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Goodbye to pilot paperwork

Imagine if pilots could complete a day’s flying without having to manually fill out a journey log or update flight and duty forms–as well as having a draft invoice ready for approval upon their return. Well, now they can.

By combining Aeronet’s new .APP with one of a range of satellite tracking systems, you can automate most of the reports and forms that pilots must enter at the end of every flight.

Aeronet spotted the need for this while working with many of its customers. “We could see the biggest problem is that the pilots are writing down the same information multiple times,” said Aaron Shipman, Aeronet’s founder and chief executive officer. “They are writing it out in their own notebooks; they are writing it out in the journey log; they’re writing it out on a draft invoice; writing it out on the flight ticket and so on.

“We solve that problem. We end up with the journey log, draft invoices, etc. without anyone writing anything down or typing it out on an iPad.”

Aeronet is a small team of dedicated professionals headquartered in Cambridge, New Zealand. For 15 years, the company has worked alongside aviation experts, developing extremely flexible software solutions for the aviation industry. Aeronet has partnered with a wide range of aviation companies, navigating a very complex regulatory environment. Those partnerships have allowed it to create a collection of best practices that not only make for a great software system but also connect people to refined processes.

Cloud-based Aeronet is already popular with the aviation industry through its three successful products. Operators use Aeronet.OPS, maintenance controllers enjoy Aeronet.MT and service providers employ Aeronet.MRO.

With that suite of three proven products working together in a web-enabled environment, Aeronet provides a system that helps aviation companies manage their business processes, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced costs. It’s also adaptable–customized, scalable solutions are available for any size of organization.

The new Aeronet.APP builds on the expertise and experience gained with these leading products.

When the need for automated pilot data entry became clear, Aeronet and a group of entrepreneurial New Zealand based companies combined resources to come up with the solution. When you put Aeronet.APP together with a satellite tracking unit from Spidertracks, V2track, TracPlus or Airbly, pilots no longer have to enter data manually at the end of a flight. They can use any of these units to flow data to Aeronet.APP.

“We work with our clients to utilize existing hardware and make recommendations whenever we can,” said Shipman. “Most operators have satellite tracking, so we are leveraging off their current hardware. A new piece of hardware is not often required, we are just doing more things with it.” If customers don’t have any of that hardware, Shipman said, “Talk to us about what you have, and we will work with you on a solution.”

Aeronet.APP automatically creates several documents in real time. These include journey logs, flight and duty forms, draft invoices, flight logbooks, maintenance alerts, landing fee reports, usage reports, safety alarms, and incident reports.

In perfecting the groundbreaking new product, Aeronet and its partners had several challenges to overcome, said Shipman. “It’s pretty easy to put dots on a map, relatively easy to count hours, but harder to count landings, torque events and some of the other things needed for the journey log.” Identifying the pilot on the job and identifying the job you’re on to get an invoice was also difficult. “And identifying things like cycles can be relatively tricky, too.”

Generally, the adoption of tablets and related gear in the cockpit and flight deck is credited with improving pilot data entry. Shipman agrees with this, but only up to a point: “Some of the operators focus on the electronic flight bag and ask pilots to enter it on a tablet. But depending on their age, it can actually be easier to write it out than type it. And basically, they are tired at the end of the day. So, many of those applications based around iPads, etc. aren’t really solving the problem of pilot data entry accuracy.”

With Aeronet.APP, though, “All you have to do is fly. All your paperwork is being done in real time. I call it auto-magical.”

Heli Tech Insight Magazine 2019

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