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Indiana Donor Network eliminates maintenance expense surprises

Aircraft programs simplify operations

A vital link between donors and patients waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, the Indiana Donor Network goes anywhere in the country any time to help save a life. Around the clock, pilots wait for the call. The organization’s Cessna® Citation® CJ3® is at the ready in the hangar.

“Since January 2014, we’ve flown to 99 different airports. In our first year of operations with our CJ3, we moved some 250 organs and flew 124,789 miles, the equivalent of more than five times around the earth,” chief operating officer Steve Johnson said.

The CJ3 is enrolled in Textron Aviation’s ProAdvantage® maintenance programs. Johnson, a pilot with more than 20 years experience in air medical and critical care transport, says the coverage makes it easier for the non-profit organization to concentrate on saving lives, rather than managing maintenance and unpredictable costs.

“Textron Aviation’s maintenance programs simplify the process of operating the aircraft for all of those involved. If you’re a small or medium-sized owner-operator, especially a start-up, you need all of the advantages you can get,” he said.

With ProParts and TapAdvantage, the Indiana Donor Network spreads expenses out over several years, never paying more than the cost of the actual hours flown or minimum hourly requirement. The organization, like other enrolled operators, is guaranteed to receive the paid value in maintenance service and parts. Any value remaining at the end of the contract rolls forward into a new contract or is credited toward future service at Textron Aviation service facilities.

“When you stand in front of a board of directors and say this aircraft is going to save lives and save money, being able to provide and deliver on a budget number associated with that aircraft, and hit it on the target, is crucial to building confidence with everyone, and being successful in the business,” Johnson said.

“The ProParts and TapAdvantage programs give me the confidence to go to the board of directors and say, ‘I’m going to hit this number on the head.’”Steve Johnson, chief operating officer for the Indiana Donor Network

Johnson likes the programs because they level out maintenance costs, reduce uncertainties and simplify the management process.

“Textron Aviation’s ProAdvantage maintenance programs are an obvious choice for the smaller operator. If you have more than 25 aircraft, you’re probably getting close to the point where you could consider managing the maintenance on your own and get those economies of scale on your own,” he said.

Prior to operating its own aviation program, the organization utilized charter services. Today, with its own in-house aviation department and Textron Aviation’s maintenance programs, saving lives is more efficient for the Indiana Donor Network.

“When we bought the CJ3, it was already enrolled in the programs. That was something I was looking for. That was a value for us. The maintenance programs not only add value because of what they are in themselves, but they truly do add value to the aircraft,” Johnson said.

Now he and his team can focus more on saving lives instead of managing costs.