CHC, Leonardo and SKYTRAC cooperate for global real-time in flight safety data transfer
CHC Helicopter, Leonardo and SKYTRAC have successfully completed testing of a real-time Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and cockpit electronic flight bag (EFB) solution on an AW139 helicopter.
The team claims that as an industry-first, the technology includes in-flight HUMS analysis with real-time air-to-ground exceedance alerts and automated downloads to Leonardo’s Heliwise analysis software.
Live weather and Marine AIS (automatic identification system) feeds to the cockpit are included for increased situational awareness to the crews, ensuring that their decision-making is based on the very latest information.
The system also permits immediate and automatic download of Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) whenever the aircraft comes into range of a company-secured Wi-Fi hotspot at home base. Data can be seamlessly and securely uploaded into the system used by the FDM analysts, saving valuable time and eliminating manual transfer of this safety-critical data.
Dave Balevic, CHC’s senior vice president of engineering and operations, said: “CHC’s core focus is on safety and efficiency. This technology will help detect HUMS exceedances early while speeding up the analysis process."
He added: "In addition, the SKYTRAC EFB application monitors live weather and marine traffic in-flight. This will help pilots easily identify changes to potentially unsafe flight conditions (such as those related to thunderstorms and lightning activity) and take alternative measures in a more measured fashion."
Maurizio D’Angelo, Leonardo Helicopters’ head of PSE and licenses, said: “Leonardo is pleased to be part of this innovative AW139 project with CHC and SKYTRAC. Today, more than ever, the industry is looking for a practical and flexible solution for real-time HUMS and automated wireless post-flight downloads to satisfy the need of a timely access to HUMS data. This important achievement will help CHC to fully streamline their AW139’s HUMS data download and processing to reduce aircraft AOGs, and to increase aircraft continuous airworthiness.”