Press Release: Flightdocs Partners with HondaJet Owners and Pilots Association to Offer Discounted Services to Members

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida, Aug. 6, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced that it has partnered with the HondaJet Owners & Pilots Association (HJOPA) to offer discounted services to HJOPA members. The annual cost for its Enterprise service will be significantly less than a competitive system that is also offered to HJOPA members, with no enrollment fee.

 

“We are enthusiastic about this new relationship, and we are pleased to offer our members a proven, more cost-effective option like Flightdocs Enterprise,” said HJOPA cofounder Mark Leavitt. “Our board was impressed by Flightdocs in every way,” Leavitt said. “Their interface is state-of-the-art, user friendly, and they have a great reputation for outstanding customer service. This is an excellent value and important new option for our members.”

 

“Flightdocs is excited to be partnering with HJOPA to bring our high-impact technology to the HondaJet community, and we are pleased that members now have a choice of system,” said Flightdocs Executive Vice President, Ted Rudich. “This partnership means that members can choose the best, most effective option for them, and operators who use Flightdocs Enterprise can expect tangible improvement to efficiency, visibility, data accuracy – ultimately safer operation of their aircraft”.

 

HJOPA members interested in learning more about Flightdocs Enterprise may contact Ted Rudich at 201-213-2457 or trudich@Flightdocs.com.

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based aviation maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers.  Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Press Release: Flightdocs Celebrates New Technology Center

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - August 6, 2018 – Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance and inventory management services, celebrated the grand opening of its new technology center in Bonita Springs during a Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting and reception.

 

More than 75 employees, businesspeople, community members and elected officials gathered for the occasion in the 6,200-square-foot facility, which houses nearly 40 developers and technology experts.

 

Flightdocs has doubled in employee size to 65 since 2009 and is expected to triple in revenue over the next two years. Its current location in Riverview Corporate Center in Bonita Springs provides for plenty of room to expand as the company continues to grow. Flightdocs anticipates adding 35 employees over the next year, many of whom will be recruited through its intern-development program from Florida Gulf Coast University and Florida SouthWestern State College.

 

“Clients such as Hospital Wing, Wing Aviation, and Stryker are all streamlining their operations for greater efficiency and compliance using Flightdocs – a paradigm shift in the way aviation maintenance is managed today,” said Flightdocs COO Greg Heine. “Now is definitely the time to join the evolution of flight operations management software. We are excited to see what the talent who will join us in the coming months will contribute to Flightdocs.”

 

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based aviation maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers. Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Fla., Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years. Learn more at www.flightdocs.com.

 

Flightdocs team

 

Ribbon cutting

 

Rick Heine, Greg Heine, Mayor Peter Simmons

Maintenance Tracking and the FAA

For an aircraft to maintain it’s status as airworthy, applicable CFR 14 Part 43 regulations must be followed. The rules may vary based on operations and airframe, however they all have one thing in common – maintenance tracking is required.

 

Maintenance records are the life blood of the aircraft. They are proof the aircraft has been maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s documentation as well as FAA or local regulatory guidelines.   Good recording keeping is imperative for the safe operation of aircraft.   Systems and technology are changing exponentially and the importance of ensuring accurate recording of maintenance is greater than ever.      

           

Logbooks for the work accomplished is not only a reflection of the professionalism dedicated to the continued airworthiness of the aircraft but are also a historical record that contributes to the value of the aircraft.

 

While maintenance tracking is required, enrolling your aircraft in a maintenance tracking program is not. Many aircraft operators track maintenance with handwritten logbook entries, spreadsheets, and a host of other homegrown applications.   Operators who have decided to enroll with a maintenance tracking service are enlisting the aid of a quality control partner.   This “partner” collaborates with the operator with the goal of providing safe and reliable aircraft for the operation.     

 

In the past, many OEM’s controlled maintenance tracking in house.  Increasingly, the OEM’s have relinquished control of these programs and have allowed third party companies that specialize in the field to provide tracking services.   

 

In 2006, it was determined that maintenance manuals could not be controlled by the manufacturer to the point it forced a customer to utilize a particular maintenance tracking program. Restrictions on maintenance manual usage from the manufacturer could not hinder an owner/operator from maintaining their aircraft in the manner determined by the owner/operator for continued airworthiness. This ruling along with guidance from the FAA regarding ICAs allows for owner/operators to choose the solution that best fits their operations.

