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Data streaming shows promiseData streaming shows promise

AeroMechanical Services Ltd. (AMS) announced successful tests of a new system for streaming live air-to-ground data. AMS’ “afirs 220” can trigger a streaming mode—initiated by pilots or ground personnel—that can transmit a continuous automated link between onboard avionics (including GPS and flight data recorders) and designated ground stations. The system uses the Iridium global satellite network. Ground staff can be alerted to incoming data streams via text message, e-mail, and visual or aural announcements.

The afirs 220, marketed under the FLYHT brand name, has been successfully tested aboard a number of Skyservice Airline, Inc. airplanes. These include Airbus A320s, A330s, and Boeing 757s. Rob Giguere, President and CEO of Skyservice, said “With afirs installed, over the last three years Skyservice has benefited from uninterrupted worldwide communications and aircraft position monitoring resulting in improved operational efficiencies, particularly fuel savings … with the introduction of FLYHTStream data streaming we will be able to substantially increase our level of maintenance situational awareness.”

For corporate general aviation, FLYHT has the promise of sending position reports and vital system status information in near-real-time to service centers and dispatchers. Jack Olcott, former NBAA president and member of AMS’ board of directors, said “afirs provides real-time data that enable effective interventions in critical areas such as unscheduled maintenance … data from afirs is also a powerful tool for complying with government mandates.”

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.

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