You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with more experience in aircraft maintenance than Caleb Benner. Since the beginning of his career, Caleb has filled a wide range of roles including Aircraft Technician, Inspector, Crew Chief, Engine Program Manager, Director of Customer Service, Field Service, and FBO Services.
Now, as Director of Maintenance at Omni Aircraft Maintenance, he draws on his 20+ years of experience to support aircraft owners with safety, quality and service in mind.
We had a chance to visit with Caleb to learn more about how the Omni team goes above and beyond for their customers.
You wear several hats with Omni, what different roles do you play within the organization?
With Omni Air Transport, I’m involved with all of the maintenance on our fleetside. For our managed clients, I update the owners directly about [the maintenance of] their aircraft.
On the aircraft sales side (Omni Aircraft Sales), I’m very involved with all of the transactions there. Before the aircraft even comes online, I’m a part of the acquisition process to make sure we are picking the right aircraft and what inspections need to be done before they come into our fleet.
Now, with Omni Aircraft Maintenance, I’m a part of all aspects of aircraft maintenance. I’m involved in the initial aircraft calls and quoting process. While the job is in progress, I will work through any issues or discrepancies or simply answer any questions a customer may have. If there is anything our customers need after the repair is complete, I am always available then as well.
What makes Omni Aircraft Maintenance stand out from other facilities in the industry?
I think it’s the personal touch. We are always available directly. Everyone on the senior leadership team at Omni has their cell phone listed and a direct connection to our customers. Anytime you need to be able to talk to someone, you can get a real person quickly. Every customer, whether they come from the management side, aircraft sales side or just need aircraft maintenance, receives that same accessibility.
What role does experience play in aircraft maintenance?
At Omni Aircraft Maintenance, we are not just knocking out inspections. With our experience as aircraft operators, we see these things day in and day out. We know what issues to look for. If it’s a common issue, I’m going to know about it and the team is going to know about it as well. As part of the Learjet Advisory Committee, I hear all of the common issues. This can be really helpful as we work to identify a problem.
Do you find that aircraft owners want to be involved in all of the details of aircraft maintenance or do they prefer to look at the bigger picture?
There are some customers that I will walk through and tell them, “This is how it works. This is how the repair is done. These are the adjustments we can make.” These customers really want me to give them a lot of detail. There are other customers who just want to hand it off and say, “Just tell me when I can come to pick it up.”
Sometimes, [a repair] will seem like a simple system, but it’s really a more complex fix. I need to explain why we can’t fly and why this repair is so important.
This has helped me develop a really good relationship with all of our customers. A lot of them will even just text me for an update. They want to know if we’ve found anything during an inspection or where we stand.
We are always happy to explain things or help educate our customers about avionics equipment and aircraft systems. Ultimately, we want to provide clear, consistent communication throughout the repair process. We will provide as much or as little detail as our customer would like.
Like nearly every business, I’m sure COVID has impacted your ability to source parts. In many cases, an aircraft owner may be waiting on a particular part to get back up in the air. How is Omni Aircraft Maintenance managing supply chain issues?
Now more than ever, we need to rely on our industry contacts to reach out and find another vendor or identify a quick return time for our clients.
We are seeing the same shortages that everyone is seeing across the globe. The supply chain that we depend on and even shipping is delayed. We are always looking for things that we can order ahead of time or looking for a better way to ship something.
We can’t totally eliminate all of the supply chain issues, but just looking ahead and being proactive is a big help.
A recent client needed a particular part to make a flight. We had some concerns about the part making it in time, so we ordered a backup from a different source. Sure enough, the original part didn’t make it. Now this isn’t something that will be necessary to do all the time, but in this case, it helped the client avoid another day on the ground, another contract day for the pilots, hotels and all that.
We do our best to try to see ahead to the future so we can make educated decisions to put things in place.
Omni Aircraft Maintenance
We’ve built Omni Aircraft Maintenance on a foundation of quality, integrity and, above all, safety. As aircraft owners and charter service providers, we know what it takes to maintain a reliable fleet. We know you need responsive service, experienced technicians and quality work.
We provide the following aircraft support:
- Learjet 40
- Learjet 45
- Learjet 70
- Learjet 75
- Learjet 60
- King Air 350
Our technicians are licensed, OEM trained and average more than 20 years of experience. We are centrally located for easy hangar access and for a quick response time when you need AOG services. As we serve our clients and industry partners, we offer competitive labor rates and transparent invoicing.
Request a quote today or call our Scheduling Hotline 24/7 at (918)-236-4859 to get started.