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Caravan C208 Annual Servicing Costs - $33,837

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Caravan C208 Annual Servicing Costs - $33,837

Old 26th Nov 2015, 03:15
  #1 (permalink)  
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Caravan C208 Annual Servicing Costs - $33,837

My 1995 Cessna Caravan Model 208B which has done 1785 flying hours and has always been kept in hangers, well away from any corrosive influence is now coming up for a 12 monthly service.

The quote I have received from my maintenance organisation at Bankstown is $33,837. This is surely a staggering price for an aircraft that has actually no faults to be repaired when it goes in for the maintenance and an aircraft that I have done less than 50 hours in, in the last 12 months.

A friend of mine who has a U.S. registered Caravan says that during the last 8 years his Caravan C208 annuals have cost USD12,500. He said the annuals take about 2 days but he supplies extra labour to remove and replace panels and carry out other tasks.

He has recommended to me I should put my Caravan on the American register however, that would mean I would have to lose the very important VH-SHW (Sir Hubert Wilkins) registration.

I can see why Australian companies keep old Navajos and Beavers!
Dick Smith is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 03:40
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Put SHW on something else, register it in The States, fly out US service personnel and pocket the change. Its a no brainer.
Aussie Bob is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 03:56
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That is enormous.

I assume you'll use about $1500 in consumers les.

This leave around $31500 for labour.

Allow $1500 for the paper work log book entries.

This leave $30,000. At $150 charge out per rate, this equates to 200 man hours or around 22 man days.

So with a turn around of 4 days that equates to 5 guys working flat out to do the work. Absolute nonsense.

My suggestion is to pay a guy $500 a day to supervise and time the work done, I think the maintenance organisation will freak. But I'll bet the bill will be around $15,000
dhavillandpilot is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 04:06
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Dick, I think you will find that the cost you have quoted - about USD24,500 - roughly double the American figure - is more a sad indictment of the cost of doing business in Australia, rather than what is wrong with the aviation industry here. I reckon if you factored in the straight out theft that is passed off as rent in Bankstown, the costs of compliance with workplace regulations, EPA, etc and labour cost that will be roughly double that of the US, the costs become understandable. Labour costs in this country are high because the costs of living are high, especially in Sydney, in fact about the highest in the western world.
The sooner rampant population growth is wound back in this country, the better...
mightyauster is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 04:36
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Don't forget to add in hangar liability insurance and hangar keepers insurance.
Desert Duck is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 04:48
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Yep, it all adds up Desert Duck!
mightyauster is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 05:38
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The cost of annual/100 hourly maintenance varies.

I've had the same plane with the same maintenance organisation for eight years. It's a small GA organisation with very experienced staff that are experts with this type of plane.

Some years it costs over $20,000 (needed new top end kits, magnetos), other years it costs less than $2,000 and is done in a couple of days. Luck of the draw.

I think it's important to support local LAMEs and rarely question a bill. They need to make a buck to survive and be financially viable. It must be depressing for the owners of maintenance operations seeing owners trying to be cheap by removing panels etc themselves to save a couple of bucks.

The rate for a LAME at Moorabbin was $70 an hour last time I looked, and I can't see how they would make a buck at this kind of rate especially given the overheads. I can't imagine it would be any cheaper in the USA and I don't think the LAMEs would be any better.

Dick, how about you upload a copy of the quote to give an idea where the costs are being incurred?
peterc005 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 06:00
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Dick it has to be said, you are using one of the most expensive GA maintenance organisations in Australia.

You know as well as anyone that labour costs in Australia are astronomical compared to the USA.

Additionally you state:

A friend of mine who has a U.S. registered Caravan says that during the last 8 years his Caravan C208 annuals have cost USD12,500. He said the annuals take about 2 days but he supplies extra labour to remove and replace panels and carry out other tasks.
...but you don't tell us what grade of maintenance facility your friend uses.

I had some work done at Corporate Air in Fresno, a top-notch maintenance facility that would rival anything I have ever seen in Australia. Their standards were high, their aircraft data and SBs etc exactly the same as ours here in Australia, but the cost of labour over there can't be beaten.

Changing the Nationality of your aircraft won't change much if you are still using Australian manpower.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 06:36
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Well Dick you can't have it both ways, as you posted in another thread:

As I have said to everyone, get out of aviation as soon as you can. In the next five or ten years there are going to be tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions of dollars losses as business becomes more unviable and aircraft values drop further.
fujii is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 06:47
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Fujii, I think Dick is still following the same line and wouldn't be surprised if he had made this thread specifically to bring up the fact that undoubtedly both an organisation here in Australia vs one in the US would be using the same manual for Maintenance as provided by Cessna and same parts (If not then you can't compare them anyway so moot point!), but his buddy in the US gets it a lot cheaper, so why is this?

