Automatic Trend and Fleet Tracking

October 24, 2007
Written 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.

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