Maintenance is highly invisible, often intangible and rarely inexpensive. Yet, it is a mandatory requirement for any helicopter owner seeking to protect their interests. Across the aviation industry, maintenance ought to be considered as a form of investment. However, more often than not, helicopter owners prefer to avoid paying more on maintenance.
Is maintenance really necessary?
To better illustrate this critical point, allow me to share with you a personal experience before my time in the aviation industry.
During a short stint as a mechanic at a Porsche garage in Marseilles, I observed a car mechanic who was in the process of removing the engine of a 911 Turbo, screaming maniacally as he struggled to undo one of the engine bolts.
The gentleman in charge of the body paint shop turned around, looked at me and asked: ‘Do you know the difference between what I do and what he does?’ To which, I answered: ‘Yup, you are a specialist in body paint, and he’s an expert in the mechanical workings of the car.’
Without hesitation, he corrected me with an insight it has taken years to fully appreciate. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘The difference is that, when the client comes to pick up his car and sees the amazing paint work I’ve done, he pays the bill happily and doesn’t even attempt to haggle the price. Meanwhile, whenever my friend, the car mechanic, presents his bill, because the client can’t see the work that’s been done on the car, he will always haggle!’
The key point here is that people are reluctant to pay for something when they cannot immediately perceive its value, even when that hidden value is of far deeper importance.
Now, when it comes to helicopters, the cost of maintenance can be so onerous that clients will shudder at the thought of the final bill. At Uplifting Aviation, we see maintenance as an investment, particularly when it is planned and executed to the highest standards and it thoroughly delivers the key objectives. Specifically, helicopter maintenance should:
- Guarantee the technical integrity of the helicopter, thereby increasing and preserving safety levels;
- Improve the reliability of the helicopter;
- Add more value or limit depreciation of the helicopter; and
- Improve or at least maintain the helicopter’s performance throughout the ownership lifecycle.
All service centres must comply with either E.A.S.A. (European Aviation Safety Agency) or the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration), as well as their respective national aviation authority.
Typically, when a maintenance service centre seeks to offer services for a specific helicopter model, or to obtain the capability to support that model’s engines, components, avionics and/or cabin, it must have an agreement in place with the applicable regulator, e.g. E.A.S.A. Part 145. The agreement stipulates that service centres must have engineers who are qualified or type rated on the helicopter model, or who hold specific equipment qualification gained through training with either the manufacturer or Aviation Approved Part 147 training centres.
They also need to have the right tooling to maintain any specific helicopter, its engine(s), avionics and components as well as its mission equipment. They mandatorily must have access to the latest updated manuals, Airworthiness Directives (ADs), Service Bulletins (SBs) and Illustrated Parts Catalogues (IPCs).
Why Uplifting Aviation?
Now consider a scenario where you are choosing between two different service centres that have identical approval and capabilities for a specific helicopter, e.g. the Airbus H145. How can you tell which of these has the right processes in place, the right parts in stock and the best expertise and knowledge? Which one will be the most ethical and reliable in supporting the H145?
Uplifting Aviation has operated in this industry for 30 years, and we have built our core expertise in the field of maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft - helicopters and their engines. Prior to launching my business, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with several business jets and commercial airliners MRO’s, and pursued my mission with Pratt & Whitney Canada and Rolls Royce, where I gained the necessary knowledge to master this specific field.
Through our particular expertise in this field, Uplifting Aviation assists clients in ensuring maintenance expenditures are cost-effective and deliver the required results. We provide the following suite of maintenance services:
- Management of MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) services for airframes, engines, components, avionics, cabins and mission equipment for most helicopters manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopters, Leonardo, Sikorsky, MD Helicopters and Robinson Helicopters.
- Valuation and execution of any retrofit reconfiguration, e.g. repurposing or change of mission role and upgrade (S.T.C. – Embodiment of Supplemental Type Certificates).
- Sourcing and supply of helicopter engines and components on either an exchange or outright purchase basis.
- Scheduling and management of helicopter pre-purchase inspections.
- Undertaking of audits and evaluations of helicopter maintenance status.
Uplifting Aviation can deploy flexible solutions to meet clients’ maintenance requirements in a cost-effective manner. Click here to view the helicopters and engines we support.
Contact us to discuss how we can assure better results in the maintenance of your helicopters.