Have you ever wondered what’s going on when a business jet is in maintenance? We can tell you the answer: A lot.
Let us give you a more detailed insight using the so-called 8C Check of a Bombardier Global Express as an example.
The 8C Check is due every 10 years and it involves hundreds of different maintenance tasks. Scheduled down time of the aircraft is around two months with 2’500 man hours of work planned – and these figures don’t include the rectification of possible findings.
The whole interior of the cabin is removed to grant access for structural inspections. At the same time, the landing gear gets removed for a complete overhaul. Hydraulic and electrical systems are checked and kilometres of electrical wiring and flight control cables get a careful and thorough inspection.
Some aircraft owners use the downtime to install upgrades like a new entertainment system, a refurbished interior, a new external paint or to comply with mandates of the relevant Aviation Authorities.
When planning the 8C Check several aspects need to be considered, the most important one being to properly and carefully evaluate which Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) is authorized to perform the job and at the same time has the capability and holds the approvals for the envisioned scope of work.
The MRO itself also has quite some topics to cope with when an aircraft comes in for the 8C: Is there enough qualified staff available? Is the support of third party contractors required? How’s the situation regarding spare parts? Are they on stock, can they easily be delivered at short notice or are they hard to get? In particular, parts availability (or rather their non-availability….) can lead to delays which are hated by all parties involved – the aircraft owner, the operator and the MRO.
Thus a close working relationship between the MRO and the operator’s maintenance planning and supervising staff is of utmost importance in order to avoid these dreaded delays.
And when then finally the aircraft is being pulled out of the hangar it’s ready to get airborne and fly again all over the world – until the next maintenance becomes due.