NAFA member, George Kleros, Senior VP, Advisory Services for Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), discusses how you can plan ahead when it comes to aircraft maintenance.
Whether you are a long-time aircraft owner or operator, or a first-time buyer, your aircraft may remain grounded prior to or just after the sale. Current owners also may experience much longer than usual wait times for scheduled or unplanned maintenance. What factors are driving these delays, and what can you do?
An unprecedented number of aircraft transactions have occurred since late 2020 and are continuing through today. The pandemic-induced shortage of aviation parts continues, compounded by the war in Ukraine, which has strained the export of precious metal commodities from which parts are manufactured. And the decrease in available maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) capacity for airframe and engine work persists, driven by two factors: retirement of long-time workers, and the surge of new aircraft owners.
The last 21 months of increased flying and parts shortages have overloaded the engine shops, and rental engines are being used for much longer than anticipated. If your MRO facility is able to secure a rental, you may get only one engine to cover both overhauls. This would mean back-to-back shop visits, putting your aircraft out of service for twice as long as usual. When this is the only option, you may run out of operational time on the second engine waiting for your first engine to come out of the shop. Your flight or maintenance personnel can request the engine manufacturer for an extension to bridge the amount of time the engine may be used.
This article was originally published by Business Aviation Advisor on December 3, 2022.