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Top maintenance shops in Central Europe

The first flight after annual maintenance is the scariest flight I ever do and I want to make sure everything is fine. After every annual I spend at least around 3 hours at my hangar doing the most detailed post maintenance inspection I can possibly do and every single time I find a problem.

Missing screws, bent transponder antenna, oil filter not tight to spec, broken fuel valve shut off lock, broken or worn out adel clamps and worst was when my trim setting indicator was completely misaligned so I literally tried to take off with full nose down trim while the indicator was showing slightly aft of neutral. Yes I forgot to test my trim from full forward to full aft (stop to stop), I will never miss that again.

I have had my own little share of dealing with incompetent shops and mechanics.

What are the top maintenance shops in central Europe (South-Mid Germany, East France, Belgium, Lux areas) and why?

I am looking for a shop that is knowledgeable/experienced on the type, who answers emails promptly, briefs/debriefs you on the work that must be done and who does proper inspections of the work their people finish.

I am trying to make a top 3 list so I can go visit them for an “interview”.

Last Edited by By9468840 at 15 Oct 06:27
EDTG, Germany, Switzerland

Not a lot of offers on this one…

Maybe people know really great shops but don’t want them to get too busy

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

For a typical GA piston aircraft, I don’t think it makes sense to deal with big and well-reputed Part 145 companies: they may do the job very well and very quickly, but at unreasonably high prices. My ideal is a maintenance engineer who also flies an aircraft of his own and maintains it himself, especially if your aircraft is of the same type.
I had my aircraft maintained by a father-and-son shop in the UK, and I have personally participated in every maintenance action carried out on it, so all the briefing, debriefing and work inspection occurred on the fly.

LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

Peter wrote:

Maybe people know really great shops but don’t want them to get too busy

+1

U206F, J3 Sea, PA32R & others
EIBR

This is extremely complicated thing. There is no universal solution, you cannot say big=good, small=good, etc. All maintenance companies are going through various phases so there is no recipe for that. It is a continuous process and you as an owner and pilot are responsible for ensuring good maintenance of your ac. I do recommend to work together with the mechanic, which is something that can be done in small shops and with freelance mechanics. You need to have good knowledge and understanding of the systems of your aircraft. If you are unable to do it this way than it is perhaps better to buy a new airplane like Cirrus and make sure that the maintenance does not touch it too much :-). Than sell it when it is still quite new and replace by brand new again. This way you do not have to go through much of the invasive maintenance…

LKHK, Czech Republic

I guess people are worried that their favourite shop might get a report from somebody who had trouble there.

You certainly have to be personally involved – unless you are very fortunate and have a company which always does a good job. I have never heard of any such company.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

it is kind of disappointing to see everyone is mostly keeping quiet about this although when it comes to aircraft ownership, having a good maintenance shop is the main question.

EDTG, Germany, Switzerland

Yes it is very strange. Something is certainly going on.

My experience is that there are very very few good maintenance shops and this could be the simple reason why so few are willing to post names.

At so many airfields you see 1 or 2 maintenance companies but most based aircraft fly away for maintenance! This in turn creates problems for those with an AOG situation: they have to use one of the based companies but since they are not a regular customer (and quite probably had a bust-up in the past) they are not likely to get a good service. In many cultures, regulars are treated very much better than irregulars.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It took me 3 years to find a shop I am satisfied with (so far). The engineer is booked to the kazoo. I have to wait in line every time I need something done. He is expensive. But the work is quite good, and I had my first non squawk long (multi thousand NM) cross country this summer and fall. The guy simply doesn’t need any more clients. The reality is that when you find a good mechanic, he’s fully booked. His clients don’t want to create more problems for themselves getting work done than they already have. I know it sounds utterly selfish, but if you were in possession of such information, would you voluntarily add a week or two to any maintenance you need done for someone you’ve never met and asks you over the internet? This is the kind of information you get only face to face.

Last Edited by WhiskeyPapa at 20 Oct 08:02
Tököl LHTL

quite honestly I would share this information. In the end what makes the private aircraft owners strong is the community and share of information/knowledge not that one or two of us have been lucky enough to find a mechanic that has somehow done well so far. Since the three years of my aircraft ownership, I learned 80% of what I know today from the community and from the experience of many individual owners, instead of hearing stories from one particular mechanic. I find it strange that when owners face a problem, they are all over the online communities asking for opinion but when it comes to sharing information about a good shop on a good day, everyone is quiet.

EDTG, Germany, Switzerland
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