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Make a Difference: Take OEM Product Support Surveys

March 25, 2011

It's almost that time of year again, when business aviation's two primary product-support surveys hit the inboxes of most NBAA members. And although – like many others in the industry – you might not be on the edge of your seat anticipating filling out the surveys, industry experts say you should be.

"For a business jet OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer], the true measure of proficiency in product support is to be found in the first-hand experiences of the operator," said Frank Youngkin, senior vice president of customer service for Dassault Falcon. "While technology is at the forefront of all we do, we still must rely on feedback from real live human beings when it comes to sharing experiences and learning from one another."

Falcon has been working with the NBAA Falcon Technical Committee to encourage Falcon operators to take the surveys, which will be posted in the next several months by Professional Pilot and Aviation International News (AIN) magazines. Operators of all business aircraft, however, should take the few minutes it requires to fill out the surveys, said Eli Cotti, NBAA director, technical operations. "The OEMs really take the survey results to heart. Feedback makes a difference," said Cotti.

Brad Thress, senior vice president, Customer Service for Cessna Aircraft Company, agreed. "The industry surveys by Aviation International News and Professional Pilot provide critical comparative data upon which we base our improvement priorities. The surveys are one of the only objective sources of data we have comparing our performance to that of our competitors, so it's very valuable," said Thress.

Youngkin, of Falcon, noted that his company has made a number of changes based on recommendations from Dassault's Operator Advisory Board and customer feedback. Examples include improvements to pilot training, expanded web-based documentation and information, and adding value to Falcon spare parts.

NBAA members are encouraged to look for the surveys – coming to Professional Pilot subscribers in the mail, and electronically to AIN readers – and fill them out in a timely manner. AIN readers will need their subscriber number to fill out the survey; to subscribe or get help with the survey, contact AIN's Jane Campbell at

The business aviation product support survey results are usually published in the August issues of the two publications.