Posted on: 15 October 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Flight Data Services has launched Express Readout, a semi-automated web-based service enabling rapid readout of flight data recorders (FDRs), reducing the time for a report from weeks down to minutes.
Senior flight data specialist Andrew Boardman explained that analysis of the FDR must be done at least once a year according to regulations. “It’s a yearly mandated process,” he confirmed. “It’s expensive and can take some time because the FDR needs to be sent away to a specialist replay certification facility.”
On a typical Boeing 737, there are approaching 1,100 parameters measured, with around 2,000 on an Airbus A380. According to Chris Jesse, the company’s research and development manager, a 25-hour readout means that all parameters can be found. For example, if the test only covered the last flight an aircraft made, then flying into a place for maintenance that may not have an ILS, so a core parameter may not be found on the last flight recorded. All this is aided by the fact that, with modern FDRs, 50-80 hours of recording is now possible.
Flight Data Services has introduced the service on the back of being a world leader in flight data monitoring, a service itself boosted by the company’s new flight data analysis platform Polaris.
Chris Jesse noted the importance of cleansing the data before going into the analysis algorithms of Express Readout, otherwise poor data going in will produce poor results.
When it comes to the results, CEO Dave Jesse explained that while positive results can be classed as ‘pass’, the negatives classed as an ‘inspect’ rather than failure. “We leave it to the user to discover whether it’s a sensor or the inspected element that is not complying. This is why it’s semi-automated. For example, an avionics engineer might be used to decide what action to take.”
Sarah Westley, FDS’s business development & marketing executive, highlighted that the Express Readout gives the company product diversification, bringing in a new audience by extending from operations into the MRO arena.
“Around the world there are 6,000 active aircraft and in flight data monitoring Flight Data Services currently has a 4% market share. By converting just that customer base into Express Readout customers, we will generate an extra £250,000 in revenue per year,” Westley remarked, before closing with a major differentiating factor.
“The current cost for an FDR readout varies from £500-£1,600,” she continued. “Ours will be £250 for mandatory readout and £300 for a complete readout.”
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/laranews.net