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“ We have 72 technicians around the world in 16 locations and our
goal is to have a GO Team identified and ready within four hours of
the call and to be on site in a max of 12 hours beyond that. So from
going AOG to having a team on site with tools and parts should be
no more than 16 hours, no matter where the aircraft is positioned. In
2018 we released our Availability App, so if a customer goes AOG he
can raise a case through the app that has an AOG beacon it, so we
know exactly where the aircraft is. He can submit a video, a photo-
graph, all the info that ’s possible and that will be seen immediately
in our centre in Berlin,” Robinson said.
In 2016 Rolls-Royce had a customer go AOG on a remote island
off the coast of Canada at a small airport in the town of Masset.
What followed cost the customer nothing but was a major logistical
exercise for Rolls-Royce and its staff.
“ We had an aircraft go into Masset, which is pretty much just a
runway, and they had a problem with the aircraft and they couldn’t
get the engine to start. To fix that we chartered a C-130 freighter to
pick up the new engine, the tools and the team and fly it all to Masset,
where we did the engine change and rescued the aircraft to get him
on his way. That’s the type of thing we do, although this one was quite
extreme because of the location. What ’s interesting is because it had
no facilities and it was somewhat inclement weather it meant the guys
had to do the engine change outside, exposed
to storms, high winds and extreme cold.
“After that we developed a portable igloo
that’s self-contained. It inflates itself through
in-built pumps and it wraps itself around the
tail of the aircraft. It has its own generator,
lights and heating with room for two engines.
So you can drop the engine, fit the parts and
replace the engine all basically within a trans-
portable hangar. Because no one carries their own spare parts
you can have an AOG for a US$50 bracket. We get numerous calls
because we are the sole source of parts and spare engines for a
fleet of more than 3,500 aircraft. Rolls-Royce will actually rent an
equivalent aircraft to get the customer where they need to go as
quickly as possible, that’s the lengths we go to in an AOG situation,”
Pratt & Whitney operates a global network of Customer First
Centres (CFirst) which operators anywhere in the world can reach
on one telephone number, 24/7. These CFirst centres are for engine
operators to access help whenever they require assistance for AOG
or any technical issue. For example, the CFirst centre in Singapore
is manned by a team of specialists who take the call and assess
the situation to offer first-line trouble shooting. If the customer has
its own technical team, the P&W specialists will work with them to
implement a fix and resolve the AOG issue.
However, if the customer does not have such a crew or requires
on-site technical assistance then the centre will immediately des-
patch a mobile repair team, based in Singapore and Australia, to
the customer ’s site. With most common issues, from bird or stone
strikes and oil leaks, the mobile team is able to rectify these on site
and return the engine to service.
Tom Masters, the general manager for On-Wing & Near-Wing
Service at P&W, said that for larger commercial engines they are
reducing engine maintenance time with new on-wing or near-wing
services. “ To alleviate operational disruptions for customers, we are
providing solutions to resolve, replace or repair engines either on-
wing, near-wing or at network repair facilities worldwide,” he said.
“For unscheduled maintenance we are performing quick-turn surgical
strikes to replace engine modules or components that need attention.”
“ To support current engines like the V2500 fleet or the growing
number of new GTF engines entering service, we are teaming with
mobile engine services provider, Lufthansa Technik , to perform light
engine maintenance at numerous locations around the globe. The
LHT Airline Support Team has the required capability to help us
provide faster service to our customers. It has a logistics network,
which is critical to mobile services, as much of the work is performed
in the field. Lufthansa Technik also has a presence in Europe, the
Americas and China, supporting quick-response times for our cus-
tomers,” Masters said.
“ With more than 7,000 V2500 engines delivered and the number
of GTF engines continuing to climb, Pratt & Whitney is investing
in smart, straightforward mobile services that help operators more
quickly address unscheduled engine maintenance while optimising
fleet readiness,” he added.
To handle AOG engine issues, MTU Maintenance has developed
Onsite Teams positioned at various global hubs, with another soon
to be added in China.
MTU Zhuhai CEO Jaap Beijer said: “ We try to serve the customer
24/7 so we are not only taking care of the engines in the shop, but
we also have our Onsite Teams. The customer can call us 24/7
and we have an Onsite Team that is dedicated and ready to fly
anywhere to solve the issue. A problem we have in China, and all
around the world really, is the visa issue for the technicians going
into other countries. To get over that we are working together with
other companies that don’t have the visa issue where we know they
have the quality we demand. If there are no visa issues, then any of
our teams can fly anywhere around the world to fix a problem. For
now, we have located dedicated MTU teams in the major areas to
overcome the visa issue.”
With major customers like their joint-venture partner, China South-
ern Airlines, Beijer says that having an AOG response team is fast
We have 72 technicians around the world in 16 locations
and our goal is to have a GO Team identified and ready
within four hours of the call and to be on site in a max
of 12 hours beyond that.
ANDREW ROBINSON, ROLLS-ROYCE
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