8-Feb-2023 Source: GPMS
GPMS International, which provides the helicopter industry’s most advanced Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) known as Foresight MX, announced today that it has received an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the UH-60A Black Hawk platform. The company worked closely with PJ Helicopters during the STC process, where they will benefit from becoming the first Black Hawk operator to utilize Foresight MX’s advanced capabilities.
Todd Powers, GPMS VP of Sales, explains that this is a significant certification for GPMS as it continues to expand its coverage and capabilities to new platforms. “Platforms like the UH-60 have a long and storied career in transporting troops and equipment around the world,” he said. “Typically, the older variants either weren’t equipped with HUMS or had equipment that weighed over a hundred pounds. Our co-founder and 2023 Helicopter Association International’s Salute to Excellence Safety Award winner, Dr. Eric Bechhoefer, helped designed some of these original systems, which have proven to be very successful. In fact, the US Army recently reported that it avoided $215 million in UH-60 costs over a six-year period because of HUMS.”
Powers continues, “However, military aircraft are typically stripped of accessories through divestiture because of ITAR, obsolescence, and weight concerns. With Dr. Bechhoefer’s leadership and with the help of the team at PJ Helicopters, UH-60 operators now have an STC’d, next-generation, predictive HUMS, Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) and optimized Rotor Track & Balance (RTB) solution – at an installed weight of under 17 lbs. and at a third of the cost.”
PJ Helicopters’ Director of Operations, David McCammon, “Lives and homes are at stake during fire season and our customers, friends, and family depend on us. Our 11 UH-60As are extremely capable machines, and their ability to assist in controlling fires is only limited by their availability. With Foresight MX, we have a HUMS solution that meets MATOC requirements, lowers our DOCs, and will help keep these aircraft in the air.”
McCammon explains that one of the most challenging parts of managing a large mixed fleet, including divested military aircraft, is acquiring the replacement parts. “Supply chain issues can be very challenging, so gaining the capability to understand the true condition and health of our components is vital. Foresight MX provides us that visibility, with the bonus of having predictive remaining useful life for our components. With Foresight, we can better forecast our inventory needs, align maintenance planning, and reduce unscheduled maintenance and AOG events.”
McCammon went on to say that his team is excited about the multi-model and multi-OEM capability Foresight MX brings. “We have seven different models across four different OEMs. Traditional OEM-based HUMS solutions would only allow us to see a portion of our fleet at a time. Now, I can see the health of our Foresight-equipped fleet anywhere, anytime, and even on my phone.”