At AirVenture, Sporty’s provided new details of its recently announced “roadside” assistance program. The new plan, called the Breakdown Assistance Program, is designed to give pilots the kind of concierge assistance they need when mechanical things go “bump” when away from home.
When you’re a new pilot, you depend on the community to help you make sense of how to turn from a newly minted private pilot to one who can go places and do things with an airplane, and the pilot community is most often ready and willing to help. But airplane owners might find that the kind of guidance they need when they experience a breakdown away from home is hard to come by. Who do you call? Ghostbusters will hardly help.
Instead, it’s Sporty’s to the rescue. With its new Breakdown Assistance Program, available at sportys.com, members can call for help and take advantage of the wisdom of the Savvy Aircraft Maintenance Management network in determining whether or not it’s safe to fly with the problem, or not. If the answer is “fix it now,” the on-duty AP/IA on the other end of the cell phone line will connect you with help as fast and easy as possible.
The Sporty’s Breakdown Assistance Program is surprisingly affordable—$149 for piston singles, $199 for piston twins and $299 for single-engine turboprops. There are understandable restrictions. Among them, the breakdown must take place at least 50 miles from your home airport, the airplane must be one you operate on your own (no charter or rental planes), and the service isn’t for regular maintenance, like oil changes or inspections. Finally, there’s a 48-hour waiting period for service activation, so owners won’t be tempted to sign up only after they’ve suffered a breakdown.
While Sporty’s Breakdown Assistance Program doesn’t pay for the parts or labor for any required repairs (how could it for these prices?), what it does provide is in some ways even more valuable: providing pilots who find themselves in a bind far from home some savvy mechanical advice and resource guidance so the pilot can go from being stuck somewhere to flying off again with as little fuss, worry and downtime as possible.