4 Crucial Aspects of Airplane Maintenance

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hen business jets can range from used under $1 million to new super-jets at $99 million, you want to make sure your investment is in top shape.

After all, cracking your windshield in a car and paying about $120 is different than paying between $45,000 to $70,000—that’s more than 400 times the cost!

It begs the question of if airplane maintenance makes having a private jet worth it for your business. You likely have determined it will save money, in the long run, to own, operate, and maintain an airplane like a jet.

Maintenance accounts for $500,000 to $1,000,000 of a yearly budget to operate a business jet. Make sure you’re only paying for what you need to. Want to know some factors to keep costs down?

Keep reading to see our top picks.

1. Hangar Your Jet

Hangars for jets are very important, especially when it comes to protecting such a major investment. We all need a home, and a jet’s home is where the aircraft (and your peace of mind) enjoy a level of protection and better security. Additionally, maintenance can take place in a controlled environment, and where it is protected from the sun and elements. A plane’s worst enemies on the ground are the elements – for instance sun, rain, wind, hail, and other debris—and other planes.

Buying

If you’re looking for a hangar to buy to store or maintain your plane, there are a few things to consider. One of those is how often you fly and how often the plane is in the air. Another is how far the airport is from you or your business. You should also consider security, protection and the investment that you are making in owning, housing and operating the aircraft. 

If the weather in your area is often mild to fair, or at least consistent, especially if you’re flying often, an outdoor tie-down solution might be your cup of tea. Storing and parking outside is less expensive but you do expose your investment to the elements and therefore the likelihood of having to maintain damage due to the elements more often. Most likely, maintenance will increase and your paint-job will suffer.

Leasing

Leasing a private hangar provides the same protection as buying your hangar, and you could even get maintenance services or other services from the hangar owner. 

Finding hangars for rent could be difficult due to scarcity. Though, if you need a fiscal year or so to get the budget for purchasing a hangar of your own, this is a solution that keeps your plane in tip-top shape.

Requesting Hangar Space at FBOs 

When traveling to an FBO it’s important to know whether that FBO has hangar space available. In this arrangement, you get all the benefits of hangar space without the leasing or ownership costs. Also, FBOs like Republic Jet Center offer Part 145 maintenance solutions. Part 145 Repair Stations are maintenance facilities with a certificate issued by the FAA.  

While your aircraft may be sharing the hangar space with other airplanes of all types. Line Service Technicians will do a great job of protecting your asset as they reposition planes in and out of the hangar. 

2. Top-Notch Maintenance Team

It’s not a bad idea to keep a staff of maintenance crew for your jet. There are tons of checks to go over, and when the plane is “home” is a good time. What kind of checks?

  • Airframe
  • Powerplant
  • Propeller
  • Radio
  • Instrument
  • Accessory

Those are only the main points, too. As you may know, there are hundreds of items under each point. Having an ongoing relationship with a dedicated staff can save you more than their salaries in savings.

Pilots know how important it is to “getting to know your plane.” It is encouraged to keep open communications with your maintenance crews about your plane. Making communication a priority of your massive investment in transport is the biggest step to saving money on maintenance. Having a dedicated team maintain the plane ensures that repairs get done fast and keeps downtime to a minimum.

What’s the use of having a jet if it’s always in pieces?

Whether you have a team of your own, or you use a dedicated company, there will always be airplane maintenance requirements.

This means someone will have to take responsibility for making sure the plane is up to date on all its airplane maintenance needs.

3. Insurance

In something as expensive as a jet airplane, it’s obvious that insurance will be pricy as well. A way to keep your insurance down is by renting a private hangar or owning your own.

Having an outside tie-down, a T hangar, or a sharing option all eat into your insurance and creep the price up. It’s inevitable that you’ll get minor scratches at the least, no matter how careful the crew is in a shared hangar system.

Adding some hangar safety features like foam fire suppression systems can push those insurance prices even lower.

Try not to go with high deductibles only to get a low premium. Work with your broker on finding a good middle ground for premium and deductible. You don’t want to pay it all out of pocket, but at the same time, you won’t want to pay more for insurance than you do for the plane.

4. Upgrades and Add Ons

What are the top upgrades you can add to an older, cheaper “keeper” jet to make it about as good as a newer model? If you have an entry-level jet, here’s a few ways to keep it up to date or relevant:

  • Engine
  • Galley
  • Enhanced vision systems
  • Glass cockpit
  • In-flight connectivity

These also make sense because there’s no sense in wowing your potential customers, clients, and business partners with sub-par equipment and outdated features.

The Upgrades In Detail

In-flight Connectivity or IFC hardware tops the list of the most sought-after upgrades available for jets. A galley that you’ve upgraded from basically a snack cart to a nearly full-fledged kitchen can be a great selling point for a client, even in smaller jets.

As IPS displays and touch panels have changed phones, they’re also changing cockpits with glass cockpit upgrades and add-ons. While it isn’t quite to Telsa-level yet, instrumentation panels don’t look like they did even ten years ago and cost a fraction of the price.

Couple that with enhanced vision systems and you’ve got a high-tech safe-flying machine. Enhanced vision systems (EVS) and synthetic vision systems (SVS) are coming a long way, and keep you safe in the worst of weather conditions.

Last we have the heart of the plane, the engine (or powerplant). An upgraded engine, or a new one, could extend the service of the plane. An upgraded powerplant will likely decrease the cost of operation.

It’s also a quality-of-life improvement for refueling, flying distance, and more. If your engine is near it’s overhaul time, it might be worthwhile considering replacing it altogether.

Airplane Maintenance: Let’s Fly Away

It’s not easy owning a jet and taking care of airplane maintenance. There are a lot of factors involved and all of them have a high price-tag.

Why not do what most companies do with manufacturing and outsource it?

Republic Jet Center has you covered in the New York region with a convenient location in Farmingdale, New York. Located only 30 miles from Manhattan, we welcome owners and operators both to our Long Island airport, Republic Airport, or KFRG.

We’re confident Republic Jet Center is the perfect fit if you’re picking up passengers, buying, maintaining, or just to refuel. Contact us today and see for yourself!

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