The aviation and airline industry as a whole has been talking about a significant shortfall globally in pilots over the next two decades, and that murmur has recently been rising closer to a shriek. The problem is that aviation maintenance technicians and mechanics are facing perhaps an even bleaker outlook of their own.
Boeing estimates that foreign object debris (FOD) causes $4 Billion in damage to aircraft per year. That’s billion with a “b”. The cases of FOD damage are varied in scope and intensity but it cannot be underestimated; it was FOD which brought down the Air France Concorde on July 25th, 2000. FOD is generally a preventable condition yet somehow it continues to cause billions in damage every year.
What exactly can we do to lower the workload on technicians in the industry? Assume that hiring new personnel for aircraft maintenance is out of the question, then where does that leave the MRO business model? The human component of the technician workforce is not going anywhere any time soon, if ever. So it the question which begs to be asked is where gains in efficiency and accuracy can be achieved. The answer is, as with so many established markets and technical segments, automation and emerging technology.
Now that 2018 is coming to a close, it is a good time to take a break from the monotony of daily operations and look around at the MRO industry: how far it has come, where it’s going, tech trends, and industry best practices. Let’s take a look at MRO products and services that will play an important role in 2019.
Making the decision to purchase your own aircraft, whether for personal use or commercial use, is a huge decision and should never be taken lightly. There are many variables in the decision making process to purchase, but there is also the option to lease aircraft. Much like leasing an automobile, aircraft leasing is not for every operator but it does make more sense than purchasing for some operators.
We’re going to take a look at the top ten leasing companies globally, but first we need to take a look at what types of financing is out there and how it differs from traditional aircraft purchasing to own.
Aviation will never be able to spare the work of real people. That’s certainly a good thing, there are certain skills that no machine on earth will ever be able to reproduce. But where people work, human factors sometimes get in the way of safety. We present you the “Dirty Dozen” of human factors and how to properly deal with them.
Airside flight operations are a challenging environment for ground support equipment at any airport, with all sorts of harsh conditions present. Blazing heat, freezing cold, driving rain, ice, snow, those are all the standard conditions. Military operations are not necessarily privy to worse conditions, but they are certainly subject to more dire conditions. When a military mission is ordered, it must be completed.
Military operations present the harshest environments in the world for ground support equipment, and if landside military operations are incredibly harsh, seaside and naval flight operations are the absolute harshest conditions imaginable. Salt water, constant humidity, storms, gale force winds, and remote with very little in the way of engineering support. Navy ground support equipment must be robust, durable, and practically no-maintenance. Oh, and compact.
When we think of aircraft tugs, it is generally for big jets, and if not for big jets then at least big private jets. But what about helicopters? Those strange, ungainly things are light like a dragonfly, right? Some are, but then again, some aren’t. While compact training and light observation helicopters are designed to be light, there are plenty of medium and heavy helicopters which tip the scales many times that of their lightweight cousins.