““It’s a huge benefit and is saving us a lot of time, as well as reducing the risk of missing important information regarding airworthiness” Verdict of launch customer Patria, provider of Norway police helicopter fleet maintenance
Lundin Software has worked in a three-way partnership with the Norwegian Police Helicopter Department and fleet maintenance provider Patria to develop a new app that integrates the Gannet maintenance system with a new user platform for CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation), operator and Part 145 (European standard Maintenance Organisational Approval).
The Gannet eTechlog was developed by Lundin’s software designers in just six months, following an approach by Kenneth Dahlqvist, Continuing Airworthiness Manager at the Norwegian Police helicopter department. Dahlqvist is seconded from Patria, which holds the fleet maintenance contract for Leonardo helicopters.
The eTechlog has been fully approved by Norwegian and Swedish aviation authorities, which in turn means the product is fully approved as per EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) regulation MA306.
It enables pilots to view live information on an aircraft’s maintenance status on a cockpit iPad without the need to make calculations or transfer paperwork.
“It brings flight crew directly into the maintenance loop,” explains Dahlqvist. “Pilots and technicians can sign documents digitally for the daily maintenance schedule. They can liaise directly through Gannet instead of doing it on paper – it’s a huge benefit and is saving us a lot of time, as well as reducing the risk of missing important information regarding airworthiness.”
Dahlqvist had worked on the previous police fleet of Airbus helicopters since its inception in 2003, but in 2019 the Norwegian Government issued a new tender to reflect the need for a larger aircraft to carry personnel as well as conducting surveillance duties.
The result was the decision to re-equip with the Leonardo AW169, based from 2020 at a new National Police Response Centre, south of Oslo, and comprising one transport and one surveillance aircraft and a third machine for maintenance cover.
Most of the fleet’s work is within the wider Oslo region bit can include deployments anywhere in Norway.
“I have worked with Gannet for many years but when we started the new contract with the AW169 we decided to have Gannet as well, due to the fact I was familiar with it already and knew the system, which gave me a constant when I was already working with new helicopters, a new team and facilities,” explains Dahlqvist.
It wasn’t a tough decision: “The biggest reason for choosing the Gannet is the simplicity of the system,” he says. “It’s almost self-learning and it’s so easy to get an overview of the status of the fleet. It’s designed by the end-user for the end-user and not the other way round. Many other systems are just too complex to work with! It’s also very competitively priced and the support has always been excellent.”
The next logical step was to fulfil Dahlqvist’s ambition to find an electronic tech log system that was simple – those that he had investigated “tried to integrate too many things instead of focus on the requirement the legal regulations”, he said. “So I contacted the team at Lundin and we put our heads together and decided what should and what should not be integrated. It took approximately six months to develop.”
The resulting eTechlog system was introduced on the fleet on January 1 and so had been running for three months at the time of writing.
“It works really well and, as launch customer, we have only had a few hiccups that have subsequently been sorted out. Now we have replaced all the papers that we normally have.” A pilot is able to see instantly, for example, exactly when the next scheduled maintenance is. Pilots can also issue a finding that will automatically create an unscheduled workcard in Gannet. This can be directly connected to the integrated MEL (minimum equipment list) so the due date will be set.
Following the initial development and launch periods, eTechlog will be available to download at Apple Store for use on iPad while Dahlqvist has an overall view on his desktop workstation.
• The Gannet maintenance software system is designed by Lundin Software. Its key features include easy one-stop management of mixed rotary and fixed wing fleets from desktop or hand-held device, and a “traffic light” system to ensure regulatory compliance at all times. Lundin Software’s programming and support functions are based in Bucharest and the company also has offices in the Faroe Islands.