Thursday, July 5, 2012 was a much anticipated day, as the entire aviation industry awaited the release of the final report on the Air France 447 accident. AF 447 was flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1, 2009 when it crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. The accident has been on the forefront of the minds of airplane travelers and the industry for the past three years as questions were asked as to what could have caused the plane crash and how to prevent future accidents.
Almost two years after the accident, search crews located the aircraft and black box. Until the black box was found, investigators had very little information to work with to determine the cause of the crash and were delayed in their investigation.
As a technology company in the aviation industry, FLYHT was asked to demonstrate its technologies to members of the aviation community. One technology that has been of particular interest to the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses (“BEA”), the body in charge of the accident investigation for France and French airlines, is FLYHTStream, FLYHT’s triggered data streaming program.
In the BEA’s third Interim Report and the Final Report they made the recommendation “…that EASA and ICAO make mandatory as quickly as possible, for airplanes making public transport flights with passengers over maritime or remote areas, triggering of data transmission to facilitate localisation as soon as an emergency situation is detected on board”. (pg. 207 of the Final Report http://media.webcastor.fr/vod/bea/pdf/f-cp090601.en.pdf)
“FLYHT was pleased to have had the opportunity to demonstrate FLYHTStream capabilities to the BEA working groups and at an ICAO conference,” stated Kent Jacobs, Technical Director Advanced Applications at FLYHT and the lead developer of FLYHTStream. “The tested and proven automatic triggering of FLYHTStream data provides authorities and operators with the confidence that Flight Data Recorder data can be transmitted from an aircraft when it is needed.”
In an emergency, FLYHTStream streams position reports and data continuously from the aircraft anywhere on the globe. Flight tests and triggering during normal airline operations have proven that accurate position reports and hundreds of data parameters can be sent continuously from an aircraft to the ground, on demand. FLYHTStream is activated in one of three ways; automatically by a set of predetermined criteria (triggered transmission), by the pilot, or by ground personnel. When FLYHTStream is activated, the position report and other key data are sent to essential personnel. A program on the ground creates a display of the flight as it is happening so ground support can see what the aircraft is doing.
FLYHT is happy to have participated in the BEA’s research and investigation and is prepared to work to meet any new regulations as they arise.
FLYHT’s Automated Flight Information Reporting System (AFIRSTM) is the technology that enables the FLYHTStream program. FLYHT’s customers around the world are using AFIRS to gather real-time data from their aircraft. AFIRS has been in operation since 2004 with new developments in the technology over the past few years and the creation of the FLYHTStream program in early 2009.