Aircraft maintenance rates.

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crazyaviator
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Aircraft maintenance rates.

#1 Post by crazyaviator » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:58 pm

My present Maintenance rates for Certified and homebuilt aircraft are General $80.00 Hr. and $50.00/ Hr. for paperwork. $50.00/Hr. for restoration work and $25.00/Hr for paperwork for long term work. My Hangar is on an airport in BC and is not an AMO. I would like some feedback on the present rates within Canada and if these are fair rates for an experienced AME doing work on your airplane.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#2 Post by robertw » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:26 pm

AMO rates go from anywhere between $80.00 / hr up to $150 / hr for biz jets (might be more). The one I work for is $95.00 / hr I think. I would say that if people are willing to pay your rates and keep coming back, then keep them where they are. I would also add, why a reduced rate for paperwork? As far as I'm concerned, the paperwork adds as much value to your aircraft as the work itself. It is often the most neglected part of the job. To have someone do it properly would be a breath of fresh air. :)
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#3 Post by crazyaviator » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:49 pm

One thing I often find lacking in paperwork is a comprehensive AD/SB check back to manufacturer. Oftentimes, I need to do this time consuming check instead of just the last 12 months. ANY suspect AD history check and i treat it as non-existent. MANY errors are found in paperwork !!
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#4 Post by robertw » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:18 pm

Also remember that AD checks are not part of an annual inspection. The owner is supposed to tell you what AD's SB's they want you to comply with. CAR Std. 571.10(3) says "Responsibility for compliance with airworthiness directives (ADs) is assigned to the owner of the aircraft in accordance with section 605.84 of the CARs."

Having an AME do the AD check for them is an extra on top of the maintenance and should be charged out at full rate in my opinion.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#5 Post by ScottS » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:41 pm

Your rates certainly aren't too high! Where are you located in BC? (PM if you want). Good to know where all the mechanic options are.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#6 Post by nmnha » Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:40 pm

I would say your rates are reasonable, but I don't think you should give away your time on paper work. It is just as important as the work you do on the aircraft.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#7 Post by ruddersup? » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:36 pm

Hey Crazy,
I have a friend in Ohio that keeps his boat at a marina there. Shop rate to work on the boat is $125.00 U.S./hour ($150.00. Cdn.) The dock is more costly than my heated hangar. When will we ever get paid what we should? The training, the financial commitment, the experience required to maintain aircraft in what appears to be a declining market in the rural areas anyway is frightening. What's the solution?
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#8 Post by photofly » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:20 pm

Sounds very reasonable indeed to me.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#9 Post by DonutHole » Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:55 am

crazyaviator wrote:One thing I often find lacking in paperwork is a comprehensive AD/SB check back to manufacturer. Oftentimes, I need to do this time consuming check instead of just the last 12 months. ANY suspect AD history check and i treat it as non-existent. MANY errors are found in paperwork !!
Doing an ad compliance check back to date of mfg is a waste of time. I just go back to the last record of compliance.

How do you accomplish a complete ad check? The information can be impossible to find. I feel for owners, not even transport has a complete list of ads.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#10 Post by crazyaviator » Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:08 am

What if a previous AD check failed to detect a cracked head or a faulty oil pump because of a bad search of the AD s? The list from TC is easy to print out and a N/A, PCW , 1 time, or recurring statement can be put against each ad for the whole list. The misc. ADs are not so easy though but often are missed ( Carb, mags etc )
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#11 Post by DonutHole » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:37 am

I don't get what you're saying.

If you are saying a documented inspection in accordance with a. Airworthiness directive failed to detect an existing crack you have a few issues. 1. How do you know that. 2 if the inspection is noted as complied with in accordance with the airworthiness directive, why would you then waste time tracking that ad back to date of manufacture. If it is rectified on paper, the ad is as good as done

If you read the transport Canada cawis site it has a statement saying the list is unreliable, so if you are basing your extensive search back to date of manufacturer how are you ensuring that you are completing the audit?
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#12 Post by crazyaviator » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:30 pm

