The use of technology to manage systems and processes can be seen in all walks of life, no more so than in the high-tech industries of the modern world.
Few systems however can claim to having origins born from a childhood experience so significant it would shape the mind and resolve of a young boy destined to become an aircraft engineer.
Flightcert is such a system and this is its story...
At the age of 12 few Kiwi boys could resist the excitement of a helicopter ride,
so when a local agricultural helicopter company offered a young Jeff Shearer
a ride in their Hughes 269 helicopter he jumped at the chance.
A few minutes later Jeff would find himself suffering from concussion mere metres from the twisted wreckage of the helicopter having been thrown through the front canopy. The aircraft had impacted the ground when an engine failure had forced an attempted emergency landing in the rugged mountainous terrain of New Zealand.
Having been fortunate enough to survive the accident, Jeff not only walked away with painful reminder of the inherent dangers of aviation, but with a profound curiosity as to why the aircraft suffered this mechanical failure which could have so easily cut his life short.
This experience however never interfered with Jeff’s ambition to become a pilot and Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, by contrast it fuelled the desire to learn everything he could about the complexities of aircraft engineering. In later life, Jeff was able to investigate the accident and discovered that the engine failure of the Hughes 269 was not only preventable, measures had already been taken by the manufacturer and the Federal Aviation Authority to warn of a potential fault.
FAA Airworthiness Directive FAA AD 78-23-10 had been issued to operators identifying the need for an inspection and modification to the fuel delivery system. Unfortunately, as Jeff was to discover, this requirement had never been embodied on the helicopter which nearly ended his life. After qualifying as an engineer, Jeff’s career took him around the world maintaining aircraft ranging from larger Boeing 737s to a range of makes and models of helicopters.
The memory of his accident had instilled within him the importance of a systematic approach to the control and direction of maintenance activities to ensure no airworthiness requirements were overlooked. However the outdated and error-prone early systems he encountered were more of a source of hindrance than of help.
Determined to ensure that others were not subject to the same experience he had endured Jeff turned his attention to using technology to simplify the complex task of tracking and safely managing the many elements that go towards ensuring the airworthiness of modern aircraft.
The Helicopter crash that changed Jeff’s life.
Flightcert was founded in 2011, based around smart intuitive software and cloud-based technology with an emphasis on simplicity built on a foundation of traditional aircraft maintenance practices.
Backed by the expertise of an innovative software company Brush Technology Flightcert has grown from a handful of local users to over a thousand users world-wide, and continues to attract new customers.
Having provided a solution to securely manage and control aircraft maintenance requirements using smart technology, Flightcert is dedicated to meeting the challenges faced by operators and maintenance providers.
Jeff Shearer - Licensed Aircraft Engineer, Flightcert founder / CEO
Flightcert founder and CEO Jeff Shearer is currently the senior person responsible for the control and direction of maintenance for one of New Zealand's largest helicopter operators. When time permits, Jeff also provides technical support in investigating aircraft accidents for New Zealand's "Transport Accident Investigation Commission".
In the ever-increasing complexity of aircraft certification paperwork, Flightcert provides us the simple solution that
we need. The easy to use interface provides seamless data sharing between Pilots, Operators and Maintenance Providers
which enables everyone to have the information they need, when they need it. Real time Maintenance Status Reports give
us additional confidence during our Regulator audits
We proudly endorsed Flightcert and use it in all facets of the business.
- Mark Stagg Director / Argus Aviation
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