In cooperation with helicopter safety experts within the industry, the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) has developed a Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS program) toolkit. The free manual will serve as a step-by-step guide for helicopter operators considering or currently implementing a HUMS program or condition-based maintenance program. The guide also will address some unique maintenance challenges specific to helicopter operations.
HUMS programs are designed to automatically monitor the health of mechanical components in a helicopter, as well as usage of the airframe and its dynamic components. They enable aircraft to record structural and transmission usage, transmission vibrations, rotor track and balance information, and engine power assurance data. They also monitor the health of rotating components such as gearboxes, bearings, shafts, engines, and rotors through vibration, and can record parametric data from the aircraft’s bus for usage and event analysis.
The intelligence gained from the use of a HUMS program allows aircraft maintainers and fleet operators to make informed decisions about flying and maintaining their aircraft. As a result, HUMS programs can enhance safety, decrease maintenance burden, increase availability and readiness, and reduce operating and support costs.
This new IHST guide includes case studies, industry best practices, and detailed information of management decisions. Additional HUMS program guidance and resources are included as appendices to the document. The online link to the guide is http://ihst.org/Default.aspx?tabid=3050.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) promotes safety and works to reduce accidents. The organization was formed in 2005 to lead a government and industry cooperative effort to address factors that were affecting an unacceptable helicopter accident rate. The group’s vision is an international civil helicopter community with zero accidents with a goal to reduce the international civil helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016.
IHST members also establish international partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and work to encourage the overseas industries to carry out accident analysis and develop safety interventions. Worldwide partners now supporting the work of the IHST include government and industry participants from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, Russia, and multiple countries in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
More information about the IHST, its reports, its safety tools, and presentations from its 2011 safety symposium can be obtained at its web site at www.IHST.org and on the IHST Facebook page.