ANY and ALL ADs that have been documented as being complied with ( 1 time) complied with (recurring) or Not applicable due to _____ need NOT be investigated BUT what I am saying is this : If a complete history back to manufactured date is not shown, that is, a LIST of ALL possible ADs and an answer as to whether they were N/A done etc, Then HOW are you to know if any ADs were missed? Once this comprehensive list is compiled, there is NO need to go back further than the last annual for determining if any new AD s are required to be accomplished. Obviously, If the Owner wants to do specific Non-mandatory SBs then the place to tabulate and note these is on the same comprehensive list.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#13 Post by Bede » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:22 pm

ruddersup? wrote:Hey Crazy,
I have a friend in Ohio that keeps his boat at a marina there. Shop rate to work on the boat is $125.00 U.S./hour ($150.00. Cdn.) The dock is more costly than my heated hangar. When will we ever get paid what we should? The training, the financial commitment, the experience required to maintain aircraft in what appears to be a declining market in the rural areas anyway is frightening. What's the solution?
I don't mind paying top dollar for a top mechanic who gets paid top rate. What pisses me off though is the car dealership that charges $120/hr and pays their mechanic $30/hr and has the apprentice work on your car (takes 2x as long) for $15/hr. If you charge top rate, you best pay your mechanics top rate!
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#14 Post by crazyaviator » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:29 pm

I agree ! I also do not like ( as a past AME in an AMO ) is having all our breaks charged against the owner! How can anyone quote a job of any length without having a column for breaks, interruptions and down time? It is impossible. A decent ratio is 3 to 1 so if the AME makes 30/Hr. the shop rate should be around 90/Hr. Teaching an apprentice on YOUR C-185 annual MUST be automatically factored into the customers bill !
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#15 Post by Glasnost » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:17 am

Not high enough. Nobody should be charging less than $100/hr especially considering insurance costs risk overhead and regulatory requirements. Those who don't want to pay, fuc em. If every AME had the balls to do that, we'd have a good industry.

Go ask your RV or Marine mechanic for an $80/hr shop rate. You'll be laughed out of their business. Yet the same cheapskates who balk at $100/hr dont even blink at $120 or $130 for their other toys. Of course cheapskate pilots love the rate, just like cheapskate aviation business owners love their $30k pilots and their $50k AMEs.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#16 Post by ruddersup? » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:28 pm

Glasnost, I think you got it.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#17 Post by crazyaviator » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:02 pm

The nature of a general aviation AME is one of being abused, either by A/C owners or by their own AMO It is a sad situation indeed !!!!!!
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#18 Post by twotter » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:23 am

Both AME's and AMO's are terribly underpaid. You cannot make a difference for what you are doing, you are worth a certain amount no matter what you are doing. People are happy to pay $140/hr at the Toyota dealership but bitch about paying $90/hr at an AMO. Well as TC and the insurance companies keep upping the requirements, so will the hourly rate unfortunately. One of the other huge problems now is keeping employees, Air Canada is calling and will take anyone who can recognize an airplane 2 out of 3 times. That drives up the rates as well as they offer stuff we small AMOs cannot. Sorry guys but the price is going up..
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#19 Post by photofly » Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:29 am

People are happy to pay $140/hr at the Toyota dealership
Only in your dreams. In fact nobody is happy about this. But there is usually only one dealership within driving distance so there’s a de facto monopoly and therefore no competition.

Secondly all servicing tasks on modern cars are priced ahead of time at a fixed duration and therefore fixed price quoted to before you bring the car in, regardless of how many hours work it takes.

To draw an accurate parallel with franchised branded car dealerships you would need to do two things:

Firstly be ready to give a potential customer a cast iron commitment for instance only to charge three hours to change a jug regardless of how long it actually takes you and before you’ve even seen the aircraft. Break an exhaust stud? Or four? Tough - you the AME suck up the cost of the extra work.

Secondly buy out or shoot every other mechanic within a reasonable travel time for your customer who is capable and has the equipment to service their aircraft.

Do both of those things and suddenly you will find people pay you whatever astronomical hourly rate you want. Until then, do stop bleating about how car mechanics have a better life. It’s irrelevant.

One other observation to illustrate that the car maintenance industry has no monetary parallel with being an AME: I can get the oil changed on my Toyota for a headline rate of $9.99, or $29.99 if I want decent oil at more than 100 locations within 30 minutes drive from home. It costs me a minimum of $50 to get my airplane even towed into the hangar at my airport, and an oil change is going to run to $250.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#20 Post by robertw » Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:40 pm

twotter wrote:Both AME's and AMO's are terribly underpaid.

