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Aerotech Helicopters launches into HUMS with Foresight MX

June 6, 2024  By Helicopters Staff

Aerotech states it has purchased six Black Hawks to provide Australia with the permanent Type 1 helicopter firefighting capability. (Photo: Aerotech, GPMS)

The Aerotech Group, described as South Australia’s largest privately owned aviation operator, completed the installation of GPMS International’s Foresight MX HUMS on one of its UH-60 Black Hawks. Aerotech also placed a follow-on order with options for additional aircraft.

Based in Adelaide, Aerotech operates a fleet of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft performing agricultural, utility, and firefighting missions. “For nearly 60 years, we’ve been proud to service our customers both in South Australia and around the world,” said Sam McCabe, Managing Director of The Aerotech Group. “But providing our aerial assets to the South Australian County Fire Service (CFS) is sacred to us, as most of our employees, friends, and families are protected by their incredible efforts.”

Aerotech states it has purchased six Black Hawks to provide Australia with the permanent Type 1 helicopter firefighting capability that’s required to support the ever-increasing bushfire threats around the country. McCabe continues, “We’re proud to be the first and only Australian operator of VH-registered Black Hawks. Their speed, superior water-drop capability, and ruggedness make it the perfect platform for this critical responsibility.”

According to Chris Boyd of Aerotech Helicopters, maximizing the availability of their Black Hawks in support of the CFS mission was a big reason why they decided to invest in HUMS. “Being in Australia, especially with former military aircraft, getting parts when we’re AOG can be very difficult,” he said. “Every hour that we’re down can put homes and lives at risk. We knew we had to move from being reactive to unscheduled maintenance events to proactive and predictive and there’s only one way to really do it. And that’s with Foresight MX HUMS.”


GPMS explains Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) utilize vibration monitoring and other capabilities to analyze and trend the health of aircraft and engine components. The capabilities of Foresight MX HUMS goes further, explains GMMS, by not only identifying negative issues earlier than legacy HUMS, but with its advanced sensors and predictive analytics, it can notify operators 100-plus hours ahead of a chip light.

“Most civil operated Blackhawks are no longer supported by the OEM, placing big responsibilities on the operators,” said Ronnie Ries, Vice President of Marketing at GPMS. To maximize availability, they’re planning their supply chain out not in months, but in years. This is where Foresight MX can help. By identifying issues when they’re at a bearing level instead of a gearbox, the availability of parts is greater, replacement costs are lower, and the time to get the birds back in the air is significantly faster. Add in the remote monitoring capabilities, operators like Aerotech will have a better view of the health of their fleet, no matter where they are in Australia, or even around the world.”


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