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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There is a common misconception that safety management systems and tools like flight data monitoring are there to help the operators with the poorest track records to improve. While these tools can be a tremendous help to such operators, introduction of flight data monitoring systems to operators with great safety records can still make a lasting impact.
For one example, look no further than the Bristow Group’s performance from 2007 to 2015.
By any measure, compared against the industry and peers, the Bristow Group had a fantastic safety track record. But even though Bristow was starting from a position where their accident rate was half of their industry, through safety management systems and flight data monitoring Bristow was able to cut their average accident rate by a factor of 10 over a six-year period.
No matter how consistently safe, or how much an operation has been struggling, flight data monitoring can be an incredible tool for driving lasting gains in safety and operational efficiency.
Contact us today for a conversation about how flight data monitoring tools can bring value to your operations.
Kris Garberg – President, Appareo Aviation