NBAA Convention News

'Check you oil, sir?' Jet-Care does it all

 - June 30, 2008, 11:06 AM

The last year has been a rewarding one for Jet-Care International of Cedar Knolls, N.J., a subsidiary of UK’s Spectro Laboratories, its representatives reported at NBAA ’02. The company has expanded the list of clients for its services while also gaining good response to the new upgrade for its ECHO (Engine Condition Health Online) software package. Latest to join the Jet-Care monitoring roster is Lufthansa, which reported at the convention here that it has chosen Jet-Care’s CF34 trend program to monitor its fleet for Bombardier’s Smart Parts program.

Overall, Jet-Care president and CEO David Glass said, his organization now is monitoring the health of almost 12,000 engines in more than 50 countries. “That is an increase of 20 percent over last year. The events of September 11 have led to an increase in activity in corporate aviation as well as commercial operators looking at how they can save money with uncertain passenger numbers. They are now recognizing the true financial value of the diagnostic tools that Jet-Care provides.”

Airframe manufacturers who have chosen to use Jet-Care’s program include Bombardier, BAE Systems, Dassault, Cessna, Gulfstream and Raytheon, while engine manufacturers such as Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Turbomeca and Williams International have also approved Jet-Care’s services. NetJets’, Flight Options’ and Flexjet’s fractional-ownership maintenance programs also use Jet-Care.

Williams-Rolls’ Frank Smith, director of product support, said, “With laboratories in the U.S., Switzerland and London, Jet-Care is the worldwide preferred lab provider for FJ44s. As a matter of fact, because of the service Jet-Care has given us, we have gone to others who do filters for us and asked them to upgrade their service to match Jet-Care’s.”

Jet-Care services all 1,200 Williams-Rolls engines in the corporate fleet, said Smith. “Jet-Care is able to give us a very quick and timely response on filter analysis,” he said. “It helps us to decide if we have to pull engines or do maintenance on-the-wing. Jet-Care is able to use its Scanning Electron Microscope [SEM] to identify material precisely to determine the extent of any engine wear.”

In announcing the new Lufthansa/Jet-Care agreement, Lufthansa Bombardier program manager Raymond Schnell noted, “There is no need for us to go back to the original equipment manufacturer now that we have Jet-Care. In working with Jet-Care, we have selected an organization that is flexible in meeting our needs. We were first introduced to Jet-Care by Flexjet last year.”

In the latter project, Bombardier’s fractional aircraft ownership program, Jet-Care monitors 40 engines. Glass noted his company keeps tabs on those powerplants as well as NetJets’ TFE731s and CF34 engines through trend monitoring, oil and filter analysis. (Similar activities are being done for the Flight Options fractional ownership program.) The Smart Parts program, which comprises Bombardier’s complete engine policy for whole aircraft, will now be handled by Jet-Care.

The ECHO package, Jet-Care announced at its NBAA booth (No. 6577), is part of the service chosen earlier this year by five European airlines (Alitalia, Meridiana, Air One, Blue Panorama and Volare) after being introduced to its London and Swiss facilities through Jet-Care’s association with ExxonMobil. The company now is providing all five airlines with routine analysis of powerplants, fuels and hydraulics. All are using ECHO, which Jet-Care said will let users maintain the most detailed picture of aircraft engine health wherever they are in operation. The enhanced version “now offers trended takeoff data as well as cruise data. Trended takeoff data will show true retained margins. The data now can be downloaded from Honeywell’s LF507 and DEEC-equipped TFE731 engines, according to Jet-Care.”

The company also announced it has broadened its SOAP kit coverage to more engine types, as outlined in its exhibit. The price of each kit, Jet-Care said, includes a new filter element, O-ring (if required), oil sample kit, filter bottle and return packaging. It also includes analysis of filter and oil (if submitted) with SEM investigation of any debris within the filter to identify any bearing, cage and shaft or gear material. Results are reported by e-mail, fax or telephone on a same-day basis even if the results are normal.     

Jet-Care officials emphasized a key factor in their operations is the ability to meet strict oil analysis criteria. They noted that their labs in the U.S. and UK are accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to the same international quality standard ISO 17025. They emphasized that Jet-Care is the first and only U.S. oil analysis laboratory accredited to this standard by UKAS. “The new Swiss laboratory is working to the new standard and is scheduled for its initial UKAS audit within the next six months.”