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When Things Go Bump in The Night, Call Ends Up in Boise

By Jean Kayanakis
Senior Vice President,
Worldwide Customer Service & Service Center Network
Dassault Aviation

It was a dark and stormy winter night in Malta with strong winds. So strong, in fact, that they caused a Falcon 7X to jump its chocks, sending it down a grassy slope and across a road until it embedded its nose through an 18-inch-thick cinderblock wall.

The Maltese authorities were not amused and wanted the road cleared ASAP. Recognizing that any attempt to move the airplane would cause further damage, the crew immediately called the Falcon Command Center, from which AOG events and other maintenance issues are coordinated.

Many readers are aware that the Falcon Command Center operates 24/7 and that its primary location is at Dassault Aviation Engineering headquarters in Bordeaux-Mérignac. What may surprise some is that when the call came into the French telephone number for the Command Center, it was forwarded to an office of technical experts in Boise, Idaho, USA.

Boise? Where’s that, you may wonder?

Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States, located in the Mountain West at the foothills of scenic and often snowcapped peaks rising to 10,000 feet.

To ensure 24-hour service coverage, Command Center duties transfer first to Dassault Falcon Jet at Teterboro in the Eastern US time zone and then to Boise.

Mountain Time is the key to 24-hour coverage. The Boise team works from 2:30 PM local (21:30 Zulu) until 12:30 AM when it hands responsibility back to Bordeaux, where it is morning. All three centers are well experienced in coordinating the work of maintenance facilities all over the world. All can dispatch GoTeams anywhere or activate a FalconResponse Falcon 900.

In the case of the 7X embedded in a wall, the Boise team mobilized a Dassault Falcon Service GoTeam at Le Bourget and FalconResponse aircraft to dispatch with a bridle kit that allowed towing without further damage to the aircraft. DFS later repaired the nose damage in Malta and put the aircraft back in service.

The Boise Command Center, located in offices above the Jackson Jet Center maintenance hangar on the north side of the field, is staffed by seven Falcon service experts—all A&Ps, plus one professional dispatcher. Most of the Boise team have more than seven years of Command Center experience, and all come with hands-on Falcon maintenance experience.

Command Center lead Camron Madsen has 26 years of industry experience, beginning his career servicing F-15s at the Mountain Home Air Force Base on the outskirts of Boise and then working on all Falcon models as a crew lead at the Western Aircraft heavy maintenance service center on the south side of the Boise airport. Camron joined the Command Center in 2012 and became the manager in 2015.

An important part of his responsibilities is recruiting a team with the talents to support flight crews experiencing urgent problems. He looks for people with well-rounded maintenance experience, good decision-making skills and the ability to think on one’s feet—that is to say, the ability to solve problems quickly. A calm demeanor is important, as pilots and maintenance technicians sometimes call or email under some pressure to get a plane ready for flight.

Another important skill set is computer savvy. “The modern Falcons are flying computers now,” says Camron.

He points to a couple of keys for successful support. “We have to put ourselves in the shoes of flight and maintenance crews who are dealing with difficult problems, often under time pressure far from home.”

Also, he says, “It’s all about logistics and project management. Any one of these AOGs, it’s a logistics issue: knowing where and who to call to get parts and people moving, as necessary.”

I’m personally very proud of our worldwide Command Center staff and all of the members of engineering and product support on whom we rely .It is clear that Camron truly believes they succeed as a team, and all members are key contributors to consistent customer service.

You may recall that Dassault was rated number one in speed in the AOG service category by Professional Pilot last year. That’s a record we want to keep!

Jean Kayanakis

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Falcon Customer Service & Service Center Network

Dassault Aviation

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