 

Along with the FAA recognition of third party maintenance tracking programs, they also adopted the AC 120-78A which outlined the requirements that would have to be met for an organization to adopt a paperless compliance program. The fact that the FAA has adopted and promoted maintenance tracking programs and paperless compliance is the indicator of the industry shift into a more functional and streamlined approach to maintenance and the compliance required.

Hospital Wing Becomes First U.S. HEMS Operation to Eliminate Paperwork with Flightdocs

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida, July 2018 — Hospital Wing, a Memphis-based air ambulance company, has become the first Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operator in the U.S. to take its operation fully paperless. Utilizing the Flightdocs HMX platform, Hospital Wing has been able to eliminate all paper-based forms and reports from its operation, significantly increasing efficiency across maintenance and operational processes.

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Operating four H130T2, three H130B4, and one H125B3 helicopters from five bases, Hospital Wing provides 24/7 emergency airlift and inter-hospital patient transfers. In 2016, Hospital Wing first implemented HMX by Flightdocs, a leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance and inventory management software.

 

Hospital Wing’s Director of Maintenance Nick King notified Flightdocs of the milestone on June 20. “Hospital Wing is live and fully paperless today,” he said. “No paper log books, flight logs, or aircraft maintenance logs. No more paper — it’s all Flightdocs.” King emphasized that Hospital Wing’s use of HMX goes well beyond maintenance. “It’s a complete and very easy-to-use tool that has been implemented in all aspects of our business and has been configured to work really well for us,” King said. “It’s a great system that enables greater efficiency and effectiveness throughout the organization.” 

 

“We congratulate the team at Hospital Wing on this important milestone,” said Flightdocs CEO Rick Heine. “It’s great to see our technology being used to its fullest extent. We’ve seen more and more operators going fully electronic across different segments of the industry, and they are all seeing some very tangible benefits throughout their organizations. The technology we have today is making a big impact on efficiency, visibility, data accuracy, and ultimately the safe operation of aircraft. We look forward to working with Hospital Wing and other Flightdocs customers on new developments in the future.”

 

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Designing and implementing an aviation Safety Management System (SMS)

Designing and implementing an aviation Safety Management System (SMS) is difficult to understand and doHow do you ensure compliance, readiness and continuous improvement when the amount of policies and procedures – both required and recommended are endless?

 

 Add in the vast gray areas of interpretation and applicability to your operation, understanding exactly what needs to be done to have a SMS in place can be a daunting task. The good news is that today there are many tools and resources available to make SMS compliance easier and more effective. Undoubtedly, whatever device you’re reading this blog on is one of the biggest resources you have, whether it is a smart phone, tablet, or laptop.

 

While that may sound obvious, how well are you leveraging the capabilities of that technology to make managing your SMS easier?

 

We all know that aviation is built on checklists, and SMS is certainly no different. With the use of customizable electronic checklists, accomplishing a monthly hangar safety audit, daily ladder inspection, IS-BAO quarterly audit, etc., is as easy as flipping through your favorite social media app. Because these checklists are completely user managed, one can be created for essentially any task in your SMS. Additionally, since you’re using them electronically, there is the same level of authentication, traceability, and access that you would have with your electronic logbooks.

 

Another way you can leverage technology in your SMS is to track and manage all your recurring SMS items in your maintenance tracking software system, just as you would with your aircraft. Items such as audits, tool calibration, OSHA inspections, monthly fire extinguisher checks, safety meetings, and training can all be treated as a maintenance item that would show up on a due list and easily signed off on. Again, because this is being accomplished electronically, the audit trail, compliance history, and next due is all done automatically and accessible from your device(s); so, you’re not wasting your time keeping your SMS binder up-to-date and trying to figure out when the next audit is coming up. If you get asked to provide proof of compliance, with a few clicks of a mouse, the entire history is available, no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

 

Speaking of binders, how accessible are those to your employees? Are your SMS, SOP manuals, and other departmental manuals sitting in a dusty binder at the back of the office or are they available electronically? Can these policies be viewed on any device, in particular a device that may be assigned to an aircraft, such as an iPad or electronic flight bag? Cloud based storage, such as the  Documents module within Flightdocs can provide unlimited data storage for all your SMS documentation.. Users can access, view, print or download documents regardless if they are using an iPad, smart phone, or laptop. With electronic document storage, you can also upload miscellaneous documentation such as, tool calibration certificates, to manage those documents electronically, eliminating the need for a file cabinet full of outdated paperwork and potential missing certificates.

