JSSI – Tip to Tail Flying Naked?
Unfortunately, financing a private jet does not end when the initial check is signed. Operating and maintenance costs make ownership an investment, not a purchase. While these costs cannot be avoided, they can be evened out into an organized and predictable planning tool that limits financial risk. This way, you won’t feel like you’re flying naked.
Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) offers customers “protection from the high cost of maintenance” in their Tip-to-Tail program, ideal for any corporate or individual private jet owner. The Tip-to-Tail program, similar to but more comprehensive than a bumper to bumper warranty, stabilizes the budget of owning an aircraft. The result: completely predictable costs. To-date, 101 aircraft owners are taking advantage of the Tip-to-Tail program through JSSI.
Although not the most inexpensive option for maintenance costs, the Tip-to-Tail program evens out the flow of costs to get you covered. This allows owners to factor a fixed cost into their operating costs, minimizing unexpected maintenance budgets. The program covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance on all component, assembly, and Systems of an aircraft, including labor expenses. Some program exclusions are service due to FOD (foreign object damage), abuse, or accident; daily pre/post flight inspection labor; and shipping fees.
I spoke to a couple Tip-to-Tail members to get a more personal perspective and see what all the hype was about:
“The program is a god-send when it comes to budgeting; there are absolutely no surprises,” claims Trent Townsend, Director of Maintenance for Chickasaw Nation out of Ada, Oklahoma. Chickasaw Nation currently has two Lear60 jets on the Tip-to-Tail program and they wouldn’t have it any other way. To get a better idea of how the program can assist members, here’s a situation Mr. Townsend recently encountered: While on a two week vacation across the country, he got a call from the chief pilot regarding a problem with one of their jets. He immediately called JSSI and they recommended a close-by maintenance facility in Texas. The aircraft was fixed in record time by a provider of choice, all while Townsend was away from the office. Mr. Townsend explained the potentially problematic situation as a “seamless transaction.”
Dick Whipple of LifeFlight Eagle would agree that there is no question that Tip-to-Tail is beneficial. As the Director of Operations, Mr. Whipple explains that he has been “extraordinarily satisfied with the service and the overall procedure to help manage fleet maintenance.” LifeFlight has three rotors (helicopters) on the program, and is getting ready to add a fourth.
Tip-to-Tail quotes are based on an hourly flight rate paid monthly, and are dependent on aircraft specifications. For example, A Bombardier Challenger was quoted at $900 per hour for airframe only Tip-to-Tail coverage (engine coverage is also available). Sertur Air, an Istanbul executive charter company, covered their entire fleet with JSSI’s Tip-to-Tail program to ensure effective future growth. The program is offered for most of the Citation, Hawker, Gulfstream and Falcon lines, as well as additional aircraft and helicopter models.