MRO Profile: Richmor Aviation

 - May 2, 2013, 4:55 AM

Richmor Aviation began life as an FBO at Columbia County Airport in Hudson, N.Y., from where now CEO Mahlon Richards operated a Cessna 310 on behalf of his employer and on Part 135 charter through a lease-back program. In the mid-1980s Richards purchased Richmor Aviation and went into business for himself. The company obtained an FAR Part 145 air agency certificate as an approved repair station in March 1969 and in 1971 hired Sal Alessi as director of maintenance. Alessi became a driving force in the development of the MRO operation and in 1990 was promoted to v-p of maintenance operations for all of Richmor Aviation’s facilities.

Currently Richmor Aviation has additional FBOs with Part 145 maintenance facilities in Schenectady County, N.Y., and Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. The company also operates an FBO on contract in Kingston Ulster Airport in Kingston, N.Y., and maintains a corporate hangar in Waterbury Oxford Airport in Connecticut. “Our goal today is to expand our overall business in all our locations with emphasis on maintenance at the Schenectady and Hudson facilities,” Richards said.

“We have diverse aircraft maintenance experience. We have managed and maintained more than thirty business jets ranging from Learjets to Gulfstreams on our FAR Part 135 certificate. From 1988 to 1992 we had a supplemental Part 121 operation with four Convair 580s and three Nord 262s, and we continue to operate an FAA Part 141 flight-training operation with examining authority supported by a fleet of 30 aircraft. Every airplane we fly requires maintenance and we do it in-house, so the Richmor Aviation maintenance department developed and grew as an integral part of our overall business.”

Richards said the MRO operation is comprehensive but uses third-party vendors for NDT inspection and engine overhaul. “Otherwise we do all airframe, engine and avionics work on turbine-powered aircraft. We’ve been maintaining Gulfstreams since 1980, primarily because we’ve had so many of them in our managed aircraft fleet. This gives us the advantage of having extensive experience on everything from single-engine up to large Gulfstreams,” he said.

The Richmor group has more than 40,000 sq ft in New York dedicated to maintenance, including Schenectady County Airport (14,800 sq ft), Columbia County Airport (north hangar 6,000 sq ft and south hangar 15,100 sq ft) and Kingston Airport (4,800 sq ft). All maintenance operations support one another and offer aircraft major inspections, AOG service, major repairs, modifications and alterations, structural repair, engine inspection and repair, Lycoming engine overhaul, avionics repair and installation, maintenance event management and Part 135 conformity.

The FAR Part 145-approved repair station has expertise on Gulfstreams, Falcons, Challengers, Learjets, the Global 5000, King Airs, Beechjets and Citations. Engine expertise covers all engines used on those aircraft. Richmor holds all FAA ratings for Class 1 (composite) and Class 3 (metal) for aircraft weighing less than 12,500 pounds. Richmor holds an FAA air agency certificate for an approved satellite FAR Part 145 repair station in Schenectady and an FAA Part 135 air carrier certificate.

Richmor Aviation is a Cessna single/twin authorized service facility, a dealer for Universal Avionics and Aircell (for parts, service and installation in both cases) and it sells parts. The company also offers aircraft management, maintenance event management and consulting, off-site maintenance event oversight, Part 135 conformity records review, and pre-purchase consulting and evaluation. Richmor partners offer interior refurbishment and exterior paint.

Richards attributes the MRO’s success to his employees. The company has 91 full-time employees. The maintenance operation accounts for 31 dedicated employees: 22 full-time A&P technicians (five of whom are also avionics technicians), eight full-time line service technicians and one full-time lead avionics technician.

“Our strength lies in our 31 maintenance employees, who have an average of 26 years in the maintenance field; our avionics technicians have more than 17 years,” Richards said. “Over the years we’ve worked on a wide array of both turbine- and piston-powered aircraft. We have a great body of experience when you consider the average term of employment with the company is 20 years.”