A corporate jet is a great business tool. At the same time, they are complicated machines. So naturally, when it comes to comparing proposals and selecting where to go for your next maintenance event, it is vital to ask the right questions and take a closer look at what is included rather than just skipping to the bottom line. At Duncan Aviation, we work very hard to provide all of our customers with everything they need to make informed decisions. It is often the little details that make the biggest impact in the end.
Here we give you a series of questions to help you as you compare proposals on your way to selecting an MRO. We’ve included our answers to each.
What insurance coverage does the service provider carry?
It is important to make sure your chosen MRO has enough coverage to protect your asset while it is there for work. We recommend you request a copy of the insurance coverage letter before selecting a vendor for the project.
Duncan Aviation always has adequate insurance coverage to protect your assets.
How does the MRO define and bill for consumables?
Materials used during the course of your maintenance event that do not stay on the aircraft are referred to as consumables. Every company defines and charges for consumables differently, and this can lead to some surprises in final billing.
At Duncan Aviation, we define consumables as items such as tape, sealer, shop rags, solvents, protective coverings, and other items related to the performance of the workscope that do not fall into the parts category. Our policy is to bill for these items at 4% of the total labor on the project, with a predetermined maximum amount per workorder.
Will you be charged hangar fees in addition to normal operation fees? If your aircraft is left with the MRO for an extended time, are storage fees applied?
These fees are often unexpected by the customer. It is best to know what to expect up front.
Duncan Aviation does not charge hangar fees if the storage of the aircraft is associated with maintenance being performed by us. In the event storage is requested unrelated to work, we may charge a reasonable storage fee.
How will you be charged for freight?
Duncan Aviation keeps an inventory of the most common parts used for all aircraft models. For parts we do not stock, we charge the customer freight per the actual billed amount from the carrier.
What are the applicable sales taxes for the goods and services provided?
Because Duncan Aviation’s three MRO facilities are located in fly away states, we do not charge sales tax with respect to amounts charged for parts and labor in connection with work performed on aircraft in Nebraska, Michigan, and Utah. However, exemptions will apply if the aircraft is not relocated out of the state where the work was performed within 10 (Nebraska) or 15 (Michigan/Utah) calendar days of completion of the work.
Does the MRO have available engineering services to support the quoted work? How will you be charged for these services?
Duncan Aviation has an in-house Engineering and Certifications Services team that provides design data and all of the supporting documentation required to certify many types of alterations.
All engineering costs associated with any workscope are included in the quoted price. In the event the workscope changes as a result of a customer change request or repair scheme and/or exceptions that were not disclosed at the time of the quote, we may bill the customer for actual additional engineering hours expensed at the current hourly engineering rate.
What is the MRO warranty policy on workmanship?
Documentation and Quality Control
Does the MRO have the experience and capability to accurately process all of the required paperwork and documentation?
Document work and handling paperwork requirements are becoming more demanding every year. Make sure the MRO you choose does the work by-the-book and provides you with everything you need.
Duncan Aviation’s Quality Assurance Program has been approved by the FAA and by 10 civil aviation authorities worldwide, including EASA. We have a staff of Qualified Inspectors who are experts in the latest FAA requirements. They provide a standard Return to Service statement in accordance with 14 CFR Part 43 Requirements unless customer requirements dictate otherwise; in which case, an exception is noted in the documentation.
Is interior R&R included in the quote or is it considered additional?
Duncan Aviation always includes interior removal and access in its quotes and usually lists it as a line item.
Training and Safety
Will the technicians working on my aircraft be properly trained and safety conscious?
The knowledge level and attitudes of the technicians who work on and around your aircraft every day should be the most important thing you consider. The safety of you, your passengers, and your aircraft are literally in their hands. Scheduling an onsite MRO visit during your decision-making process is a great way to know if you’re comfortable with their knowledge levels and commitment to safety.
Duncan Aviation invests more than $6 million annually on training. We also have a Director of Safety who is responsible for safety education, policy development and adherence, safety audits, incident investigations, and the quick development of any corrective actions and procedures.
Will I have a central point-of-contact for project coordination and daily updates?
All in-house Duncan Aviation customers are assigned a dedicated Project Manager who provides one-on-one interaction and ensures the project meets critical milestones. Each Project Manager has a limited number of projects in work at a time, has a minimum of 15 years of technical experience, and an average of 25+ years of aviation experience.
How will I be kept informed while I am away from my aircraft?
myDuncan is Duncan Aviation’s exclusive web-based project management system that allows customers greater access and better control of their projects from anywhere in the world. It transforms customers’ computers and mobile devices into virtual offices, allowing them to stay current on project status, item approvals, and budget while keeping up on things at work and at home.
Does the MRO have on-site technical representatives?
Duncan Aviation has a team of Technical Representatives who are industry experts in their fields. They help with troubleshooting airframe, engine, systems, and component issues. They are proactive in their education; spending hours researching the latest Airworthiness Directives, Service Bulletins, and Service Letters released by the OEMs, and they impart that knowledge to technicians and customers.
Will I have access to my aircraft while it is in the hangar?
At Duncan Aviation, all customers with an aircraft in-house have full access to the hangar floor to monitor the work being performed. You are free to talk to the technicians, ask questions, and review necessary paperwork.
Organization Designation Authorization
Does the MRO have ODA on staff?
Working with the FAA and civil aviation authorities worldwide, we secure approval or validation for the designs developed by our Duncan Aviation team. Additionally, Duncan Aviation holds an ODA (Organization Designation Authorization) from the FAA for STCs, MRAs, and PMAs.
Our team of ODA engineering, flight-test, and inspection unit members are qualified under the ODA to perform the functions necessary to support timely approval of data for the design changes the engineering team develops. Under the ODA, Duncan Aviation performs these functions on behalf of the FAA, which saves customers a great deal of time.
Does the MRO have the tooling required for your aircraft? Is there a fee for special tooling, if needed? If so, will you be charged for the tooling and freight for the tooling?
When it comes to aircraft maintenance, very expensive tooling is required for even the most basic work. Additionally, many work events may require the use of special tooling. Whether a company has the tooling and whether you will be charged extra for it could make a difference in the work performed on your aircraft and the cost to you. Beyond the cost, if your chosen MRO doesn’t own the tooling, it may not always be available when you need it. Be sure and ask if they own the tooling or if they will need to procure it from outside sources.
Maintenance Tracking & Research
Are there any maintenance tracking and research fees?
Duncan Aviation conducts Airworthy Directive and Service Bulletin research on all aircraft that arrive for major inspection when the logbooks are provided. Dedicated Chapter Five and Chapter Four logbook research fees are covered in the flat rate for inspections(s) with the exception of a pre-purchase evaluation.
It goes without saying that Duncan Aviation proposals are detailed; customers know exactly what is included and what is not, and our planning process ensures that every detail is covered and every question is asked. The Duncan Aviation name alone carries weight in the business aviation industry. For many, it stands for quality, integrity, customer service, solutions, support after delivery, and value.
Explaining the Duncan Aviation difference is sometimes difficult. Many people don’t understand the level of detail that we are uniquely equipped to provide. More than anything, our years of experience have taught us that when we educate our customers, giving them the tools to make the best choices, they appreciate our transparency and turn to us with their business.