The Questions You Should Ask Any MRO Before Beginning Work

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An MRO will ensure the airworthiness of your aircraft, which means trust is an important factor. So how do you choose the MRO that is right for you and your aircraft? As you begin researching and having initial conversations, these are the questions to ask an MRO to ensure they are the right fit for you.

What training does the MRO have that’s relevant to my aircraft?

First and foremost, you want to make sure that an MRO has the right training, tooling, and tech data for your specific aircraft. 

You should choose an MRO who has the right experience. If they have worked with an aircraft like yours before, this is your opportunity to dive into some more specifics. No one can talk about the intricacies of your aircraft quite like you can, so ask specific questions that only you know the answer to. Ask what type of hydraulic fluid your aircraft takes. The MRO should know the answer off the top of their head. If they don’t, then you can bet you’ll be paying for them to get trained on your aircraft.

How many of your aircraft type does the MRO maintain?

Also, as a general rule, an MRO should maintain at least five of your make and model aircraft. For instance, if you have a King Air, you want them to maintain at least five King Air series aircraft. This will ensure they have enough experience to know what to look for on your model, and will save you time and money. 

Ask the MRO to make a plan & quote for all inspections and due items over the next 24 months

A smart, proactive MRO will provide you this information with your aircraft’s best interest in mind.

Once you have your 24-month plan in hand, ask yourself:

  • Did they take the time to ask you questions to find out everything they could about your aircraft before putting together a comprehensive estimate?
  • Did they offer to combine phases, or to combine inspections with other due items in order to save you money?
  • Did they try to lowball you by only giving you bare bones numbers? Or did they mention other items that usually need to be repaired or replaced at that time in your aircraft’s life?

An MRO that you want to work with will take the time to get to know your aircraft, will try to save you time and money, and will be able to give you an accurate price estimate – not just the price of the inspection itself.

What is the average turnaround time for my next upcoming inspection?

The appropriate amount of time will be determined by the specific aircraft and inspection. If you’re not familiar with the normal range of turnaround times for your inspection, check pilots’ boards for your model or ask colleagues who have the same type of aircraft.

If your MRO estimates a turnaround time that is too low, this means they are underestimating to earn your business, but your plane will be stuck there until it’s done. There is a minimum amount of time each inspection will take, regardless of the number of people working or the number of shifts. If an MRO quotes you on an inspection time below that threshold, it is a red flag that they are not being honest and transparent.

For example, a 65-man-hour inspection should take 5 to 7 days including the repair of normal discrepancies found. An MRO quoting 2 to 3 days for a 65-man-hour inspection isn’t being honest.

If your MRO estimates  turnaround time that is too high, it will cost you time and suggest they don’t have the proper training, tooling, or tech data. This is also a red flag – you will most likely be paying this MRO to get trained on your aircraft.

What do you typically see with this specific inspection on my aircraft?

Each model has a tendency to develop certain issues at different times in its life. These are issues that you may not know about – but your MRO should know when to expect them, and how much you should budget for each. 

To test the experience level of the MRO, you can ask, “Realistically, what discrepancies do you normally see during this specific inspection on my make and model?”

You’ll want to listen for real examples such as, “$15,000 is the base price of the inspection, but we usually see corrosion under the floorboards at this point and time. So you can expect to pay around $50,000.”

This tells you they really know your aircraft, and they are likely to be open and honest with you. 

Winner Aviation is here to help.

In summary, your goal when having a conversation with a new MRO is to:

  1. Test their expertise on your aircraft
  2. Find out how many they maintain
  3. Ask them to estimate prices for upcoming inspections
  4. Check for appropriate turnaround time estimates
  5. Find out how likely they are to send you a surprise bill.

If an MRO passes those tests, then you can likely trust your aircraft to their care.

We know that choosing the right MRO all comes down to trust—trust in experience, trust in competency, and trust in the team of experts handling your aircraft. When you reach out to us about your aircraft, you’ll notice that we’ll have the answers to all of these questions and we will also be intentional about asking detailed questions in return. Our goal is to learn as much as we can about your aircraft before you ever walk through our doors—it’s our effort to offer a “no surprises” level of service.

We’re always here to answer whatever questions you may have, with absolutely no strings or commitment attached. Give us a call to discuss the specifics of your aircraft and put us to the test.

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