 

Managing your SMS and driving compliance is easier than you think!

 

The more cumbersome processes are, the less likely you and those you work with will comply. By leveraging solutions, like cloud based maintenance and inventory management systems, you take the pains out of paperwork and leverage easy to use tools like; FAA compliant e-Signatures, digital checklists, cloud based document storage, and connectivity across your entire flight department, when you need it on devices you are already using! Your maintenance and inventory software are much more capable than only tracking aircraft maintenance items, so don’t be afraid of incorporating it into your safety management strategy and other areas of your department to see how it can save you time, money, and frustration.

 

Learn more about Digital Checklists and watch this webinar!

Manual vs Automated: How data entry methods & errors affect your flight department’s operations

The eSignature is an acceptable method of compliance not only for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but for all branches of the United States Federal Government and regulatory bodies around the world. The acceptance of the eSignature coupled with the operational adoption of technology and web-based applications, has seen a surge in opportunities for a more streamlined and efficient workflow.

 

This approach to workflow completion and compliance allows many organizations to utilize it in such a way that it increases accountability and oversite, while at the same time decreases the intrusion into a technician’s time. The primary way that this occurs is through the reduction of data redundancy. When you do not have to duplicate your work efforts time and time again, you save time not only on thedata entry, but also measures that allow for data correction.

 

The two most common type of errors are transcription and transposition.

  • Transcription errors are when the data is entered incorrectly such as typos, repetition of words or phrases, and deletion or omission of words. Fortunately, we have spell check, however, traditional spell check doesn’t like many of the technical terms used in aviation, and sometimes a simple letter change can change the whole word.
  • Transposition errors are what happens when you get your numbers mixed up. Did that result in you overflying? Did you schedule maintenance earlier than is prudent? Did you miss a critical inspection?

Two of the most straightforward ways to reduce Error Introduction is to reduce data redundancy and to incorporate Operational Automation.

In most operations, there are many positions where data redundancy is a way of life. People must fill out the same paperwork multiple times, entering and re-entering the same data different times in multiple places repeatedly. Every time you re-enter data into a new place, you introduce the opportunity for error. Many operations have incorporated templates to reduce the amount of typing, which reduces the amount of opportunities for error introduction. The templates help, however when you type the same thing over and over, you now must remember everywhere you entered that data and in the case an error was introduced, you now must find each entry and verify the accuracy. What if you miss one? What if you messed up in a different way on each entry? Utilizing copy and paste helps, but that doesn’t always work depending on the software you are using and what if you copy and paste the error over and over?

 

Leverage technology! Use systems and services that reduce data entry redundancy, streamline your operations, allow you to enter the data in one place and disseminate across multiple usages. This singular location for data entry:

  • Allows the effective implementation of eSignature
  • Simplifies quality checks and corrects errors
  • Secures the historical record
  • Eliminates the need for paper and space to store boxes and boxes of records – saving you thousands in operational costs.

So why use an e-Signature?

The easiest answer is because you can! The FAA, EASA, Transport Canada, along with a host of other regulatory authorities allow it and have issued documentation on how to implement and utilize in your operations. The regulatory bodies along with service providers have worked to come up with systems and processes that are not only effective in the authentication of the user, but also streamline the work flow.

 

A requirement of an effective eSignature implementation is the ability to preserve the “paper” trail in a digital world. To implement the eSignature and be compliant there must be a trail, a historical record of what was done, who signed it, and in what manner. Every time something is signed off, the record must stand in that same state, errors and all. You must have the paper trail. With eSignature, you have the historical data and the paper trail. However, this time you don’t have to redo every piece of paper to correct an error. Depending on your provider, you should be able to error correct an entry within 10 minutes or less, saving you time, money, headache, and reducing the chances of introducing new errors through redundant work.

 

So how do you implement an eSignature into your operations? The best way is to find a partner who has the technology and has already developed the tools. Ensuring that the tools not only meet the regulatory requirements, but also are in step with the latest technological advances and standards for eSignature deployment.

 

Think about using the eSignature for your log book entries, check lists, work orders – anything in your operations where it is important to know who did the work and is confirming it was done correctly. Use the eSignature for internal compliance, for program compliance such as your SMS programs, maybe ISBAO, ARGUS. Think about where could you utilize this tool to streamline your operations and effectively document your workflow.

