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So much appalling maintenance...

As the Accountable Manager for a Part M sub-part F & G facility I would like to point out that not everyone is a cowboy. That said, some of the comments above ring true. One of the biggest issues is getting/training people as the salary levels are low. Take your BMW to a dealer for a service and you will pay £100/hr for labour; we charge £46.

Now, if you really want to talk about rip-offs, take a look at the avionics side of the house.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

One of the biggest issues is getting/training people as the salary levels are low. Take your BMW to a dealer for a service and you will pay £100/hr for labour; we charge £46.

The thing is that if you employ "kids" (which, presumably, is what lower wages must mean, unless you can get East Europeans who are normally very good workers) you should firstly tell them what to do and then inspect their work.

After all, much work in larger firms is done by "apprentices" which are by definition new to the job.

The problem I see is that most companies seem to have made an implicit decision to not give a damn about the long term effects of what they do. Squirting some oil into a control linkage bearing is just that. The great thing about that is that nobody specific can be blamed for the bills that come home years later when the whole plane is shagged.

One cannot blame that on low wages.

Now, if you really want to talk about rip-offs, take a look at the avionics side of the house.

I tend to agree... but that side is stitched up a lot tighter, because modern avionics are relatively complicated. Most aircraft maintenance is technically trivial.

That said, somebody I know has just installed a GTN650+GTN750 just by following the wiring diagrams in the back of the IM, and it works

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It is a foolheardy engineer who signs-off an aircraft without inspecting it first.

Fly safely
Various UK. Operate throughout Europe and Middle East, United Kingdom

Comeback is unlikely though, unless it can be proved the condition existed at the time, which is usually impossible.

In general the only "comeback" scenarios are ones where component serial numbers reveal work not done, etc. The vast majority of parts have no S/N.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It is a foolheardy engineer who signs-off an aircraft without inspecting it first.

Dave, in my experience, there a number floating about.

My aeroplane has been on the ground since July 26, 2012. To use Peters quote - shagged - is appropriate. The issue is, when I decided I was not comfortable with the feel of the thing, 2 months out of maintenance, and I might add an annual invoice for 5450.00, I took it to someone to investigate.

52 items of rectification, including 5, which an ashen faced inspector, told me were potentially life threatening. I instructed him to strip the whole thing. Take it apart, top to bottom, including renewing almost everything from the firewall forward. I take delivery next week.

We have the photographs, as proof, that this Part M owner/engineer, signed it off. The problem for the aircraft owner, is that unless after every maintenance sortie, he himself takes it apart, then he potentially will never know. Until it falls out of the sky that is.......

Complain to any of the regulators, and they do not want to know. You as owner are responsible, and in fact, they may well take action against you, not the Part M co.

Taken me a while to learn, but I am much wiser now, and a bit saddened about what I see in maintenance companies.

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

I don't understand why everyone just accepts the status quo though. Many owners are savvy individuals who in their business dealings, can smell bad practice a mile off, yet across all forums there is a constant low level of excessive invoices for non existent work. I also don't see how being charged £46 per hour as an owner, for labour, is seen as a justification for poor workmanship. I appreciate that BMW charge more, but so what? In my day job I employ staff on around £10 per hour, and if they're dishonest they will be fired. Why does this not happen to maintenance engineers? What's wrong with the industry when a charge rate of £46 per hour cannot deliver wages, overheads and a reasonable profit? As the customer, I've got a reasonable expectation that what I pay for will be delivered, and I don't understand why pilots (on other forums, it has to be said) can argue about the cost of ridiculous things, be extremely pedantic about spelling, yet accept bad practice regarding maintenance, as being just the way things are. I don't have any solutions, and am not trying to be adversarial, I'm an owner myself, and see the same problems, but I cant help thinking there must be a better way of getting a reasonable service from someone charging you £000's per year.

egbw

I agree.

I cant help thinking there must be a better way of getting a reasonable service from someone charging you £000's per year.

That "better way" is to get educated about what needs to be done on your aircraft type to keep it working well, and tell the MO to do it.

The problem is that the learning curve is significant, and most aircraft owners are already quite busy. One can spend a huge amount time on this "hobby" So many owners prefer to turn a blind eye to what goes on.

There is also a strange "cultural" element there. So often one sees somebody pull up in a nice new £80k car, only to jump into a shagged PA28. Clearly, flying a shagged plane is acceptable to many who would not drive a shagged car.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

There is also a strange "cultural" element there. So often one sees somebody pull up in a nice new £80k car, only to jump into a shagged PA28. Clearly, flying a shagged plane is acceptable to many who would not drive a shagged car.

At least in this part of the world that is explained by aircraft and aircraft ownership having escaped the tiresome status game. It's really wonderful to me, and in combination with simple technology one of the things I like most about being involved in aircraft - function and ability matters most, not imagined superiority backed up by nothing. "I can buy more than you" counts for precisely zilch around our airports.

With respect to maintenance, what Peter says holds completely true. Hereabouts anybody who would expect others to manage their aircraft, or be more involved with its maintenance than themselves, would be looked at as effete and slightly idiotic. I know exactly one owner like that, but he was also smart enough to buy his Bonanza in equal partnership with the IA who maintains it. Not so dumb after all :-)

This is quite a good example of the thread title. The TB20 pilot apparently has a failed landing gear pump and when he pulls the emergency system knob, it comes off in his hand

https://twitter.com/Mriu11/status/1155939269434724352

The result could be worse

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
19 Posts
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