GE Aviation Service and Support in Brazil
GE Aviation is committed to expanding its network of authorized service centers in Central and South America, increasing spare parts inventories and establishing a regional spare engine pool to support the new GE H80 turboprop engine as it enters into service on the Thrush 510G with operators in the region.
“While the H80 is designed to be an incredibly robust engine that requires very little maintenance, we understand that agricultural aviation operators require a very special level of service to minimize downtime in the event of an unscheduled event,” said Paul Theofan, general manager, Commercial, Service & Support, GE Aviation, Business & General Aviation. “We are expanding our relationships with service centers in Central and South America, stocking more spares, increasing training and staffing for intensive 24/7 support.”
Central and South America are key regions for the Thrush 510G and GE’s support infrastructure is specifically designed to keep pace with the expanding fleet as more operators come on line.
The core of the South American support network is a Designated Repair Center (DRC) in Brazil for heavy repair, combined with Authorized Service Centers (ASCs) in both Brazil and Venezuela. GE has appointed Premier Turbines, working with Air Turbine Aviation of Sorocaba, Brazil, as the H80 DRC for South America, building on a relationship first established for the M601 engine. GE is also establishing a regional spare H80 engine pool at Air Turbine Aviation to provide local operators ease of access to spare engines and to minimize operator downtime.
Premier Turbines and Air Turbine Aviation will support heavy repair, mobile field service, spare parts and rental engines for operators in the region. GE is also increasing the level of spares and Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) at the DRC level, allowing quicker access to repair parts.
“Increasing our spares inventory and establishing the rental engine pool with our partners Premier Turbines and Air Turbine Aviation are all about making sure that we have the right parts and services available to keep our operators flying,” Theofan said. “Customs clearance and transportation in the area can cause delays. Our goal is to minimize the chances of a problem by having more parts on the shelf in Brazil.”
Spare parts, including H80 consumables, inspection equipment, spare single-acting propeller governors and Fuel Control Units, will be held locally in country in Sorocaba at Air Turbines Aviation. Spare engines will also be available in both Brazil and the U.S. to support the fleet.
Two ASCs are in place to support line level engine maintenance, spares and support for H80 and M601 operators in South America. They are TAM Aviacaoa Executiva e Taxi Aereo S.A. in Brazil and Solo Aviation Systems in Venezuela.
Both TAM and Solo Aviation are fully operational and equipped to support operators wherever and whenever needed. In-country technical support is available in Portuguese or Spanish, and additional support is available directly from GE in the U.S. or Prague. Moving forward, GE Aviation has committed to further expanding the ASC network in the region as the H80-powered fleet continues to grow.
GE also provides its customers with a “customer essentials” handbook, which includes an in-country list of contacts and numbers, as well as phone numbers for GE U.S. product support, GEAC product support and the Business Jet Ops Center 24/7 support line.
“GE Aviation believes in the incredible growth potential of Brazil and South America,” said Theofan, “and we are committed to developing the support and spares infrastructure to enable that growth.”
First GE-powered King Air Delivered
In March of this year, the first King Air powered by GE’s H80 turboprop engines, a King Air C90, entered FAA 135 Air Charter service. The aircraft, operated by Lakeshore Aviation in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was the first aircraft to be certified with the recently approved Supplemental Type Certification (STC) using the new 800 SHP engines built by GE Aviation in its Prague, Czech Republic, facility.
Curt Drumm, president of Lakeshore Aviation, complimented the cooperative effort among GE Aviation, Smyrna Air Center, which owns the STC and completed all the installation work, and the Milwaukee FAA Flight Standards office “Everyone worked together very closely to make sure the work was done properly, we had all documentation in place, and the engine installation worked as intended,” noted Drumm.
Smyrna Air Center, located near Nashville, Tennessee, did all the work for the engine conversion in its 100,000-square-foot maintenance facility. “They’ve got a very knowledgeable, dedicated staff,” noted Drumm. In addition to the engine upgrade, the aircraft underwent a complete battery of inspections and AD compliance tests. All life-and time-limited inspections were complied with and all necessary repairs were made.
The King Air’s performance is greatly improved with the powerful GE H80 engines. Cruise speeds are increased to 250–260 KTAS and climb performance is “phenomenal” in Drumm’s words. “We can hold a 1500 FPM climb rate up to the mid 20s, which reduces our block time and saves fuel,” he noted. “I can get my passengers to their destination quicker and save money on fuel at the same time. It’s really a joy to fly.”
Warranty Process Improvement
We heard you! You provided us with feedback through our Customer Satisfaction Form, global Customer Advisory Boards and the priorities you shared with us. You told us in 2012 that GE Aviation had an opportunity to improve upon turnaround time for your warranty requests. Because we’re committed to you, as of April 1, GE Aviation BGA Turboprops is now aiming to approve or reject warranty cases in five days or less.
