Threshold Aviation Group “Parting Out” Gulfstream Vs at their FAA Repair Station
The philosopher Aristotle coined the phrase, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and it’s a truism in most instances. But, sometimes, the parts can be greater than the whole – especially when dealing with an aging aircraft.
“Parting out” Gulfstream Vs has become a new product line for Threshold Aviation Group (TAG) and is a booming business for the Chino, CA-based firm. TAG, in partnership with a firm that does acquisitions of aging aircraft, has made possible the opportunity for TAG’s highly-skilled mechanics and other trained personnel to disassemble or “part out” Gulfstream V aircraft parts for certified resale.
Pete Nichol, TAG’s Manager of Special Projects, explains “parting out” as something similar to recovering the worthwhile and re-usable parts of a car that’s been totaled. “There’s no resale value in a car that’s been totaled but certain car parts that weren’t damaged in the accident can still have an economic value,” he says.
Although the Gulfstream Vs that TAG “parts out” are still fully operational (i.e. not damaged) when they arrive at TAG’s FAA Repair Station in Southern California, they are aging aircraft, approximately 20-years-old, and not likely to be resold. But TAG’s personnel know that the Gulfstream V parts are in high demand by aircraft owners and their mechanics when faced with needed repairs to their own Gulfstream Vs. Nichol says that “parts within the engine, the avionics (instruments), actuators, flaps, and the auxiliary power units” are in high demand as resale parts.
But, “parting out” is not a simple or uncomplicated process. In order to meet the criteria of the FAA for aircraft parts to be certified for resale is a process within itself. Nichol said it takes four teams of three people (12 people total) working full time for two days just to check all systems and components according to manufacturers’ specifications to meet the FAA’s certified resale criteria. In short, that’s nearly 200-man-hours just to make certain that Gulfstream parts are safe and able to be resold for future use. And that’s just the beginning of “parting out.”
In total, it takes about three-and-a-half weeks to “part out” a single Gulfstream V at TAG’s FAA Repair Station in Southern California. It’s a deliberate and precise process. TAG utilizes their specifically trained staff for the process. Often times being “specifically trained” means attending classes at a manufacturer’s facility or even bringing a manufacturer’s representative to TAG’s site to conduct on-site training.
One unique part of TAG’s Gulfstream V “parting out” process – they utilize avionic students from Chaffey Community College as part of the work team. It’s a win-win process; TAG can temporarily “employ” up-and-coming avionic mechanics and the Chaffey students get hands-on experience working on real aircraft and learning the professional culture of an avionics employer all while under the watchful eyes of veteran aircraft mechanics and their supervisors.
Nichol estimates that it takes some 1,500 hours to fully disassemble, clean and catalog the “harvested” parts a Gulfstream V. TAG is currently looking for additional space for this new product line because TAG plans to “part out” between 12 and 13 Gulfstream Vs each year at their FAA Repair Station in Southern California on the south side of the Chino Airport (KCNO).
For more information about TAG’s FAA Repair Station in Southern California or their other services, please call (909) 606-6319 or visit www.flytti.com.