Archive for ‘June, 2013’

Electronic Techlogs (ETLs) or Electronic Logbooks (ELBs) seem to be flavour of the month at the moment. At the recent Aircraft Commerce Airline & Aerospace MRO & Operations IT Conference in Heathrow we were inundated with requests for demonstrations and enquiries regarding our solution. We were not the only provider exhibiting, but certainly our solution is probably the most mature and heavily used system that was being demonstrated at the show. It strikes me that there is a lot of interest coming from operators and MROs regarding electronic techlogs and there are a lot of providers who are offering solutions (or working on one), but there is still a major shortfall in live, working systems. Buyer beware! There is a significant effort to take a proof of concept to a practical solution – don’t under estimate the effort required to get your paperless techlog procedures approved and flying. In order to provide some insight to what goes in to running a paperless techlog airline I’ve prepared some questions you should consider asking your potential vendor.

How many aircraft are flying with your solution?
There are a number of great looking systems available from reputable providers which on the surface seem to be off the shelf ready for use electronic techlog solutions. However the reality may be that system is undertaking limited trials with one or two aircraft, or even not flying at all. In my opinion an extended trial of several years in 3 aircraft for a major carrier does not represent a working solution. Why has the solution not already been adopted across the entire fleet? Admittedly every system has teething problems – ours included, but if a system has been on trial already for several years, how much more effort and investment is required to achieve tipping point. Our electronic techlog is used on board all Thomas Cook UK aircraft in a mixed fleet of 31 aircraft as has been the case since we took over the contract 12 months ago.

How many sectors are flown with your system?
A trial solution may not be in permanent use or may be only used on certain sectors or at certain destinations. A mature solution like ours will be in permanent use on all aircraft on all routes regardless of destination or operational constraints. Our system has successfully transmitted over 30,000 sectors from dozens of destinations in the past 12 months.

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This is what 30000 sectors looks like when overlaid on a map of the world. Blue dots show destinations with 100% transmission reliability, whilst traffic light colours show airports that have had issues with comms.

What procedures are in place in case of poor comms?
Although it is true that mobile communication networks are becoming more and more sophisticated and ubiquitous, there are still a significant number of challenges with running any kind of mobile IT system in areas outside of your own control. Connecting to your servers from your own hangar or your base airport is one thing, but achieving this 100% of the time from far flung parts is the world is something that cannot be relied upon. It is our belief that mobile applications for aviation need to work natively in an offline mode and only connect during synchronization or transmission mode. In the case of an electronic techlog your procedures need to reflect this and provide a backup solution when a transmission is not possible. UK regulations dictate that the techlog needs to be “left on the ground”. A successful transmission satisfies this requirement, but if a transmission is not successful then an alternative is required. Our procedure is to connect a printer and leave a printed copy on the ground. In the very rare occasion that this fails then a stand by paper techlog is used. If the hardware device that the electronic techlog is running on should fail, what procedures are in place to restore the techlog on another device? Our solution involves the local client database being mirrored onto an SD memory card, which if removed will disable the software on the host device and when inserted into an alternative device will automatically promote that unit to the electronic techlog.

In all my years working with mission critical software I have learnt that procedures are way more important than lines of code. The electronic techlog is no exception, and with such a heavily regulated system the procedures that you and your vendor have in place to allow you to migrate to a paperless techlog are doubly important. If you would like to find out more about the Conduce electronic techlog solution, please get in touch to request a demonstration.

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eTechLog is an electronic replacement for an aircraft paper based technical log/log book. Operating on a range of moblile devices, from Toughbooks to Toughpads and various tablets capturing aircraft flight and technical data including flight sector data, Line Defects, Out of Phase control and remote management by Maintrol, along with maintenance monitoring data. The data is transmitted wirelessly via a range of means to the Airlines Maintenance Operations Control Centres allowing Engineering and Flight Ops real time analysis and control.

Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

OEM’s including Airbus, Boeing, Embraer & BAE are already supported. The applications available include:

  • Lido eRM,
  • Airbus Performance Tools
  • Boeing  EFRAS Performance Tools
  • Vistair Ops manual viewer.
  • Infotrust eManual EFB Solution

Also within the Conduce EFB is the Conduce eTechLog system providing seamless integration and real time connectivity between the cockpit and Airline Flight Ops/Engineering control.

