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Friday, July 1, 2011

CHC Addresses Indicator Through SMS

CHC Helicopter Services recently solved an issue with a gear indicator on its Eurocopter AS332L Super Puma fleet using its safety management system (SMS). Pilots reported hearing and feeling the landing gear move into place, yet the indicators continued to display one of the gears in the “up” position. Crews were generally able to address the problem using their emergency checklist, but doing so led to delays and flight cancellations, as the faulty sensors would have to be readjusted or changed with each occurrence. Once CHC identified the trend, the company worked with Super Puma specialists to collect and analyze data. As a result, engineers found that the “incorrect adjustments of the position sensors or water ingress/corrosion issues on the landing gear systems” were behind the false alarms, leading to a cleaning and alignment process to fix the issue. Due to the reporting gathered through its SMS, “the frequency of the indicator problem in this fleet dropped dramatically and the rejected departures, disrupted arrivals declined significantly,” explained Duncan Trapp, vice president of safety and quality for CHC.

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