BAN's World GazetteerVermont
Homer, Alaska-based Pathfinder Aviation has signed a contract for 20 units of Foresight MX system, GPMS's enhanced health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) solution. These systems will cover Pathfinder's mixed fleet of AS350 B2, AS350 B3/H125, H135 and Bell 212 helicopters allowing remote aircraft and fleet monitoring with predictive analytics through a common user interface.
“Having an advanced HUMS like Foresight MX on our aircraft is an invaluable addition,” says CEO Rogan Parker. “Foresight MX provides the insight and level of detail to know the health and status of all the aircraft in our fleet and provides us with additional confidence in our operations. It's game changing.”
Pathfinder Aviation operates a mixed fleet of helicopters specifically chosen for the wide variety of missions it flies in the beautiful wilderness areas of Alaska, as well as the specialised operations and logistics solutions it provides for unique challenges worldwide. Operations in these environments are typically demanding and the utility market itself is very challenging and competitive. Any advantage the company can get to increase the performance, efficiency, reputation and safety of its fleet is a good investment, and Parker is quick to point out that the value of Foresight MX goes beyond the financial and competitive advantages.
“This is an investment in the people, our passengers and our crews, and for Pathfinder the real value, the real return is safety,” he adds.
“We are incredibly excited by this deal with Pathfinder Aviation,” says GPMS president Jed Kalkstein. “Pathfinder is an innovative helicopter transport company that demonstrates its commitment to safety and operational improvements. Its adoption of Foresight MX across its full, mixed fleet showcases the additional benefits when you implement our system to go beyond HUMS.”
He goes on to explain that increasing safety typically drives the adoption of new technology and new systems like Foresight MX.
“There is a growing trend in aviation maintenance and operations management that is shifting away from traditional static, reactive scheduling to more proactive, data-driven planning,” he says. This move helps maintenance teams address issues before they impact aircraft performance and safety, but they need data.
“Foresight MX provides critical analysis and information for this type of proactive planning. It helps move unscheduled events to scheduled events, which reduces AOG costs and helps protect an operator's assets,” he adds.
The team at Pathfinder knows this all too well.
“Late last year we had a new engine that was making metal and set off a chip light. Fortunately, we caught this pre-flight, and the aircraft was on base and not remote,” says Parker. “Unfortunately, as any operator who has had to repair or replace an engine because of a faulty part knows, this is an expensive endeavour. I am quite certain that if we had Foresight MX at that time, we would have caught it before it became such a significant event.”