What is Engine Condition Trend Monitoring?
There is nothing more frustrating than finding a major problem with an aircraft and then, when talking to the crew, they say something to the effect of "yeah, when we were out last week, something didn't seem quite right". Finding small problems before they turn into large problems can save time, money and in some cases injury or worse.
Engine Condition Trend Monitoring requires recording of data such as N1/N2 RPM, Interstage Turbine Temperature, Fuel Flow, Outside Air Temperature, airspeed and altitude. Other information such as engine vibration, oil temperature, and pressure can also be very useful data to add. You would want to record these values at certain specified times and then track them over time to see if there are changes in the performance of the aircraft. You can arguably monitor whatever data of an aircraft want and at whatever timeframes you would like.
Why bother with Engine Condition Trend Monitoring?
With all the things going on in aviation and all the required regulation and compliance, why would you want to create even more with engine condition trend monitoring? Well, we think there are 3 key reasons.
- Ability to see problems before they happen.
Everyone in aviation agrees that regular scheduled maintenance is the best way to minimize the risk of performance and reliability issues in their aircraft. Engine condition trend monitoring gives you the data to potentially see changes in engine trends that may identify the beginnings of small problems before they become large problems. Being able to see something, check what might be causing it and rectify it before something more serious occurs can save time and money.
- Many aircraft engine manufacturers require it
It is common now for aircraft engine manufacturers to require regular engine condition trends to be sent to them so that they can see what is happening across their entire fleet of engines in the market. Making sure that you can supply trends quickly and accurately will be very helpful for engine manufacturers.
- It keeps your crew vigilant
It can be easy to just "go fly" and forget about the details of the aircraft. Having your pilots regularly pausing and thinking about how the aircraft is actually flying and what the avionics are telling them about the engine means they are more likely see small changes at other times as well. They may, for example, start to pay more attention to fuel flow during their other flights and then be able to provide critical information to you engineers earlier than normal if they see something out of the ordinary.
How to go about Engine Condition Trend Monitoring?
This data can be gathered manually on a set schedule. For example, every two weeks when the aircraft is in use the crew notes down the required values adds it into wherever the data is stored. This needs to be driven by a clear and documented process otherwise busy people will forget to get the needed data. The regularity of collecting the data (and then actually having someone look at the data) is the key to identifying issues before they lead to potential secondary damage and reducing any associated unexpected aircraft on the ground time. There are also pieces of technology that can be added to your aircraft to automatically track this data for you.
How does Aeronet help with Engine Condition Trend Monitoring?
Aeronet has a Trend module, as a part of the maintenance tracking product, that can be completely customized for every aircraft to track and then output the trend data for you. To get this set up, contact the Aeronet Support team and they will come back to you with the information needed to get things set up. You aircraft and pilots will be pulled automatically from the rest of Aeronet and you can dictate which data you would like columns added for. Once accessed and set up, you can choose the aircraft you'd like to add values for, the pilot entering the data and the required data values for the trend monitoring.
Periodically, you can then export the trend data for analysis in whatever program you want to use (Excel, Google Sheets or another) or a scheduled report can be set up and delivered to your inbox on a timeframe of your choosing.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing
As the great Australian race horse trainer Bart Cummings once said "In hindsight everything is much clearer". Don’t let your only source of clarity be hindsight. Monitor your aircraft engine trends in Aeronet and take action before things go from bad to worse.
Engine Condition Trend Monitoring is part of Aeronet.MT
If you are new to Aeronet and would like a demo of Engine Condition Trend Monitoring and other Aeronet.MT features, please request a demo. If you are an Aeronet client and would like to add the Engine Condition Trend Monitoring to your account and configured, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.