Pilots all strive to be the best they can and safety is always of primary importance. One of the biggest challenges is to fully understand the potential risks before a flight so as to make informed decisions and then be prepared for anything that might happen once airborne. To help with this challenge, a number of the safety partners in the European Safety Promotion Network – Rotorcraft (ESPN-R) – have developed some very useful Safety Apps that are now available to all pilots, for free!
Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo and NGFT Consulting Switzerland, have worked with cross-industry members of the ESPN-R to provide these tools to help improve helicopter safety. The Apps are being made available to the helicopter community free of any commercial interest because when it comes to safety, there is no competition. Copyrights and conditions of use are provided by the copyright owners.
What Are These Apps and How Will They Help You as a Pilot?
The Apps are designed to help pilots to understand and mitigate the risks they might face during a flight. The goal is reduce the number of accidents that occur due to operational factors, which is a key goal of the European Rotorcraft Roadmap. Safety analysis shows that 75% of all helicopter accidents involve operational factors, many of which could have been prevented with improved risk awareness and decision making. As 85% of helicopter operators own fewer than 5 helicopters, it is never easy for such small operators to have the resources to develop good tools to support pilot decision making. Statistics show that small operators are three times more likely to have an accident that an operator with more than 20 helicopters. These Apps have therefore been designed especially with individual pilots and smaller operators in mind.
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Airbus Helicopters has developed a Flight Risk Assessment App called 'Before your Flight' that is now available free of charge to anyone, both customers and non-customers. Updates are also provided free of charge.
The App provides a structured way for pilots to assess and control risks before a flight. It evaluates the risk profile of a flight and then prompts the pilot or operator to take the appropriate mitigation actions. In extremely challenging situations, the App might even help with the decision making on whether it is safe to conduct the flight at all. Informing a passenger or customer of the need to cancel a flight when the risks are too high, for instance in bad weather is much easier with the back-up of a tool like this to help explain the decision.
The App is based on the pre-flight risk assessment check-list that was previously developed by the European Helicopter Safety Team (EHEST), now the ESPN-R. This means there is the whole weight of the industry and regulators behind the App.
It is available in 9 languages for use in Europe and also in Russia, China, South Korea and Latin America.
The App has an operations-friendly interface, features automatic save and send functions and contains a library of links to rotorcraft safety publications. It can be used on smartphones and tablets and is compatible with iOS and Android operating systems. It also includes an optional back office so that SMS managers can review the reports from their company.
Contact contact [dot] aviationsafety [dot] ah [at] airbus [dot] com and get your App today or download it from the App Store!
Leonardo Helicopters has developed a mobile solution called SkyFlight. This is designed to ease daily operations, increase mission effectiveness, optimise costs, reduce flight crew workload and to help pilots and operators to perform an effective flight risk assessment. Human Factors and other factors known to impact safety are combined into a total risk picture for ease of use.
The SkyFlight Risk Assessment tool is also based on the EHEST risk assessment check-list and on aeronautical risk management factors with respect to the pilot, environment, aircraft and external pressures.
Various functionalities are provided, such as selecting mission specific checklists, inserting mitigations, accessing the flight plan and checking relevant weather, displaying the total risk score before and after mitigation, saving checklists, sharing information with other users and printing and sending out PDF files.
SkyFlight Risk Assessment is totally customisable: it allows you to create your own checklists, define mitigations, inform decision to go or not to go fly, send automatic emails to managers, view who performed the checklists and when, for example.
Various pre-flight checklists are provided for different types of operations, such as leisure-private flight, Degraded Visual Environment (DVE), maintenance, training and check flights, HEMS single pilot and multi crew, pax transport single pilot and multi crew and firefighting.
SkyFlight also provides in-flight and post-flight checklists, for a quick analysis of the mission.
It also keeps a history of risk assessments completed and to be completed, stores data and allows reviewing answers at a later stage.
SkyFlight App is available for free in the Apple App Store. It can be used on iPad tablets and is compatible with iOS operating system. A SkyFlight App compatible with Android is also available, limited to Risk Assessment (only).
Contact Skyflight [dot] support [at] leonardocompany [dot] com to get your App today!
Next Generation Flight Training (NGFT) Consulting Switzerland has developed a Safety App geared to the needs of small operators and General Aviation.
Various additional functions are provided such as “TST Briefing” (TST meaning Task Specialist Third Party) targeted for aerial work operators that need to perform and document briefings with task specialists from third parties before commencing an operation. It includes “Safety Reporting” for sending safety reports to a safety manager for review and analysis. NGFT has produced a video tutorial published on their YouTube channel.
Go to https://ngft.com and download your App today!
These Apps are all great tools developed as part of our collaborative efforts to improve safety and prevent accidents.