FARGO, North Dakota (March 8, 2022) — Phoenix Heli-Flight, a charter helicopter company based in Alberta, Canada, today announced plans to upgrade the Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) systems on its fleet of Airbus Helicopters aircraft to Appareo’s recently-certified AIRS-400 4K Ultra HD flight data recorder. The announcement was made today at the HAI HELI-EXPO conference in Dallas, Texas.
“When I first met the Appareo team at HELI-EXPO in 2007, I had no idea how essential their products would be to the future success of our company. Following a fatal and easily preventable crash that year, Phoenix Heli-Flight installed Appareo GAU 2000 flight data recorders in all company helicopters, and subsequently upgraded to the Vision 1000. Appareo’s hardware and software have been the cornerstone of our Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) program for 15 years. Appareo’s commitment to upgrading their product offering with the AIRS-400 aligns with Phoenix’s commitment to safety and we are eager to install these units,” said Paul Spring, President & CEO, Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc.
In January, Appareo was granted Part 27 STC AML for AIRS-400, its 4K ultra-high-definition Airborne Image Recording System (AIRS). In addition to recording 4K Ultra HD video, AIRS-400 captures pilot intercom system audio, ambient audio, and detailed flight data. With its inertial measurement units, AIRS-400 captures WAAS GPS (altitude, latitude, longitude, ground speed, vertical speed), attitude data (pitch, roll, yaw), rates of rotation, and acceleration data (G forces) — all in a unit that weighs 11 ounces. It is equipped for cellular data offload and comes with options for ARINC 429 input, ED-155 audio output, and RS-422 output, making it the most versatile and flexible lightweight flight data recorder on the market.
Phoenix Heli-Flight Inc. is a privately owned company that has been in operation for 30 years, and is a regional leader concentrating on providing the most modern types and models of aircraft possible. Since starting the business in 1991 with one leased AStar, Phoenix has grown its fleet of helicopters to be the most modern in Canada, including both single and twin turbine engine light helicopters. [Source: phoenixheliflight.com]
“Phoenix Heli-Flight has always been committed to safety,” said Kris Garberg, Appareo Aviation President. “Paul Spring and his team recognize the value of accurate flight data, and for more than 15 years they’ve been successfully using that information to advance safety and reduce risk as part of their FOQA program. We are pleased to continue our partnership as they upgrade their fleet with AIRS-400,” Garberg said.
The initial STC AML for AIRS-400 includes Airbus AS350, Bell 206, and Bell 407. Appareo’s AIRS-400 is one of the easiest FDM devices to install because it is a small, self-contained system requiring only aircraft power, ground, and GPS antenna connections. The simple installation makes it easy to obtain aircraft field approvals. Appareo plans to add to the STC AML in the future. AIRS-400 is now shipping. Read the original original product announcement for more information.
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FARGO, North Dakota (January 26, 2022) — Appareo today announced the certification of AIRS-400, its 4K ultra-high-definition Airborne Image Recording System. AIRS-400 has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for Airbus AS350, Bell 206, and Bell 407. AIRS-400 is one of the easiest FDM devices to install because it is a small, self-contained system requiring only aircraft power, ground, and GPS antenna connections. The simple installation makes it easy to obtain aircraft field approvals. Appareo plans to add to the STC AML in the future. AIRS-400 is now shipping.
In addition to recording 4K Ultra HD video, AIRS-400 captures pilot intercom system audio, ambient audio, and detailed flight data. With its inertial measurement units, AIRS-400 captures WAAS GPS (altitude, latitude, longitude, ground speed, vertical speed), attitude data (pitch, roll, yaw), rates of rotation, and acceleration data (G forces) — all in a unit that weighs 11 ounces. It is equipped for cellular data offload and comes with options for ARINC 429 input, ED-155 audio output, and RS-422 output, making it the most versatile and flexible lightweight flight data recorder on the market.
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Appareo offers the simplest and lowest-cost flight data monitoring solution to meet new US Forest Service (USFS) contract requirements. Part 135.607 requires every helicopter in USFS operations to be equipped with an approved flight data monitoring system (FDMS) capable of recording flight data performance.
The mandate states flight data monitoring systems must comply with 14 CFR 135.607. Recordings must be stored in crash-hardened memory and have removable media. Any software required to review the data must be available to the government. Also, the following parameters must be recorded:
Appareo’s AIRS-400 can do all of the data acquisition and recording to show compliance to a variety of ED-155 requirements by itself; however, to show full compliance to the standard, the camera needs to be hooked up to another module. We will further discuss why a second module may be required for some installations. But, for the overwhelming majority of AIRS installations a second module is not required, because the AIRS camera is:
Below we discuss the ways in which AIRS-400 alone is not compliant with the ED-155 standard, and we provide a list of combinations of AIRS-400 and other products that can be used for full compliance to the ED-155 standard.
AIRS-400 is not compliant with ED-155 section 2-1.14.4. This portion of the standard requires that the recorder be bright orange in color with black letters that say “FLIGHT RECORDER.” In general, Appareo finds our customers prefer a less obvious, intrusive color for a product mounted within the cockpit in plain sight. It would be possible to create a variant of our AIRS that would be bright orange and marked in this manner, but Appareo finds that our customers believe it looks bad in the cockpit.
AIRS-400 is significantly more survivable than our previous cockpit camera, Vision 1000. The product is not, however, compliant with ED-155 section 2-4.2.4. Compliance with the flame survivability standard requires the presence of a phase change material, a material that is used to absorb the heat energy in the event of a fire. The mass of phase change material that is necessary to absorb the amount of heat energy products are subjected to in this test is roughly four times the volume and four times the weight of AIRS-400. This creates a large, unattractive product package for mounting into the ceiling of a cockpit or flight deck. For a customer that requires ED-155 or ED-112 flame survivability, a recoverable memory module mounted in a more convenient location for a large, heavy product is the right architecture for deployment of a flight data recording system. This provides the optimal flight data acquisition capability, with a visually attractive and high-performing camera solution providing digital data to a large, less attractive, recoverable module buried out of sight in the aircraft.
Achieving full compliance with ED-155 is possible with AIRS-400 in a number of ways. The first, and perhaps easiest, is to connect the camera to a recoverable memory module. For example:
There are many different ways that AIRS-400, with its high survivability and alignment with ED-155 data acquisition/generation requirements, can help our global customers show compliance to regulations and standards that may invoke full or partial compliance to the ED-155 standard. The table below summarizes some of the ways in which this compliance can be achieved.
After reviewing this write-up and the above table, if you’re still trying to understand the standard, your requirements, and how to show compliance, please contact Appareo at [email protected].
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