One of Flexjet's business jets, an Embraer Legacy 450. Photo: Flexjet
Flexjet is in the process of completing the largest-ever implementation of GE Aviation’s wireless flight data management system across a fleet of 150 corporate jets. The investment in the avionics and service upgrades are designed to improve the internal flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) program for one of the largest fractional ownership providers in the world.
Under a new partnership with GE Aviation, Flexjet is installing new quick access recorders (QAR) and cellular data services designed to help improve flight data monitoring and eliminate potential flight operational safety hazards. The QAR and cellular data service equipment is being supplied by Avionica, the Miami, Florida-based avionics maker that formed a joint venture with GE Aviation in July 2018.
FOQA, is a method used by business and commercial jet operators to collect and analyze aircraft data on a regular basis to improve the safety and efficiency of their flight operations, air traffic control procedures and aircraft maintenance programs. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) first amended Annex 6 in 2008 to introduce new requirements and recommendations related to the implementation of safety management systems that included FOQA guidelines.
The FAA and other civil aviation regulators and air navigation service providers use FOQA data to monitor regional trends in flight operations and target areas that pose potential operational risks.
“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 that the equipment sends immediately after landing of every flight,” Todd Anguish, chief safety officer for Flexjet, said in a statement regarding the new partnership.
Flexjet has also established a new data analyst team, trained by GE Aviation, that will perform real-time analysis of flight data immediately after every flight. Results from their analysis will provide insights to Flexjet on optimizing future safety protocols, pilot training and maintenance program.
“The comprehensive data we can gather instantly allows us to ensure safer operation of our fleet with real-time Flight Data Monitoring to address any potential flight safety concerns immediately,” Anguish said.
A representative from Flexjet was unable to confirm when fleet-wide installations will be complete.