5 Reasons Why Monitoring Your Flight Data Is Key

by Andy Robinshaw on 10/19/2020

I’m Andy Robinshaw, a Flight Data Analyst at L3Harris. We provide an outsourced Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) solution, covering the data transfer, processing, validation, and analysis for operators’ FDM programmes. Part of my role include data validation, data analysis both micro and macro, trend detection, FDM training, and offering all-round advice related to safety.

Today, I’m sharing 5 reasons why monitoring your flight data is key:

1. It’s mandatory
Depending on the maximum take-off weight of an operators’ aircraft and the national aviation authority, monitoring flight data can be mandatory. Additionally, if flying under contract for another entity, they may require that flight data is monitored for a certain percentage of flights. Even if monitoring is not mandatory for an operation, there are many advantages to it anyway.

2. Saves money
Every operation needs to save money where possible and it might sound contradictory, but funding a good FDM programme can actually save you money. With advanced monitoring, it is possible to save fuel by monitoring for different flying techniques and picking the most efficient ones, with evidence to justify your decisions.

3. Improves safety
The core idea of FDM is to improve safety. This is done through detecting trends and highlighting problems before they grow. Airspeeds at flap selection increasing over time? FDM can detect and highlight that before an aircraft has to land away from base and have to pay for an inspection. Pitch rates at take-off increasing? Again, FDM can highlight this so operators can make pilots aware and avoid a potential tail strike.

4. Discovers relationships
Things that might not seem linked can be. Using FDM, you can find meaningful and causal relationships, such as whether rostering is causing lower-quality flying toward the end of a duty period, or if one particular approach into an airport is causing more issues than others.

5. Nerd out!
Know as much about your operation as you can. Understand what effects different procedures are having without having to rely solely on anecdotal reports. There’s also something satisfying about being able to say things like “Airport A? Yes, we often have problem X there” and being able to discuss with other operators whether they’re experiencing the same.

These days, flight data monitoring generates data for you to understand your operation, inside and out.

Discover more about our flight data monitoring capabilities at L3Harris