Flying to Save Fido

By Pratt & Whitney Customer Service

P&WC's FAST™ solution is providing Toll Helicopters with full situational awareness for its aeromedical helicopter fleet, thanks to high-quality actionable data on both engine health and operations. Here's how.

A Leader in Data-driven Operations

When Toll Helicopters purchased eight new Leonardo AW139s in 2016, it opted to have P&WC's FAST™ solution for proactive engine health management technology installed on the PT6C-67C helicopter engines at the factory.

At that time, FAST technology was newly certified for the AW139 and as a firm believer in the power of big data and digital technology to improve its operations, Toll was confident the investment would be worth it.

“We can be considered an early adopter,” explains Cameron McAndrew, Maintenance Manager, who supervises maintenance for Toll’s fleet, which includes two Bell 212 helicopters along with the eight AW139s. With Rescue Helicopter bases in Sydney, Wollongong, Canberra and Orange, Toll provides Aeromedical Helicopter Services for NSW Ambulance, ACT Ambulance and NETS (Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Services) across the Southern New South Wales and ACT regions. “Using technologies like FAST in an emergency medical services environment is absolutely beneficial.”

As aircraft become smarter and engines and airframes become more digitized, it's imperative to have this kind of technology. It gives us visibility into the health of our engines.

- Cameron McAndrew, Maintenance Manager, Toll Helicopters

The Pilatus can accommodate a generous payload, whether it’s passengers or cargo, and it has excellent range. “Now that I have such a good plane for size, power and distance, taking on charity work is a lot easier.”

Receiving Full-flight Data Within Minutes

The FAST system automatically captures data on key engine and aircraft parameters during a flight, then wirelessly transmits it for analysis. This is done for every single Toll Ambulance Rescue mission, with all data offloaded, encrypted, filtered and sent to Toll within 15 minutes of the pilot shutting down the engine.

For Toll, this data serves a dual purpose. Engine data is analysed and used for proactive maintenance and troubleshooting. Aircraft data is forwarded for analysis to Truth Data, a third-party solution provider, which issues detailed operational reports that are used to progressively monitor performance and enhance pilot briefings and training.

“Toll is a very data-driven operator that has truly embraced a learning mentality. They understand that data is your friend and use it as a continuous improvement tool,” says P&WC’s Bjorn Stickling, Director, Digital Engine Services.

"With the help of metrics captured using FAST, they're always learning from the previous day and looking at how they can improve flight performance and safety."

Automation Enhances Toll's Efficiency

In the past, operators who wanted to monitor engine trends had no choice other than to record and input data manually. But with FAST, they are able to avoid that time-consuming process, which is a significant plus for Toll.