Alerion Aviation Leverages Technology to Manage a Highly Diverse Fleet
Alerion Aviation is a full-service Part 135 private jet charter operator that manages midsized to heavy jets in some of the United States’ busiest demand markets like New York, California and Florida. The company offers its customers everything from brokerage and consulting services to aircraft management and maintenance oversight support.
With its wide range of end-to-end services and a diverse fleet of Gulfstreams, Challengers, Hawkers, Falcons, Citations and other aircraft across the country, reliable aircraft are a critical component for Alerion’s business as it upholds its hard sought reputation as a gold standard for air carriers.
The team relies on the accessible and innovative platform from Flightdocs to help streamline workflows and increase efficiencies. This is important as Alerion’s full service offering includes helping customers acquire an aircraft, manage the aircraft, and operate the aircraft in the most effective manner possible.
Safety in the Skies
Alerion’s Director of Maintenance Adam Darnell has watched maintenance tracking evolve throughout his aviation career, from paper records to spreadsheets to the current maintenance tracking systems– and Flightdocs has been his platform of choice since 2015.
Ease-of-use and visibility is central for Darnell, who’s responsible for ensuring the reliability of the Alerion fleet and guaranteeing that all maintenance is accomplished in 100% accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration’s rules, regulations and procedures.
“I’m ultimately in charge of the safety of these aircraft,” he says. “At the end of the day, would I put my kids on this airplane? Yes or no. That’s the game changer for me.”
In Darnell’s line of work, safety means access to accurate, real-time data across multiple locations and a varied fleet. He says that Flightdocs’ advanced technology allows his geographically dispersed team access to the same insights from anywhere, at anytime.
“It makes it so easy because at the technician level the guys see the same thing no matter what they’re working on,” he says. “At the management level, I can pull the same reports. And at the quality level, my inspectors all see the same thing, and they have the same warnings and sign offs. It’s so convenient that it’s all universal, no matter what type of aircraft it is.”
Through Flightdocs Enterprise, Alerion has access to an array of easy-to-use dashboards that manage the planning and execution of work orders and records information automatically. This automation allows Darnell and his team the ability to review and sign off on work progress in real time. The maintenance dashboard provides the team with an single, color-coded view of the entire fleet, allowing them to make fast decisions and take the actions that impact the fleet’s readiness.
Errors happen, so when Darnell catches them, the software allows him to go back in and make fast and easy corrections while maintaining the integrity of the history.
“My guys mess up a logbook entry – or I mess up a logbook entry – it’s really easy to go in, correct it and that history is saved,” he says. “So I’m not hiding anything. I’m not throwing anything away. It’s all right there. And I can print a nice clean entry, and we’re off to the races.”
Reliability on the Road
Alerion’s Chief Inspector, Christopher Jelinek, spends a lot of time on the road overseeing facilities inspections and ensuring that all records and personnel are up to date and meet all current standards of a 135 operator. Much like Darnell, its critical for him to have readily available and reliable information wherever he goes.
“Using the mobile apps when I’m on the road is invaluable,” he says. “I can be on one coast and my aircraft could be on the other. I have to look up different part numbers and seek vendors at a moment’s notice. It comes in very handy. To have all that at your fingertips is invaluable.”
Jelinek also leverages Flightdocs and its clear, concise format when he is planning for larger scale inspections or long-lead maintenance projects.
“We can see what’s due, how far out it’s due, what our tolerances are before it’s due,” he says. “So, when I’m planning out our maintenance for the year, how far out do I have, how many hours am I going to fly before this becomes an issue, it really becomes very valuable at getting those slots that I really need.”
For the past two decades, Alerion has created strategic sales plans to help their clients consolidate and eliminate operational expenses associated with their assets. That can often involve the sale of their asset, whether it’s upsizing or downsizing based on their specific needs. According to Darnell, if he’s helping a new owner purchase an aircraft that is on Flightdocs, “it makes my job so much easier to evaluate the quality of the records, first of all, and to evaluate the status of the airplane because the data is all there.”
When it comes to the purchase or resale of an aircraft, Darnell says the visibility in Flightdocs (versus paper work logs and inspection reports) ensures that the information is accurate, accessible and complete, which can help a client easily determine whether or not an aircraft is compliant and a worthwhile investment.
He says an added benefit is that Flightdocs presents information in a simple and visual way so that a client can understand important elements about an aircraft, even if they’re not aviation savvy. “I can show them very detailed reports, and it just makes it so much more convenient to be on Flightdocs and to show them that it definitely adds intrinsic value to the aircraft.”
A Familiar Connection
The Alerion team says the Flightdocs platform was easy to understand and use from the outset, particularly compared to the platforms of other major competitors in the industry. In addition to its intuitive design and reliable technology, however, both Darnell and Jelinek believe there is something else that sets it apart.
“The customer service is what really did it for me,” says Darnell. “I love the fact that when I have a question, I call and somebody answers. It’s not a machine. It’s not another country. It’s a human being. And my concerns matter.”
Darnell claims he feels like he’s part of the family with Flightdocs. “And to me that’s huge. If I have a problem, they fix it immediately. It’s not, ‘oh well, we’ll get right on it,’ and then three weeks later I have to follow up. It’s done right now.”
When colleagues go to him asking for guidance on the best Maintenance Management platform, “It’s very easy for me to recommend Flightdocs because I can tell them all the advantages,” he says. “It’s simple. It’s cost effective. It is universal.”
Jelinek agrees with Darnell’s assessment of Flightdocs and their level of customer service, adding: “The person on the phone will walk you right through everything you need. Every time that I’ve called actually they’ve been right on the spot – no questions asked.”