Craig Webster a former computer programmer turned helicopter pilot identified a host of problems in the conventional management of helicopter crew, especially in tracking and predicting currency of pilots that are required to perform multiple tasks in one company.
Craig put his abilities as a programmer to work in an attempt to create a solution to this global challenge in the helicopter industry, as a result HeliCrewManager (HCM) was developed. HCM is a versatile web-application designed to take the pain out of rostering pilots by instantly referencing flight time limitations, adherence to checks and currencies.
The manager of a helicopter operation can instantly check which types and ratings are valid, inspect revalidation history, arrange training and approve certificates without having to refer to the pilots personnel file. Automated emails are automatically generated to alert pilots and opps when checks and recency items are nearing expiry.
HCM is designed to be extremely flexible and will probably be a perfect fit for any helicopter operation in its standard form but, if need be, slight changes could be made to suite any operation. It is not limited to pilots however, observers, paramedics, HHO rear-crew, cabin crew and even engineers currency can be easily tracked and maintained.
The application uses the standard cellular phone network and an i-pad to track all flights, instantly reporting route, number of landings, altitude and duration of flight to the operation and immediately updating the crew on boards profile ensuring no currency breaches sneak in.
The first client to utilise HCM in South Africa was Henley Air based at Rand Airport, Andre Coetzee, the CEO of Henley, said “The incredible flexibility is what first made us sign up for a trial, we now have a system that fits our operation like a glove. Rostering pilots and crew became almost impossible but with HCM it has become very manageable.”
HCM is ideal for any size operation from your small two or three aircraft concerns to large helicopter management concerns with multiple types and a large crew of pilots.