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MARS V3 Update

July 28th, 2020

MARS V3.0 now reads out the Honeywell HFR5-D and HFR5-V at the CSMU (crash survivable memory unit) and memory board/chip level.  Four authorities currently have MARS and will be getting the updated system as part of their annual support.  Two additional authorities have ordered MARS specifically for the HFR5-D/V capability, bringing the total number of MARS users to six worldwide.  The addition of the HFR5 is a significant achievement due to the complexity of the memory structure compared to older model solid state recorders.  Honeywell graciously supplied two flight recorders (HFR5-D and HFR5-V) for testing purposes.  MARS now handles the entire Honeywell product line as well as the L3 F1000 SSFDR.

With the HFR5 replay capability working and tested, the team will integrate the HFR5 capability into the main MARS system packaging the reader. 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 led by the Saudi AIB.


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 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

July 1st, 2020

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”


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