Above & beyond

AvatarBy Ben Forrest | May 14, 2020

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 56 seconds.

In September 2019, a multi-role helicopter operator in North Salt Lake, Utah, suffered a bird strike. The operator immediately called the mobile non-destructive testing (NDT) team at Duncan Aviation, which is known for its quick turn times, expert personnel and exceptional service quality.

The team, in turn, dispatched a rapid response unit that same day and had the aircraft operational within 48 hours.

“Turn time is king,” said Brian Young, NDT team leader for Duncan Aviation’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) location in Lincoln, Nebraska. “You can have all the nice equipment and facilities and . . .
well-trained personnel. But if you don’t have the customers, you don’t have a whole lot. So, that’s definitely something we focus on–taking care of customers.”

Duncan Aviation is generally known more for its work in the fixed-wing industry. When you’re the world’s largest privately owned business-jet support company, that’s inevitable.

However, its rotary-wing MRO services–and mobile NDT capabilities in particular–have quietly become renowned as well.

Hundreds of customers annually use Duncan Aviation’s NDT services. The team features 12 technicians that are dispatched on short notice throughout the United States and into parts of Canada and Mexico.

“Our NDT technicians are all full-time. . . . So, they’re very proficient at what they do,” said Young. “That’s their only responsibility–they’re not splitting time doing maintenance.”

Many of these technicians have applied science degrees. Others obtained their NDT training through the U.S. Air Force or from on-the-job experience in the oil-and-gas industry. They work out of state-of-the-art facilities in three locations: Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. Their average experience is 15 years, and each can perform magnetic-particle, fluorescent-penetrant, eddy-current and ultrasonic inspections for all types of helicopters.

“We’re definitely capable of travel,” said Ray Vieselmeyer, Duncan Aviation’s NDT crew leader in Provo, Utah. “A lot of times . . . we have to be on the road either the same day or the next day. If an aircraft is down, it may be costing the customer money, and they need a quick response.”

This commitment to doing anything to meet a customer’s needs has been a Duncan Aviation calling card since the family owned company was created in 1956. It’s why Duncan Aviation is on a mission to provide a customer experience unlike any other, with low costs, unmatched professionalism and unrivalled expertise.

“If you’re a standalone maintenance facility for helicopters, or if you’re a standalone NDT facility, you might not have the capabilities we have at Duncan Aviation,” said Brian Young. “We’ve got machine shop folks. We’ve got folks that do the welding. We’ve got just about every capability you could want for aviation . . . and with three separate facilities across the country, we have you covered.”

The entire Duncan Aviation NDT team believes that being prepared for the smallest needs of every customer creates the biggest benefit. Plus, they are backed by a company that has invested millions of dollars in tools, equipment and talent to quickly and efficiently provide the required NDT aviation maintenance services–even when technicians are on the road.

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