U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Backs Lightweight Helicopter Flight Data Monitors

an article in Avionics International

"The highest and best use of HFDM is not as a crash recorder, but as an pro-active Data Monitor," Byrd wrote in his email. "Using a simple SMS [Safety Management System] or FOQA [Flight Operational Quality Assurance] process, HFDM data can be used to inform and improve flight crew training, operational techniques, maintenance decision making and help foster a safety culture. Savings from correctly analyzing one expensive maintenance event (such as a rotor or engine over speed) using HFDM data, has the potential to recover the costs of equipment. Savings from not having a fatal accident are larger, and far greater than simple monetary concerns. Additionally, HFDM data can be fed to central databases for exchanging safety information, such as ASIAS, in order to aggregate and analyze nationwide safety trends using powerful analytical tools. The powerful idea here is to use HFDM data for analysis to get in front of the accident sequence, and to not only to be a recorder for post-crash evidence." MORE

How Toll Helicopters uses FAST(TM) to Improve Its Operations

An article by Pratt & Whitney Canada

…The FAST system automatically captures data on key engine and aircraft parameters during a flight, then wirelessly transmits it for analysis. This is done for every single Toll Ambulance Rescue mission, with all data offloaded, encrypted, filtered and sent to Toll within 15 minutes of the pilot shutting down the engine.

For Toll, this data serves a dual purpose. Engine data is analysed and used for proactive maintenance and troubleshooting. Aircraft data is forwarded for analysis to Truth Data, a third-party solution provider, which issues detailed operational reports that are used to progressively monitor performance and enhance pilot briefings and training... MORE

Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations

An article by the NTSB

Regardless of the purpose of the flight or the type of aircraft, all flights should be safe—right now they may not be. That’s because the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) doesn’t require air medical service, air taxi, charter, or on-demand flights to meet the same safety requirements as commercial airlines. Even without requirements, many such operators could be taking more initiative to ensure the highest level of safety for their aircraft and passengers… MORE

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