RUAG MRO International has completed an annual inspection of three Italian Army Dornier 228 aircraft at its facilities at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany. In addition to the heavy maintenance check, the customer opted to upgrade the avionics for each aircraft to comply with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ADS-B Out/EHS mandates for 2020. Mini-tablet holders were also introduced to the cockpit, according to a special mission configuration specified by the operator.
The three heavy maintenance inspections were planned consecutively to ensure continuous aircraft availability for missions out of the Italian Army’s operating base at Viterbo, Italy. Each was designed to optimise downtimes by including additional installations and avionics options.
Prioritising compliance with upcoming EASA ADS-B Out/EHS mandates for next year, the Italian Army planned the avionics modification to coincide with each Dornier 228’s annual inspection. They also chose to combine the events with a retrofit of the VHF radios to 8.33 kHz spacing. “Preventing potential operating limitations resulting from the upcoming regulations is a crucial issue for the Italian Army,” stated Michael Franz, director customer support Dornier 228, RUAG MRO International. “With this in mind, they entrusted our engineering specialists with the complete ADS-B system integration for all three of their Dornier 228 aircraft.”
RUAG’s engineering team also designed and integrated mini-tablet holders for the pilot and co-pilot controls. Michael Franz confirmed: “Improving safety through heightened situational awareness and reduced pilot workload is a priority for the Italian Army. The mini-tablet holders were specifically developed to respond to these criteria.”
“The Italian Army relies on our team for solutions that contribute to continued aircraft availability and the success of their daily missions,” added Volker Wallrodt, senior vice president business jets, Dornier 228 & Military, RUAG MRO International. “We strive to provide robust and sustainable support in our role as an OEM and, especially, as the Italian Army’s primary provider for maintenance, repair and overhaul services.”
The Italian Army operates its three Dornier 228 classic aircraft for paratrooper training, passenger and material transport and pilot training. RUAG meets their MRO requirements within the framework of a comprehensive maintenance contract, in place since 2003. The agreement ensures continuous aircraft availability according to mission and operational schedules.