Precision Turbines Boosts C-38 Mission Readiness

 - October 11, 2011, 6:45 PM
Precision Turbines’s MRO support of U.S. Air National Guard C-38 Courier VIP jets based at Andrews Air Force Base increased mission capable rate by more than 100 percent in first three months of its contract.

Engine MRO specialist Precision Turbines (Booth No. C12944) recently won several contract renewals as a result of its support of customers’ maintenance operations and reliable performance of aircraft in the field.

Precision Turbines, based in Boca Raton, Fla., helped boost the mission-capable rate of the U.S. Air Force Air National Guard fleet of C-38 Courier jets by more than 100 percent in just three months, according to statistics compiled by the 201st Airlift Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, which operates the C-38s.

The C-38 is a military version of the Astra SPX business jet, later manufactured by Gulfstream as the G100. The 201st operates two C-38s for government and military VIP transport and specialty missions.

Mission-capable rate is an important yardstick of a military aviation unit’s performance. In the six months before the Precision Turbines contractor logistics support (CLS) contract with the Air National Guard took effect in April, the mission-capable rate of the C-38 fleet never rose above 35 percent. In the first month of the contract, the rate more than doubled over the previous six-month high and continues to increase, having reached 77.5 percent through June, according to Precision Turbines.

At the same time that C-38 mission readiness improved, the squadron’s Total Not Mission Capable for Supply metric of out-of-service aircraft declined by almost two thirds, the company says. The rate declined from an average of 26.3 percent over the six months prior to the CLS contact, to an average of 8.5 percent in the first three months of Precision Turbines’s support contract.

Under the CLS contract, Precision Turbines provides depot-level aircraft modifications and field teams to support the airlift squadron’s maintenance personnel, and handles all repairs and overhauls of spares and support equipment. The company has established a contractor-operated and -maintained base supply facility at Andrews AFB. In September, the Air National Guard exercised the first one-year renewal option on the five-year CLS agreement.

“Precision Turbines’s depth of knowledge and expertise has made a positive, measurable impact on our mission,” said Capt. Jason Kunik, 201 squadron deputy maintenance commander. “We have experienced a dramatic increase in our mission capability.”

Confidence in the maintenance support provided by Precision Turbines led to a recent extension of the company’s multi-year contract to overhaul engines on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) fleet of de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter turboprops. The Twin Otters, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-27 engines, play the lead role in NOAA programs to monitor and protect marine mammals throughout North America.

Precision Turbines was awarded a five-year CLS contract with NOAA in September 2010. Prime Turbines of Dallas (Booth No. 5115), an independent PT6A repair and overhaul facility, serves as prime subcontractor for the engine overhauls. NOAA cited that partnership and Precision Turbines’s previous work maintaining the now-retired Citation 500, as key factors in awarding the CLS.

Cmdr. Carl Newman, NOAA Aircraft Operations Center maintenance officer, noted that the agency’s four Twin Otters operate at low altitudes in remote locations, putting a premium on engine reliability. “Taking an engine and putting it on your airplane and flying it requires a lot of trust,” said Newman. “Precision Turbines works hard and consistently meets our requirements.”

Precision Turbines was founded in 2007 by Robert Spahr, an active Boeing 777 captain and former naval aviator. The company has extensive experience on turbine engines including the Honeywell TFE731 and Williams FJ44, as well as the PWC JT15D, PT6A and PW100 engine families.

The Precision Turbines service range includes engine overhauls, upgrades, leasing and sales and airframe modifications for a variety of jet and turboprop aircraft. Ancillary services include line maintenance, depot maintenance, paint, interior and avionics installations.

“Our heritage as commercial and military pilots gives us the ability to provide solutions that both operator and pilot can trust,” said Spahr. “Being focused on the mission and being ahead of the aircraft are a must in both occupations.”

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