LINCOLN, NEB. — Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek, Michigan, location celebrates 20 years as a Dassault Authorized Service Center (ASC) for all Falcon model aircraft. Although Duncan Aviation has been supporting the Falcon operator since the late 1970s, it was in 1996 when the Battle Creek location officially received authorization.
In those early years, when airframe maintenance manuals were on a microfiche, the Duncan Aviation (then Kal-Aero) facility in Battle Creek, Michigan, did not have a dedicated Falcon airframe team. A&P technicians worked where they were needed on all airframe makes and models in the 64,000-square-foot maintenance hangars. According to Kevin Bornhorst, then an airframe mechanic, the Falcon business in Battle Creek started off slow. “We only worked on one or two Falcons a month,” he says. “But with each one, we learned more and got better, eventually performing larger C checks and inspections.”
During a large celebration on July 24, 1996, representatives from Dassault and Kal-Aero took to the skies above Battle Creek aboard a 1929 Ford Tri-Motor to officially sign the Dassault ASC contract. Unfortunately, the trip was cut short due to an impending storm that threatened black clouds and lightning.
The Ford Tri-Motor is a transport aircraft affectionately nicknamed ‘The Tin Goose.’ It rolled off the assembly line in 1929 with serial number 58 and began delivering freight and mail for the National Air Transport. It was then modified by the Ford Motor Co. and sold to Northwest Airways, flying passengers from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago. It was one of five Tri-Motors bought by what would become Northwest Airlines. Kal-Aero later purchased the Tri-Motor and began rebuilding it. After many years of work, it flew again in 1991 and was later donated to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Shortly after becoming a Dassault Falcon ASC, Kal-Aero formed a five-man team dedicated to the Falcon airframe. When Duncan Aviation purchased Kal-Aero in 1998, a second Falcon airframe team was started and Bornhorst became the Battle Creek Falcon Tech Rep. He still helps customers in this position.
Today, there are 65 dedicated Falcon airframe technicians at Duncan Aviation’s Battle Creek location, consisting of three airframe teams and one structures team; they work around the clock. On a weekly basis, approximately 16 to 20 Falcon aircraft are in the 105,000-square-foot maintenance hangars at Duncan Aviation-Battle Creek in various stages of major C inspections, structural repairs, avionics modifications, interior refurbishment and new paint.
For much of the last 20 years, Bornhorst has been asked to provide input on a variety of Falcon maintenance advisory committees. He is currently a member of the Dassault MSG3 group for the Falcon 5x.
“We have a great relationship with Dassault Aviation and are pleased that we can celebrate two decades of authorized support for our mutual customers,” Bornhorst says.
For more information about Duncan Aviation’s Falcon services, visit http://da.aero/services/falcon/
Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich. Additional locations include Provo, Utah, and more than 20 other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with local support and the quickest response to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.
For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit www.DuncanAviation.aero
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