People reading my earlier blog on continuous airworthiness are perhaps familiar with my comparison to car maintenance. Why not continue on this route and use this similarity with selling and buying an aircraft. This too,to some extent, can be compared with buying a car. Both are associated with (a lot of) emotion, trust, personal experience and a reliable and solid technical background. In the end, the technical status, age and “mileage” of the aircraft are key drivers that determine its value, similar to your car. Exactly these parameters are kept track off during the life of an aircraft and need to be maintained, especially when the aircraft changes ownership or operator. If you miss out on a mandatory one, the aircraft is not airworthy. If you miss out on an economical driver the value of the aircraft or component can drop, and repair cost are much higher. Let’s investigate further. 

What is the aircraft transfer process

What the general public not often know is that the aircraft they fly in is not owned by the airline although it looks that way. As it is a capital investment to buy an aircraft many airlines lease the aircraft for a certain period of time. Thus, aircraft are being sold, leased, returned back to the lessor, repossessed or even dismantled more often than people would think.

Operators and aircraft owners worldwide are faced with this almost day to day. A tough burden of phasing in and phasing out aircraft into their organization. One key exercise in this process is to assess the technical records, each and every time with the goal to check the airworthiness and in the end the value of it all. A similar process takes place when an airline on a migration process endeavors to transfer all the data to a new maintenance management software system.   

What data are we talking about?

The tech records data is the complete package of maintenance and operational data (work orders, work packages, maintenance slips, pilot reports, repair orders, shop reports, modifications, directives) created since the construction and during the operational life of the aircraft. In simple wording, if an action or event is not recorded or traceable the work is not performed and the aircraft is not airworthy.

What makes it complex?

Change of ownership (or operator) is a complex process where finance meets the technical state. ‘What is the remaining value?’, is a question often heard! This is where the complexity comes in and a lot of research and negotiations are taking place and the creation of technical and financial overviews. Most of the time people are researching databases and even the paper archives to come up with that single piece of proof required. A labour intensive process but worthwhile as the reward for finding it can be quite high in terms of finance and technical state.

The hidden risk

Why do I tell all this? Well because there is a thing that poses a certain threat to this system. All this data is kept track of in some sort of software system. Although we are living in the digital age there is still an enormous amount of manual labor associated with getting the right data into this software systems or the migration of this data to another software system. Human interaction can lead to errors which in the end can result in errors in the remaining value or even worse the airworthiness state of the equipment.

Lessons learned

When accepting aircraft into the organization there is one fundament that has to be ready, the engineering department! They have to prepare the basic data in the system where all the rest is based on such as the maintenance program, part numbers and modifications. In the end this so called “configuration tree” is what  ties everything together so you are in control now and in the future. You can see this as a sound blue print where you can built all current requirements on and any possible future requirements.

How can this be done as effective and efficient as possible

There is only one answer to this question, the EXSYN Titan solution, effective and efficient in one go! This is not an advertisement, it is the plain simple truth. Stop with the ‘do it yourself excel and access method’, done often by advanced key users that are at the forefront of the data migration exercise. Help them out and alleviate them with this burden and invest in a solution that does the job for you. The key users can spend their time on much more valuable exercises.