Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring: A Solution for Every Helicopter

As part of its innovation policy, Eurocopter is offering new solutions to improve operational flight safety. The Professional Ground Station (PGS) software suite is already available for medium- and heavy-lift helicopters, and light helicopters will soon be equipped with the Alerts(1) Vision 1000 system.

© Eurocopter / Wolfgang Obrusnik
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© Eurocopter
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The Helicopter Flight Data Monitoring system, also known as the Helicopter Operation Monitoring Program (HOMP), is a preventive system for improving safety. Data recorded during the flight is systematically analyzed on the ground, and used to identify and quantify risks related to operations. The principle is based on the automatic detection of previously defined events. A more in-depth analysis then leads to the implementation of corrective actions through training programs or changes to operational procedures. For the moment, this type of program is not mandatory for helicopters from a regulatory point of view. However, it is systematically being implemented for Oil & Gas operations: Shell, for example, has already included it in its 7/7 program(2).
Eurocopter offers flight data recording and analysis systems that are adapted to each type of helicopter.

The PGS Software Suite: For the Dauphin and Super Puma Families
In addition to the flight data recording systems available as optional equipment, Eurocopter has been offering Dauphin and Super Puma operators the PGS software suite since mid-2008. The PGS suite encompasses Vision System, Analysis System and 3D Replay software, and is used to run the HFDM program. The suite was developed by the supplier Flight Data Vision, and finalized by Eurocopter. It has been validated by Shell and chosen by operators including Dancopter and Heli-Union. “The idea is to be able to assist customers who want to run a flight analysis program based on solutions that are supported by Eurocopter, and to provide the resources and services to get them quickly up to speed with the system,” explains Luc Daures of the Eurocopter Technical Support Department. Luc is in charge of introducing the PGS software suite.

Alerts Vision 1000: For Light Helicopters
Co-developed with Appareo Systems, Alerts Vision 1000 has two functions: It constantly records high resolution images of the cockpit, as well as the aircraft’s GPS position, acceleration and attitude. This data can then be used for flight debriefings as part of training sessions, where the flight path is displayed and used as a teaching aid.
This data set, which is analyzed on the ground via an easyto- use web portal, provides the basis for the HFDM program.
Furthermore, because images are recorded together with sound in the cabin, Alerts Vision 1000 can also be used for investigative purposes, following incidents or accidents, just like a “black box” flight data recorder. The stand-alone system is compact, light and can be installed on any type of helicopter.
“The Vision 1000 certification is expected to come in the form of a Supplement Type Certificate (STC) in the United States later this year,” explains Frédéric Moha, Head of the Vision 1000 Program at the Commercial Helicopters Department. “The system will then be installed in the standard aircraft configuration for the AS350 B2/AS350 B3 AStar range in North America from 2010 onwards. This clearly shows Eurocopter’s determination to improve operational flight safety: The Fleet Safety Department and the Group’s subsidiaries are working tirelessly to achieve this goal.”

(1) Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety
(2) Shell has introduced 7 key safety initiatives


Alerts Vision 1000
© Frédéric Lert
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• Lightweight (300 g)
• Low retrofit cost (less than 10,000 USD)
• Can record up to two hours of sound and visual images, and more than ten hours of flight data
• Simply requires a 28 volt connection.