Chilean rotary operator Ecocopter has installed a flight data monitoring system (FDM) in its entire fleet. FDM is a proactive and predictive flight data analysis programme, which provides the safety management system with the ability to continuously monitor flights to compare them with standard operating procedures, detect possible areas of risk, determine trends and quantify policy deviations and limitations.
“This system gives us the possibility of recording and reviewing a large number of flight parameters, such as speed, altitude, inclination and torque,” says safety manager Gianni Di Giammarino. “In addition, it allows us to detect exceedances of and deviations from operational procedures and aeronautical regulations. In this way we can take corrective actions and also evaluate trends to establish continuous improvement in our training programme.”
Aircraft are periodically reviewed, depending on flight hours or takeoffs, data is collected and statistical analyses performed. Owing to the FDM system, the useful life and performance of various aircraft components can be monitored, allowing maintenance actions to be carried out when necessary, anticipating abnormal trends such as failures and degraded components, thus preventing complex situations.
Ecocopter head of FDM Gina Guerrero adds: “With this system we are consolidating our security measures to provide the best service to our customers. Furthermore, when in the short term, this system will allow us to communicate in real time with the crew through direct satellite communication to the aircraft from a monitoring room in our facilities, which implies live information and direct communication with the central for different cases that may arise and require operational advice. This is a key variable since the pilot will be able to communicate with the Ecocopter operations centre with just one button.”
Ecocopter partnered with Outerlink Global Solutions for the installations. The operator, which frequents Peru and Ecuador as well as its native Chile, operates a fleet of AS250s, H125, EC135s and H145s, with bases in Santiago and Punta Arenas in Chile, Lima in Peru and Quito in Ecuador.