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.
# # #
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.
# # #
FARGO, North Dakota (May 18, 2020) — Appareo today released a major architectural upgrade to Appareo EnVision, the company’s analysis software system for Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) or Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs. Appareo EnVision is a web-based application that allows fleet operators to access past and current flight data, generate detailed reports, and trend the safety improvements in their operations. Prior to this release, the software accepted flight data captured by Appareo’s Vision 1000 cockpit recorder. With this architectural rewrite, the Appareo EnVision web app can now accept flight data from other devices, including other Appareo flight data recorders and even third-party sources.
“While many flight analysis applications require significant technical capability to operate with effectiveness, EnVision was built with a focus on ease of use” said David Batcheller, President & CEO of Appareo. The software provides deep access to raw data while delivering it in a simple, clean interface to automatically filter flight data and identify flights that require further review.
The Importance of Flight Analysis
FDM and FOQA programs have proven effective in improving safety and decreasing the occurrence of incidents or accidents when the program follows three simple practices: 1) identify deviations, 2) implement corrective actions, and 3) measure results.
Identifying deviations from standard operating procedures (SOP) is not an indication of irresponsible or deliberately malicious behavior by pilots. Deviations often occur because humans are susceptible to the “normalization of deviance.” This phrase describes a process in which deviance becomes normalized if it doesn’t result in an instantaneous negative consequence. While some operating procedures may seem inconvenient or unimportant, the right mix of variables could result in a deviance turning deadly. That is the reason behind the expression, “aviation regulations are written in blood.”
Appareo CEO David Batcheller shares his own personal experience with normalization of deviance: “I moved into a new neighborhood which had a stop sign near my house. For months I didn’t see another car when I came to the stop sign every day. After a while, I started to roll through the stop, then coast through the stop, and eventually I forgot the stop sign was there entirely. Flash forward to harvest season when I discovered that the intersection became very busy, and I was nearly broadsided by a truck as I ignored the stop sign. Fortunately that was a near miss, but that incident could have been fatal. It’s the kind of thing that routinely happens in all walks of life, flight operations included. Flight Data Monitoring and Flight Operations Quality Assurance programs should be thought of as the kindly local sheriff in the rearview mirror who is ready to provide a reminder that rules are important when our more fallible human inclinations take over.”
How It Works
Data is transferred from an aircraft to a local computer via SD card, then uploaded to Appareo servers for analysis. That transmission can happen instantaneously or it can be scheduled for a different time of day, based on the user’s preferences. “The scheduling feature was developed for our customers who have operations in remote locations with limited internet bandwidth,” said Batcheller. “They appreciate the ability to schedule their data file transmission to take place during periods of low network activity.”
Once data is received, the EnVision software parses all flight data against customized event triggers that were defined by the user based on their organization’s flight operating procedures. The process of configuring those event triggers is one of EnVision’s most powerful features; using a simple interface and drop-down menu, users can define the events that are important to monitor, and specify the parameters that indicate when a flight has deviated from flight ops.
Detailed reports are easily generated from those events, delivering the information that operators want to monitor and the ability to trend that information over time. Comprehensive data for every flight is archived on the Appareo servers, giving customers convenient online access to their data whenever it’s needed.
Appareo EnVision is offered as a per-aircraft subscription service with no user limits, and includes the hosting of stored flight data. To learn more about Appareo’s turnkey flight data monitoring solutions, visit Appareo.com/FDM-FOQA.
# # #
Appareo is a recognized leader in the custom design, development and manufacture of innovative electronic and software solutions for aerospace. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, Appareo creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both mobile and cloud-based components. The company is privately held, with headquarters in Fargo, N.D., and design offices in Tempe, Ariz. and Paris, France. All products are built and supported in the USA.
About FDM and FOQA
FDM and FOQA programs are one of the NTSB’s Top 10 Most Wanted and an area of strong recommendation from the NTSB to the FAA for new rulemaking to improve the safety of Part 135 operations.
This week Enstrom Helicopter Corporation announced the certification of the Appareo Vision 1000 for their Enstrom 480B turbine helicopter. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification was followed by certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC).
It is a self-contained design that is a perfect fit for the Enstrom 480B, the fact that it can capture so much information and it can be installed in a day in new or older aircraft has made it a perfect option for our customers.” – Dennis Martin, Enstrom Helicopter
Vision 1000 provides comprehensive flight data for Appareo’s turn-key Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) program. Information captured by Vision 1000:
Read more in Vertical Magazine.