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 and FAA


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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