The Beechcraft Baron 58 is the brainchild of Hawker Beechcraft Corporation. The corporation developed this particular model in1970. According to the Corporation’s website, a new Beechcraft 58 costs around 1.2 million dollars (Baron58 n.d). The specifications of this plane include a twin engine piston, six passenger seats, and two aft doors. It has a gross weight of 2450-2500 kilograms and a maximum take-off weight of 2450 kilograms.
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Flight Express is an air carrier company with a fleet of eighty-nine aircrafts. Out of these, twenty-seven are Beechcraft models (Flight Express 2010). Flight Express has its headquarters in Orlando, Florida and it operates in twenty six other states across the United States. Express prides itself in being a time-critical and an on demand carrier that specialises in regional air transport.
The airline transports packages for several companies including those in publishing, life science, and banking industries. Flight Express’s pilots log over 64,000 flight hours annually (Flight Express, 2003).
Although Flight Express operates under FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations), its operations will be looked into from the CAA’s perspective for the purpose of this cost assessment. This is mostly because the company’s FAR approved records are not accessible to the public. Since the cost assessment is done for a general case of 200 hours, the results obtained through either regulations (FAR or CAA) should not have a vast discrepancies between them.
The Beechcraft’s maximum take-off weight is below 2730 kilograms, it is henceforth classified as a light piston engine aircraft (Civil Aviation Authority 2005). There are five specified maintenance checks for this aircraft category. The first one is Check A and it must be carried out before the first flight of the day.
The second check is the fifty-hour check. This check has to be carried out after every fifty flight hours or alternatively after six months of operation. Then there is the 150-hour check that is carried out after every one hundred and fifty hours of flight. The other checks are the annual check- carried out after every twelve months, and the star inspection.
The civil Aviation Authority stipulates most of these checks. According to the Authority, Check A requires the engine’s air filter to be inspected with emphasis on its cleanliness. The tyres and wheels of the plane also have to be checked for damages. The inflation levels and other anomalies also have to be checked.
In addition, the functionality of the fuel pump has to be inspected during this check. The fifty-hour check involves inspection of the fuel pump, air filter, wheels, and tyres. Extensive checks of these areas have to be carried out after either fifty hours of flight or six months whichever comes first. Most of the times, this check involves replacement of oil filters and tyres.
The 150-hour check on its part coincides with the 50-hour checks. This means that all the inspections stipulated in the 50-hour check are included in this one. The standard operations in this check include engine servicing and sometimes tyre replacements. This check must be carried out after every one hundred and fifty hours of flight.
On the other hand, the annual check is carried out after every twelve months. During this check all oil filters are replaced. The tyres might also be replaced if any signs of damage or wearing out were found. The fuel pump and the engine air filters might also be replaced during this annual check (Civil Aviation Authority 2005).
Appendix X illustrates a study of how PMA parts can reduce the maintenance costs for Flight Express aircrafts. For instance, it is assumed that Flight Express operates each Beechcraft Baron 58 for about 200 hours annually. This means that several parts will have to be replaced in accordance with CAA’s regulations.
This means that aircraft parts like engine air filters, oil filters, main tyres, and nose tyres will be needed in the course of these checks. Other parts that can be replaced within the 200 hours of flight are fuel pumps and wheel assemblies. However, these parts are rarely replaced within this period in normal circumstances.
Appendix X lists the estimated number of replacements that can be made within two hundred hours of flight. Within the estimated time frame of two hundred hours, a single aircraft will require these parts to be replaced; two engine air filters, one fuel pump, eight oil filters, two wheel assemblies, four main tyres, and two nose tyres. If Flight Express chooses to use OEM parts when making these replacements, it will cost the company fourteen thousand, seven hundred and ninety seven dollars and seventy eight cents.
This includes the cost of a fuel pump that is often very high priced by most manufacturers. However, if Flight Express chooses to use PMA’s parts it will only cost the company a total of four thousand, nine hundred and eighty four dollars and fifty two cents. This indicates that Flight Express is set to save around sixty six percent in material costs if the company chooses to use PMA’s products. These possible savings are in terms of a single aircraft.
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Considering Flight Express operates a total of twenty seven Beechcraft Baron 58 aircrafts, the company stands to make substantial savings if PMA parts are used. Each of these aircrafts has an approximate two hundred hours of flight in one year. The total number of replacements is in turn expected to be around fifty four engine filters, twenty seven fuel pumps, two hundred and sixteen oil filters, twelve wheel assemblies, one hundred and eight main tyres and fifty four nose tyres.
If the company goes for PMA products, the company can save in excess of two hundred and forty thousand dollars in each maintenance cycle. When this list excludes the high priced fuel pumps, it will still cost Flight Express 45,136.54 dollars. It will cost the company seventy seven thousand, five hundred and forty six dollars and four cents if these same products are sourced from OEM.
One of the limitations of this assessment is the method used to arrive at the average two hundred hours of flight per year. This is because this figure is estimated from the number of flight hours logged by each pilot annually (Flight Express 2010b).
The results of this case study indicate that PMA’s products are cheaper compared to those from alternative companies. Aviation companies can take advantage of the cost cutting options provided by PMA. Any aviation company that chooses to use PMA-made spare parts stands to save a lot of money in maintenance costs.
Baron58, n.d, Beechcraft Baron 58 General Information. Web.
Civil Aviation Authority, 2005, CAP 411: Light A/C Maint Schedules (Aeroplanes). Web.
Flight Express, 2003, Initial and Recurrent Flight Training Handbook: Beechcraft 58 Baron. Web.
Flight Express, 2010, About. Web.
Flight Express, 2010b, Flight Express Fleet. Web.