 

The possibilities for implementation are endless, and the value added to your work day by streamlining the paperwork associated with an effective aviation operation, is priceless.

 

For more information on eSignature, watch this on-demand webinar!

Press Release: Flightdocs Expands Customer Offerings with New Technology Center

BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – May 8, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aircraft maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced the establishment of a new technology center. The 6,200-square-foot facility houses nearly 40 developers and other technology experts and became operational this month.

 

The technology center team is focused on enhancing features and functionality of existing Flightdocs products and developing customized, flexible, highly secure solutions to meet the specific needs of individual customers and organizations, according to Rick Heine, chief executive officer of Flightdocs. “This ability to develop secure, custom solutions in a rapid-response environment distinguishes Flightdocs from competitive offerings,” Heine said. “Businesses that are specialized need specialized tools. By investing in this new technology center, we are assuring that customers will get exactly the right products to meet the needs of their operations with no concerns that data or service will ever be lost or interrupted.”

 

In addition, the technology center’s Southwest Florida location is adjacent to abundant technology resources and talent. The local universities have substantial information technology and engineering programs where we recruit students for our intern-development program,” Heine said. “This allows us to cultivate our own talent by having interns grow their skills under the direction of our software engineers. The resulting team of innovative thinkers and problem-solvers continually allows Flightdocs to advance its technological mission here in the U.S.”

 

Flightdocs is backed by a team that is available around-the-clock 365 days a year, with a guarantee that callers will always reach a live analyst and never an answering service or voicemail.

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based aviation maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers.  Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Press Release: Flightdocs Supports Girls Going Places Entrepreneurship Conference

Rhiannon Silvashy to Serve as Aviation and Technology Industry Mentor

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BONITA SPRINGS, Florida – May 9, 2018 — Flightdocs, the leading provider of cloud-based aviation maintenance tracking, compliance, and inventory management services, today announced its support of the Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conference at Florida Gulf Coast University on Wednesday, May 9.

 

Flightdocs employee Rhiannon Silvashy, Vice President of Sales, will serve as a program mentor during the event, which is designed to support and educate young women, ages 12-18, in the areas of entrepreneurship, careers and financial independence. Mentors are business professionals, executives and managers in various public and private institutions and owners of businesses in the Fort Myers community.

 

“I am proud to be part of such a worthwhile event and helping to mentor these young women who are poised to become our future leaders in the Fort Myers area,” said Silvashy. “I am equally proud to represent the Flightdocs organization in this valuable community outreach effort.”

 

“Flightdocs is passionate about supporting our local community and participating in events like Girls Going Places,” said Chief Executive Officer Rick Heine. “Rhiannon is a great role model, and this is an important activity that aligns with our business priorities of promoting career opportunities and growth for women in aviation.”

 

In her role as Vice President of Sales, Silvashy works to establish new business, maintain current business and expand the product into new divisions of the industry. Silvashy added that she is excited about the opportunity to connect with the young women and express the importance of focusing and going after what they want, as well as to introduce them to aviation or technology as career choices. She also plans to convey the importance of “surrounding yourself with strong-minded people who are working and moving towards a goal. That’s important and incredibly powerful.”

 

About Flightdocs

Flightdocs provides mission-critical, cloud-based maintenance, compliance, and inventory management Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to the aviation industry. The company’s solutions help aircraft owners and operators track and manage the maintenance and airworthiness of their aircraft, comply with rigorous safety rules and regulatory guidelines, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and minimize asset downtime. Flightdocs’ customers include Fortune 1000 corporate flight departments, air charters, air medical providers, fractional aircraft operators, government agencies, and regional carriers.  Headquartered in Bonita Springs, Florida, Flightdocs has been serving the aviation industry for over 15 years.

Benefits of Implementing Electronic Workflows In Your Flight Department

In recent years, the industry has seen the positive impact of technology on flight departments, and many operators have made the move to an entirely paperless cockpit. Many aircraft are now equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi, and pilots have replaced their traditional binders with an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) or an iPad. Seeing the success that pilots and crews have had, maintenance managers have begun to implement this technology into their operations.

