Thirteen years after its founding, Executive Aircraft Maintenance, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based authorized Twin Commander Service Center, is undergoing a major transition. Aviation industry veterans Jeff Coffman, Bill Forbes, and Bill Ramsey have acquired the airframe maintenance and avionics side of EAM’s business specialties. The three Honeywell veterans who launched EAM in 2003—Jim Nordstrom, John Phoenix, and Mike Croye—retain the Honeywell-authorized engine inspection, overhaul, and service functions, as well as Aerospace Machining Center, an FBO at the Glendale, Arizona, Municipal Airport, and an engine shop in Anchorage. They will operate those businesses under the name Copper State Turbine Engine Company.
Rob Louviaux, EAM’s long-time manager of maintenance and a familiar face in the Twin Commander community, will continue in that position with EAM’s new owners.
“Rob’s expertise with Commanders is unparalleled, and my particular love for the airplane will help too,” Coffman commented.
A long-time Commander pilot and owner of an aircraft management firm, Coffman is EAM’s new CEO. Bill Forbes, who launched EAM’s avionics department in 2007 and has managed it ever since, is COO. Ramsey is EAM’s CFO.
EAM’s new leadership will focus on airframe maintenance and avionics sales and service. “We will stick with Commanders, and gear up for the new world of avionics,” Coffman noted. The combination of Custom Kits from Twin Commander Aircraft and contemporary avionics from Garmin and other manufacturers serve to keep Commanders highly desirable in terms of capability, efficiency, reliability, and marketability, Coffman observed.
EAM’s Twin Commander airframe capabilities include:
- Dash 10 engine conversions
- Pre-purchase evaluation
- Line maintenance and troubleshooting
- Periodic inspections
- Landing gear/brake refurbishment
- Structural and sheet-metal repairs
- Pressurization service
- NDT inspection
- Propeller service
- Ni-cad/lead acid battery service
- Paint and interior
- Off-site service
EAM will work closely with Copper State to provide Twin Commander customers with seamless support of the airframe and engines. “They are just across the street,” Louviaux noted.
EAM’s capabilities extend to designing custom solutions to customers’ unique needs. The maintenance shop recently did a complete refurbishment of a Commander using components taken from a customer’s airplane. The 690B had experienced a runway overrun in Mexico and was deemed unrepairable. EAM technicians traveled to Mexico to strip the 690B, which had recently been upgraded with TPE331-10T engines, dual Garmin G600s, dual GTN750s, and other equipment. “We brought the avionics and engines back to Arizona, found the customer an 840 that needed everything, and upgraded it,” Louviaux said. The customer is now flying the refurbished 840.
Under Forbes’s leadership, the avionics department has grown to become one of the premier Garmin panel-mount sales and installation centers in the world. Many of those Garmin products have gone into Twin Commanders. EAM has performed panel major upgrades on 36 Twin Commander, including the installation of a Garmin 950 integrated avionics flight deck.
“Part of our current focus is insuring that our Commander customers are aware of the ADS-B requirements and the best options based on their current or planned avionics configuration. In addition, we are upgrading autopilots, and in general replacing older equipment with state-of-the-art options,” Forbes said. “It’s getting harder to find components for the original-equipment Collins AP-106 and Bendix autopilots in Commanders,” he added. “You will spend more on repairing the old stuff than replacing it with new.”
“We will focus on ADS-B requirements and solutions, upgrading autopilots, and in general replacing older equipment with state-of-the-art options,” Forbes said. “It’s getting harder to find components for the original-equipment Collins AP-106 and Bendix autopilots in Commanders,” he added. “You will spend more on repairing the old stuff than replacing it with new.”
EAM’s avionics department capabilities include:
- Full IFR panel upgrades
- G1000, G950 installations.
- Avionics unit repair or exchange
- EFIS/Glass Cockpit retrofit upgrades
- Develop ADS-B solutions and certification
- Altimeter and transponder checks (91.411 & 91.413)
- RSVM installations and certifications
- ELT installations, tests, battery check and replacement
- Cabin Wifi and internet installations
- Traffic systems: TIS, TAS, and TCAS II
- Custom panel fabrication
Coffman, who began his career as a corporate pilot at age 18, says that a Twin Commander was the first turbine airplane he flew. “It was my first love,” he laughs. He exported Commanders from Mexico to the U.S, holds FAA ATP and Mexican Commercial pilot certificates, and speaks fluent Spanish. His association with EAM dates back to when it was known as Executive Aircraft Services—before 2003; Coffman was responsible for sending EAS its first Commander customer.
The purchase of EAM, which includes hangars, offices, and a back shop, happened quickly, Coffman says. “It was fast-tracked,” he says. “The dust will settle soon,” he adds, “and we will modernize, improve, streamline, and make for an even better product.”
For more information, see http://eamaz.com/or contact Executive Aircraft Maintenance at 866-991-0905.