Why HUMS is needed in Airborne Public Safety and Law Enforcement

November 10 2021

While we think Flight Data and Machine Monitoring make sense on all rotorcraft, the logic for Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) on helicopters used for Public Safety is especially compelling.

HUMS Prevents AOG Events, Ensuring Readiness

Because crime never sleeps, aircraft used for law enforcement must be always-ready. HUMS ensures this readiness, preventing AOG events through early issue detection and predictive Remaining Useful Life estimates on failing components. Mechanics and operational officers can ‘know about it before it matters’, seeing mechanical problems 50+ flight hours in advance. Your department can then schedule unplanned maintenance within normal windows.

Greater Availability Means Fewer Aircraft So Taxpayers Benefit

This ability to detect issues early and plan around them means police departments and other law enforcement entities don’t need to expand their fleet to ensure operational readiness. A 5% increase in your dispatch rate on current aircraft, for instance, means your county or municipality doesn’t need to spend $5,000,000 on the purchase and outfitting of a new aircraft. That efficiency makes for happy taxpayers — and less contentious budgeting sessions!

High Aircraft Utilization means HUMS Operational ROI is Maximized

Many law enforcement agencies report annual flight hours over 600 a year, putting airborne public safety in the top quartile of operators in terms of utilization.

In a HUMS ROI model we developed with Conklin & de Decker, we noticed a stark fact: the greater number of hours flown, the greater the operational ROI from Foresight MX. The Foresight HUMS speeds rotor track and balance, lowers vibration related fuel costs, assists in rapid mechanical diagnosis, forstalls exceedance-related inspections and exploratories, enables operators to catch issues early when they are less costly, and facilitates remote troubleshooting if the aircraft is away from base. ALL these things reduce cost and contribute to ROI.

With Foresight MX, a Safety-Enhancing FDM is Included

Airborne law enforcement frequently flies in dense urban areas where accidents are especially catastrophic. HUMS helps forstall mechanical contributors to these incidents. But even more compelling given the need for a parametric FDM to support FOQA and SMS programs, modern Health and Usage Monitoring systems include wired Flight Data Monitoring. Foresight MX, for instance, captures 60+ parameters. Operators can define operational exceedances and get alerts if pilots exceed these departmental standards. And with our data export functionality, departments can use FDM data for playback and training in X-Plane.

Integrations with Leading Aviation Software offerings Makes Life Easier and Better

Finally, our integration with Digital AirWare (among other aviation management software) means your operational and maintenance data is ported seamlessly and automatically post-flight into the software systems you live in every day. Instead of manually logging flight hours, HUMS usage data is automatically imported. Trending components are noted in the maintenance tracking modules and exceedances are flagged in the SMS module. You get ‘voice of the aircraft’ and ‘voice of the mission’ data automatically.

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We invite airborne law enforcement to learn more about the benefits of remote helicopter monitoring. Please get in touch below to schedule your demo.