Professional Maintenance Management for Owner-Flown Aircraft

SavvyMx is our flagship service that incorporates everything Savvy has to offer. It is appropriate for both experienced and new aircraft owners.

SavvyMx relieves you of stress and hassle when maintenance issues arise with your aircraft. The service includes:

Help you select the best service centers and maintenance technicians for each job while steering you clear of the not-so-good ones because we’ve worked with hundreds of shops throughout the US.

Our three-phase protocol (Estimate-Approve-Repair) eliminates unpleasant invoice surprises. We obtain and examine written estimates for each maintenance task, we get your approval, and then we authorize your repair.

Advise you as to which maintenance tasks are important and which ones are not worth doing just yet. By helping you decide when to “just say no,” we often drastically reduce your maintenance costs.

By giving specific written direction to the service centers and maintenance technicians, we eliminate miscommunication and make sure that the work performed is precisely what you approved, nothing more and nothing less.

Review your maintenance invoices to ensure the charges are reasonable and in conformance with the shop’s estimates. If they aren’t (and this isn’t uncommon), we don’t approve payment until the charges are corrected.

Review the maintenance logbook entries to make sure they are complete, accurate, and free from any statements that might compromise the resale value of your aircraft. (You’d be surprised how often this happens!)

SavvyAnalysis Pro is included at no additional cost. We analyze your engine monitor data and provide you with diagnostic information about the health of your engine and suggestions for improving your operating technique.

SavvyBreakdown is included at no additional cost. We provide 24/7/365 breakdown assistance with a 15 minute response time should you ever develop a problem with your aircraft while away from home on a trip.

Do I need SavvyMx?

Because hiring Savvy to manage your maintenance will improve the quality of your maintenance, while relieving you of the hassle of managing your own maintenance, and very likely saving you thousands of dollars year after year. We love working with top-notch mechanics and shops, and most of them love working with us. No single shop or mechanic, no matter how terrific, can offer the expertise and experience of Savvy’s technical team.

In addition, Savvy can be a godsend when you face an aircraft owner’s worst maintenance nightmare: a mechanical problem away from home. Instead of having to deal with unfamiliar shops and mechanics, you simply contact your Savvy account manager and he handles everything for you. He’ll ensure the problem is diagnosed properly, that it is repaired in the most cost-efficient fashion, and that the charges are fair and reasonable. That kind of peace of mind is priceless!

In our experience, some mechanics are a bit doubtful at first (and understandably so) because they are unfamiliar with the concept of professional maintenance management. Once they’ve had a chance to work with Savvy, however, most support the concept enthusiastically. We interface with many of the top GA shops and technicians in the industry, and almost all are absolutely delighted to have a technical team of Savvy’s caliber backing them up and assisting them with troubleshooting and decision making.

Imagine your doctor told you that you needed major surgery. Would you hesitate to seek a second opinion because you were concerned that your doctor might be offended? Of course not. Good physicians encourage their patients to seek a second opinion before undergoing any major medical procedure. The same thing applies to aviation maintenance professionals.

For heaven’s sake, please don’t wait until the eve of your annual inspection to sign up for Savvy! This makes it very difficult for us to do all the necessary preparation, logbook review, and service center selection and due diligence that are necessary for us to do the best possible job for you. We’d like at least two months lead time to prepare properly for your first annual inspection.

Also, even though your annual inspection isn’t due for awhile yet, delaying your sign-up will deprive you of one of the most important aspects of Savvy: having a seasoned professional account manager to help you deal with unscheduled maintenance and problems you encounter, particular when you’re away from home. Our clients tell us that they really appreciate all the money we save them during annual inspections, but that when we come to their rescue when they have mechanicals on the road, it’s priceless!

We suggest you don’t wait, for three reasons:

  1. The vast majority of your maintenance expenses are not covered by warranty. Warranty doesn’t cover the annual inspection (or other inspections), nor does it cover maintenance of wear-and-tear items like tires, wheels and brakes. We have many clients with aircraft under warranty, and we routinely save them thousands of dollars annually on their maintenance costs.
  2. When we manage the maintenance of an aircraft under warranty, one of our priorities is to make sure that everything that can possibly be covered under warranty will be covered under warranty. We pursue warranty claims aggressively, and our success rate in obtaining warranty consideration even in difficult cases has been sensational.
  3. Whether under warranty or not, an aircraft owner’s biggest maintenance nightmare is when you find yourself stuck (AOG) away from home with a mechanical problem. That’s when being a Savvy client can be priceless.

