Hot section: CSS Adds capabilities

 - March 30, 2009, 10:32 AM

Challenger Spares & Support acquired a full ship set of a Bombardier Global for parts, adding that aircraft to its inventory. The company is also expanding into covering the Global 5000 and structural component repairs on the Gulfstream 550.

“We’ve been working with Challengers since the business began in 2001. We’re a parts business; we do rotables and help customers broker their repairs while using our rental units,” Darla Henderson, project coordinator for Challenger Spares & Support (CSS) of Dallas, told AIN.

Henderson said the company has an excellent working relationship with Bombardier. “They are one of our biggest customers. They refer a lot classic aircraft stuff to us, such as the early 1980s Challenger series and the 601. We don’t broker parts. When you buy parts through a broker you pay a premium price because the broker has to get paid. We own all of our rotables and have proprietary agreements with vendors who repair and build parts for us. It let’s us do a better job for a lower price.”

According to the company, CSS has more than $50 million in assets and 24 ALF502 series engines, which they own outright and use to support the Challenger 600 series under a new cost-containment program.

“OEMs really push their engine maintenance programs but with the older aircraft the premium price the operator pays could be reduced by as much as 50 percent if the operator used our cost-containment program,” Henderson said. “OEM programs are simply engine insurance programs with their premiums determined by the number of hours each engine is operated.

If it is a used aircraft there will also be the buy-in cost and some programs have a minimum requirement of 250 flight hours per year per engine whether the aircraft is flown or not, a fact not always mentioned during contract negotiations.”
Henderson said OEM engine programs may require a minimum of $450 per hour per engine, or $900 per flight hour. That is a grand total of $2.25 million for 2,500 hours of the aircraft engines operating time, the time between required hot-section inspections.

Unlike standard OEM programs CSS has no cost per hour or monthly costs for engine maintenance. The company also gives airframe component discounts and the program is transferable to a new owner.