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Business Air News Bulletin
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PJ Helicopters achieves HUMS STC for UH-60A platform
Foresight MX coverage is now extended to the UH-60A Black Hawk, bringing HUMS multi-model and multi-OEM capability fleet management to another platform.
PJ Helicopters will be the first Black Hawk operator to have Foresight MX HUMS.

Red Bluff, California-based utility operator PJ Helicopters has worked closely with HUMS provider GPMS to achieve an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for the UH-60A Black Hawk platform. The operator will become the first Black Hawk operator to utilise the advanced capabilities of the Foresight MX health and usage monitoring system.

PJ Helicopters director of operations David McCammon says: “Lives and homes are at stake during fire season, and our customers, friends and family depend on us. Our 11 UH-60As are extremely capable machines, and their ability to assist in controlling fires is only limited by their availability. With Foresight MX, we have a HUMS solution that meets MATOC requirements, lowers our DOCs and will help keep these aircraft in the air.”

One of the most challenging parts of managing a large mixed fleet, including divested military aircraft, is acquiring the replacement parts, and McCammon continues: “Supply chain issues can be very challenging, so gaining the capability to understand the true condition and health of our components is vital. Foresight MX provides us that visibility, with the bonus of having predictive remaining useful life for our components. With Foresight, we can better forecast our inventory needs, align maintenance planning and reduce unscheduled maintenance and AOG events.

“We have seven different models across four different OEMs in our fleet. Traditional OEM-based HUMS solutions would only allow us to see a portion of our fleet at a time. Now, I can see the health of our Foresight-equipped fleet anywhere, anytime and even on my phone.”

GPMS VP of sales Todd Powers says: “Platforms like the UH-60 have a long and storied career in transporting troops and equipment around the world. Typically, the older variants either weren't equipped with HUMS or had equipment that weighed over a hundred pounds. Our co-founder and 2023 Helicopter Association International's Salute to Excellence Safety Award winner Dr Eric Bechhoefer helped designed some of these original systems and they have proven to be very successful. In fact the US Army recently reported that it avoided $215 million in UH-60 costs over a six year period because of HUMS.”

Powers continues “However, military aircraft are typically stripped of accessories through divestiture because of ITAR, obsolescence and weight concerns. With Dr Bechhoefer's leadership and with the help of the team at PJ Helicopters, UH-60 operators now have an STC'd, next-generation, predictive HUMS, flight data monitoring (FDM) and optimised rotor track and balance (RTB) solution at an installed weight of under 17 lbs and at a third of the cost.”

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