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ALERTS system gaining in helicopter EMS marketALERTS system gaining in helicopter EMS market

ALERTSAppareo Systems ALERTS (Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Training and Safety) Vision 1000 is a cockpit imaging and flight data monitoring device. The system captures critical inertial and positioning data (location, attitude, etc.) as well as cockpit imagery (instrument panel, flight controls, partial exterior view), and audio.

The flight data and video are stored in a robust memory module as well as a removable SD card for use in flight operations quality assurance (FOQA). Developed jointly between Appareo and Eurocopter, the low-cost, lightweight solution is becoming popular with helicopter EMS operators.

Omniflight Helicopters (a large operator of EMS helicopters) recently announced it will begin equipping 35 of its aircraft with the ALERTS system. After each shift, flight crews remove the SD card and transfer the information to Appareo’s servers using a computer. This data is automatically parsed and compared against a set of standard operating procedures created by Omniflight. If any aspect of a flight falls outside of those criteria, a report is generated and sent to Omniflight’s safety analysts. After receiving the report, the analyst can download and watch the flight in a 3-D format to determine if the matter warrants further attention.

ALERTS also allows operators to perform long-term analysis of its operations, including the generation of comprehensive performance and trending reports. By using the reporting features of the ALERTS software, operators can quickly identify potentially dangerous trends long before they result in an incident or accident.

According to Ray Wall, vice president of flight operations safety and corporate compliance at Omniflight, “In addition to the FOQA benefits of the ALERTS system, we can also use ALERTS as a training tool. For example, upon completion of a training flight, our check airmen can debrief pilots while watching the actual flight playback. This allows our flight crews to gain a much clearer perspective on what was actually occurring while in the air. We believe the ALERTS system can enhance our already strong safety-first commitment, which we bring to all we do.”

The system has received several important safety awards, including being named the “Product Breakthrough of the Year” by Aviation Week and Space Technology.

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