Pawan Hans crash aftermath: ONGC explores technology to track errors in real time
Experts said that these monitoring measures can help reduce human errors and accidents.mumbai Updated: Jan 20, 2018 00:23 IST
Following the Pawan Hans helicopter crash on Saturday, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is exploring technology which can record flight details to determine if pilots have deviated from standard operating procedures (SOP) in real time.
Experts said that these monitoring measures can help reduce human errors and accidents.
The system, which is known as a Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), is designed to achieve high safety levels and aims to identify operational and maintenance-related risks.
It helps in recording, analysing, capturing as well as visualising the data that is generated by a helicopter on a day-to-day basis, said experts.
Right Choice Aviation Pvt Ltd was asked to make a presentation on the safety system to ONGC.
Saumil Shah, managing director of Right Choice Aviation, said, “FOQA is a non-punitive system which captures an adverse trend right from the time it starts. The monitoring of data is carried out on a daily basis.”
“A deviation from SOP can be observed and reported on the same day as its occurrence. It can also help detect latent engineering defects,” he added.
“Component failures generally cause associated parameters to fluctuate. These are, at times, difficult to spot during the flight but get recorded in the data recorders,” said an official from the helicopter services industry.
“FOQA uses the existing recording system of the aircraft and does not incur any additional installation costs,” the industry official added.
A technology called ‘cockpit imaging’, which captures the pilot’s patterns of flying, was also discussed with regard to small helicopters which do not consist of a black box.
Vipul Saxena, former Air Force pilot and aviation expert, said, “Looking at frequency of helicopter movements, all aspects of helicopter operations including piloting need more critical monitoring.”
“Such equipment can be very efficient in doing such tasks in real time eliminating human error and manipulations,” Saxena added.
While there is a civil aviation requirement (CAR) that mandates non-scheduled operators to monitor flight information for safety lapses at regular periods.
The chopper crash on January 13 killed five ONGC employees and two Pawan Hans pilots.