Aviation is the world’s safest mode of transportation. Aircraft maintenance plays a large part in ensuring the safety of our industry.
Charter operators are often asked about their standards for aircraft maintenance. Every machine is susceptible to wear and tear — airplanes are no different. We’d like to highlight some of the most important aspects of keeping our fleet ready for service.
One of aviation’s biggest assets is the standards we hold to regarding inspections and regulatory oversight. Our maintenance program ensures the safety and comfort of our passengers and our flight crews. Without it, our standing with the FAA and our reputation in the industry would be in jeopardy.
Here is a closer look at our approach to private jet maintenance:
Your Flight Crew, The First Line of Defense
Before each flight, before you arrive to board your aircraft, the flight crew works together to prepare the jet for flight. This preparation is a coordinated effort of routine aircraft systems tests and exterior inspections. Evidently, it serves as the first line of defense to detect any anomalies with the aircraft. Some things your flight crew look for:
- Flight Deck Systems — Our Gulfstreams are equipped with every safety feature required of modern transport category aircraft. Your pilots rely on these systems to fly safely. To ensure each system works properly, the pilots conduct function tests of every safety feature built into the airplane.
- Exterior Components — The exterior preflight inspection is a methodical inspection of all critical components: engines, landing gear, flight control hydraulic actuators, lights, and windows. Additionally, If a pilot finds something like leaking fluids, worn-out tires, or flight control components that show signs of wear, they will contact maintenance support for further assistance to remedy the problem.
- Safety Equipment — Our airplanes contain built-in safety equipment that requires flight crew attention before every flight. We test passenger emergency oxygen systems before every flight, along with emergency escape doors, emergency lights, and backup safety features for the landing gear and flight controls. Undeniably, This ensures everyone’s safety if the most unlikely events were ever to occur.
Charter operators are required to remove aircraft from service at 100 flight-hour intervals to conduct a more thorough inspection of systems. These tasks are completed by qualified aircraft maintenance personnel in the hangar at our maintenance headquarters. If problems are identified, components are repaired or replaced as necessary, and the aircraft returns to service until the next inspection interval.
During these inspections, service panels on the airplane are opened, inspection scopes are run through hard-to-reach places, and paperwork is generated for tracking purposes. Each increasing flight hour interval requires deeper, more thorough inspections. Any issues identified during one of these required inspection periods get recorded within our aircraft maintenance program, and the problem is corrected.
Hot Section Inspections, the Third Line of Defense
TBO (time before overhaul) is an engine manufacturer’s way of saying: “The engines on your aircraft have a useful life that can be measured by the number of hours they operate.” TBO varies from engine to engine. As this timeframe approaches, our engines get a thorough inspection by technicians with manufacturer-specific training and qualifications.
These inspections can take up to a week due to the complex processes involved. If no concerns arise after this point, the engines get a clean bill of health to operate until the manufacturer’s TBO. This inspection is a cost-effective way to identify and replace worn engine components before the overhaul is due.