 

The most common implementation so far has been the switch to paperless processes in the hangar. Taking traditionally tedious paper processes and making them electronic has provided significant benefits to operations around the world, including the elimination of duplicate work and improvement of efficiency. These digital processes are called electronic workflows. There are a wide array of major benefits when it comes to implementing electronic workflows in your operation. These are just a few:

 

  • Automation: The most obvious benefit is the elimination of tedious processes that often take up a majority of operators’ time. With an electronic workflow, you can identify repetitive tasks as well as those that consume a large portion of your time and leverage the system to do the work for you.
  • Predictive Analytics: Dashboards and reports consolidate system-wide data, allowing managers to make effective decisions about the future of the operation without spending hours or days gathering the data.
  • Integration: Electronic workflows generally utilize an API, which allows two different systems to communicate and share data with each other. Integrations allow flight departments to seamlessly share info between critical systems, like a scheduling software pushing aircraft times to a maintenance tracking system. This eliminates duplicate work and reduces potential errors. This is just one example, but API integrations have unlimited potential for reducing extra work in your operation.
  • Mobility and Connectivity: Almost everyone carries their phone with them wherever they go, and almost every pilot carries an iPad. This mobile capability allows operators to communicate and share information with their team instantly, providing the most up-to-date information on their fleet from anywhere with internet connection.

 

These are just a few of the benefits of implementing electronic workflows into your operation, but what are some real-world examples of these benefits? How will this actually improve my flight department?

 

  • Updating Maintenance Items: This historically tedious and time-consuming process can almost be eliminated using automation. Electronic workflows allow operators to “bulk-apply” mass amounts of matching data to maintenance items, such as hours, landings, dates, and even electronic signatures. This completely eliminates hours of handwriting and data entry.
  • QA Process: Every QA process faces their own unique challenges. Electronic workflows allow organizations to set up custom workflows, as well as manage security levels for various tasks. This customization allows operations to streamline their processes while keeping critical quality standards in place.
  • Creating and Storing Logbooks: Electronic logbook creation is one of the biggest benefits that operators are seeing across the industry. Electronic workflows allow operators to easily update maintenance items and create electronic logbook entries in minutes. For larger inspections, this process could take days if done manually. In addition to the time savings, you now have an electronic backup of your logbook entries. (For best practices on data backup, read this)

 

As you can see, electronic workflows have a wide variety of benefits and real-world applications that operators use every day.

 

Also remember, implementing an electronic workflow doesn’t have to be an overnight process. Start by implementing smaller components, such as process automation. Every operation has their best practices due to the unique challenges they face. Get a feel for how technology can improve your process, and you will begin to see endless opportunities for reducing manual labor, streamlining processes, and improving efficiency.

Why is it important to keep electronic backups?

For aircraft, the value is in the logbooks. If logbook entries are missing or lost, it can be almost impossible to know what maintenance has been performed on the aircraft, or if the aircraft is even airworthy. The aircraft can be grounded indefinitely, and operators often incur a heavy cost and time lost to reinstitute airworthiness.This also affects the aircraft’s resale value. If the aircraft’s history is unknown or missing info, the risk to a potential buyer is far too high, and the value of the aircraft decreases significantly. Whatever your maintenance tracking process entails, multiple backups are critical to protecting your aircraft’s value and the operation’s success.Here are a few simple ways that you can back up your files starting today:
  • Scan logbook entries: Scan each logbook entry you create after they’ve been signed. This will give a solid electronic copy of the physical logbook. Save as an image or PDF file for the most effective file size.
  • Store copies in cloud storage solutions and a local hard drive: Using services like Dropbox or Google Drive allow you to upload documents and access them from anywhere. The main benefit is that you’ll have access to them from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Keeping an electronic logbook copy on a local hard drive will ensure access without the need for remote access. Even storing a copy on a mobile device is good while traveling.
  • Create a physical copy: For operators creating paperless logbook entries, printing out a physical copy is recommended.
When relying on external vendors (i.e. maintenance tracking) for data storage, double check to make sure they’re doing everything possible to ensure the security and availability of your data. Ask the following questions when assessing providers:
  • What measures do you have in place to secure my data?
  • How do you back up my data? Do you have internal storage or only rely on outside vendors to store my data?
  • If your system goes down, how will I get access to my data?
  • Have you ever dealt with security breaches? How would you handle it if one happened?
If data security is important to you, then make sure all your requirements are met. Internal storage, top tier data security, and multiple backups are minimum requirements. It’s very common to see companies only relying on external storage vendors such as Microsoft Azure. These services are great, but can limit access to critical data if their service is interrupted or goes down. Dedicated in-house servers and geo-replication of data provide multiple ways of accessing data, ensuring your data is safe in any circumstance.

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