EFB Asset Management

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Conduce are uniquely qualified and experienced to provide an EFB Asset Management service. We can manage an Airlines fleet of Panasonic ToughBooks or ToughPads, efficiently ensuring all assets are tracked & kept in the latest configuration for the EFB or eTechLog tools that they support. Conduce are already an airline approved Repair Station for ToughBooks currently maintaining more that 100 devices with a turnkey fixed price exchange/repair program in place.  Most Airlines rely on their IT department to assist in this area, but inevitably the required specialist skill is not available in-house leading to an inefficient service.

Why not ask Conduce for a proposal to out source this entire requirement?

eTechlog Lifecycle

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The cycle of an aircraft technical log or log book entry starts when a serviceable aircraft is released after construction or after heavy/base maintenance. In an ideal world the perfect aircraft will come on line with zero defects and zero Out Of Phase (OOP) –  maintenance requirements which  will need to be performed before the next scheduled base maintenance check! However in the real world aircraft come into service with open ADD’s (Acceptable Deferred Defects) and with open OOP’s that will need to be carried out whilst the aircraft is in the care of Line Maintenance. Above is the cycle of an aircraft tech log starting at the release from base maintenance through pre-flight release to the Pilot, then cycling through the flight incurring any additional defects before returning to Line Engineering for the cycle to begin again.  The cycle is further described below:

  1. Serviceable aircraft Released from Base after scheduled maintenance.
  2. Aircraft usually released with some Open ADD’s.
  3. Aircraft also released with some planned OOPs within flying hours, cycles and date limits that will become due prior to the next base maintenance check.
  4. Line Maintenance department perform pre-flight work, solving any defects possible, carrying out any OOP requirements, preparing the a/c for flight with fuel and oil checks/uplifts and signing to release the a/c to service
  5. Pilot accepts aircraft and electronic copy of Engineer/Pilot signoff is transmitted to Ops/Maintrol.
  6. Pilot completes next sector/flight number data, including any in-flight ECM or other required flight data recording
  7. Pilot creates entries for any new defects arising during flight or landing prior to handing a/c back to Line Maintenance Engineering.
  8. Whilst aircraft is on the ground during turn around, Line Maintenance rectify all defects possible, carry out any due OOP’s, raise any new defects found, rectify or make as ADD’s.  –  Make partial transmissions as required to update Maintrol.
  9. Maintrol communicate any new OOP or defect requirements to be carried out as required.
  10. Return to step 4.
The Conduce eTechLog/EFB solution enables all these actions to be accurately captured in real time – enabling swift on-time departures and seamless monitoring/control of an airline fleet.
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mobile strategyiOS is Apple’s mobile operating system used on the iPad, the iPhone and iPod Touch. In the last 2 years we have seen an explosion in the demand for development of bespoke apps for these devices. Conduce Software is a proven third party developer of apps for the iPad and iPhone. We have delivered enterprise level apps for commercial clients and have published general apps through Apple’s iTunes App Store.

As well as development we are able to help you devise strategies for the lifecyle of your iOS software. We can help with application design, user interface and user experience design. We can also assist with your application development road map to help you gain the best return on investment for your apps. Take a look at some of our iOS development projects.

YBoard for iPad
Fatigue Survey for iPad
Bespoke Data Acquisition Apps for iPad

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We specialise in producing custom and niche software. We are expert at developing new software from scratch and in building small add-ins for existing applications. We are adaptable to almost any platform, but have dedicated skills in development for MS .Net, Android and iOS. We have recently developed applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, web applications and Windows applications that are standalone or part of a broader software environment.

Whether you need enterprise level bespoke software to support critical business functions or have a small requirement to fill the needs that your existing software cannot, then we can help.

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YBoard for iPad allows you to organise sticky notes on your iPad as you would do on a white board, on a wall, or your fridge or on any other large flat white things. Use YBoard to make notes, lists, plan stuff or just to make pretty patterns. Is it a project planning tool? Is it a to-do list? Can you make art with it? We hope you will use it for all of those things and more.

Features:

•    Add, move and delete sticky notes
•    Add and edit text to your sticky notes
•    Use different colour sticky notes
•    Pan and zoom around the board
•    Version 2 now allows you to save multiple boards
•    That’s it – its dead simple!

How to use YBoard:

We use an intuitive, gesture based UI, so there is hardly any clutter or complexity with our app. You simply swipe down with one finger to add a note. Tap the note to add or edit text. Use one finger to move sticky notes around the board and swipe up on a note to delete it. Pinch two fingers to zoom in and out and swipe with two fingers to pan around the board. Swipe left to save your board and to access the multiple boards Room screen.
Watch out for new features coming soon.

Version 2 is now available for download on the iTunes App Store

Keep up to date with the latest goings on with YBoard and share user tips and creations on our YBoard Facebook fan page

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