Most of these reasons also apply to aircraft that are under a factory pre-paid maintenance program (like Cirrus CMX).

The flat-rate annual fee of Savvy’s flagship SavvyMx service is:

  • $750/year for piston singles
  • $1,000/year for piston twins
  • $1,500/year for single-engine turboprops
  • $2,000/year for single-engine turbojets

Does my aircraft qualify for SavvyMx?

Yes we do, lots of them. We charge a flat-rate fee for managing a pre-buy that varies with the complexity of the aircraft involved. In most cases, we charge a fee equal to our standard annual management fee for the type of aircraft, and then credit 50% of that fee against your first year management fee if you purchase the aircraft and place it under ongoing Savvy management.

Before you sign up for a Savvy-managed pre-buy, we prefer it if you send us a scanned copy of the aircraft’s maintenance records so that we can do a preliminary review and make sure that it looks like a good purchase candidate with no red flags or show stoppers. We really don’t want you to waste money doing a pre-buy unless we’re pretty confident that it’s an aircraft worth buying. Please email the records to Savvy’s prebuy review specialist Tony Barrell.

Once you’re ready to schedule a Savvy-managed pre-buy, we’ll need you to enroll online and agree to a simple prebuy agreement that defines what you can expect us to do for you during the pre-buy process.

Yes we do, for aircraft that are under Savvy management. However, major upgrades and other major repairs and alterations are not covered by Savvy’s standard annual management fee. We charge a modest supplemental flat-rate fee for managing your upgrade. Such fees generally vary between 50% and 100% of our standard annual management fee for the class of aircraft involved.

For most upgrade projects, our management fee is less than the sales tax. As always, you can anticipate that we will very likely save you considerably more money in reduced parts and labor cost than what we charge you to manage the project.

For avionics upgrades, we evaluate and recommend avionics shops, secure and evaluate competitive bids, assist with panel layout design, and manage each phase of the upgrade process.

No, we don’t. The maintenance of aircraft in these three categories fall under a different set of FAA regulations that severely limit Savvy’s ability to depart from the manufacturer’s maintenance program. It is difficult for us to “earn our fee” for such aircraft, so we stay away from them.

It depends. Many such leaseback arrangements provide that the FBO or flight school to which the aircraft is leased back have dictatorial control over the maintenance of the aircraft, giving Savvy very little leverage to influence the way maintenance is done. Leaseback arrangements also often fail to meet Savvy’s insurance requirements. If you believe that these show-stoppers do not apply to your leaseback situation, please contct us and we’ll discuss it with you and see if it’s workable.

Generally not. Savvy’s flat-rate annual management fee structure is calibrated for owner-flown aircraft that undergo only one annual inspection per year. Aircraft used in commercial operations that require 100-hour inspections under FAR 91.409 do not generally qualify for Savvy’s managed-maintenance program. If you would like to discuss your aircraft’s particular situation to determine whether or not it qualified for the program, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

Absolutely. We have managed the maintenance of aircraft located in United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Canada. Some of these aircraft are N-registered, others are registered with the local Civil Aviation Authority. Some are under full-service SavvyMx management, but most owners opt for SavvyQA consulting where the owner handles the interface with the maintenance providers.

We have much more regulatory latitude—and much more influence on your maintenance outcomes—if the aircraft is N-registered and its maintenance falls under the U.S. FARs. Most other national CAAs are much more restrictive in their maintenance regulations in ways that significantly restrict our radius of action. In our experience, it is highly beneficial for owners to maintain their aircraft in N-registry (typically by maintaining ownership of the aircraft in a U.S. entity) where that can be done legally. We have assisted some of our clients to establish U.S. entities for this purpose so that their overseas-based aircraft could be maintained in N-registry and maintained under FAA regulations.

To provide full-service management, we require that the aircraft be maintained in shops staffed by mechanics who can communicate with us fluently in English via our online ticket system. In situations where this is not practical, we typically recommend our SavvyQA consulting service and have the owner interface with the shop.

Generally not. However, for aircraft under Savvy management, we do manage repairs of gear-up landing damage, prop strikes, and other accidental damage covered by insurance.

