Gulfstream Maintenance Datalink Goes Mainstream

 - July 30, 2008, 11:27 AM

Gulfstream this month logged its 10,000th downlink via its PlaneConnect maintenance datalink system. There are about 135 large-cabin Gulfstreams using PlaneConnect, according to Gulfstream. At top-of-descent, PlaneConnect automatically sends stored maintenance data from the airplane’s central maintenance computer and crew alerting system messages to Gulfstream’s technical operations center and also via e-mail to the operator’s flight department. Once the data arrive at technical operations, computers analyze and prioritize the messages. Any messages that indicate a problem that might cause an aircraft on ground (AOG) situation are sent as priority e-mails to technical operations staff and to Gulfstream field service representatives. “We’ve made some incredible saves,” said Gulfstream president of product support Mark Burns. “We’ve been able to eliminate several AOGs by shipping parts or sending them via our airborne product support jet, and in one case we beat the [customer’s] jet to where it was going.” Gulfstream is now working on the next-generation PlaneConnect system, Burns added, and that will become an integral part of Gulfstream’s product support efforts.