Able Aerospace Services Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has been awarded an operations specification by the FAA to complete airframe and Level 1 engine maintenance on the Airbus Helicopters AS350B2/B3 models. The new Operating Specification addition significantly expands the capabilities of the Able Maintenance Center (AMC), established by Able to provide a full suite of rotorcraft airframe services including maintenance, inspections, airframe repair, avionics upgrade and paint.
The new AS350 operations specification comes with “no limitations” allowing the AMC to conduct planned or progressive inspections, scheduled or unscheduled maintenance, and flight deck upgrades. Prior to this, the AMC focused on Bell Helicopter models.
“We work diligently to keep our team and our facility at the forefront of technology, so that we’re always prepared to provide quick, safe, cost-effective solutions as opportunities arise,” said Able Aerospace Services Senior Vice President of Operations Heidi McNary “Expanding our AMC to serve the AS350 platform is the latest application of that strategy, and underscores our commitment to provide comprehensive, best-of-class service to multiple OEMs across the industry.”
“AS350 operators can now count on Able to not only provide expert modification and upgrade services but also deliver on-site MRO and parts solutions. If an unexpected repair need arises during a visit, we can complete that repair here – in house. That is a benefit that few others can provide, and can significantly reduce aircraft downtime,” added Able Aerospace Services General Manager Gabriel Massey.
Able’s modification and upgrade services, expansive on-site MRO and parts solutions, and fly-in capability offer a comprehensive, one-stop solution that exceeds the scope and expertise of most of the world’s maintenance centers.
The AMC was established two years ago, focusing on Bell Helicopter models and quickly establishing its position as an authorized dealer for a growing list of premier aerospace manufacturers, including AEM, Cobham, FreeFlight Systems, Garmin, Jupiter Avionics, Mid-Continent and Technisonic.
In April, the AMC completed its first major contract – a state-of-the-art flight deck upgrade program for Air Evac Lifeteam, the largest independently owned and operated membership-supported air ambulance service in the U.S. The upgrades created a standardized flight deck configuration across 126 Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 and Bell 407 aircraft, ensuring the operator was compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) 2017 Helicopter Air Ambulance (HAA) mandate for cockpit safety improvements. In addition to standardizing fielded aircraft, the two-year program included the completion of 20 “green” Bell 206L4 helicopters. Scope of work included the installation of the EMS cabin equipment, HeliSAS autopilot system, ADS-B compliance, HTAWS compliance, IRIS Flight Data Monitoring system, Technisonic TDFM communications and Garmin G500H glass cockpit upgrades as a Garmin authorized dealer.
The AMC is part of Able’s 200,000-square-foot headquarters, offering direct taxiway access at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona to allow for a convenient induction of aircraft.
Of Able’s 450 employees, 20 are dedicated AMC team members, providing specialized services including periodic maintenance and inspections, airframe repair, airframe completions, avionics upgrades, component exchanges, full paint services and dedicated engineering support. AMC team members also have direct access to Able’s on-site MRO and approved replacement parts solutions, including extensive in-house capabilities that allow Able to complete more than 95 percent of all jobs on site. Some of these capabilities include electroplating, chemical processing, machining, grinding, NDT testing, hydraulics and bearings services, and painting. Able provides these services to commercial and military aviation fleets in more than 60 countries worldwide.
The Able AMC operates under FAA certification, in accordance with strict AS9110 quality standards, and is an approved Bell Service Center.
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