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StandardAero & the RCAF: A longtime and productive partnership

By Martin Zeilig

Marvin Hiebert, the Director of Defence Programs at Defence & Energy Services at StandardAero, has witnessed “a rich history of collaboration” between his employer and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

From the CC-130 Hercules aircraft entering service with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in the early 1960s, to their continued growth, StandardAero has evolved alongside the RCAF.

Their shared goals and commitment to service are commendable.

With its origins in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Scottsdale, Arizona, based StandardAero, is one of the world’s largest independent aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers, Mr. Hiebert said.

Markets served include mainline and regional airlines, business aviation, helicopters, military and energy. Their facilities are located in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific.

The company employees 7500 people worldwide with over 1300 employees in Winnipeg.

As a prime contractor supporting the RCAF’s Hercules fleet, StandardAero “underscores the critical partnership” it has with the CAF, Mr. Hiebert stated, during a recent interview in his office at 1855 Sergeant Avenue in Winnipeg—StandardAero’s largest Canadian site.


“We’ve grown together,” he said.  “Our histories have intertwined.”

“The Hercules coming into service for the RCAF in the early 1960s started our growth pattern. We’re very proud to serve the RCAF, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. For us 2011 was our 100th anniversary. We have common goals of delivering our missions with the highest quality. ”

StandardAero partners with the CAF to support the Hercules program. 

“Our teams are embedded at customer sites such as based at 17 Wing right at 435,” Mr. Hiebert said.

“Transport and Rescue Squadron in 16 Hangar.”

StandardAero manages the full propulsion support for the program.  In the case of propulsion concerns, they would assist with on-wing troubleshooting prior to any engine or propulsion asset needing to be removed because it doesn’t work and requires some sort of maintenance.

“So, if there’s a requirement for an engine or prop to receive any sort of servicing, we would be working with the first line mechanics in the hangar,” Mr. Hiebert said.

 “We’d first try to fix it on the Wing. If we can’t, then we’d take custody of it right at 435 Squadron. Then, it would be routed for whatever the work scope is. If it needed a major repair or overhaul, it would be brought back here to our facility (Plant 2) at 1855 Sergeant Avenue.

“As the CAFs requirements have changed, we have modified the program over time to ensure we provided the right support needed to keep the CAF flying.” 

There are several other engine types that “are supported” by StandardAero, including from the Dash-8 trainer, which is flown by 402 “City of Winnipeg” Squadron.  

That MRO work is done out of Summerside, PEI while the Publications Management Services is performed in Winnipeg, Mr. Hiebert said.

StandardAero also supports the CAF from Richmond, BC supporting Cormorant and Cyclone engine repairs. 

“We actually assembled the engines for GE when those aircraft were first fielded,” Mr. Hiebert said.

What a great partnership: StandardAero and the RCAF.

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