3 Ways to Reduce Rotorcraft Downtime

In the helicopter industry, downtime is inevitable. Unforeseen technical issues, poor weather, and limited spare parts availability can all negatively affect your daily operations. In addition to dealing with a backlog of maintenance work when operations stall, you might also lose revenue and be forced to shuffle cash flow or cut back on expenses.

Excessive downtime isn’t just detrimental to you and your team, though—it can also hurt the customers you serve. If hospitals, police departments, and fire stations don’t have the parts they need to safely operate their helicopters, communities will suffer. 

Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to prevent or reduce downtime. To keep your operation running smoothly and take care of your customers, follow these three simple practices. 

1. Keep an accurate log of upcoming spare parts needs

Whether you’re a maintenance director overseeing a large fleet of rotorcraft or an owner with a single aircraft, it’s easy to neglect to plan properly. Maintaining log cards is a good habit, but keeping a record of upcoming scheduled maintenance or parts needs can be difficult in the fast-paced aviation industry.

However, creating an accurate log of scheduled maintenance is key to road-mapping your maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) needs, as well as restocking your spare parts. Use a spreadsheet or a scheduled maintenance software to compile a robust list of parts names and MRO tasks. Not only does this help eliminate unfortunate surprises, it also allows for ample lead time when purchasing common parts and more expensive specialty items, like a main rotor transmission. Plus, having a single source to funnel repairs and parts needs limits the number of phone calls and emails your operator or maintenance director receives, in turn freeing them up to focus on other tasks. 

At Heli-Mart, we have decades of experience in the spare parts industry. We can address your MRO needs at our in-house FAA- and EASA-certified repair station, or send for a specialist. 

2. Begin sourcing spares earlier than you think

Now, more than ever, supply chains are squeezed. Industry-wide, major manufacturers have long backlogs of orders, which means flight critical components are harder to source out with immediate availability. A helicopter stuck on the ground can be detrimental to an operation. When a pilot can’t fly due to mechanical issues, not only can you lose revenue, but you can also put citizens’ lives and well-being on the line. 

To ensure you have the items you need when you need them, it’s crucial to start sourcing ahead of time. After all, when you have an aircraft on ground (AOG), you can’t afford to fill out a lengthy RFQ or wait months for a part. You need immediate spare parts availability and rapid response. 

That’s why we keep a robust inventory of both popular and obscure spares on the shelf at Heli-Mart. Think: blades, windows, batteries, consumables, and more. The best part? We do same day shipping across the world. 

3. Streamline the purchase and repair process to a single source

Imagine this scenario: you’re sitting in front of your computer screen—short on time—and Googling, “Where can I find an aircraft battery?” Wading through hundreds of websites and sources to find the part you need is tedious and stressful. When you need to purchase an item immediately, every second wasted is critical. The more time you spend searching for vendors or MRO facilities, the less time you have to cater to customers, handle admin work, or oversee daily operations. 

Rather than sending out multiple RFQs to a handful of different vendors, which just adds unnecessary wait times for pricing and availability, you should look to one reliable point of contact. 

At Heli-Mart we have over four decades of experience sourcing for spare parts and advising customers on maintenance needs. Whether you have a long list of needs or just need one part, we’ll respond quickly with up-to-date information on the latest part numbers you’re searching for. Plus, we have an extensive logistics chain, so if you’re AOG on a weekend, we can get the part in your hand before Monday. 

Use Heli-Mart to reduce your downtime

If you’ve lost profits or customers because of downtime in the past, it’s time to get prepared—and we can help. Our team at Heli-Mart offers competitive prices, a robust set of resources, same-day shipping worldwide, and stellar service.

Getting the right parts is easy:

Shop our store, submit a simple RFQ on our website or give us a call on our toll-free number. We’re here to make the sourcing process as easy as possible, so you can get back to running a successful operation.