CASE STUDY

The Commemorative Air Force

The customer

Founded in 1957, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the leading organization devoted to preserving US military aviation history. Today, CAF operates, maintains and is restoring more than 170 World-War-II-era military aircraft, including B-17s, P-51s and C-47s. CAF’s 11,000 members are the proud gatekeepers of an important chapter in our history. Their mission is to keep it alive through flights, events and artifacts. CAF has 86 chapters across the country, including the Minnesota Wing in St. Paul.

Jason “Mac” McNeil is the Maintenance Officer of the CAF’s Minnesota Wing.

“My father was in the Air Force and I was born on Offutt AFB in Nebraska. As a young man, I joined the Marine Corps, serving until 1992. Around 1999, I became involved with the CAF. Then, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 compelled me to sign up with the Minnesota Air National Guard, where I’ve worked principally on maintaining C-130s. Today, my “day job” is serving as a mechanic for Delta Airlines, where I mostly work on scheduled line maintenance on various aircraft in our fleet. I guess aviation is just in my blood!” explains Mac.

“Our chapter has five WWII-era aircraft in service, one in restoration and another in storage. Our B-25 is probably the most popular with the general public. With a crew of three, it can accommodate up to six passengers. At airshows, folks go up for a 30-to-45-minute flight. I’ve never seen a person land without a big smile on their face.”

The customer

Founded in 1957, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) is the leading organization devoted to preserving US military aviation history. Today, CAF operates, maintains and is restoring more than 170 World-War-II-era military aircraft, including B-17s, P-51s and C-47s. CAF’s 11,000 members are the proud gatekeepers of an important chapter in our history. Their mission is to keep it alive through flights, events and artifacts. CAF has 86 chapters across the country, including the Minnesota Wing in St. Paul.

Jason “Mac” McNeil is the Maintenance Officer of the CAF’s Minnesota Wing.

“My father was in the Air Force and I was born on Offutt AFB in Nebraska. As a young man, I joined the Marine Corps, serving until 1992. Around 1999, I became involved with the CAF. Then, the attacks of September 11th, 2001 compelled me to sign up with the Minnesota Air National Guard, where I’ve worked principally on maintaining C-130s. Today, my “day job” is serving as a mechanic for Delta Airlines, where I mostly work on scheduled line maintenance on various aircraft in our fleet. I guess aviation is just in my blood!” explains Mac.

“Our chapter has five WWII-era aircraft in service, one in restoration and another in storage. Our B-25 is probably the most popular with the general public. With a crew of three, it can accommodate up to six passengers. At airshows, folks go up for a 30-to-45-minute flight. I’ve never seen a person land without a big smile on their face.”

“Why do we keep WWII-era military aircraft flying? It’s simple… We do it for the love of aviation. We do it to honor those who have served before us. And, we do it to keep history alive for the next generation…”

– Jason “Mac” McNeil, Maintenance Officer

The challenge

“We implemented TRAXXALL about four years ago. Before that, our maintenance tracking was principally logged on paper. Coming from a commercial aviation background with one of the largest carriers in the country, I made it a priority to elevate our maintenance tracking standards. TRAXXALL has been central to achieving this objective.”

“And, we have another larger objective. Historically, we’ve been categorized as a Part 91 operation by the FAA. But – even though we’re a non-profit organization – we do charge people for flights on our aircraft. The idea is to cover costs, not generate profit. However, because money is changing hands, we start to resemble a Part 135 operator. So, our strategy is – let’s act like a 135 operation, with rigorous and professional maintenance tracking. Then, if the FAA ever changes our designation, we’ll be ready.”

The implementation

“TRAXXALL has been extremely beneficial for us. It really simplifies our day-to-day maintenance tracking. For example, now, it’s easy for flight crews to document their feedback and report any issues in an efficient manner. Also, we are now easily able to track our costs on an hourly through annual basis – previously, that was not the case. TRAXXALL makes our operations considerably simpler and safer. I’d like to see all our chapters nationwide using it,” concludes Mac.

“Why do we keep WWII-era military aircraft flying? It’s simple… We do it for the love of aviation. We do it to honor those who have served before us. And, we do it to keep history alive for the next generation…”

– Jason “Mac” McNeil, Maintenance Officer

The challenge

“We implemented TRAXXALL about four years ago. Before that, our maintenance tracking was principally logged on paper. Coming from a commercial aviation background with one of the largest carriers in the country, I made it a priority to elevate our maintenance tracking standards. TRAXXALL has been central to achieving this objective.”

“And, we have another larger objective. Historically, we’ve been categorized as a Part 91 operation by the FAA. But – even though we’re a non-profit organization – we do charge people for flights on our aircraft. The idea is to cover costs, not generate profit. However, because money is changing hands, we start to resemble a Part 135 operator. So, our strategy is – let’s act like a 135 operation, with rigorous and professional maintenance tracking. Then, if the FAA ever changes our designation, we’ll be ready.”

The implementation

“TRAXXALL has been extremely beneficial for us. It really simplifies our day-to-day maintenance tracking. For example, now, it’s easy for flight crews to document their feedback and report any issues in an efficient manner. Also, we are now easily able to track our costs on an hourly through annual basis – previously, that was not the case. TRAXXALL makes our operations considerably simpler and safer. I’d like to see all our chapters nationwide using it,” concludes Mac.