London, Ont.-based AV-BASE Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce that Air Spray Aviation Services has “gone live” with version 6 of its flagship WinAir aircraft maintenance and inventory control software. Air Spray is using WinAir 6 at its two bases in Red Deer, Alta. and Chico, Calif. to manage maintenance of its firefighting fleets. The company operates mixed fleets consisting of Lockheed Electra L-188 heavy air tankers, Turbo Commander 690s, and other aircraft. At its Chico base it is also currently converting a BAe-146 for a firefighting role.
Wildfire suppression often involves difficult terrain and remote bases, one reason why engineers like the flexibility offered by the web-based WinAir maintenance package. “WinAir 6 is extremely functional and usable remotely,” said Kirk Carlton, Air Spray’s director of maintenance. Using a tablet computer and an Internet connection, Carlton can access fleet maintenance information anywhere, and can direct operations in the field. Darcy Garrett, Air Spray’s director of planning and logistics, boasted that he has “posted a maintenance check for an aircraft from my dentist’s office!”
Garrett said he is particularly happy with the maintenance planning functions of WinAir 6. The “click and post” planning concept and the detailed display of component information make it easy to see what is coming due – essential when planning maintenance for an entire fleet of diverse aircraft. He also likes the built-in system of alerts and warnings, in which a user can add notes to tasks or components and make them visible to other users. Air Spray now uses the alert system for internal messaging within the company.
Both Carlton and Garrett are said to like the comprehensive data validation that WinAir 6 enforces throughout the maintenance process. “Validation ensures compliance,” said Carlton. “It ensures that you do the job correctly, and that your business practices are up to standard. It’s short-term pain for long-term gain. WinAir 6 has saved us 15-20 percent in resources because we spend less time fixing mistakes. And the training we received enabled our employees to get up to speed really quickly. The ‘train-the-trainer’ approach means that our on-site personnel are already able to answer most of the hard questions for their colleagues.”
Bert Vergeer, director of sales for AV-BASE, said he is excited to see Air Spray advancing to WinAir 6. “It’s quite evident that Kirk, Darcy and the rest of their team are very forward-thinking with respect to maximizing efficiency, and we at AV-BASE are committed to supporting their efforts into the future.”