Your home aircraft hangar should have expert maintenance crews available on site. At large international airports there are likely multiple independent aircraft maintenance companies that are available to provide maintenance to private and business jet owners.
Just like ground vehicles, airplanes require regular inspections and maintenance to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on board, as well as to keep the aircraft in mint condition.
Scheduling regular inspections with your maintenance provider will ensure any potential issues are properly addressed before they become costly safety hazards.
If you’re a private jet or business jet owner, it’s imperative that you learn as much as you can about aircraft maintenance options at regular jet destinations or your home port.
The Importance of Private Jet Maintenance
In-flight mechanical errors can lead to dangerous and life-threatening consequences. If your car runs out of fuel because of a faulty fuel gauge, you’ll probably be stranded in a parking lot waiting for a friend or family member to give you a lift to the nearest gas station. The situation is far more serious in an aircraft.
In addition to ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members, regular aircraft maintenance helps:
- Prevent flight cancellations and a loss of revenue
- Maximize the aircraft’s longevity and value for future resale
- Build trust among passengers and crew members
How Often Should Your Private or Business Jet Undergo Maintenance?
Your aircraft manufacturer will determine how often your jet should undergo routine maintenance. Establishing appropriate maintenance intervals depends on several factors, including the make and model of the aircraft, the aircraft’s age, the total number of hours flown and the total number of landings.
The manufacturer should have recommendations based on the above factors. They can recommend appropriate aircraft maintenance intervals, as well as time between overhauls (TBO). Time between overhauls refers to the recommended number of flight hours before the engines and other significant aircraft components need to be taken apart and carefully examined.
The last step in the process is getting the maintenance program specific to your aircraft approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Once approved, the manufacturer should provide you with an inspection guide so you can keep up with all maintenance requirements.
Aircraft on Ground (AOG) Maintenance Offers the Ideal Opportunity for Cabin Upgrades
One of the many benefits of having private jet maintenance performed is the opportunity it provides for cabin equipment upgrades. Since the aircraft will be out of commission anyways, it often makes sense to install new display technology, lighting, cabin management systems, network capabilities and other IFEC technologies at a time when those enhancements won’t hinder flight scheduling.
Which Services Are Typically Included in a Private Jet Maintenance Program?
While no aircraft maintenance program is the same, many private jet programs include the following services:
- Scheduled and unscheduled maintenance
- Engine inspections
- Part replacements
- Part repairs
- Pre-purchase inspection
- Procurement of parts
- Electronics installation and troubleshooting
- Cleaning and detailing
Is DIY Aircraft Maintenance an Option?
Even though many private jet repairs and inspections must be done by professional maintenance providers, there’s also several basic maintenance tasks aircraft operators may choose to take care of on their own or with internal crew.
For instance, crew can keep the cabin of a private jet spotless by following a regular cleaning routine. This routine may include things like wiping down surfaces, vacuuming carpets, cleaning windows with special aviation glass cleaners and cleaning seats with leather care products.
A jet’s exterior can also be cleaned by thoroughly spraying it down with water to remove dirt and debris. After an aircraft has been washed it can be coated with wax that will help protect its hull from dangerous snow and ice.
Other than cleaning your jet’s interior and exterior, the FAA permits aircraft owners and operators to perform these tasks:
- Change the engine oil
- Repair or replace navigation light bulbs
- Repair or replace landing light bulbs
- Lubricate the airframe
- Change side windows
- Grease the wheel bearings
- Replace landing-gear tires
- Replace GPS navigation
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