In the future complex, integrated aircraft will require more and more automation for fault detection, diagnosis, and resolution. In addition, new diagnostic and prognostic safety analysis will require electronic tracking of maintenance findings and actions.
- Degradation in maintenance quality of legacy aircraft which were previously paper-based but are transitioning to a computerized format
- Inappropriate skill sets among maintenance personnel because of changing processes, tools, and techniques to support the new computerized systems
- Poor task verification processes
- Lack of coordination between maintenance and flight crews
- Disconnect in processes for handling the formal aircraft log; manual, via automation, or ?
- Failure of processes to fully inform crew of inadequate pre-flight aircraft status due to new electronic log entry formats; mismatches between manual, paper logs and electronic logs
- As with any digital system, it is not enough to make “digital” copies of paper (scanning, PDFs). It is critical to build in “smart” tags, indexes and cross-references so information can be navigated and “found.”
- Loss of access to existing maintenance information during transition process to electronic records.
- Cumbersome access to historic maintenance records required to be kept by aircraft owner.
Corroborating sources and comments
Aero-News Network, April 22, 2013: Digital Techlogs Next Step In Use Of Tablets In MRO: Hard-Copy Techlogs Replaced By Tablets To Further Reduce Paperwork
In cooperation with the Luxembourg-based company MRX Systems, the BlueEYE system has been enrolled within JetSupport’s CAMO organization. The main goal of this project was to reduce the paperwork and improve efficiency in the cockpit and CAMO office. The BlueEYE system is used by JetSupport for all its continuing airworthiness activities. Customers are offered an iPad instead of logbooks to fill out their flight data and squawks. The application uses the iPad functionality and connectivity to secure all required logbook entries. The data is collected by the application on the iPad, and is made available to the CAMO department through a secured real-time data link.
See FAA Ac43-9B, http://home.provide.net/~pratt1/ambuilt/ac43-9b.htm
“There is a growing trend toward computerized maintenance records. Many of these systems are offered to owners/operators on a commercial basis. While these are excellent scheduling systems, alone, they normally do not meet the requirements of Sections 43.9 or 91.173. The owner/ operator who uses such a system is required to ensure that it provides the information required by Section 91.173, including signatures. If not, modification to make them complete is the owners/operators responsibility and the responsibility may not be delegated.”
Similar to AoC_78, it is not enough to have information technologies and software applications that support computerized information systems. The implementation requires a lot of preparation and process knowledge before paper to digital conversion as well as training for its effective use.
Also, similar to AoC_78, There needs to be standard definitions and the solution of technical and operational issues that can impede good information transfer.
When data flows across organizations, input and buy-in is essential for an understanding of how data is used and whether it is accurate and useful.
Year of the Tablet, Aviation Week, December 10, 2012
Tablets could be a natural device for disseminating maintenance information.