“Owning the warranty procedure is quite difficult, since we are dependent on GE’s suppliers with the items that we do not manufacture ourselves, which is true for most of the accessories. Therefore, we had to devise a comprehensive project to benefit everyone in the end,” said Lukas Manka, Product Support team leader, who led the initiative. “Our result is a massive change in how GE is approaching warranties. You raise the request and supply a six-picture panorama of the item in question, and we give you an answer within a week.”
“This is actually a work-in-progress timeframe, and GE is working to get it down to the next business day in the future,” added Tomas Benes, Customer and Product Support Leader.
Once you submit the electronic customer request form, provide pictures of the item in question from six different angles to show each side of the engine or part and GEAC receives these documents, the clock starts ticking.
Additionally, GEAC will take your specific needs into consideration:
- We can immediately replace the unit with a Handover Protocol, one for one – we keep yours, you keep ours, if the warranty is approved
- We can lease you a unit, which you return after your unit gets repaired, even if it’s not under warranty
- Or, if time is not a priority for you at the moment, you can wait for a decision on the warranty and subsequent repair
“We want to show through our actions that we are committed to our customers’ satisfaction – and I really hope with this improvement on the warranty procedure, we have made a significant step. I welcome anyone going through the new warranty procedure to let me know what their new experience was like. We really are listening, tell us your opinion!” added Milan Slapak, Commercial Director.
Training in China
On March 4, two GE Aviation BGA turboprops instructors began the first ever line maintenance training for GE’s turboprops held in China.
Vladimir Svoboda, Training Manager, and Martin Kusmerczyk, Product Support Engineer, went to Jiamusi, China, to GE’s flagship customer in the People’s Republic, Beidahuang General Aviation Company (BGAC).
“I have never held a course with so many trainees before,” said Svoboda. “The regulatory limit is 28 people for the theoretical trainings and all 28 were eagerly present by 8 a.m. on the first day of the training.”
GE, in cooperation with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. Ltd. (CAIGA), shipped an H80 training engine to the customer location, which was met with great excitement and interest, just months before the initial six Thrush 510Gs were scheduled to be delivered.
“With special authorization from the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), we extended the usual schedule of the course to ensure the success of our key customer in China as well as our own,” added Kusmierczyk. “It paid off, because all the technicians passed the line maintenance course and are now ready to continue their training in Albany, Georgia, at Thrush’s location in May.”
Later this month, GE Aviation’s Lubos Hrdina will teach the trainees to skillfully carry out boroscope checks and they will also take part in extensive troubleshooting training.
“This was also a cultural experience for the GE team and I am very glad that we all understand and appreciate the efforts put into making this training successful. I can only congratulate everyone involved,” commented James Stoker, GEAC president.
Improving Communication with Skype
GE Aviation is improving communication with our customers through the use of Skype. The GE team is now available for quick answers during Prague (GMT+1) office hours. Through Skype, you will have access to three teams:
- Sales Team can provide rapid response regarding contract details and status for engines in production and overhaul
- Order Management Team can provide information on engine shipping, as well as status reports on ordered parts
- Customer and Product Support Teams are also available to provide updates on warranty claims and guidance concerning general inquiries. For technical assistance, Electronic Customer Requests will still be required and this is accessible via the GE Turboprops Customer Community
Please feel free to spread the word!
H80: First Inspections, First Impressions
GE field service engineer (FSE) Frantisek Zeithammel visits fleet leader Avimaq for H80’s first inspection. We spoke with Frantisek Zeithammel about his recent efforts to support our customers.
Q: Hello Franta – welcome back! What can you tell me about your trip to Ecuador?
A: When it comes to GE’s turboprops, Ecuador was not a first for us since there are already engines flying there from the M601 family. Of course, for the H80, this is a first and a fantastic starting point where it can show off its durability in any environment, such as Ecuador’s changeable weather. I had the luck of going to Guayaquil in the middle of the rainy season as you will see from the pictures. However, later in the year, temperatures will rise.
Q: Your main focus was to perform the checks on the engine. So how was the H80 performing?
A: I was not only there to inspect the engine but to train the technicians as well. Therefore, I am confident when I say the engine is doing well. The staff at Avimaq was delighted to have me – they are very enthusiastic about their new H80.
Q: So you also performed maintenance training there?
A: Yes. GE wants to take care of its fleet leader, and since Avimaq has acquired this status, I lead a full-maintenance type certificate course per Part 147. I also had two pilots join in the events in addition to the technicians. All the mechanics passed and I am pleased to leave the engine in their hands. I really got the impression that they felt confident in receiving H80 into their care. Also, this helped Avimaq comply with all CAA requirements in Ecuador.
Q: Speaking of the CAA, how do they view the status of the new GE turboprop?
A: We actually had a CAA official onsite, overseeing everything from the aircraft training, the engine maintenance-type certificate training, the engine run-up tests… I thought he was very pleased.
Q: That’s reassuring to know. This is all very exciting. What makes you enthusiastic about this application?
A: The Thrush 510G is perfect for these types of operators. I very much look forward to the upcoming LET L410 certification, to see if the commuting operators will have the same opinion on the engine as the Thrush customers did in South America and now in Ecuador. But what I am looking forward to most is to try out an Avia propeller on the Thrush. I can hardly wait for that to come through.
