On-site interventions: NacelleLife™ support as close to the customer as possible
Flying. Anytime, anywhere. That is the number one priority of any airline. Hence, the importance of being able to rely on a reactive and efficient MRO1 offer such as Safran Nacelles' NacelleLife™, anywhere on the planet. "For any number of reasons, it may not be possible to carry out maintenance or repair operations in our three workshops2 dedicated to these activities", highlights Jessica Chambon, On-Site Interventions (OSI) Manager. "Therefore, our specialists are sent in the field where the aircraft are located."
Race against time…
One of the OSI team's tasks is to intervene in the event of an emergency when an aircraft is immobilized on the ground (AOG, Aircraft On Ground) after an in-flight incident. This may occur, for example, following the overheating of an engine that has damaged an internal thermal blanket of the nacelle. An inspection is then required to determine whether this component needs to be replaced. If this is the case, the operation must take place quickly during the aircraft stop, for example, at night so that the aircraft can set off again at the scheduled time the next day. "Deadlines are often extremely tight", says Jessica Chambon. "Once alerted, we must then react quickly by assigning the task to one of our workshops according to the geographical area in question, the required skills and the availability of teams. We also need to prepare the intervention by defining the repair procedure, identifying the regulatory documents, and briefing the team on the sequence of the work, etc."
On site, a Field Rep3 may be present at the same time as the OSI team. The OSI team consists of expert mechanical engineers and a manager in charge of organizing the work and signing the authorization certificate for putting the equipment back into service after the intervention. "At any time", highlights Jessica Chambon, "we provide the customer with the necessary visibility on the progress and schedule of the operations."
… or scheduled interventions
Another main area of action of the OSI experts includes scheduled interventions. This may involve training a customer on how to use inspection equipment, carrying out scheduled maintenance and repair operations during certain mandatory technical inspections such as the C-checks4, or even carrying out a technical assessment of an airline or a lessor in anticipation of a return or leasing of an aircraft. "This is known as Hardware Reviews", explains Jessica Chambon. "Three cases may arise. On one hand, our experts may be contacted before a C-check to review the hardware and advise the customer on the maintenance tasks to be expected, and the skills that will be needed, etc. This allows the customer to anticipate the procurement of spare parts and schedule the interventions."
This type of offer is particularly appreciated by airlines that operate Airbus A380 aircraft due to the complexity of the work to be carried out.
"The second case", continues Jessica Chambon, "is our teams being contacted by an airline or a lessor before returning an aircraft in order to carry out a technical review on the nacelle. Again, this allows them to identify, plan and finance the work in advance. Lastly, we also intervene in order to assess hardware before the signing of a service agreement in view of establishing a customized price suitable for the customer's exact need." Another highly in-demand activity can be added to this technical assessment: EBU (Engine Build-Up5) when a replacement engine is delivered. "Several build-up formulas are offered from the simplest "basic" assembly to the most complete "Full QEC6" assembly" says Jessica Chambon. "For example, on the A320neo's nacelle, around 1,300 parts need to be assembled!"
All in all, whether for emergencies or in anticipation, the OSI teams deploy their expertise and professionalism with a large number of operators, lessors and MRO centers worldwide, helping to optimize the availability of their equipment and their maintenance costs.
1 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul.
2 This concerns the Pont-Audemer MRO center of excellence in France, the Aerostructure Middle East Services (AMES) in Dubai and that of Safran Nacelles Services Americas in Indianapolis, in the United States.
3 A representative of Safran Nacelles responsible for the relationship with the airline.
4 A scheduled inspection with a deadline depending on the aircraft's number of flight hours or cycles and requiring its immobilization for three to four weeks. The nacelles, engines and also landing gear may therefore be dismantled.
5 Parts connecting the engine to the nacelle.
6 Quick Engine Change.