Leaders Supporting Leaders

Leaders Supporting Leaders

MASCO Service is a pace-setter for the industry and an essential partner for operators and OEMs alike. 

By Graham Chandler

To be successful for nearly five decades, a business needs to offer operators support solutions to the most up-to-date technologies and the latest mandates. At MASCO Service, that’s a natural edge.

One of the newest mandates for helicopter air ambulance operators is coming up quickly. New Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates take effect on April 23, 2018, when operators must have their aircraft equipped with flight data monitoring (FDM) equipment, helicopter terrain and warning system (HTAWS) technology and radar altimeters.

Honeywell’s Sky Connect tracking system offers FDM solutions for every operator, and since 2013 MASCO has partnered with the tech giant to be its service center for the system.

According to MASCO, a large air medical operator chose the system not just because it felt this is the best system, but also because of who Honeywell has partnered with: MASCO for service support, Truth Data for analytics, and Troo Corporation for mapping. The operator said the key to making it work is Honeywell and its partners’ ability to listen and provide changes to meet each operator’s requirements.

MASCO is proud to support the Sky Connect tracking system. It is a complete system that helps operators actively manage their fleets, and the industry’s only complete tracking and communications solution with features and benefits not found elsewhere.

A key feature is the ability to talk and text. Designed for crews with a busy workload, the Sky Connect system easily accommodates any operational scenario with its talk and text capabilities. Sky Connect text messaging provides the easiest and quickest way for pilots and dispatchers to communicate simple messages to one another.

Among other features, the Sky Connect tracking system enables any equipped aircraft in the world to be tracked in real time via the Iridium satellite network. The lightweight transceiver line replaceable unit (LRU) sends encrypted GPS-based position reports at automated intervals to authorized control centers using secure data protocols. The Sky Connect Map web-based software displays the aircraft location, GPS flight plan, crew status and weather overlays on topographical maps for full situational awareness.

Sky Connect Tracker III is the newest member of the Sky Connect Tracker family. This feature-rich, next-generation successor boasts exciting new capabilities and a built-in path for future upgrades. Tracker III also incorporates a flight data monitoring function. It provides a means of collecting data from on-board systems through various interfaces to record and communicate aircraft performance and potential maintenance needs. User-configurable alerts can be generated based on threshold exceedance. Alert messages are communicated to the ground operations center using the Iridium satellite network.

The system gives operators the ability to capture 64 different data parameters covering just about every aspect of flight, and download them quickly and conveniently. With the Tracker III flight data recording system, operators can keep an eye on a broad
range of parameters including airspeed, altitude, oil pressure, torque, fuel flow, and more, depending on the aircraft.

Real-time aircraft health status and maintenance alerts from the aircraft’s health and usage monitoring system (HUMS) can be transmitted using the Sky Connect network.

MASCO, vice president Clay Massey said the company is Honeywell’s “channel partner” and service center for Sky Connect.

“MASCO has been a family business since 1968 with a specific focus on the helicopter industry,” he said. “Our attention to detail, quality, reliable products, and the trust of our partner OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] and the operators in the MASCO name made it a natural fit for Honeywell to get out into that marketplace with a high degree of confidence. That’s why they chose us.”

Being a key service center, MASCO will be providing new systems, exchanges, repair, recertification, and sales as well as installation kits for Sky Connect.

“We supply all the hardware, the adaptors and everything needed to connect the system to the aircraft,” said Kevin Fraley, director of sales. “And each will be adaptable to the aircraft model.”

The supplemental type certificate (STC) list includes the Airbus H135, EC130/H130, AS350 B2, BK117 (H145), AS332; Bell 206B, 206L, 407, 212 and 412; Leonardo (formerly AgustaWestland) AW109, AW119, and AW139; and Sikorsky S-92 and S-76.

MASCO Service is well-positioned and experienced to be partnering with an industry-leading technology giant like Honeywell. It’s a natural match, as MASCO is a leader itself in aircraft instrument, avionics, and accessory service and support.

Helicopters are MASCO’s specialty, supporting North America’s largest fleets for more than 30 years. Founded on the premise of providing prompt, quality service with reliability and quality as its focus, MASCO has become the standard against which other instrument and accessory repair centers are measured. Operators trust MASCO to achieve long-term success by providing products and services that increase reliability and decrease unscheduled removals by partnering with the industry leaders.

The company operates two FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved repair stations located at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas, and Lafayette Regional Airport, Louisiana, with in-house capability to perform hands-on maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and recertification of instruments, accessories, and avionics.

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