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Grounded ... by your Maintenance Organisation

When recently talking to owners trying to sell their bird, they often give one same reason for the decision to sell. Ground time imposed on them by their MO without a good explanation. Sure, sometimes you have to wait for that rare spare part from Australia. True ? I came to realize that each one of them has at least one story of extraordinary long ground time in the last 12 months, related to some quite normal maintenance job. A standard 50h inspection taking 3 months, propeller OH with 5 months on the bench, … you get the message. When these owners talked to their MO, always a good reason given, most of the time the can kicked down the road. But upon some research, the reasons given are at best … shotty. To many of these owners – typically people flying under 100h a year – it rather looks as if they simply get pushed back to the end of the line, whenever some other lucrative job comes up.
I am interested to hear about cases such cases from the EuroGA bloggers. We are paying high bills, running high cost per hour flown. Are we also forced to “take a walk” in the middle of best flying season ? More than in the past ? More than acceptable ?

AJ
Germany

My mechanic is simply stunning – even flew out to St Johns with us to put in the new engine. Reading a lot of other people here, he must be one of the rare ones, but I think he is a total legend.

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

I also have a great relationship and experience with my mechanics.

EGTF, LFTF

Some here may relate to the lyrics of this song



Well, dear fellow readers, bloggers, posters, responders,
This unusual, deep, troublesome silence is not because … you are worried that your MO/s CEO or CFO may read your post and complaints, recognize your pen name and be so upset that he withholds future services, are you ?

AJ
Germany

I don’t own a maintenance shop but I work very closely with some who do. It is a very difficult thing to organise parts, labour and paperwork with such precision that the job gets done exactly on time and on budget. My own projects have taken longer and cost more than I had ever realised. I can’t see the net margin being much more than 10-12% on sales for a small shop. When I look at all the people renting airplanes, or the ones who can afford to throw the keys into an MRO and walk away I don’t really have much sympathy for them when it comes to delays as they are often totally disconnected from what it takes to get the jobs done. Most don’t want to learn anything other than what they can find out on a computer.

Everyone in my circle is “woke” as the youngsters might say.

U206F, J3 Sea, PA32R & others
EIBR

I think GA owners have accepted poor levels of service and this is now self fulfilling. Owners often don’t help with their rather over tight approach to cost which ironically tends to increase cost.

EGTK Oxford

I maintain my own property with the help of others, with they being paid (generally in cash) where appropriate. No effete ‘maintenance organizations’ are involved.

Two maintenance shops I work with have been very good in getting back in the air.

I have seen during the same tine some lighthearted owners that appeared to do everything to get onto the shitlist.
Examples?
Surprise schedules of 100hr or annuals… “can you now/tomorrow quickly…”
No hint reg known problems ahead so that spares could be organized.
Unrealistic idea about ADs.

When I hear complaints, from both sides, I get curious about the full story.

...
EDM_, Germany

I have good experience with mechanics and generally avoid conflict, as my life’s in their hands. Especially in a single.

One time my DA40 wouldn’t start and maintenance couldn’t find the cause. We put it on a trailer and sent back to factory in Austria. There it was fixed quickly.

With the Extra I had to wait 5 months for a propeller overhaul in Germany this year, but they informed about that before starting the work. They simply had a long queue.

With the TBM all maintenance was done in planned time. Typically two weeks for a 200h service. Other items that required a special visit took max 2 days.

All three planes I had were bought new and made in Europe. Guess that’s a way to stay out of trouble.

EPPO, EPPK
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