In July, Flexjet and GE Aviation implemented a comprehensive safety and fleet modernization project, including flight operations quality assurance (FOQA), quick access recorders (QARs) and cellular data services. The equipment will monitor Flexjet’s fleet of 150 aircraft including Embraer Phenom 300 and Legacy 450, Bombardier Challenger 300, 350, Global Express and the Gulfstream G450 and G650.
“By combining GE’s experience in flight safety analysis and flight analytics with wireless mini-QAR technology from our Avionica joint venture, we will help Flexjet to advance their fleet with the latest flight safety analysis techniques in the airline environment,” said John Mansfield, chief digital officer for GE Aviation.
FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance) is a powerful data analytic tool, based on flight data recorded during each flight. Airlines and operators that adopt FOQA are better able to identify and eliminate potential safety hazards in flight operations.
“We were able to customize the QAR firmware to include Flexjet-specific flight events by using the roughly 4.5 million data points collected per wireless transmission the equipment sends immediately after landing of every flight,” said Flexjet’s Todd Anguish, chief safety officer, who has also worked as a pilot, flight instructor, and an A&P Mechanic for nearly 27 years. “The comprehensive data we can gather immediately allows us to ensure safer operation of our fleet with real-time flight data monitoring to address any potential flight safety concerns immediately.”
GE Aviation’s Event Measurement System (EMS) which powers their flight analytics services and FOQA systems are being used on more than 9,000 aircraft. GE’s flight analytics service integrates data sources like flight information, weather, navigation, flight plans, and other operational data to provide valuable insights for airline customers around fuel use and operations.
“Flexjet has been a customer of our C-FOQA product for many years,” continued Mansfield. “Since they’ve experienced considerable growth in their fleet, this agreement upgrades their safety solution to our eFOQA, the standard in large-operator FOQA programs worldwide.”
Since its introduction in the airline industry more than 20 years ago, FOQA has been widely credited with reducing incident and accident rates at airlines where it has been adopted. In its 2017-2018 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Enhancements, the NTSB encourages aircraft operators to improve safety oversight of their aircraft by routinely reviewing recorded flight data in a structured program such as eFOQA.