Avionics News January 2016 - 24
RIGHT: During the flooding,
FEMA and the South Carolina
National Guard based their
main staging area for disaster
recovery operations at the
Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens
Airport near where Aircraft
Maintenance Services is
located. This CH-47 Chinook
helicopter was used to drop
sandbags into the Columbia
Canal to restore drinking
water to the city.
BELOW: Aircraft Maintenance
Services recently installed
new Avidyne equipment in a
Beechcraft King Air B100.
AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE SERVICES INC.
Continued from page 23
Balancing great service, reasonable prices
As an aircraft technician, IA and private pilot,
Schumpert understands customer concerns. He handles
many of the repair station's test flights, keeping in mind
issues particularly vexing to pilots. When it comes to
managing the business, he and his wife, Vickie, who
serves as the company's office manager, know how to
keep customers happy.
"We have found that most customers, whether
private or corporate, just want good maintenance that
is reasonably priced, and service when the need arises,"
said Schumpert, who has nearly 40 years of experience
in aircraft maintenance. "We give the same service to our
small reciprocating customers as well as our Citation or
King Air customers. If an aircraft breaks down where there
is no maintenance, we will go there and make the needed
repairs. A couple of years ago, we went to Gulfport,
Mississippi, to repair a thrust reverser on a Citation III."
Snipes agreed, adding, "I would attribute our growth to
the fact that we understand our customers. We understand
that they have to be able to fly. If we priced our services
so they couldn't, we wouldn't have a business any more."
Customers have both management and technicians'
personal cellphone numbers, another reason Snipes
thinks the repair station is so successful.
"It's not uncommon for us to get a text message over
the weekend," he said. "If a customer needs something,
we try to help them the best we can. Also, all of our guys
are involved in aviation and love it. I think that helps.
When you are passionate about what you do, there is
difference in the craftsmanship and quality of the work
In just two years since moving to Columbia, Aircraft
Maintenance Services has already outgrown its new
facility. Schumpert is working with local officials to
acquire land and build a new hangar at the airport.
"We're hoping to expand right where we are, but it
depends on the county," Snipes said. "We love being
here, and we love the people at the airport."
During the flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the South Carolina National Guard
used the airport as the main staging area for disaster
recovery operations. Chinooks and other helicopters
flew in and out of the airport nonstop for about a week,
according to Snipes.
"The South Carolina Department of Transportation,
South Carolina National Guard, and the local first responders did an incredible job getting most of the roads back
open again quickly," he said. "Our commutes were back to
normal in about two weeks. Columbia was hit hard, but it
has been amazing to see how much everyone rallied to help
those who were most affected. Temporary shelters and food
banks turned away help because they had too many volunteers. It was a huge, huge storm. The stories we are hearing
from our customers and neighbors are unreal." q