Aircraft Maintenance is the Key to Safety

Aircraft Maintenance is Key to Safety

We have tried in training to repeatedly tell pilots that the maintenance on their aircraft are the key to safety, step one.  No matter what a  great pilot you are and how well you know the systems of the aircraft if you do not use a mechanic or service facility that knows your airplane like it was their life on the line you have a severe weakness in the operation of your aircraft.

We look at the Beechcraft Baron twin engine aircraft as well as the Twin Cessna line and we constantly push that if that service facility has not “lived and breathed” that particular aircraft then you are shorting yourself on safety.  We consistently see aircraft that have had not just mistakes in operation procedures but egregious problems that are going to get people hurt due to maintenance. If you had to have heart surgery you would not use a general practitioner to work on your heart.  These large twin engine aircraft are just as complicated.  They have “quirks” that only a facility who is devoted to these aircraft know how to maintain them.  These high end shops know how to find problems before the problems occur.  These shops are well aware of the AD’s and service bulletins as they have been involved in these aircraft for years. They know to look where others don’t.  It is the old story that the more you deal with something the better you become. 

An example of this is the picture noted above.  The Twin Cessna turbocharged line have a serious problems with their exhaust system.  This is an AD with a fifty hour inspection.  The inspection is just not a “look see” it is a detailed examination of the system and the little signs that the exhaust will have a serious failure.  If you lose an exhaust system in these aircraft you will have a serious situation that will possibly cause a fire.  I have been involved in litigation regarding a problem like this.  In this case the exhaust leaked out of a connection catching the engine on fire.  Again, it was a maintenance “missed” problem.

I am not involved in creating business for facilities that work on these complicated aircraft.  What I am involved in is safety and directing pilots to take their planes at least every two to three annuals to a shop that has years of experience.  I am also going to advise pilots of shops that I know are going to “sham” the pilot.  I have sat in front of pilots for years in training and we, AST, own these aircraft and know where the great shops are.  The shops know  SAFETY.  When you load your family on an aircraft you need to think about this. 

Fly Safe.  Train Hard

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