Thursday, 23 July 2020

High Demand for Constant Aviation AOG Services

As the business aviation industry recovers, aircraft operators are increasingly turning to Constant Aviation’s AOG (aircraft on ground) mobile response team to help return idled aircraft to service. That is because aircraft parked for even a few weeks often develop system issues that need to be addressed. Mechanical malfunctions, engine troubles, electrical problems and software glitches are common on aircraft that have been idled, and they must be addressed before passengers can be accepted.

With its nationwide network of mobile technicians that dispatch out of 21 cities, Constant Aviation ensures a rapid response to most metropolitan areas. All tooling and equipment is contained within each Constant Aviation AOG vehicle, so the technician can service an aircraft wherever it might be sitting: at the operator’s hangar, at an FBO or out on a ramp.

“We’ve witnessed the business aviation rebound firsthand, and it has been dramatic” said Paul Witt, Constant Aviation Vice President of AOG Line Stations. “As flying has increased, our AOG division has been working at 120 percent capacity. That’s a big turnaround from March, when we were working at 30 percent capacity. There have been some significant hot spots where they are spending a lot of time, like the Bay Area, the Southeast and Chicago, and we have added technicians in Teterboro and Portland to help us handle the demand we’re seeing in the Northeast and on the West Coast.”

While these traditional business aviation destinations see the bulk of Constant Aviation’s AOG work, technicians are prepared to leave their vehicles behind and fly to remote locations to get the job done. Within the past year, AOG technicians have serviced aircraft stranded as far as Peru, Alaska and the Caribbean. These missions require careful planning and problem solving to transport tooling to and from the worksite and make the repair.

“Our experienced technicians love a good challenge,” said Witt. “They will come together as a team to find a solution to any situation, and we’ve seen a lot of unique situations during the coronavirus pandemic. We are hearing from a lot of operators who parked their aircraft in March at resort areas up in the Rockies or down in the Southwest. They know they need to do more than kick the tires and fire the engines, but each aircraft has different return-to-service needs. The AOG division is just a phone call away to assess the situation and help out.”

Increased Embraer Capabilities

Most aircraft maintenance manuals contain recommendations for items to check every two weeks during prolonged parking, along with information about return-to-service after a prolonged time out of operation. Operators should also be aware of any manufacturer service bulletins issued while the aircraft is out of service.

Constant Aviation’s AOG team increased its capabilities this month by becoming the first provider outside an Embraer service center to acquire the necessary tooling kits to address Embraer’s recent service bulletin. Tooling can be shipped overnight anywhere in the country, where it is picked up by an AOG technician en route to an idled aircraft.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Embraer and in-house experts with decades of experience on Embraer airframes, so we were able to jump on this service bulletin and quickly act,” said Witt. “Embraer is paying for the kits and labor, so all the operator has to do is reach out to the AOG team to schedule a date for the installation.”

Looking Ahead

While the business aviation recovery accelerates, so too will the increase in AOG demand. Witt sees each continuing to trend up over the next few months.

“As private aviation operators attract more flyers from the commercial airlines, they are going to find themselves flying more hours to new destinations,” he said. “Constant Aviation AOG technicians know the ins and outs of airfields all over the country. They are a 24/7/365 resource anytime you might not be able to fly your aircraft to one of our maintenance hubs.”

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