Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring

Routine and effective utilisation of Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) in a just culture environment across the global helicopter industry.

Improve helicopter safety through provision of focus and leadership on issues concerning the manufacture, provision, support and operation of HFDM systems


Co-ordinate users requirements for HFDM systems and support and advise aircraft & equipment manufacturers in meeting those requirements.

Provide a source of expertise, information and advice for users wishing to adopt HFDM systems.

Development and communication of industry best practice on HFDM matters.

AIBN, Airbus Helicopters Zero In on H225 Crash Cause

by Thierry Dubois

 - June 1, 2016, 9:55 AM

The Norwegian air accident investigation bureau (AIBN) has made progress in explaining the April 29 crash of a CHC-operated Airbus H225, and from this juncture the agency is considering only three possibilities. In an interim report released late last week, the bureau cites the three possible causes for in-flight separation of the main rotor as failure of the epicyclic module, a lift-strut attachment or the main gearbox conical housing.

Meanwhile, Airbus Helicopters said seven potential initial events have been considered. Of these, only one—failure of the lift-strut attachment—is deemed “probable.” The airframer pointed out that analysis of the helicopter’s maintenance history has just started.

The recordings on the CVFDR show that everything appeared to be normal until a sudden catastrophic failure developed over the course of one or two seconds, the AIBN said. The CVFDR recordings ended abruptly at the same time. However, the French BEA succeeded in downloading information from the flight data monitoring system that extends 13 seconds beyond the CVFDR data.

Detailed metallurgical examinations have been under way since May 19 but are said to be still at an early stage.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. to Demonstrate First Comprehensive HUMS Health and Flight Data System for Light and Medium Helicopters

ORLANDO, Florida (March 4, 2015) – Airbus Helicopters Inc., the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, is collaborating with Ultra Electronics-Flightline Systems, of Victor, N.Y. to evaluate the first comprehensive and integrated Health Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) and Flight Data Monitoring (HFDM) system to evaluate the potential to make these systems standard equipment on Part 27 and light Part 29 helicopters of the Airbus Helicopter family.

The agreement will commence with a technology demonstration phase to prove the full potential of the first digital distributed light helicopter health monitoring system.  This effort is expected to be completed by August 2015.

This new generation health monitoring system, which incorporates new technology in health data acquisition and analytics, is expected to greatly enhance safety while giving operators tools they can use to significantly improve their operations, maintenance and safety programs.

The capabilities provided by the HUMS system create another step in the development of new Airbus Helicopters Support and Services strategies to give customers the support they need to optimize aircraft systems utilization. Development and implementation of HUMS will provide data that will allow operators to anticipate spares and service needs, reduce maintenance cost and maximize operational availability.

Health and condition monitoring will enable Airbus Helicopters Inc. to tailor its service offerings to helicopter operators systems, including the Component Support Program, MRO programs and to implement Condition Based Logistics providing customers with proactive and predictive support. Airbus Helicopter will be the first OEM to offer this service for light and medium helicopters and to deploy the first Prognostic Health Monitoring capable system in the rotorcraft industry.

By employing the latest, lightweight digital technology and advanced analytics, Airbus Helicopters customers in the U.S. market will be able to predict how varying degrees of aircraft utilization have a direct effect on its "health."  Using this information, operators will be able to adjust flight operations to maximize availability; aligning maintenance with revenue operations and turning unscheduled events into predictable scheduled events.  Airbus Helicopters will also be better able to plan for and stock spares and components for when they will be needed by operators.

"We are excited to be able to bring this innovative, cutting edge technology and service for light helicopters to our customers in the U.S. market," said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Helicopters Inc.

Implementation of the HUMS and Flight Data Monitoring systems will allow EMS operators to become compliant with the recently published EMS Flight Data Monitoring FAA requirements. Once certified for each model the system will be available for retrofits.

For further information on this new HUMS system for the light helicopter line of Airbus Helicopters contact: Brian Reid, Director of Sales, Brian.Reid@airbus.com or Brent Butterworth, Technical Support Manager, Brent.Butterworth@airbus.com.

About Airbus Helicopters Inc.

Airbus Helicopters Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Airbus Helicopters, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a manufacturer, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and parapublic helicopters offered in the U.S. The product line represents the industry's most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters serving all markets and missions. The company's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, Texas with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, Miss.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Cox
Airbus Helicopters Inc.
Senior Manager, Communications and Media Relations
Telephone: 972-641-3525
Cell: 972-213-2038

NTSB releases documents on Alaska State Troopers helicopter crash that killed 3

WASILLA --A video camera mounted inside Helo-1 captured the last minutes of an Alaska State Troopers rescue helicopter's last flight before a deadly crash in March 2013.

The crash killed well-known pilot Mel Nading along with passengers Trooper Tage Toll and Carl Ober, the injured snowmachiner the men flew out to rescue in the area of Larson Lake.

A description of what investigators saw on that video is among the 2,200 pages of documents based on interviews with 34 people released Monday by the National Transportation Safety Board. The release of such a deluge of documents marks an unusual practice reserved only for major investigations such as the crash that killed U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

Read more here.

FAA Releases Sweeping Helicopter Safety Rule

In a move designed to stem a spike in helicopter accidents that occurred over the past couple of decades, FAA on Feb. 20 released a comprehensive final rule that imposes a series of equipment, training and operational requirements on helicopters flown in Part 135 generally and in air ambulance missions specifically.

FAA’s rule, proposed in 2010, comes just days before the Helicopter Association International’s Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif., and also coincided with the release of a series of measures that the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority released Feb. 20 to address offshore helicopter safety.

For Part 135 operators, the new FAA rule calls for radio altimeters, includes over-water equipment requirements, revises alternate airport weather minimums, and strengthens pilot testing for handling in difficult conditions such as whiteout or brownout circumstances.

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