Airtime Blog

Proactive Help Desk Delivers High-Tech, High-Touch Support

By PRATT & WHITNEY CUSTOMER SERVICE
June 11, 2019 | Diagnostics, Prognostics, Turbofans | 4 min read
Using data gathered with FAST™ diagnostic and prognostic technology, P&W’s Proactive Help Desk works directly with turbofan customers, like Executive Jet Management, to help maximize aircraft availability and reduce costs by moving toward a fully planned maintenance environment.

PROVIDING UP-TO-DATE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

In January 2019, Morgan Knight at Executive Jet Management noticed something a little off in the oil pressure figures for a PW307A-powered Falcon 7X business jet he manages. He decided to keep an eye on it and check it out during some scheduled maintenance that was coming up.

At it turned out, he didn’t have to wait that long.

He soon received a call from P&W’s Proactive Help Desk – a team of engineers and data analysts – confirming his suspicion that the main oil pressure was rising. Having spotted the increase while analyzing data received from the FAST™ engine heath management solution installed on the aircraft, they reached out to Morgan right away to notify him and discuss an action plan.
The Proactive Help Desk team helped us verify that what we were seeing was in fact an increase in the oil pressure. They provided a trend graph that showed it was rising over time.
Morgan Knight, Maintenance Manager, Executive Jet Management
After consulting with Morgan, the Proactive Help Desk suggested a two-step solution. First, as a short-term measure, they recommended cleaning any debris from the oil filter and readjusting the pressure adjustment valve. This was done on January 28, 2019.

SUPPORTING CUSTOMERS IN MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS

The second step was to replace a carbon seal and seal runner. The aircraft was going to be offline for a week for scheduled maintenance in late February. The Proactive Help Desk worked with the customer manager to make sure all the parts and manpower would be available when the Falcon 7X went into the shop.

The jet had a busy schedule in early February. It was therefore important for Morgan that the work would be done during the planned downtime with no further disruption.

“The customer preferred not to put the aircraft down for troubleshooting if it could be avoided,” explains P&W’s Björn Stickling, Director, Digital Engine Services. “We promised we would keep an eye on the engine’s performance and inform him if something changed that required immediate action.”

In the end, the engine successfully made it to the scheduled maintenance with no further intervention.

This was possible due to the early involvement of the Proactive Help Desk and its ability to closely monitor the situation as it evolved with the help of FAST™ data.

It was nice to have the engine manufacturer looking out for our best interests and covering our back. It was very helpful to speak with them and make sure that what we were planning on doing was what P&W thought should be done.
Morgan Knight, Maintenance Manager, Executive Jet Management
While this was Morgan’s first experience with the Proactive Help Desk, he regularly consults the local P&W customer support representatives and CFirst team when he needs advice on engine maintenance.

GIVING BUSINESS AVIATION CUSTOMERS AN EDGE

The Executive Jet Management story is a perfect example of how the Proactive Help Desk service makes a difference for customers with timely, comprehensive support. This data-driven consulting and support service is currently available for operators of PW300- and PW800-powered aircraft enrolled in the ESP™ pay-per-hour program.

The starting point is the availability of in-depth engine data, made possible by digital engine services such as the FAST solution. FAST captures and records data on a wide range of key engine parameters. As soon as the pilot shuts down the engines after each flight, this data is offloaded, encrypted and wirelessly transferred for analysis. The whole process is fully automated.

The edge FAST gives operators has led to rapid uptake in the business aviation world. Over 1,800 systems have been delivered for installation in a dozen aircraft models. Millions of hours of full flight data have been collected already.

FAST is a huge tool for us. The automated functioning is very helpful. It’s something we’ve been using on our aircraft for a number of years. It definitely helps give us an insight into engine health, which is paramount for safety and operating economics.
Morgan Knight, Maintenance Manager, Executive Jet Management
With the help of machine learning algorithms that focus on key drivers of availability, the Proactive Help Desk is using this pipeline of high-quality, full-flight data to support customers in managing their fleet maintenance and avoiding potential issues. It has helped avert over 50 aircraft-on-ground situations—along with the associated costs of unplanned maintenance.

“The goal is to provide the customer with a total solution, not just to issue an alert,” notes Björn.
The Proactive Help Desk combines good prognostics and analysis with a holistic understanding of the customer’s operational context, such as parts availability and other logistical questions, in order to drive greater availability and reduce expenses. By turning unscheduled events driven by a maintenance issue into scheduled events, it avoids the need to make alternate flight arrangements.
Björn Stickling, Director, Digital Engine Services
For more background on the Proactive Help Desk and how it uses data to give customers an advantage, check out an earlier Airtime article, The Digital Edge.