Airport Business - 33

FBO MATTERS

Likewise, software and cloud-based
the aircraft, the landing light assembly,
positioned over the nose gear torque link
programs that aid in ramp and hangar
management such as One Mile Up and - which itself must be disconnected for
Stax provide overhead views of common
towing - kept striking the upper part
aircraft types to help FBOs efficiently
of the torque link, damaging both the
torque link and landing light assembly
handle a multitude of aircraft. And of
in the process. The FBO contacted the
course, the internet itself is a treasure
trove of esoteric aircraft information as
OEM to find out that not only had the
well; one only need know where to look. OEM known about this issue, mechanics
Yet all these resources are "unofficial" at the assembly plant had created an
information in the sense they are neither
adapter tool to be used in towing when
licensed by the OEM nor verified as
the aircraft is fully fueled. Delighted to
accurate.
hear of the solution, the FBO inquired
This would seem to point FBOs
as to the adapter's part number and how
to purchase it. Somewhat predictably,
in the direction of contacting OEMs
the OEM wouldn't sell it, because it had
directly to support their common
customer - the aircraft owner or operator
no part number - it was an unofficial
- in order to obtain accurate ground
solution to the issue, and not for retail
sale.
servicing information. Yet even when
the OEM knows the answer to the FBOs
Have we uncovered the dark
questions, they're not obligated to assist. underbelly of aircraft ground handling
One FBO shared just such an experience. safety? That the manufacturer of an
After refueling a customer's aircraft
aircraft, after it is sold, actually want
to capacity, the flight cancelled, and the
nothing to do with the third-party
aircraft operator instructed the FBO to
companies that support the operator of
simply put the aircraft back in the hangar. that aircraft? Those answers are no and
This however was no small task, as the
yes, respectively. This phenomenon is
aircraft in question is a large business jet
both completely normal not specific to
with intercontinental range. Though
aviation. Example: If any of this strikes
an unusual request simply because few
you as odd, try calling the builder of
f light departments prefer to leave their
a house you're now the second owner
aircraft parked overnight at capacity, of, with a question about its original
the FBO complied and found to their
construction and see if they go out of
surprise when maneuvering the aircraft
their way to help.
with the tow vehicle, the aircraft was
Perhaps the closest to an official
damaging itself. Due to the weight of
source for ground servicing of aircraft

- particularly towing - are towbar/tow
head manufacturers and aircraft tractor
(tug) manufacturers, all of whom must
ensure their design does in fact meet
the specif ications set forth by the
manufacturer. On that note, FBOs
should consider reaching out to GSE
manufacturers as new aircraft enter
service. GSE manufacturers tend to be
on a parallel path with OEMs because by
definition - the aircraft and its specific
support equipment must enter service
simultaneously.
Finally, if all else fails when the latest
swept-wing-high-speed aluminum tube
graces the ramp of an FBO, line service
employees can rely on the disarming
conversation-starter that spans aviation's
century: What kind of plane is that? As
more and more FBOs seek accreditation
as an IS-BAH FBO/Handler that notion
is especially true today. Such FBOs have a
safety culture where an employee should
be able to simply ask the aircraft operator
to point out the various service points
and attendant limitations without the
slightest embarrassment. And, rather
than concluding such an inquisitive
FBO employee untrained, the aircraft
operator should consider the employee
is trained so well in fact, they know they
can -and should- remove any doubt when
servicing an unfamiliar aircraft. 

OCTOBER 2019 \ AVIATIONPROS.COM / 33


http://www.AVIATIONPROS.COM

Airport Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport Business

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
On the Wild Side
Change for Good
Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Williston Takes Flight
Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Guru
Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Product Focus
Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 1
Airport Business - 2
Airport Business - 3
Airport Business - 4
Airport Business - 5
Airport Business - 6
Airport Business - Inside the Fence
Airport Business - Industry Update
Airport Business - 9
Airport Business - 10
Airport Business - 11
Airport Business - On the Wild Side
Airport Business - 13
Airport Business - 14
Airport Business - 15
Airport Business - Change for Good
Airport Business - 17
Airport Business - 18
Airport Business - 19
Airport Business - Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Airport Business - 21
Airport Business - 22
Airport Business - 23
Airport Business - 24
Airport Business - 25
Airport Business - Williston Takes Flight
Airport Business - 27
Airport Business - Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
Airport Business - 29
Airport Business - 30
Airport Business - 31
Airport Business - FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Business - 33
Airport Business - Airport Guru
Airport Business - 35
Airport Business - Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Airport Business - 37
Airport Business - Product Focus
Airport Business - 39
Airport Business - Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 41
Airport Business - 42
Airport Business - 43
Airport Business - 44
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