Maintenance Matters

January 2009 Issue

Pay for Play: Managed Maintenance

For a modest fee, Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management proposes to oversee the wrenching, sparing you the hassle. Is it worth it?

Although pilot training provides the knowledge and experience we need to safely fly an aircraft per the regulations, little more than the school of hard knocks is offered to help us maintain it. Amid stories of five-figure annual inspections for piston singles, the typical aircraft owner faced with a maintenance-related decision is more likely to defer to the shop than to seek a professional second opinion. That can get expensive. And, until now, professional maintenance management—that is, having a professional make these decisions on the owner’s behalf—simply wasn’t available for personal aircraft at any cost. But is there even a market for such a thing? Mike Busch thinks there is. Busch is long-time maintenance advisor to the Cessna Pilots Association, the FAA’s National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year for 2008 and founder of the Savvy Aviator Seminars on aircraft ownership. In mid-2008, he founded Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management (SAMM) which offers to professionally manage the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of most models of owner-flown aircraft. This service strikes us as moderately priced and the company bills it as a service that will pay for itself by saving owners money. Is it worth it? Our contacts with early clients of SAMM indicate that they’re pleased with the service and seeing reduced maintenance expenses, along with increased confidence.

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