Flying over the Caribbean Sea: Eduardo Lange shares his support mission
Follow Pratt & Whitney Canada Field Service Representative Eduardo Lange as he accompanies a customer on a 1,047-nautical mile journey in a single-engine PT6A-powered aircraft.
When Panamanian businessman and pilot Alfredo Arias purchased a brand new Socata TBM turboprop powered by a single PT6A-64 engine to replace his piston-powered twin-engine aircraft, some members of his family and friends were perplexed. Why switch from a twin-engine to a single-engine aircraft? Enter P&WC Field Service Representative Eduardo Lange, who had come to congratulate the proud P&WC operator on his new purchase. “I told him that this aircraft, with its proven PT6A-64 engine, will be more reliable than his old piston-powered aircraft,” he recalls. “Then Alfredo said, ‘so you’ll fly with me to Miami to have the aircraft serviced?’ Of course, I gladly accepted!”
What followed was a flight that Eduardo will never forget. It’s also an experience he frequently uses as an example of why he loves his job, and the close relationships that P&WC FSRs often build with their customers. “We left Panama City at 6:30 a.m., taxiing straight out of the hangar to the runway for takeoff,” he says. “We flew directly over the beautiful Caribbean Sea, passing over George Town in Grand Cayman and Cuba. We arrived in Miami just over four hours later after covering a total distance of 1,047 nautical miles. We even beat a regularly scheduled American Airlines jet that left Panama City just one hour after us!”
No Room for Error
Eduardo, also a seasoned pilot, provided Mr. Arias with valuable support throughout the mission. This included help with navigation and fuel consumption calculations. “Flying over water in a single-engine aircraft means it’s very important to stay on top of fuel consumption; there’s no room for error!” he notes.”
After arrival, Eduardo bid farewell to his satisfied customer and immediately caught a commercial aircraft back to Panama City. “Mr. Arias was very impressed with the PT6 engine and the support we provided,” he says. “Not many engine OEMs do what we do. Mr. Arias had never even been visited by a field rep before me!”
It’s All about Passion
Eduardo holds a bachelor’s degree in aircraft maintenance management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is passionate about his job. After joining P&WC in 2000, he spent over a dozen years looking after hundreds of P&WC customers in the Caribbean, Central and South America from his base in Panama City. “I was on the road about three weeks out of every month,” he says. “I worked in many remote areas helping customers with their engines, and travelled to places where people don’t usually go. But seeing an aircraft taking off after you’ve serviced its engine made everything worth it! For us, an engine is about more than hardware. It’s also about giving operators a sense of confidence and comfort. PT6A operators know they can count on their engines to start reliably and easily every time, to get them where they want, when they want, and to get them back safely. Whether they’re running their business, saving lives or transporting passengers, when our customers fly with a PT6A, they fly with peace of mind – even in some of the most extreme environments on the planet.”
By working closely with a wide range of customers, from small single-engine aircraft owners to operators of jets and military helicopters, Eduardo developed a wealth of knowledge about P&WC’s products and services. Every year, he shared his experiences and advice with customers in his territory by organizing one-day seminars with them. “The idea was to be proactive in giving maintenance tips and they greatly appreciated these sessions.” Thanks to our relentless focus on achieving the highest single-engine reliability levels, we’ve been getting customers wherever they want to go, every time they fly, for decades. And the results speak for themselves: the PT6A fleet currently is trending below three total IFSD events per 1,000,000 hours – well below the single-engine instrument flight rules (SEIFR) limit of 10 – for single-engine applications with 51,000,000 hours of experience.
Today, Eduardo, married with two daughters and a son, is working onsite at Gulfstream’s plant in Savannah, GA. He’s OEM field service manager and authorized inspector on the PurePower® PW800-powered G500/G600 aircraft development program. “This is the ultimate job in my career and a dream come true,” he says. It also requires very little travel, apart from the occasional troubleshooting visit to a PT6 customer!