HeliOffshore recently held the second in a series of Human Hazard Analysis (HHA) workshops intended to discover and devise ways to make the maintenance of helicopters safer by improving processes and the design of components. The workshop, which was held near Milan in Italy from 2-4th October, focused on Leonardo Helicopters’ AW139 aircraft. It brought together product support engineers, design safety engineers and system design engineers from Leonardo Helicopters and maintenance engineers from HeliOffshore member operators, CHC Helicopter and Weststar Aviation Services.
The workshop was devised and run by HeliOffshore’s System Reliability & Resilience Project Manager Scott Carmichael, along with HHA experts Dr Hazel Courtney and Dr Simon Gill. After an initial briefing and training session, the participants split into two teams to discuss and analyse lists of maintenance tasks associated with single point of failure items and safety critical systems that had been drawn up by Leonardo’s design safety engineers. The teams looked at 197 individual maintenance tasks associated with ATA Chapters 62 (main rotor), 63 (main rotor drive), 64 (tail rotor) and 65 (tail rotor drive). HeliOffshore intends to expand the scope of the HHA workshops to cover other ATA Chapters.
“For the tasks associated with the components and systems we analysed, the design was found to be very well thought out with plenty of evidence that Leonardo’s engineers had carefully considered the safety of the maintenance involved,” said Scott Carmichael. “We found that the Leonardo maintenance procedures were well written and included additional elements that would prevent human error in maintenance.”
The HeliOffshore team will do a more complete analysis of the results of the workshop findings. This will be presented to the aircraft manufacturer and will identify any other possible areas for further safety enhancements. The participating CHC maintenance engineers, Carlos Nascimento and Eko Yudianto, were from the company’s Kazakhstan operation, while the two engineers from Weststar, Amir Hamzah Jaferi and Abdul Rahmon Abdullah, had travelled from the operator’s headquarters in Malaysia.
Following the workshop, Leonardo has asked HeliOffshore to create an HHA training course and a set of standards for its design engineers. The manufacturer intends to deploy these new resources internally.
In November, HeliOffshore will hold an HHA workshop covering the Airbus H175 aircraft. This will be held in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The workshop in Italy was well received by participants.
“I was very glad to have been part of this process, which allows engineers to spend time with designers and share the problems we face,” commented Amir Hamzah Jaferi, a licensed aircraft engineer with Weststar Aviation Services. “HHA is an open process to discuss problems that we would not normally be able to discuss, non-compliances and violations for example, the reality of maintenance. The HHA process broke down barriers allowing us the freedom to talk and ultimately to come up with solutions.”
“What was good about this process was that it helped me think about what could happen outside of my experience and having open discussions with customers. One of the things I take away is that I must think as these engineers do every day, about what can go wrong to make good design decisions,” said Leonardo’s Chief Maintainability Engineer Giacomo Gibilisco.
“The open discussion was great and we moved from where we often find ourselves–with the OEM in one corner and the customer is in the other–to a position where were working with one aim, to make safety improvements,” said Leonardo’s Simone Bosio, who is an AW139 Product Support Engineer. “We designers normally just look at theoretical steps in a maintenance task, but now I think about moving the theory to the practise, including the difficulties that we do not normally see. It was valuable to have design, product support engineering and maintenance engineers at the same table to fix the problem quickly and we should do this more in the future.”
“HHA was a great opportunity, opening new windows to talk with Leonardo in a less formal way through a two-way communication process which is very useful and very quick,” concluded Abdul Rahmon Abdullah, a licensed aircraft engineer with Weststar Aviation Services. “We had access to the huge amount of knowledge and experience in Leonardo to face the challenges of maintenance. It can often take a long time to communicate with OEMs with lots of bureaucracy, but this process allowed us to have direct communication. This should be repeated in the future, actually we should try to do this regularly.”
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