- 16 May 2022
- Andre Fodor
- Flight Departments
Having explored the benefits and the challenges of Electronic Technical Logbooks, Mario Pierobon concludes his overview with a discussion on the additional opportunities they present Flight Departments...Back to Articles
One major advantage of Electronic Technical Logbooks (ETLs) to business aircraft operators is that information can be instantly transmitted from flight crews to the ground, helping the maintenance personnel prepare better, ultimately decreasing turnaround times.
Lufthansa Technik’s AVIATAR Logbook, for example, “has a seamless two-way connection to popular MIS AMOS to enable that communication,” notes Mona Stuenckel, Senior Director of Digital Solutions Automation & Technology in Digital Fleet Services, Lufthansa Technik.
Indeed, customers of Conduce eTechLog8 report a significant reduction in errors, and data of greater accuracy and consistency, according to Hayley Russell, Marketing Manager, Conduce Mobile Aviation Solutions. “eTechLog8 has a logical workflow, and uses mandatory fields so you can’t miss entering key information”, she adds.
“Electronic systems mean back-office teams have near real-time, read-only access to the ETL in the cockpit via middleware, such as Conduce’s eCentral8. This enables proactive maintenance planning and support, and reduces delays. Teams no longer have to wait for the aircraft to return to base, or for somebody to email a copy of the technical logbooks, in order to understand the status of the aircraft/fleet.”
Opportunity to Increase Efficiency
The ETL can be set up for the flight crews by pre-filling all sorts of information via interfaces or templates to simplify its use compared to a paper logbook, says Stuenckel. “Having data available in a standardized, readable, electronic format supports follow-up processes – such as troubleshooting, analysis, or predictive maintenance – especially in connection with a platform like AVIATAR that makes optimal use of these data within other applications.”
It’s useful to think about the efficiencies of the real- time entry of, and access to, any kind of data, notes John Stone, Vice President of Product Management at Ultramain Systems.
“In the not-so-distant past, our bank accounts relied on paper systems,” he illustrates. “We wrote checks, put them in the mail, used our debit cards, and reconciled everything at the end of the month against a paper statement. Today, we pay bills automatically and see our statement updating in real time.” ULTRAMAIN ETL is similar, he adds.
Moreover, pages cannot get lost in transit, or lost in translation through misinterpretation of handwriting, he explains. “ELBs allow operators to go beyond recording maintenance write-ups by accurately capturing fluid uplift, flight crew information, de-icing, damage logs, and more.”
Meanwhile, AVIATAR can be used to support the connection of various interfaces to reach minimum turn-around time and maximum automation, Stuenckel says. The Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) is informed about complaints immediately, and has a clear view of the aircraft status.
Opportunity to Reduce Costs
ETL pioneers have also, apparently, enjoyed a strong return on investment. Paper systems are actually pretty expensive when secure storage, printing costs, logbook purchase, as well as data entry and processing are factored, not to mention the time spent tracking any missing data. “This has led Conduce to estimate that 50 percent of the cost benefit from running an ETL comes from the seamless integration with the MRO and M&E Systems”, Russell claims.
A feature of ULTRAMAIN ELB is that it operates offline or connected with seamless switching between the two, Stone notes. “Autonomous on-aircraft operation is supported, thereby eliminating dependence on connectivity. If off-aircraft systems go down, aircraft can maintain uninterrupted ops.
“Our solution utilizes a redundant failsafe design that works behind the scenes and is invisible to users”, he says. “It operates native on iOS and Windows Mobile 10 devices, and is highly graphical.
“Accurate data captured, created, and available as defects reported and resolved are things that paper processes cannot do, because with paper, flight crews are free to use whatever fault codes they wish, if any at all.”
ULTRAMAIN ELB guides pilots, flight and maintenance staff to use correct codes with minimal effort. “The foundation to an efficient maintenance organization is real-time, accurate data which is in the system and usable immediately,” Stone highlights.
“Engineering can then conduct their investigations in advance of an aircraft arriving with full knowledge of its history. They can meet the aircraft with the correct part ready to install, resulting in fewer delays, fewer maintenance-related cancellations, and fewer deferrals.”
Read more on the benefits and the challenges ETLs offer, including: