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Automatic Trend and Fleet Tracking

A problem that has plagued maintenance and operational planners has been obtaining accurate and timely data from each flight


October 24, 2007
By Gary Watson

A problem that has plagued maintenance and operational planners has
been obtaining accurate and timely data from each flight. In most cases
the flight crew is responsible for recording a wide variety of
parameters during the course of a day's flying. The accuracy of the
numbers is directly related to the pilots' workload, frame of mind and
often their perceived opinion on the value of entering a large number
of numbers and times in a logbook. Too often, the numbers entered do
not accurately reflect the correct times or the exact engine parameters
used for trend monitoring. "Hey Ben, were we off at 14:10 or 14:12?"
can be a common enough remark, followed by "Is that 98.2 or 98.4 on
number two engine?"

This
is not to say that crews deliberately misread or miswrite numbers; but
through experience, I have found that the precision to read an analog
gauge correctly is often in the eye of the beholder, and often I would
make logbook entries into a trend monitoring program where the scatter
made the data almost useless. This is not a major problem with one or
two aircraft, but when the fleet is 40 or so aircraft, a minute error
per aircraft per day can add up to a sizeable amount of money by year's
end.

AeroMechanical Services (AMS) of Calgary is in the final
certification stages of a unique new aircraft tracking system that will
solve many data recording functions automatically and, at the end of
each flight segment, call home with the data – all without breaking the
bank and with no capital equipment outlay.