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TAT Talks, Episode 4: Done-for-you Engineering Support Solutions (In-House Design & DER Custom Parts)


TAT Talks, Episode 4: Done-for-you Engineering Support Solutions (In-House Design & DER Custom Parts)

Do you have a part that (you think) is beyond repair? Do you need a custom-made part? Are you looking for an aviation maintenance vendor that can offer you a large variety of in-house design capabilities?

Our Engineering support expert Matt McBride talks about three custom engineering services you can benefit from when working with TAT Piedmont.

Concession process

TAT Piedmont has been around as a leading aviation maintenance provider for more than 80 years. During this time, we built long-lasting relationships with the OEMs based on respect and trust. We are regularly recognized for our competency and engineering excellence. This now enables us to transfer this collaboration to you with the goal of helping you save time and money.


TAT Piedmont has over 80 years of experience in the aviation industry, which allows us to build a wonderful working relationship with OEMs. This is a view from inside the Hangar/Headquarters that was built in 1978. A YS-11 is in the foreground and a 737 in the back. (photo courtesy of Piedmont Aviation Historical Society)

There can be times during the repair process in which a part needs to be machined past the standard specifications. We are recognized for our competency in engineering work and gained the ability to submit concessions for parts beyond their repair limits.

This gives you peace of mind that TAT Piedmont manages all these procedures for you, as getting the OEM’s approval can be a detailed and frustrating process.

As Matt highlights in the video above, “we have the ability to work with OEMs to deviate from the manual’s limits and repair a part that would otherwise be scrapped. This can help eliminate a detailed and frustrating process from you and place it on our shoulders.”

In-house design capability

Numerous companies reach out to TAT Piedmont to inquire about repairs that may be difficult to complete. Due to our in-house design capability we can design and fabricate fixtures, tooling, stands, and Ground Support Equipment (GSE), allowing parts to be returned to service for a fraction of the cost of their replacement.


In-house design frame with cage

For example, a customer contacted Piedmont about a repair needed on a Hydraulic Cylinder that had never been successfully performed before. We took on the challenge and developed a fixture that could complete a two-groove nickel repair on this cylinder. According to Matt, “no one else has managed to do this repair and we have now successfully implemented this process for this customer.”

TAT Piedmont is one of the few companies that can offer this solution to customers who need difficult repair solutions.


In-house design frame without cage

Why is this important to you? We can take a part and repair it for a fraction of its cost and return it to service instead of you paying a full purchase price for that new part.

You may also want to watch this episode of TAT Talks about Must-Have In-House Aviation Maintenance Capabilities

Custom parts developed by an on-site DER (Designated Engineering Representative)

“We are unique in the fact that we do have an on-site DER able to make DER-authorized repairs to parts that otherwise do not have a repair available,” says Matt.

Having a DER on-site allows us to create and perform those repairs, again, at a fraction of the cost of what you would pay for an otherwise scrapped part.

Did you know…? Very few companies around the world have access to an in-house DER.


How is the DER different from the in-house design capability?

The difference between our on-site DER and our in-house design staff is that our design staff typically handles things like tooling, fixtures, ground support equipment, whereas the on-site DER can handle writing and documenting repairs to aircraft departments.

The DER creates an actual repair that is outside of the scope of the repair scheme. In this case, engineers develop their own repairs with the approval of OEM engineers.

This service is frequently used by Piedmont’s landing gear department, where we currently have 40-50 DER repairs that are not in the OEM manual.

Because of this service, we can provide significant cost reductions. For example, the cost of repairing an E170 landing gear is 15 times less than buying a new one.

The engineering team at TAT Piedmont has years of experience working on custom projects. Thanks to their expertise, you can benefit from custom services which help you cut costs and reduce the amount of time a piece is in our shop.

Challenge us!

Do you have an eccentric request for our engineering team? We heard it before: “It can’t be done,” yet time and time again we proved that with the right tools and the right team, anything is possible.

So if you need custom engineering services, if you have a problem that looks like a dead-end, let’s get in touch and see how we can help you: contact Donnie Loflin, our Senior Director of Account Management, to get a quick solution.