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Pre-purchase and pre-lease of aircraft

Before you invest your hard earned money into purchasing or leasing an aircraft you would do well to receive an honest opinion on the following:

Airworthiness Directives Status

Aircraft Accident & Incident History

Has the aircraft ever been invovled in an accident or a serious incident? What about the major components of the aircraft - e.g. propeller or engine? Accidents and serious incidents may have subjected the aircraft or component to extra stress which may cause failure earlier than anticipated. Keeping such components functioning may require extra measures which a non-accident component may not be obliged to adhere to.

My services include letting you know the history of such occurrences on both the aircraft and the components installed on it.

Presence of Unapproved Parts

All aircraft undergo maintenance. Some of this maintenance may involve component replacement. At Sennzel Consults, it is ensured that all components can be traced to approved sources. Unapproved parts can never guarantee you the safety you deserve.

Aircraft Repair Records

Questions I help you answer with the Pre-buy or Pre-lease Inspection include:

1. Are there any significant repairs on the aircraft?

2. Were the repairs done correctly?

3. Were the repairs performed by qualified personnel or organisations? and

4. What extra airworthiness requirements have been introduced by these repairs?

Latent Issues or Defects

Latent or hidden defects are the worst kinds of defects. By the time you realise their presence it might be too late. One of the best ways to identify these, apart from strict adherence to manufacturer inspection requirements, is to monitor trends.

Trends Sennzel Consults requests for include:

1. Fuel and oil uptakes;

2. Reliability;

3. FDR readouts;

4. Defects and pilot reports; and

5. Fleet accident and incident reports.

Certificates and Other Aircraft Records

In aviation, it is common knowledge that if it has not been recorded, it has not been done. Certificates and records prove that the necessary requirements have been met. My job is to make sure these documents are avialable, authentic and current.

Scheduled Maintenance Down Time

Aircraft are machines. Any all machines breakdown. Peculiar to aviation though is that we would rather not prefer to have it break down during flight. As such, maintenance is scheduled at predetermined intervals to inspect, repair or replace components. Some of these maintenance checks may take the aircraft out of service for quite a while. 


My job would be to tell you when the next such maintenance check would be due. Moreover, I also let you know if you would be required to change any major part on the aircraft within the near future. E.g. of components that may need replacement or overhaul even though everything may seem fine include landing gears, engines, propellers, etc.

Corrosion Status

There is a lot of metal on aircraft; metal corrodes. Therefore, aircraft are susceptible to corrosion, especially, as the aircraft increases in age. It is my job that requirements to keep corrosion in check is being adhered to.

*Qualification of Flight Crew and Maintenance Support

Who is flying the aircraft? Who is maintaining the aircraft? Are they qualified? Certificates and licenses, in a perfect world, should have been enough proof of competency.

At Sennzel Consults, it is realised that we do not live in a perfect world and as such I go beyond the surface to probe deeper to give you that peace of mind that those flying and maintaining the aircraft have the right and competency to do so.

*Continuing Airworthiness Agreements

The kind of agreements you enter into will inform:

1. The cost of maintenance;

2. The convenience of maintenance; and

3. The satisfaction from use of the aircraft.

All three are vital to me because they are vital to you and I will make sure you are not shortchanged.

*Airworthiness Requirements of States of Registration and Operator

States or countries may have peculiar and specific requirements for airworthiness of aircraft. I make sure to inform you ahead of time if any such requirements exist at the intended destination(s) of the aircraft.

Conformity to Originial Type Design

Aircraft are designed and produced to rigourous standards. During the course of the life of an aircraft, changes may be introduced to the aircraft which were not included in the original design. This in itself is not a bad thing but may rather improve some capabilities of the aircraft.

The problem arises when these changes do not have the right approvals and documentation. It is my job to make sure that any changes to the aircraft were:

1. Approved by competent Authorities;

2. Performed in accordance with approved data; and

3. Any extra maintenance and airworthiness requirements introduced by the change have and are being performed.

* These services are not usually offered by competitors!

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