FLIGHT DEPT PROFILE
Bone doctors use King Airs to serve patients in WY, NE
Orthopedic care specialists operate 4 C90As to link network of rural clinics.
Gem City Executive Dir Trent Kaufman estimates that 80% of the clinic's business is due to its flight operation.
Diekroeger says that, after initial training, a newly hired pilot is given a minimum of 10 days of initial operating experience (IOE) training.
During the IOE, the pilot travels to each clinic destination at least once. He says this is intended to familiarize the pilot with the aircraft, the flying environment and the satellite clinic locations.
Ground handling, fueling and aircraft cleaning for Gem City are accomplished by the LAR FBO. Gem City has a contract with AvFuel at most of its outstations. Pilots are provided with a fuel pricing chart each week to assist in determining fuel loads.
Maintenance, both scheduled and unscheduled, is performed by Atlantic Aviation CPR. Diekroeger credits Bill Howell and his staff at Atlantic for doing an excellent job and contributing to the department's outstanding record for dispatch reliability.
If a Gem City King Air experiences a grounding problem, Atlantic dispatches a mechanic to deal with it. Maintenance tracking is done through AvTrak.
Avionics maintenance and upgrades are handled by Leroy Dunn and the staff at Natrona Avionics, also at CPR. All 4 King Airs have upgraded panels designed around the Garmin 530W, which Natrona engineered and installed. Diekroeger says the department is considering an upgrade to the Garmin GTN750.
Gem City's King Air C90As in the hangar at LAR ready to begin another day carrying doctors and their staff to care for patients all across Wyoming.
He says, "We carefully consider any new technology that has the capability to upgrade the safety of our operation."
Engine overhauls are performed by Vector Aerospace in Canada, and prop overhauls at AAR OKC (Will Rogers, Oklahoma City OK). Aircraft painting is done at Cimarron Aircraft at RQO (El Reno OK). Three of the Gem City King Airs are currently in matching paint schemes, with the last scheduled for a repaint soon.
Gem City flight department is an example of business aviation being used as an effective tool to promote both commerce and the public good. As Gem City Bone & Joint continues to grow and improve, it will soon be undergoing a branding and name change to Premier Bone & Joint Centers.
A fleet of efficient aircraft allows a team of professionals to operate and expand their business, while providing the citizens of a rural state with services that might otherwise be unavailable. What could be better than that?
Mike Potts is an aviation consultant and freelance writer. He worked in corporate communications for Beech and Raytheon Aircraft between 1979 and 1997.