Behind-the-Scenes: Taking Stock of Our Parts
Tucked just behind the Atlas Aircraft Center, Inc. hangar at the PlaneSense, Inc. headquarters in Portsmouth, NH is a department few are aware of, but one whose role is critical to the successful maintenance of the fleet. Welcome to the Parts Department, where the team manages more than 194,000 aircraft parts of all sizes, one of the largest inventories of Pilatus aircraft supplies in the United States.
Parts Room supervisor Whitney Corcoran, who has worked in the department for more than 11 years, oversees the day-to-day management of the parts inventory. She and the team utilize a sophisticated system to track everything within the vast storage areas of the department. These include management of the large catalog of Pilatus aircraft parts and specialized tools used by the maintenance technicians. The team works very close with the technicians to stay informed about the work being done in the hangar to ensure the necessary parts and tools are immediately available.
The Parts team meticulously tracks every part, noting which plane it has been installed in or pulled from. Unserviceable parts are tracked and disposed of properly. These steps in the process are critical to maintaining the company’s uncompromising commitment to safety by ensuring that only the best products are used.
Parts Manager Al Archambault has been overseeing the department since 2005 and is most proud of how the operation has become more advanced as it keeps up with the growth of PlaneSense and Atlas Aircraft Center. What was once handled by two people five days a week is now managed by nine people on two shifts, seven days a week. The addition of the Pilatus PC-24 jets required the storage areas to be reconfigured to accommodate the large increase in parts and tools required for the jets.
The variety of parts for the fleet varies from the smallest screws and washers to larger items, such as aircraft sidewalls, flaps, and tires. They’re methodically organized in labeled bins and on shelves for quick reference and retrieval. But aircraft parts aren’t the only things stocked on the shelves. The team manages inventory for the entire company including office supplies, safety gear, janitorial supplies, and much more. They also oversee shipping and receiving, waste oil tracking, and the Hazardous Materials Identification System.
On-board catering is also managed by the Parts team, stocked in several different locations in the fractional program’s service area for pilots to access when needed. Working with hundreds of vendors and thousands of products, the team keeps it all in order with monthly inventory counts and a large in-depth inventory review at the end of the year.
The next time you see one of the PlaneSense® PC-12s or PC-24s, be sure to take stock of all the individual pieces on the aircraft. There’s a good chance that it once passed through this busy Parts Department!