Keeping your private jet operational can sometimes feel like a full-time mission. In many cases, it takes an entire team of people to service and maintain it, with more time spent in the hangar than in the air.
The good news is that there is now more support than ever for individuals who want the convenience of private jets without the hassle. A few tweaks to your routine can make owning a private jet feel more like running a fast car. Here’s what you need to do:
Build Partnerships With Professionals
Top of the list of priorities should be building partnerships with professionals. Having people on your team who understand how to maintain and operate jets can prevent you from being grounded or having to take alternative transport.
Pilot John International is a company that supplies all sorts of aerospace equipment and parts to people involved in the industry. It understands more than anyone the value of putting a supply chain in place.
“People who buy private jets don’t often realise the maintenance requirements of these vehicles,” it says. “Most planes require more time spent in maintenance than flying in the air, making them less convenient than many imagine. The key to owning a private jet that will serve you at any time is to solve the maintenance supply chain and keep all the parts and equipment needed nearby.”
For this reason, many people who use private jets keep everything they need close by. The trend at the moment is to maintain stocks on-site so that engineers can deliver them the moment the private jet demands it.
Train Staff And Engineers
Another tactic is the train staff and engineers in proper aircraft management. Keeping skills up to date means you are better able to deal with problems as they arise.
“We see a lot of jet owners putting money into keeping their staff trained so that they can fix problems with aircraft rapidly,” Pilot John International explains. “Our company has always believed in preventative measures.”
Perform Pre-Flight Checks
Pre-flight checks can also help keep maintenance to a minimum by preventing problems from occurring in the first place. Hiring engineers to check over your aircraft every time you use it can stop minor damage leading to more substantial failures.
Engineers will usually check over the aircraft for leaks, loose components, and damage. Fixing these early can stop expensive or dangerous faults from developing later on.
They will also take a closer look at the high-wear areas of the plane. These include things like the control surfaces and landing gear. These components have a higher chance of failure because of the extreme forces and stresses they must tolerate.
Conduct Scheduled Maintenance
You also want to ensure that you conduct scheduled maintenance on your aircraft. Following the manufacturer’s instructions can reduce the risk of being grounded, just when you want to fly to Dubai or Mauritius.
Engineers will begin this process by inspecting and lubricating parts the manufacturer knows are prone to failure. Often, they will perform routine inspections and throw away old parts.
“The fact that engineers are constantly having to perform maintenance reveals just how critical it is to have proper supply chains in place,” Pilot John International explains. “The more straightforward it is to procure parts, the less time planes spend in hangars. It also makes it easier to pass standard mandatory aviation authority inspections if you can prove provenance and show that work has been done to a high standard.
Maintain The Cabin Interior
It’s also important to dedicate some resources to maintaining the cabin’s interior. The cleaner and more hygienic it is, the less the finishings will degrade.
Engineers usually begin this process by checking all the vents and ducts that maintain the cabin atmosphere. Keeping these clean ensures that germs and bacteria can’t build up inside the cabin, and reduces the risk of breathing in pollutants or harmful chemicals.
It’s also helpful to dust the interior after every flight to prevent damage to the upholstery and carpets. Keeping these free from unwanted matter stops them from wearing down over time as much, letting you get more use out of them (which is convenient if you plan to use your private jet regularly).
Check The Avionics Systems
Problems with the avionics systems can be highly detrimental. Not maintaining them could cause the plane to go off course.
Most avionics systems rely on software to function optimally. Ensuring you have the latest versions reduces the risk of faults and keeps you and your passengers safe.
Ensure your flight engineering team regularly maintains and tests your navigation systems in various simulated environments. Put procedures in place for reporting software issues so pilots feel confident coming forward. Continue checking them to ensure they function correctly.
“When it comes to complex equipment, like avionics, it always pays to work with a professional supplier,” Pilot John International says. “Sourcing these parts from reputable brands is infinitely more desirable than trying to get them from someone offering the deepest discounts. When it comes to airplane parts, quality is always the priority, not quantity.”
Maintain The Engines
The engines of private jets are the most prone to damage over time. Like car engines, they have numerous moving parts that all increase the risk of failure.
Again, you’ll want to tell your engineers to follow manufacturer guidelines on routine inspections and maintenance. Ensure you monitor engine parts and deal with any anomalies you discover immediately.
Most jets will tell you whether they think there is an issue with the engine. These could include everything from simply adding more oil to swapping out fans, propellers, and air intakes.
Care For The Exterior
Finally, you need to invest some time in caring for your plane’s exterior. Aircraft that become degraded on the outside can rapidly become a danger to you and your passengers. Poorly maintained exterior structures could result in corrosion and damage, putting the hull at risk.
Make sure you apply new paint regularly and always store your aircraft in a hangar to protect it.
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