Simon Lie joins the AIRINC/Plane Sciences Team
We are pleased to announce that Simon Lie has joined AIRINC/Plane Sciences as Senior Technical Fellow/SME Consultant after an illustrious career with Boeing. Simon has become well-known in the accident investigation community and is immensely respected through his actions as a key representative of the Boeing company. Simon brings a great deal of aviation safety expertise in many areas directly related to our products and services. More and more government agencies wish to develop internal flight data analysis capabilities to better meet their ICAO Annex 13 obligations. Many agencies that already have that capability appreciate the benefits of having an expert like Simon available in the background to assist them in their hour of need. His expertise will also aid the evolution of our proactive safety systems (FOQA/FDM/FDA) for the airline safety community. We use our systems on a daily basis for routine annual FDR/CVR readouts, airline trend and incident analysis, and support for the investigation of a major accident and Simon’s expertise will help ensure our systems continue evolving to meet the broad spectrum of needs throughout our user community. Many of you know Simon over the years from his participation at international conferences, support of investigations involving Boeing aircraft, and his work on the ICAO Accident Investigation Panel. Please do not hesitate to reach out and say hello to him in this new role .
MARS Prototype Update
MARS is a new system in development by Plane Sciences. The current MARS prototype now reads out the Honeywell HFR5-D and HFR5-V at the CSMU (crash survivable memory unit) and memory board/chip level in addition to the 1st generation solid state memory structures.
The addition of the HFR5 is a significant achievement due to its more modern design compared to the older model solid state recorders. Honeywell graciously supplied two flight recorders (HFR5-D and HFR5-V) for testing purposes.
MARS is being finalized as a product that initially handles the entire Honeywell legacy product line as well as the L3 F1000 SSFDR, which represents a substantial percentage of recorders installed worldwide. The HFR5 unit is a separate 1U equipment box and this will be the platform we plan to use for the production system including future recorder interfaces. Once the HFR5 upgrade is completed, we will be turning our attention to additional flight recorder types according to the priorities of the MARS steering committee.
Since recorders must be recertified if they are removed from the airframe, even for incidents where the recorder is not crash-damaged, it is feasible to remove the CSMU and simply connect it to MARS instead of downloading the recorder through the front connector/firmware. Using MARS eliminates the need to maintain handheld download units and cables designed for routine airline replay use. More importantly, MARS gives you an individual file for each chip offering the maximum potential of recovering all the data even if there are occasional issues with the recording.
All MARS users will have access to our inventory of actual flight recorders to use as a ‘Golden Chassis’ for recorder types not yet implemented in MARS through our Pack and Go Service whereby we bring the download kit and Golden Chassis to you if needed. This avoids you having to purchase and maintain your own inventory of actual flight recorders, instead relying on our maintained inventory.
Please note that due to COVID-19 travel issues, the September MARS workshop/steering committee meeting is postponed until February 17-18, 2021, the week before our normal training courses for those that wish to attend both.
Westjet Transitions its Flight Data Monitoring FDM System
Plane Sciences and our collocated partner AIRINC are pleased to announce that WestJet has joined our combined growing list of airline customers.
WestJet was one of our early flight animation customers back in 2002 when we first formed Flightscape (our former company). Flightscape was a result of privatization of software originally developed by our Subject-Matter-Experts while employed at the Transportation Safety Board of Canada developing their FDR/CVR playback and analysis lab. In 2002, we did not offer a flight data monitoring (trending) system, only tools for detailed single flight analysis. While initially planning to upgrade to our latest animation offering developed in partnership with AIRINC, WestJet decided to use us for their entire FDA program in a Manager Service arrangement as well as proceeding ahead with the animation upgrade. A little over a year since the transition and WestJet said the following:
“WestJet recently transitioned from a long-established supplier to Plane Sciences for its FDM system. Initially like many airlines, we insisted on an in-house system, but after a full review, we made the decision to have Plane Sciences host the data on their servers. This has turned out to be an excellent decision for many reasons and we are confident in the approach. We have found the team from Plane Sciences to be supportive, responsive and knowledgeable, and the transition to their hosted environment was painless”
AIRINC/Plane Sciences Spring 2019 Users Conference
The Plane Sciences / AIRINC Spring 2019 Users Conference will take place June 11-12, 2019, in Ottawa, Canada. The Users Conference is primarily intended for customers from both Plane Sciences and AIRINC to share experiences with flight data related products and services including accident investigation, airline FOQA/FDM/FDA accident prevention programs, military use of flight data and use of flight data for maintenance. The meeting is also open to non-customers who are considering joining our user community.
Note, we also offer Insight and FAS training, the week before our Users Conference. Please sign up here.
MARS (Memory Access Retrieval System) Prototype Steering Committee Product Review
The MARS prototype interfaces directly to a flight recorders' memory board to read the chips one by one instead of having to substitute the memory into a working flight recorder bench unit (aka Golden Chassis). MARS does not rely on the EEPROM status or the recorder firmware but reads the information directly from the memory chips to maximize the success of recovery from severely crash-damaged recorders. The first MARS prototype will be delivered to the Saudi AIB in September 2017. Pictured is the MARS Steering Committee after completing a function test of the MARS prototype in anticipation of the delivery. The MARS prototype handles seven solid state flight recorder types at the memory board/chip level. The Steering Committee is chaired by Ismail Kashkash, Engineering Director at the Saudi AIB who is holding the MARS prototype box. Also on the Steering Committee are Directors from the National Research Council of Canada and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada as well as Plane Sciences who is developing MARS under contract to AIB.
