Safety in the air drives maintenance excellence
Safety is the most important driving force behind Kishugu’s Aviation Maintenance Organisation (AMO), FFA Aviation AMO 1116. Its dedicated engineers understand how important a well-maintained aircraft is for a pilot to confidently and successfully take to the sky.
“We pride ourselves on our attention to detail,” says Hannes van Zyl, Accountable Manager for AMO. “Many of the aircraft we maintain are used in wildland firefighting operations and pushed to the limit day after day. We have to make sure that they are constantly in tip-top condition. There is no room for error in this business.”
The AMO is approved by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) to conduct maintenance in strict terms of each aircraft manufacturer’s recommendations, as well as SACAA regulations and globally approved maintenance schedules.
All maintenance is carried out in accordance with the most up-to-date revisions of manufacturer’s airworthiness data, Approved Maintenance Schedules, the Maintenance Control Manual and the AMO Manual of Procedures as approved by the SACAA.
The AMO is located at the Kishugu Head Office at the Nelspruit Airfield in South Africa, but crews of highly skilled maintenance staff are deployed throughout South Africa. They regularly set up maintenance operations at local airfields, from which Kishugu Aviation’s firefighting aircraft are deployed in support of the South African government’s Working on Fire Programme (WoF).
Among the fixed wing aircraft, regularly maintained by the AMO, are Cessna 100 and 200 series, Air Tractor 802 series and Dromader M-18 series. The AMO has particular expertise in the maintenance of helicopters, including the Bell 206 and the Bell 205 / UH 1 series.
Routine AMO work comprises scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, defect repairs, structural repairs and Bambi bucket sales and maintenance.
An indication of the volume of work that the AMO is capable of, shows that approximately 13,000 labour hours are spent on maintenance during a typical six-month period, excluding overtime for skilled maintenance crews.
The processes followed during maintenance is typically:
- The booking – a pre-maintenance meeting.
- An aircraft status report is scrutinised to see if any component may be due for replacement, repair or special inspections.
- The latest revision inspection sheet is then printed from the manufacturer’s website.
- Job pack is opened, which contains all the relevant job cards for specific work to be carried out.
- All work is recorded on the respective job cards and signed off on completion.
- Work pack is finalised and status programme updated.
- Aircraft is released to client.
Test flights are conducted after completion of all maintenance and also after repair/replacement of major components.
“Aircraft are in safe hands with our maintenance crews, and the pilots who fly them, are guaranteed of the airworthiness of their aircraft,” Hannes concluded.