Other than higher labour rates here in Aus (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing as the Ginger Beers deserve to make a decent living as well) but perhaps all the extra crud that they're required to adhere to above and beyond the Cessna Caravan Maintenance Manual that is imposed by Bureaucrats and CASA!

Perhaps a list of the costs as quoted? I wouldn't suggest a direct copy of the quote as this to me would seem a bit rude to be disclosing but certainly typing out the costs as listed would be enlightening.
Ixixly is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 08:21
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I will do it for $32,837
Hasherucf is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 08:44
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It's not just labour that's half the price in the USA, it's almost everything.

An average house is half the price.
An average car is half the price.
The fuel for the car is half the price.

That is achieved by having 15x more people and a very low minimum wage standards - thereby having a large proportion of the country living in poverty and engaging in crime just to survive.

Since you a self-confessed proponent of reducing Australian population growth, the only other solution is to halve the salary of the LAME's.

I don't consider Australian LAME's to be overpaid, so I guess the point I am getting to is that is the cost of doing anything in Australia.

(BTW your post just prompted me to go to the Mazda USA website to compare the cost of the new Mazda I just bought. Yep, half the price.)
Derfred is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 09:35
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Some good info here from an Aussie operator on the work required to give a true idea of why the costs can be so high... however $34k sounds over the top. I would like to see the Cessna schedule for the hours required to be spent for an annual inspection and divide that into the total.


There seems to be a distinct difference between the approach to annual inspections here in Australia versus the USA. In the USA the Annual Inspection is exactly that... an inspection. Over here it seems to be the time of year when the LAME decides to do all the work that he's been wanting to do on your aircraft all year but couldn't force you to pay for.
Squawk7700 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 14:13
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Dick. I think we had this same conversation a number of years ago when your 'Van was near new?

Your Caravan is on a Cessna system of maintenance that anticipates - from memory - four cycles at 125 hours per cycle, within one calendar year. That you have only flown 50 hours in the past year does not exempt the aircraft from requiring all four maintenance cycles (equivalent to a minimum of 475 flying hours) to be completed in 12 months.

If you've only flown 50 hours probably none of the maintenance cycles have been completed, hence you are now up for all four cycles at the obscene cost of $33,837? Are there any calendar time limited components that must be overhauled or replaced? (Fuel nozzles, starter generator etc?)

Talk to Cessna and ask if they have a system of maintenance more appropriate to a low hour private operation.

Or take it off the Cessna system of maintenance and have another more suitable system of maintenance developed and approved by CASA. Good luck in getting CASA to approve that revised system of maintenance..........
Torres is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 15:26
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(Aeroplanes are stored in hangars. Shirts on hangers.)

If you are only flying your Cessna Caravan for 50 hours per year, perhaps ownership isn't the best way to go?
gerry111 is online now  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 22:04
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Why Gerry? My Mazda sports car just had it's fifth 40,000 km service for the same reason, I probably only drive 1,000 kms per year. I am changing the maintenance from a Dealer's full log book scheduled service, to a change of oil and filter only on repeat services.

I doubt the total cost worries Dick's bank account, but I fully understand why $660 per flying hour in scheduled maintenance is totally ludicrous and raises his ire.

In Dick's case the system of maintenance does not anticipate low hours private usage. And I'm sure his quote may be rather "subjective"! I don't know why but for some reason many larger Australian maintenance organisations seem to take up to double the number of man hours for a particular task, that a US maintenance organisation requires.

Dick must pressure Cessna for a more cost effective manufacturer's system of maintenance, or go down the soul destroying path of trying to find someone rational at CASA to approve a new system of maintenance - which may well impact on the price he gets when the aircraft is ultimately sold.

Dick, if your C208B has 1,700 hrs TT, does that quote include a Hot Section Inspection? (Can't remember the time interval for an HSI on a -34 engine??)
Torres is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 22:46
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From the link I posted above. As close as I can find to a Caravan maintenance manual. (PS Could be for salt-laden operations, although compressor wash would be daily if that was the case)

Squawk7700 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2015, 23:18
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I thought the HSI on the PT6A-114 was around 1,750 hours (half the original 3,500 hours TBO.) I don't think a quote for $33,000 will include an HSI?

Even with trend monitoring I doubt Dick can get an extension or on condition, with annual utilisation so low. But if his cycles per hour are very low and the engine had regular compressor washes, for the first HSI he may get away with a C section split and visual inspection?
Torres is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2015, 00:01
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As requested by peterc005, attached is a copy of the maintenance quote for my Caravan

Dick Smith is offline  
Old 27th Nov 2015, 00:26
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I recently sourced an exchange IO-520 with new cylinders etc from one of California's biggest Continental overhauler for 50% of my friend's best quote from here [that included freight]...
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