- Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
- US Forest Service
- CHC Helicopter
- US Army Aviation Center of Logistics Command
- Air Methods
Helicopter industry leader Airbus Helicopters, Inc. approached Appareo to develop a next-generation lightweight, flight data monitoring device to be installed in their popular AS350 model helicopters. Building on the success of the ALERTS system, Appareo developed the Vision 1000—a truly revolutionary device incorporating the proven inertial sensing technologies of earlier ALERTS products with high-resolution cockpit image and intercom/ambient audio capture.
The Vision 1000 weighs only nine ounces and installs easily into any type of aircraft, requiring only power and ground to function. As a self-contained device, the Vision 1000 doesn’t require complicated and costly integration with existing avionics.
The Vision 1000 is now installed as a standard component on all US-produced AS350 aircraft and Airbus Helicopters is currently planning to extend Vision 1000 installation on their other helicopter models.
United State Forest Service
Operational Loads Monitoring was developed for the United States Forest Service (USFS) to support their fight against wildfires across the US. The USFS uses our ALERTS system to monitor and analyze the performance and strain on its fleet.
We provide customized ALERTS hardware and software to the USFS, giving them the tools to record an amazing amount of data on its firefighting efforts. In addition to the standard flight parameters recorded by all ALERTS hardware, the USFS also utilizes discrete input sensors to record events such as the opening and closing of bay doors and the position of landing gear. Appareo’s software incorporates all the data and allows USFS analysts to generate detailed reports on fleet safety and performance.
The Appareo Mission Manager is an innovative flight planning and data distribution system designed for helicopter operators seeking improved accuracy, shortened Accounts Receivable cycles and improved standardization of operational processes. The Mission Manager uses an iPad as its primary interface.
More than just a standalone app, the Mission Manager also incorporates a web-based interface for managing fleet and operational activities, a cloud-based server for data storage and retrieval, and integration with enterprise services such as ERP, MRO, crew scheduling and other systems that support an application programming interface.
As a fleet management tool, the Mission Manager shines—allowing flight planners to quickly schedule and manage complex multi-leg flights, and pushing that information to specific crews and locations. Flight crews also see immediate benefits from the Mission Manager, enjoying flexible routing, an intuitive weight and balance calculator and precise fuel planning assistance. Perhaps most significantly, the elimination of physical paperwork for recording flight information leads to a significantly decreased cockpit workload while increasing data accuracy.
With billing information accurately recorded in-flight and made almost instantly available for processing, the Mission Manager reduces the steps required to bill customers. This results in quick turn-around for invoices and considerable savings by eliminating the manual data-entry aspects of typical billing processes.
Initially designed to meet the needs of the world’s largest helicopter operator, CHC Helicopter, the Mission Manager offers a flexible platform that can be tailored to accommodate nearly any sized operator. The Mission Manager’s cloud-based servers allow for easy customization of the system, resulting in a quick set-up and long-term flexibility for evolving operational needs.
With Appareo-hosted and non-hosted infrastructure options, the Mission Manager allows operators an affordable entry point that can scale to meet future needs.
US Army Aviation Center of Logistics Command
Appareo developed the Data Storage Unit (DSU) exclusively for the US Army Aviation Center Logistics Command to aid in TH-67 helicopter incident and accident investigations at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Comprised of a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and highly-accurate inertial measurement suite, the DSU provides army analysts with key information and insights regarding helicopter flight operations prior to the event.
Permanently installed on the TH-67 fleet, the DSU records flight data onto a removable memory card and crash-hardened internal memory. Real-time sensor fusion allows investigators to review and analyze recorded data immediately after an event through ALERTS 3-D playback software.
As the global leader in the air medical transportation helicopter industry, Air Methods Corporation maintains its commitment to safety by utilizing FDM devices. Air Methods started by equipping 30 aircraft with Appareo’s FDM technology and then expanded its commitment with a purchase of 150 Vision 1000s.
“We believe this program provides objective and actionable evidence to help us proactively mitigate risks,” said Aaron Todd, the chief executive officer of Air Methods, in 2013 press release. “By conducting routine analysis of this de-identified flight data over a period of time, we are able to see if undesired behaviors and trends emerge. If so, we can make changes to our training or procedures before these behaviors lead to an incident.”
Another advantage to Air Methods is the minimal integration required to equip its aircraft with the Vision 1000 device. Air Methods has a diverse fleet, including Airbus Helicopters AS350 and EC130 and Bell 407 helicopters.
In 2006, helicopter industry leader the Bristow Group approached Appareo to develop a FDM system for their light and legacy aircraft. At that time, the only equipment available for FDM was too large, heavy and expensive to be installed on smaller, older aircraft. That made it impossible for Bristow and other large fleet operators to ensure that their aircraft were being operated safely and within standard operating procedures at all times.
Working in close partnership with Bristow, Appareo developed the ALERTS system for FDM—truly the first lightweight, low-cost FDM system designed specifically for light aircraft such as the Bell 206 and 407 models that Bristow operates in the Gulf of Mexico.
Soon after deploying the system, Bristow was able to identify trends that if left unchecked could have resulted in an incident and damaged its exceptional safety record. Bristow’s team of FDM analysts and safety specialists have worked continually with Appareo to further improve the system and carefully train its flight crews with information gathered by ALERTS. In the five years after ALERTS went into service in Bristow’s Gulf of Mexico fleet, its rate of incidents was just a fraction of the average incident rate for the oil and gas industry overall.