I'm an AME and work under an AMO and disagree. AME's are paid by AMO's based on their value to the company. The ones the AMO's really want to retain and have specialized skills make good money. I've seen it time and time again.

The fact is that licensed AME's are worth just as much to an AMO as the next guy who has the same rating. Most people think that because they are licensed / endorsed, they should be able to walk into a place and make $45.00 - $55.00 / hr just for their qualifications. People complain that they don't make top dollar when they haven't even stuck around with a company long enough to gain the skills and reputation that are required to increase their worth. They stick around for a year or two, then go to the next AMO that will pay them a buck or two an hour more and start the cycle all over again. Just because you're an AME doesn't entitle you to $90 K a year. Do you really think that a guy with an M1 and M2 working on and signing for a BAe125-800 should be making the same as a guy with the same license working on a 1982 C182? I don't think so. That Hawker guy has to understand way more than the Cessna guy and also has more training thus having greater value to the AMO. That's one of the reasons that most jet guys do actually make between 80 - 110 K a year.

I think that AMO rates are somewhat in the same situation too. AMO's that work on 777's, S-92's, or other high tech stuff can and should charge way more than the AMO based out of a hangar at a small municipal airport working on GA aircraft. You can't charge $120 / hr to work on a Navajo or Beech Travelair.

I guess the whole value thing does go out the window though when you are in a union environment. In that case, the janitor that has been with the company for 35 years probably has seniority over the AME and makes comparable wages. That's not the fault of the industry or the cheap AMO's, but the unions and the employees that voted for unionization.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#21 Post by ruddersup? » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:23 am

Crazy - If you say that all A.D.'s should be researched back to day one are you then going to document in the log book that you have researched all the A.D.'s. and non apply? Will you stake your licence on it? It's a next to impossible task IMHO especially on older aircraft because instruments, radios, engine accessories and components for sure have changed over the years. Just trying to find make and model of instruments might require pulling them out to compare to equipment list. I'm finding that equipment lists are outdated, never mind electrical load analysis. So a detailed research of A.D.'s will more than likely uncover undocumented components installed and now comes the problem of certifying those components. Hmmmmmm. Oh I wish I got into the marine business, how refreshing that must be.
Sorry, a slow rainy Sat. morning.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#22 Post by crazyaviator » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:56 am

If you say that all A.D.'s should be researched back to day one are you then going to document in the log book that you have researched all the A.D.'s
No, if the AD is noted in the AD logbook as having been done, N/A due to ? or due at ___ Hours, then that AD does not need to be investigated unless it is obvious that it is applicable and has not been done ( like Cessna 150 fuel caps ad)
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#23 Post by twotter » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:05 pm

Photofly, if you look at my website, you will find annuals are flat rated, I usually will give a customer a price ahead of doing the job and unless something drastic happens that is beyond our control, we stick to it. So, in that respect, we are pretty much like what you are talking about. If we break something by being idiots, it comes out of my pocket, not the customers. If it breaks because shit happens and it was old and rusty, then... Not so much. As for dealerships with cars, there's still people who take their cars to them and listen to the crap handed to them from the "service advisor" who isn't at all mechanically inclined who will tell them that they should to all kinds of things to their vehicle that is not mentioned in that document called the owners manual that actually has the maintenance schedule published in it. I've actually had service advisors tell me that what is in the owners manual really isn't what the manufacturer suggests for maintenance..... Hmmmm. So, yes, people blindly go to the car dealership and pay $140/hr to get screwed but don't want to pay the same for their airplane. In that respect, myself, as the AMO, cannot afford to pay my guys what they deserve because they do a great job but if I raise my rates to pay them what they are worth, private guys will get their annuals done by that guy with his tools in his pickup truck.. Who has no manuals, no calibrated tools, no insurance and usually no clue.
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Re: Aircraft maintenance rates.

#24 Post by photofly » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:27 am

If you want to charge more than the "guy with his tools in his pickup truck" it's up to you to market yourself as an AMO that's worth more than the guy with tools in his pickup truck.

I don't need rookiepilot to enter the fray to tell you that blaming and trash-talking your customer because he or she doesn't think you're worth what you think you're worth is a pointless exercise. You need to persuade him or her.

Or, close your AMO and open a car dealership.

On the subject of people getting screwed: that's irrelevant to the argument. There are crooked car dealerships, but (believe me) there absolutely are crooked AMOs too. Not yours - but enough of them.
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