Heli-One's Unique Repairs
Did you know Heli-One has unique repairs? Learn about these in-house developed solutions that creatively solve problems, save money, and reduce downtime.
Heli-One develops unique repairs not available from OEMs and other repair facilities to address specific failures beyond the OEM manual and return to serviceable condition. These innovative repairs are an excellent way for operators to reduce scrap rates, increase part availability, minimize downtime, eliminate lengthy replacement lead times, and shrink part maintenance costs, while maintaining safety. For Heli-One, developing unique repairs expands the maintenance technicians’ and Design Engineers’ expertise in part construction, failure, and repairs.
Heli-One currently has around 500 proprietary repairs covering a spectrum of variants within 9 aircraft platforms and 5 engine types. The new repair development cycle involves teams from across Heli-One (Norway, Poland, Colorado and Canada).
An Engineering Request is initiated by the Component or Engine shops to start assessment on the viability of a repair. Repairs are classified either as a Major (which need approval from OEM, Transport Canada or EASA) or a Minor (which can be approved internally by the Norway or Canadian Part 21 Design Approval Organizations. The design team works with the shops to evaluate the repair, which must be viable on a business-level in order to move forward in development. Does this type of failure happen often? Is the replacement alternative costly? Is work stoppage an issue? These considerations and more are a part of the development process.
If a business case is made for a repair to move forward into development, research continues. This includes investigating the materials, application, and failure cases. Next, the part is restored back to serviceable condition. During this stage, the teams identifies opportunities to improve the part - such as more durable materials or different sequencing of production work to better resist failures. Additional specialized processes and testing may be outsourced to external vendors.
The repair process is closely documented to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and that any deviation is accounted for. The Design & Engineering team evaluate the documentation, tests, and analysis of the repair to prepare it to be approved. Once the repair is deemed airworthy in a design approval context, an Engineering Order (EO) can officially be sent to the shop to formally certify the work. Even after the EO has been issued, the repair development process is iterative and the technicians and engineers continually look for ways to improve the process. As technicians become more adept and familiar with the repair, they give feedback on what processes are working and what could be improved.
Next Heli-One ensures that the repair will be acceptable to all airworthiness authorities either through automatic acceptance using the very strong bilateral agreements between authorities or through a specific validation effort. Most often Transport Canada, EASA, FAA and ANAC approval is all accomplished in one step
. Almost all other airworthiness jurisdictions accept these repairs based on trust of the EASA or Transport Canada or OEM approval processes.
An excellent example of success in this program is with the AW139 duct repair (1st and 2nd generation)
. With over 250 completed
, the team is able to develop the repair into one that improves the durability of the part and extends lifespan - giving long-term value to the operator/customer. A custom station was created to accommodate the high volume of work and with improved efficiency, turnaround time on this revolutionary repair is down to 30 days.
This repair is being done in both Poland and Canada to further shorten supply lines and give better service to our customers.
“To see it evolve to what it is right now...every year something better that we come up (with) as a team to improve on the product and process,”
reflected Adam P, Welder.
Heli-One was able to provide a long-term and cost efficient solution as an alternative to an expensive replacement. In other cases, repairs were developed to mitigate OEM part shortages or lengthy lead times. Heli-One’s unique repairs can effectively minimize downtime and be a cost-efficient alternative to replacement.