CTEC Now Officially Part 147 Approved Maintenance Training Organization
The Customer Training and Education Center (CTEC) in Cincinnati, Ohio, is now officially a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 147 approved maintenance training organization. Thanks to the hard work of the team in the Prague manufacturing facility and the enduring assistance from CTEC’s leader, Dave Seward, CTEC can now host certified courses.
“What’s more is that in addition to qualifying our facility as per Part 147 standards, we are onboarding our very own instructor, Rob Milum, to certify H-series and M601-family trainings,” said Dave Seward, CTEC Commercial & Military Training Manager. “We are continuously holding customer courses in line with OEM directives, but for the first time, CTEC has joined forces with an organization that holds civil aviation regulatory approvals.”
Milum has vast experience in training on several engine models including the F110-GE-132, CF34-8, HF120, CT7 and T700 engines, now amended by the GE Turboprops M601 and H80. Rob will start offering courses in the U.S. this year and is already in the process of onboarding as an instructor for this product line.
Doing What We Promised: Calendar Removal
GE Aviation is very pleased to be shipping all engines that come in for overhaul and shop revision at its factory without calendar limitation on their Time-Between-Overhaul (TBO). This process began in January.
“We are pleased to announce that GEAC has delivered on its promise to our customers to remove the calendar limits on M601 engines. We announced the program at NAAA and promised to start it in January and now we are fulfilling our commitment,” commented Milan Slapak, Commercial Director, who announced the program at the tradeshow in Savannah, Georgia.
“This was a collaborative project, requiring the close cooperation of Quality, Customer and Product Support and Engineering,” added Tomas Benes, Customer and Product Support Leader and the owner of the project. “The calendar removal program was inspired by H80’s maintenance scheme, which we took and applied to the relevant M601s. Now, we not only remove calendar limitations of the engines coming to the OEM facility for overhaul and shop revision, but we also remove calendar limitations in the field – giving customers more options to choose what to do with their engines next: calendar extension, removal, shop revision, or the overhaul.”
The first engines without calendar limitations were bound for various parts of the world, including Russia, Bulgaria, Algeria, South Africa, Colombia and the Philippines.
Download the summary document here.
EGAP and EXIM Bank Reach Partnership to Finance U.S. Airframers
A reciprocal contract between EGAP (Export Guarantee and Assurance Corporation) and U.S. EXIM (Export Import) Bank is allowing Czech exporters much easier access to trade opportunities in the U.S., among other markets. This new partnership between EGAP and EXIM Bank has strengthened the position of Czech exports in America and also strengthened U.S.-Czech cooperation and relations.
EGAP is a credit insurance corporation insuring credit connected with exports of goods and services from the Czech Republic against political and commercial risks uninsurable by commercial insurance.
EGAP and U.S. EXIM executed an agreement that will allow both agencies to co-insure financing for exports. This means that by working together, U.S. EXIM and EGAP can provide insurance or financing up to 85% of the aircraft value.
“This is great news for EGAP and for the Czech export in general,” said Martin Kuba, Minister of Industry and Commerce in the Czech Republic. “I highly appreciate the active role of EGAP’s management in the export policy.”
GE Aviation Business & General Aviation Turboprops is proud to announce its Maintenance Training Organization Approval now covers webinars. Theoretical training can now be held through online training centers utilizing Webex Online Meeting Center and webcams. We believe these web seminars (or “webinars”) are truly a way to broaden the training spectrum for our customers. We understand that many operators and maintenance organizations aren’t able to travel for H80 Engine Differentiation Training. Now you can apply to attend these trainings without having to leave your facility.
Take a look at our kickoff training with GEAC-trained Premier Turbines, GE’s Designated Repair Center’s Brazil-based technicians.
For information on training, please visit www.geaviation.cz or click here: Maintenance Training.
|May 20 - 22
|May 21 - May 24
||Thrush Mechanic Training in Brazil
|May 27 - May 31
|June 3 - June 8
||Let 410 MTC by AI at Kunovice
|June 10 - June 12
|June 10 - June 14
||TC in English at GEAC
|June 17 - June 22
||Let 410 MTC by AI at Kunovice
|June 24 - June 29
||Let 410 MTC by AI at Kunovice
|Aug 5 - Aug 9
||TC in South America
|Aug 12 - Aug 16
||Russia TC at JSC Niznij Novgorod
|Aug 19 - Aug 21
||Online Tr: Russia (2nd level for ASC)
|Sept 2 - Sept 6
||TC (round 2) China: BDH at Jiamusi
|Sept 16 - Sept 18
|Sept 30 - Oct 4
||Let 410 MTC by AI at Kunovice
|Oct 7 - Oct 11
||USA TC + H80
|Oct 14 - Oct 18
||Europe TC + H80EDT at Aeromecanic
|Oct 21 - Oct 25
||Let 410 MTC by AI at Kunovice
|Oct 21 - Oct 25
|Nov 4 - Nov 8
||USA TC+ H80 at CTEC
|Nov 18 - Nov 20