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LOCATION IS KEY To achieve any level of success in the MRO business you need


three things; Capability to do the job, the personnel and facilities to do that job, and you should be strategically positioned to save your cus- tomer time and resources. Vector Aerospace in Andalusia has done just that.


Two of Vector’s major customers, the Department of the


Navy’s Whiting Field, and the U.S. Army’s Fort Rucker are very near by the Andalusia facility. Whiting Field, 48nm to the southwest, is home to the Navy’s fleet of primary helicopters the TH-57. Fort Rucker, the largest helicopter training facility in the world, and flies the TH-67 as its primary trainer, is located 34 miles east of Andalusia. Between both training facilities there are over 300 of the Bell 206 based airframes, all of which get a great deal of use, and require depot level maintenance on average of every five years. Having a depot level maintenance facility in such close proximity to the major CONUS


training bases is not only very efficient, it saves the taxpayers untold thousands in transportation and shipping costs alone.


WELCOME TO VECTOR On arrival Mr. Dave McGrath, Vector’s Director of


Communications, met us at the front door of the new facility. Always quick with a smile and a warm handshake, Dave was patiently waiting for us to arrive. Once inside the foyer of the administration area we were given a thorough safety briefing and issued badges and safety gog- gles. “Everyone who enters any of our facilities goes through the same process”, stated Dave McGrath. “We’ve not had a lost time accident yet at this facility and we plan to keep it that way”. During our last visit the new production area was still under con- struction. Contractors and Vector staff were still in the process of get-


IT QUICKLY BECAME OBVIOUS THAT THEIR PLAN WAS WELL EXECUTED, EVERYTHING SEEMED TO FIT EXACTLY WHERE WE WERE TOLD IT WOULD.


Above: Out with new, in with the old. One aircraft is prepared for delivery, while the next airframe for rebuild arrives. Left: A Vector avionics tech shrinkwraps a custom wiring harness.


ting the new facility prepped for the move in. We were briefed as to what they had planned, what was going where, and where each piece of the plan fit. It quickly became obvi- ous that their plan was well executed, everything seemed to fit exactly where we were told it would. In my thirty years in the aviation business I have had the


opportunity to visit dozens of maintenance and repair facili- ties. From the top-notch state of the art maintenance hangar, to the small corner of a hangar in a small FBO, I believe I am a fairly good judge of quality workmanship and commitment to safety. Vector did not disappoint. Upon entering the new production area we found a well lit, very clean and highly organized shop. We also discovered one other interesting fact,


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