Plane Sciences Spring 2017 Users Conference
Join us for a special Users Meeting focusing on the transfer of the Insight product line from CAE to Plane Sciences. The meeting is an excellent opportunity to influence our development plans and exchange ideas with colleagues.
Please note training courses offered the week prior to the meeting (see course details in users meeting agenda).
Meeting Venue: Plane Sciences Offices (205 Catherine Street Suite 400, Ottawa, Ontario) 5 minute walk from the: Best Western Plus Downtown hotel
Hotel Contact Numbers: Phone Toll-Free 1-800-465-7275 or Direct 613-567-7275
Hotel Email Fax 613-567-1161
Please quote the Plane Sciences Group to gain access to the special rate of $219CDN (rate available until May 12, 2017).
You are encouraged to book early, as June is a very busy time in Ottawa.
To attend please email:
Skyservice Joins Flight Data Analysis Service
Simon Roussel, Skyservice™ Director of Flight Operations said ‘Of all the suppliers we entertained, Plane Sciences stood out as the only company that went well beyond flight data processing and reporting and showed us how their long time pioneering investigation background could help us develop effective safety actions. We are looking forward to using flight data proactively to ensure we continue to meet the highest standard of safety possible.’
Founded in 1986, Skyservice™ is Canada’s leader in business aviation. With facilities in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary, Skyservice™ is dedicated to world-class service and the highest levels of safety and security. Our skilled Maintenance teams, outstanding Fixed Base Operations facilities, first-class Aircraft Management, Charter services and HondaJet aircraft sales provide our customers with an experience that truly is air travel, evolved.
Leonardo Helicopters Upgrades to FAS-INV
Plane Sciences Inc. and Leonardo Helicopters have signed an order for supplying an upgrade of their flight data analysis software. The new system (FAS-INV©) being installed takes advantage of the latest technologies and is actively being developed for and by aircraft accident investigators. Plane Sciences Inc. is a flight safety Subject-Matter-Expert (SME) whose principles pioneered many of the flight data analysis and flight animation techniques in use today. The company leadership consists of ex-Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada investigators who were responsible for developing and implementing Flight Recorder Investigation Laboratories worldwide and who were also the former owners of (now) CAE Flightscape. Plane Sciences was formed in 2012 to fill a need toward supporting investigation authorities wishing to further advance and develop their flight data analysis capabilities augmented with the latest technologies.
Plane Sciences is partnered and co-located with Applied Informatics & Research Inc. (AIRINC) in Ottawa, Canada. AIRINC is responsible for the development of FAS-INV in close association with Plane Sciences.
Direct Memory Access Retrieval System (MARS)
Recovering data from crash-damaged flight recorders can be a challenge. Plane Sciences is developing a DIRECT MEMORY MODULE READOUT SYSTEM for retrieving data from crash-damaged flight data and cockpit voice recorders. The current default practice is to extract the memory module from the crash-damaged recorder and re-install it in a surrogate bench unit of the same make, model and revision. With the proliferation of solid state recorders (some of which are no longer in manufacture),the surrogate bench unit method is becoming increasingly problematic and creates an unreasonable reliance on the longevity of the flight recorder manufacturer when things don't always go as planned. Reading the memory module directly obviates the need for numerous bench units and facilitates chip level data extraction in severe cases. The system is being funded by the AIB, Saudi Arabia. Plane Sciences' experts pioneered unique digital tape-based flight recorder recovery techniques and we are applying the same philosophy to solid state memory recorders. The first prototype is expected by September 2016. The system has been name MARS (Memory Access Retrieval System).
Taiwan ASC Technology Transfer
Pictured are the attendees of a specialized training session provided by Plane Sciences to approximately 40 Taiwan aviation safety professionals; held at the Taiwan Aviation Safety Council offices in Taipei in October 2015 under a contract through Raytheon by the Taiwan International Collaboration Program (ICP) office. Plane Sciences recognized by Raytheon and ASC Taiwan as international technology leader in flight recorders to enhance flight safety….
Italy (ANSV) and UAE (GCAA) Transition to FAS-INV
ANSV Italy and UAE GCAA are the first investigation authorities to acquire FAS-INV for flight data analysis and animation... Plane Sciences principals were the former owners of Flightscape and were the original designers of RAPS/Insight which they started in 1986 at the TSB/C. FAS-INV uses a completely redesigned approach taking maximum advantage of COTS tools which did not exist when RAPS/Insight was designed and largely developed. ANSV Italy and CGAA UAE also engaged Plane Sciences for technical and operational support for flight data analysis using FAS-INV. Plane Sciences is developing FAS-INV in partnership with AIRINC to be the next generation investigation tool of choice for the accident investigation community.
Colombian Air Force Flight Recorder Lab
Plane Sciences designed and installed a complete accident investigation flight recorder lab in Bogota, Colombia for the Colombian Air Force which is also responsible for technical support for civil accident investigation