Air Medical Group Holdings Improves Fleet Maintenance With Data Analysis
When you operate a large air medical fleet, data analysis can help you confidently budget your yearly maintenance costs in advance. It gives you more than just a competitive advantage; it gives you peace of mind.
Keeping a large air medical fleet in-service
Between them, sister companies Med-Trans Air Medical Transport and REACH Air Medical Services have an air medical fleet of 60 EC135 helicopters powered by PW206B2 engines. In air ambulance services, where proximity and response time are critical, in-service rates are extremely important.
When Med-Trans and REACH partnered with P&WC on an event cost plan maintenance program using air medical fleet data they gained more clarity around the state of their engines, giving them better planning and cost-control.
Partnering for insights
Collecting air medical fleet data from engine performance is a relatively easy process, but knowing how to analyze it to produce insights is quite different. Turning data into action requires in-depth technical knowledge and expertise. That’s why Vicky Spediacci, Vice President of Aviation Operations at REACH Air Medical Services, is very happy to work with P&WC to get to the heart of their maintenance decisions.
Working together with Med-Trans and REACH, P&WC keeps an ongoing record of most of their engines. With this information, P&WC’s algorithms analyze the air ambulance fleet’s engine performance, plotting and tracking results to discover trends.
Over time, a picture emerges making it easier for REACH and Med-Trans to know when engine maintenance is required. Armed with these insights, they are able to increase their fleet’s in-service availability, reduce the off-wing time and keep their maintenance surprises to a minimum. All essential elements to consider when operating air ambulances!
The result is that Med-Trans and REACH can better forecast the timing of their maintenance events and budget, thanks to air medical fleet data collection.
P&WC goes over and above our expectations to support our year-over-year budget planning.
Drilling down into air medical fleet data for proactive maintenance
To get the most out of the analysis, Med-Trans and REACH collect data from:
- Routine scheduled engine power checks
- Actual flying hours, the length of the flight hours and cycle counts
- Engine removal histories and their causes, and other maintenance events
Next, the team at P&WC analyzes the air medical fleet data to determine what each engine’s “normal” wear parameters are and how that will impact its maintenance schedule. “You're going to have natural performance degradation over time in the engine. If P&WC starts to see that degradation escalate a little bit, they're able to provide an analysis and advise us to take specific actions to return the engine to a normal environment and improve its performance,” says Vicky Spediacci.
P&WC has the technical expertise that we need to dig deeper into the engine data and identify actions that we can take to improve our in-service rates while lowering maintenance costs.
Eventually, all engines need to be overhauled. But through their partnership with P&WC, Med-Trans and REACH can track the full health history of each engine and be better able to plan for major maintenance events and predict engine maintenance costs.