customer portal under Phase 2 of a MyJSSI web redesign effort. Announced at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif., this week, the enhancements include improved functionality and are designed to make it easier for JSSI clients to report flight hours and manage their contracts. The improvements are the result of customer feedback, according to Joy Nebel, v-p of client services for JSSI.