Major repairs of this sort are not covered by Savvy’s standard annual management fee. We charge a modest supplemental flat-rate fee for managing the upgrade. Such fees generally vary between 50% and 100% of our standard annual management fee for the class of aircraft involved.

Not usually, although we have made some exceptions for some Van’s RV-series aircraft. SavvyMx is intended mainly for aircraft that have standard airworthiness certificates. For most owners of experimentals, our SavvyQA consulting program is a better fit. If you would like to discuss the possibility of placing your experimental amateur-built aircraft under the SavvyMx program, please contact us and we’ll be glad to consider your aircraft on a case-by-case basis.

Generally not. Savvy reserves the right to decline to manage the maintenance of any aircraft manufactured prior to 1970, although we’re somewhat flexible. We evaluate older aircraft on a case-by-case basis, to determine whether or not we feel the aircraft still has reasonable factory support and parts availability. For example, we will sometimes accept a 60s-vintage Bonanza or Cessna or Piper because those aircraft are still well-supported by the manufacturer and most parts are still readily available. When in doubt, please contact us for a determination before you sign up.

(EAA presently defines aircraft built before 1945 as “antique,” from 1945 to 1955 as “classic,” and from 1956 and 1971 as “contemporary.” EAA updates these definitions from time to time.)

What are the insurance requirements for SavvyMx?

Savvy has to be very careful with respect to protection from liability, given the extremely litigious nature of today’s aviation maintenance environment. Savvy  carries its own aviation comprehensive general liability (ACGL) insurance. Savvy’s service agreement with its clients also includes a mutual hold-harmless clause.

In addition, Savvy also requires that every client add Savvy as an “additional insured” to their aircraft liability policy each aircraft under management. We require this for two reasons:

  • In the event that the client is sued and Savvy  is named as a co-defendant, we want to be sure that the client’s insurer provides a common defense for both the client and Savvy. The defense can be common since the client and Savvy have signed a bilateral hold-harmless and consequently have coincident interests. Therefore, the incremental cost to the insurance company is negligible.
  • In the event that the client’s aircraft is damaged and the client makes an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairs, we want to minimize the likelihood that the client’s insurer will bring a subrogation action against Savvy to recover those costs.

Having Savvy added to the client’s aircraft liability policy as an additional insured accomplishes these objectives. In our experience, virtually every insurance company that insures GA aircraft is willing to do this. Most major GA underwriters do this at no additional premium, since underwriters realize that Savvy’s professional maintenance management actually lowers their risk of having a claim. (A few underwriters charge a small additional “nuisance fee,” generally $100 or less.)

Note that Savvy carries its own $5 million Aviation Comprehensive General Liability (ACGL) policy which provides Savvy primary coverage in the event of a liability judgment, so the likelihood of any dilution of your liability coverage limits is extremely small.

Savvy’s requirement to be added to your aircraft insurance as an additional insured is really no different than when an aircraft owner takes flight training from BPPP or CPPP or FlightSafety or SimCom, and the training organization requires that it be added to the owner’s policy as an additional insured.

NOTE: The requirement that Savvy be added to the aircraft’s insurance as an “additional insured” applies only to aircraft enrolled in our full-service SavvyMx managed maintenance program. It does not apply to aircraft enrolled in our other services (SavvyQA, SavvyPrebuy, SavvyBreakdown, SavvyAnalysis).

Call or email your insurance broker or agent and ask that Savvy be added to your aircraft liability policy as an “additional insured” (AI). Ask your broker or agent to obtain a “certificate of insurance” (COI) for:

Savvy Aviation, Inc.
30 N. Gould St., Ste 7491
Sheridan, WY 82801

Ask that the certificate either be emailed to operations@savvyaviation.com or snail-mailed to the Wyoming address above; we much prefer that it be emailed. We will need to have that COI in hand before we can start managing the maintenance of your aircraft.

NOTE: At present, every major GA underwriter is happy to add Savvy as an additional insured. A notable exception is Aerospace Insurance Managers (AIM) who have been charging a $250 annual fee to add Savvy as an additional insured, so you probably should avoid AIM unless and until they eliminate this fee.

IMPORTANT: If your broker is unfamiliar with Savvy, make sure to explain that Savvy is not a maintenance provider, and is in fact forbidden from performing maintenance on your aircraft by the terms of the Savvy service agreement. If your broker has any difficulty with this, please ask him or her to contact us and we’ll help get things straightened out.