T&E: Selecting and Purchasing Ground Support Equipment

Experiences gained from maintenance organizations may help with equipment and tooling choices.

AMT spoke with Mike Fortman from Aerotechnics Inc., an FAA repair station authorized for a variety of NDT functions. When asked about his company’s views regarding selection and purchase decisions on specialized test equipment, here’s what Fortman had to say. “The majority of the large equipment we look at is used and reconditioned. In our line of work we often times need to have backup equipment in the event a piece of test equipment malfunctions.”

Fortman shares that his company provides NDT service for a regional airline where the demands of meeting aircraft schedules require them to have backup equipment for certain NDT functions. “We must have additional equipment on hand in the unforeseen event of an equipment problem,” says Fortman.

Last year they purchased two X-ray tubes, one new and one used. The used unit was approximately two-thirds the cost of the new one, and they were both in similar condition. This approach has worked well for their operation. Regarding regular use probes and harnesses, they always purchase new items. Due to the high cost of the equipment, renting or borrowing does not work well for them.

Fortman offers that they continue to look for new business, and they make equipment purchase decisions based on the new business forecast.

Manufacturer’s recommendations
No matter what the size of your maintenance operation, when selecting and purchasing GSE and maintenance tooling always begin with the aircraft manufacturer’s recommendations, servicing and maintenance manuals, and any other related documents.

Soliciting experience from other operators, going to trade shows, speaking with suppliers, and manufacturers about GSE and maintenance tooling can provide you with valuable insight into making your next GSE or maintenance tooling selection and purchase.

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