There are many fine completion centers available however the one

ingredient that will bring their performance up several notches is

having an onsite project manager who works for the aircraft owner. When

I refer to completion process I'm including green as well as

refurbishment projects.

While the industry trend had been moving in favor of onsite

representation about 70% of owners have their in house staff or

consultants on site during the completion process.

I've seen an alarming trend lately to not having any

representation in an effort to save costs. This may seem like a cost

saving however in the long run it ends up costing a lot more. When your

aircraft is not completed to the highest standards there will be many

costly visits to the shop to correct the numerous discrepancies that

will appear during the day to day operations that would have been

corrected during the process by a professional completion consultant.

Granted there is a warranty on the work.

  • Does it cover loss of use of the aircraft?

  • Does it cover the costs of returning to the center for the repairs?

  • Does it protect you from an angry boss who was embarrassed in

    front of a client by a broken entertainment or cabin communication


  • Does it cover the poor dispatch reliability due to

    maintenance issues that should have been addressed during the

    completion process?

    Who should be onsite to represent the owner during the process?

    A highly skilled professional completion consultant who has had

    experience supervising many completions for owners, completion centers

    or the aircraft manufacturers is the person you want to be there for

    you. Most A and P mechanics have never been through the process and

    would need extensive training to be qualified for the job.

    Where do I get a professional completion consultant?

    Google aircraft completion oversight or consultants and several

    options will appear. Look for a firm with completion professionals on

    staff t that have either backgrounds from manufactures project

    managers, completion center senior management and owner's completion

    consultants. They should have over twenty years of experience in

    aviation and have supervised many completion projects.

    Why not just let the manufactures or completion center project manager handle the job?

    A tale of two completion project managers:

  • A project manager for a completion center or manufacturer has

    many aircraft to manage. His is turning prematurely gray and taking

    large amount of Maalox or Tums for his stomach distress. His boss is

    screaming at him to get the aircraft out of the hangar so that they can

    get paid.

  • An owner's project manager has your aircraft to manage. His

    primary concern is your safety followed by producing a high quality and

    reliable aircraft. He is there to assure that there are no billing

    errors as well as assure that your aircraft is being worked so it is

    completed on time.

    If you considered all excellent completion centers equal horses in the

    Kentucky Derby then the only difference would be the jockey. Having a

    professional completion consultant is like hiring the best jockey he

    can guide and whip the horse as necessary to win the race. In this case

    give you an aircraft that is safe reliable and will retain its value

    for years.