Nondestructive testing, or NDT, is critical to the success of aircraft maintenance projects today. There is some form of NDT on nearly every inspection. That makes Duncan Aviation’s NDT services some of the most requested services in-house at our three MRO locations in Battle Creek, Michigan (BTL), Lincoln, Nebraska (LNK), and Provo, Utah (PVU), and on the road to customers around the country.
Every day, each team is kept busy with scheduled inspections but remains flexible to be able to handle last-minute requests, many of which involve travel to an aircraft or customer hangar. “You never know when you’re going to get a call that throws an unexpected corrosion inspection into your day,” says Brian Young, NDT Team Leader in LNK. “That’s when you get good at juggling schedules and resources.”
Ray Vieselmeyer, NDT Crew Leader in PVU, says he gets a customer call almost every week that takes team members on the road. “We’re always ready to provide a quick response.”
Duncan Aviation’s NDT technicians have traveled throughout North America with accurate, portable test equipment.
On-the-road NDT services are vital to operators who perform smaller in-house inspections at their home locations. “Although we would love for them to come to Duncan Aviation for all of their aircraft maintenance, we understand why some operators elect not to relocate their aircraft for smaller inspections,” says Kasey Harwick, Duncan Aviation’s Vice President of Maintenance. “We work with them to facilitate their NDT requirements so that they can do just that. And when it comes time for major work, they know we will continue to be there to support them.”
Customer Zach Thompson, Vice President of Maintenance for Trego/Dugan Aviation, agrees whole-heartedly.
“Support of Duncan Aviation NDT services in our hangars is huge! Having Duncan Aviation’s NDT team in our hangar not only allows us to keep our maintenance in-house, but it enables us to offer more comprehensive services to our managed aircraft because of their support.”
Duncan Aviation has one of the highest-skilled in-house NDT teams (Level 2 or higher in all four methods) in the industry providing eddy current, fluorescent penetrant, ultrasonics, and magnetic particle inspections on all makes and model aircraft, including helicopters.
All three NDT teams have experienced rapid growth as a byproduct of company expansion. In the last five years, Duncan Aviation has built or acquired more than 490,000 square feet of additional maintenance and operational space. These major capital investments in the company have had a ripple growth effect throughout all departments, including many of the support shops like aircraft accessories where NDT services are needed to inspect wheels, brakes, actuators, weld repairs, and landing gear.
“They come to do their job, and they do it right. Their results have always stood up under added scrutiny.”
- Zach Thompson, Trego/Dugan Aviation V.P. of Maintenance
Operators have many choices of where to go for NDT services.
NDT Team Lead Brian explains what sets Duncan Aviation apart from other service providers. “NDT is all we do full-time every day, day in, and day out. We don’t divide our time with airframe maintenance and work NDT on the side.”
He goes on to stress this high-level of experience and expertise comes into play when a skilled technician comes across invasive corrosion like inner granular corrosion. “This type of corrosion is deep and has worked its way into the grain structure of the material, causing it to exfoliate and come apart. It can easily be missed if the technician lacks experience or isn’t familiar with the anomaly. This level of understanding only comes from advanced NDT experience.”
Trego/Dugan Aviation’s Zach agrees with this assessment.
“I have never doubted the results or judgment of a Duncan Aviation NDT tech,” he says. “They come to do their job, and they do it right. Their results have always stood up under added scrutiny.”
The NDT teams believe being prepared to meet the smallest needs of every customer has the biggest impact. They have the backing of a company who has invested millions of dollars in tools, equipment, and talent to quickly and efficiently provide for the required NDT aviation maintenance services. Even on the road.
All of Duncan Aviation’s NDT technicians are trained and certified for basic Falcon NDT. However, Dassault Aviation requires additional NDT certification training and requirements for all technicians who perform advanced Falcon NDT. These specialized inspections require extra classroom time and stringent hands-on practical testing to verify each technician’s skill. Dassault limits the number of Falcon NDT technicians certified at any given time to ensure proficiency. Of the 22 Dassault-certified NDT technicians in the Western Hemisphere, five are from Duncan Aviation.