What certification is available for the Vision 1000
Type Certificates (TCs) that currently include the Vision 1000:
- Airbus Helicopters AS350 (Standard)
- Airbus Helicopters EC135 (Standard)
- Airbus Helicopters EC145 (Standard)
- Airbus Helicopters EC175 (Standard)
- AgustaWestland AW139 (Option)
- Piper Archer (Option)
- Piper Seminole (Option)
- Piper Seneca (Option)
Current FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) granted:
- Bell 206 (206B, 206L1, 206L3, 206L4)
- Airbus Helicopters AS350 (AS350B1, AS350B2, AS350B3, AS350BA)
- AgustaWestland A109 (A109A, A109II, A109C, A109E, A109K2, A109S)
- AgustaWestland A119 MKII
- Diamond DA-40 F
- Cessna 172 (Variants)
International STCs granted:
- Airbus Helicopters AS350 (EASA)
International Recognition of FAA STCs:
- Airbus Helicopters AS350 (Canada, Brazil)
- Bell 206 (Canada)
- Airbus Helicopters AS350 (Russia)
STCs estimated to be granted/recognized soon:
- Bell 407
What does the Vision 1000 cost?
How much time is required to install the Vision 1000?
Installation only requires about a day of aircraft downtime, does not require any special tools, and only requires aircraft power and ground connections with an optional intercom system connection to record headset and ambient audio.
What about pilots who don’t want to be recorded?
Your organization should clearly communicate how the imagery, audio and flight data are going to be utilized. AS Web Analyzer, Appareo’s Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) application, uses only the GPS/IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) data recorded by the Vision 1000 for flight data analysis. Imagery and audio data are not uploaded onto (or archived on) the ALERTS server. Additionally, the SD card only retains the most recent four hours of imagery and audio data recorded, after which this data is overwritten on a continual loop.
With most installations, the field-of-view is focused on cockpit instruments, controls and what’s outside the glare shield; it’s typically not focusing on the pilot’s face. The imagery and audio can assist air crews by validating their account of what happened during an incident. Data recorded onto the SD card is stored in proprietary format and can only be reviewed using a Vision 1000-specific software program, preventing unauthorized viewing of data.
Data is already stored on our avionics, why do we need this?
Just capturing the data is not enough. The only way to get value out of that data is to analyze it using a Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) system. What’s more, it can sometimes be challenging to retrieve data from your avionics, but our removable SD card makes it easy.
It’s not required equipment, so why do we need it?
There is actually a new HEMS rule (FAA Rule 135.607): by April 23, 2018, all helicopter air ambulances must be equipped with a flight data monitoring system that is capable of recording the aircraft’s state, condition and performance. With its self-contained design and one-day installation, the Vision 1000 is the easiest way to achieve this rule compliance.
Many new contracts are now requiring Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) because the value of having this information is very clear in reducing risk. Even when it’s not required, this tool can allow you to:
- Mitigate risk by proactively identifying and addressing it
- Reduce maintenance costs using the imaging for maintenance investigations
- Limit your liability and streamline accident/incident investigations by having a record of what happened
- Enhance training for your specific operations–get the most value from each training dollar
- Set yourself apart from the competition by easily showing the level of safety you’re operating at
What if it records info that will come back to bite us after an accident?
Having the facts about the flight allows an organization to take the appropriate steps to address what happened. Often when there is little information, the crew is blamed; however, this flight data could help validate if there were other contributing factors that caused the incident. Even if the truth “bites,” getting the facts can help your organization learn from an incident and ultimately prevent similar situations from happening again in the future.
Will our insurance costs go down if we implement the Vision 1000 and ALERTS?
Some insurance providers are giving incentives to implement the Vision 1000. Ask your provider if this is an option for you.
Do you have an example of how this helped an organization?
Yes, the following examples demonstrate how the Vision 1000 and ALERTS have been utilized for maintenance, to identify risk and how it assisted in an accident investigation.
An Appareo Vision 1000 customer was returning its Bell 206 helicopter back to service after recently replacing the engine. After takeoff, the crew saw a large torque fluctuation and immediately landed the helicopter at the airport.
Had they not equipped the cockpit with a Vision 1000, they would have relied on the air crew’s recollection of how much over-torque was experienced and for how long. Without precise information, this customer would have needed to complete costly and invasive inspections, resulting in extended down time for this aircraft and possibly incurring additional overhaul expenses.
However, with the Vision 1000 installed, they were able to pull the SD card and review the imaging so they could see the whole instrument panel. By zooming in on the torque gauge, they saw the exact engine torque percentage, being able to accurately measure the severity and duration of the over-torque. What’s more, they saw the surrounding instruments and noticed they were giving conflicting information to what the torque gauge was providing. This information identified that their issue was actually a faulty torque gauge. They replaced the gauge and returned the aircraft to service that same day; the information from the cockpit imaging resulted in significant cost savings for both maintenance and operations.
While running its monthly flight data reports using the ALERTS software, a customer identified a dramatic increase in “Excessive Pitch Up Landing” events. This event describes when an aircraft has a high pitch attitude when coming in for a landing—an attitude that could result in a tail strike and is often indicative of “coming in hot.” After investigating using the ALERTS data and its corresponding dispatch records, the customer was able to identify that almost all incidents of this event occurred when a single pilot was flying.
The pilot was new to the company but very experienced; when the Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) manager talked with him and showed him the data, the pilot didn’t see any issues with this type of landing technique. A conversation ensued discussing the company’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the risk associated with coming in for a landing in this manner. After a short training flight, the pilot was comfortable with the new technique and began landing this way. The following month’s flight data reports showed a dramatic reduction in this event from the prior month.
Had this maneuver not been identified by the FDM manager, this could have resulted in a tail strike. The pilot didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because he had always flown this way. There were no punitive actions taken, simply a conversation to make the pilot aware of what the FDM manager was seeing and how it could be addressed.
During a Search and Rescue (SAR) mission near Talkeeta, Alaska, a pilot and two passengers died when their helicopter crashed. Due to a post-crash fire, the majority of the fuselage was consumed. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) reviewed weather reports and other information as part of their investigation, but its preliminary report gave few clues regarding the cause.
Fortunately, the Airbus Helicopters AS350 was equipped with a Vision 1000, which was recovered from the accident site and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory in Washington, D.C. for data extraction as part of the accident investigation.
The NTSB was able to identify the cause of the accident with the aid of the information pulled from the Vision 1000. Read more in the news articles below: