Aircraft Maintenance Records Auditing

Pre-purchase inspections are common place in the turbine aircraft market. Included in these inspections is a physical inspection of the aircraft and a log book audit.

Our specialty is the review of the aircraft records. Where our weapon of choice was once a very expensive tool box, now it is the lap top assault computer complete with CD-ROM, phone modem and digital camera.

As a general rule this audit usually includes an Airworthiness Directive review, which more often than not, leads to a Service Bulletin Compliance Status review.

A review of the aircraft inspection status such as 300 hour, 600 hour inspections or Letter Check inspections. Most turbine aircraft operators refer to this as a Chapter 5 Maintenance and Inspection Status.

Also included in Chapter 5 is what is referred to as Life Limited Components or, Components that have special inspection requirements or specific overhaul time limits

Many engine components have life cycle limits, which if exceeded could result in catastrophic engine failure. These components must also be identified and accurately tracked

This sounds more and more complicated by the minute, you say? Well, it is, and it isn't. For someone that has years of experience performing these tasks, it has become more and more routine. Access to a good current aircraft maintenance library is an essential ingredient of a professional Aircraft log book audit, as is the use of a portable computer which, enables the auditor to travel to the site, and with several different aircraft Chapter 5 audit templates, allows the work to be accomplished in an efficient manner.

So, how long does all this take?

It really depends on the aircraft, it's age and the completeness of the log book entries. Recent experience has proven that a thorough audit usually takes five (5) to eight (8) working days. The results are a professionally prepared computer generated report that can also be used to track the maintenance requirements of the aircraft from the time that the audit is completed, forward.

Why spend the money for an independent audit? The broker showed me a computerized run that he just completed and it showed everything to be current.

Let's suppose you are the Chief Pilot for a corporation, and just six months ago, the "Boss" authorized you to purchase the best aircraft you can find for, let's say $1.5 million. You found an aircraft that appeared to be a perfect match for your operation. The Broker's computerized run indicated that you wouldn't have to spend any big money on the aircraft for 2 years. That was one of your requirements, remember?

 It is now time to take the aircraft in for it's first maintenance visit. You heard XYZ Aircraft Maintenance Shop was pretty good, so you took the aircraft there.

Well, as it turns out, XYZ is a good reputable shop dedicated quality aircraft and customers satisfaction. While they were researching your airframe log books, it was discovered that what the aircraft broker was calling a gear overhaul turns out to be just a reseal job on the gear....You now are 320 landings and 2 years past due.

But wait, we're not done yet...lookie here, you only have 18 cycles remaining on all the cycle limited compressor parts on the left engine. Holly Cow, how am I going to explain this to the "Boss"? He just bought this aircraft, and I told him he was getting a great airplane.

Is he simply going to fire me, and hire a new Chief Pilot, or is he going to tell me to sell the airplane and then fire me (better update my resume).

 The point here is, had a professional independent audit been performed (yes, it cost money) you would have been aware of the gear problem and of the engine parts about to cycle out. Armed with that information, you would have either negotiated a deep discount on the aircraft, had the broker bring the aircraft up to date, or continue to look elsewhere for your new (used) aircraft.

What types of aircraft have you audited?

This adventure began with corporate type jets such as Fan Jet Falcon 20's, Falcon 10's, and Lear Jet's. Due to the commuter airliner upgrades, we have gained considerable experience with the Beechcraft 1900's, & Fairchild 227 series.

We have experience on the JetStream 31 as well. It should be pointed out that we have the resources to competently audit many different aircraft, these are the ones that we have the most recent experience on.

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