The age of big data has brought with it many promises for the helicopter industry–from enhanced safety metrics to new operational insights and procedural efficiencies. But does more data actually lead to better business performance for the operator?
“The goals of the big data movement are achieved through intelligent use of data. In 2017, operators are typically looking to receive shorter, more meaningful reports, more frequently. High ITT? Chip light activation? Hard landing? Prompt notifications about these types of critical incidents are more practical than a lengthy FDR [flight data recorder] readout or a once-a-month report,” said van der Heul.
While it requires a lot of data processing to be able to accurately detect critical maintenance and safety exceedances, SKYTRAC’s philosophy is to remove the data mining and analysis burden from the operator.
Information is then analyzed onboard the aircraft. When an exceedance is detected, an alert is emailed in real time to designated ground crew contacts. These short, action-oriented reports are designed to cut through the day-to-day noise of operations, help key staff speed maintenance response times and reduce aircraft on ground (AOG) times.
Additional post-flight processing and comprehensive FDM reporting tools supplement these initial alerts. Full event details can be reviewed through simple online reports, and 3D animations provide flight replay options including situational and dashboard visuals. As with any robust FDM program, incidents are also aggregated and trended over time to assist with issues management and team training.
The approach has been shown to drive tangible results for operators. Clients choose the system to help them proactively identify maintenance issues, streamline repair scheduling and minimize costly aircraft downtime.
One client recently used SKYTRAC’s detailed post-flight logs to pinpoint the cause of an issue that cropped up during pre-season flight tests. In addition to offering diagnostics assistance, the system gave the operator a detailed understanding of the underlying issue and demonstrated their expertise and strong safety culture to their own end clients.
Today, the SKYTRAC SkyWeb online data management portal is the go-to tool for more than 6,500 global users. SKYTRAC hardware is installed in more than 70 countries and operational on all seven continents.