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If you own and operate a small piston single aircraft that you use purely for your own enjoyment, you probably only maintain a notebook to keep track of the last time that you changed the engine oil, changed brake pads, had the last annual inspection done, when the last altimeter and transponder check was carried out, even maybe when you did your last VOT check, the date of your last bi-annual flight review or even the date of your last medical. This tracking system keeps you and your aircraft operations in-compliance and it is also pretty portable, since it will fit in your shirts breast pocket. Now consider if you own and operate a 60,000 lb multi-engine turbo-fan, jet aircraft in aircraft charter operations and it is necessary for you to track almost 2,000 individual inspection, maintenance and overhaul items that all have different compliance times and/or dates that must be tracked. This is obviously to ensure that you and your aircraft stay in full compliance. I think that you can now imagine that your simple breast pocket size notebook just got a whole lot bigger!
In the early days of jet operations; meaning: pre personal computers or laptops. A jet aircraft operator had to employ a pretty complex system of 3 x 5 index cards, a schedule book and a schedule board. Chances were that several people were employed purely to keep this inspection, maintenance and overhaul tracking system accurate and up-to-date. Unfortunately portability was not even an option and if you wanted to sub out some of the necessary inspection and maintenance items to another company, you would have to generate the workscope list of due items that you wished to have quoted and worked. There was really no way for you to invite the third party maintenance shop personnel to come in and go through your records to determine this for themselves thus saving you from this chore, without a major ruckus occurring in your office. Fortunately in the mid 1960s, while a single IBM computer took up entire room on its own, Mr. Daniel J. Ryan, an employee in the Service Department at Grumman, conceived of, and introduced a computerized maintenance program for the then new Gulfstream II corporate jet. Shortly thereafter, in 1967, he and three co-workers left the aerospace giant to found a new company called ‘Computerized Aircraft Maintenance Programs' shortened to ‘CAMP.' The purpose of this new company was to bring Computerized Aircraft Maintenance Programs to the business aviation industry at large. This founding team developed similar programs for a variety of other business and commercial aircraft, quickly establishing CAMP as the world leader in Computerized Aircraft Maintenance Tracking. CAMP now offers programs and derivatives for over 3100 aircraft of 116 models and variants built by 17 airframe manufacturers. The core CAMP program has evolved from a basic offering of aircraft status, maintenance due, and history reporting to one that now includes such sophisticated features like operations inspections, inconsistent and insufficient information reports, and task cross-referencing to maintenance source documents. In 1986 CAMP pioneered an on-line through dial-up, fully functional, real time access to its central maintenance database with the introduction of ‘CSI-LINK.'
This original dial-up only, network access has now evolved into a fully web-enabled system that allows CAMP users to now have global access to all of their aircraft information, anywhere and anytime, with no special software required. This is obviously a ‘far cry' from the original index card and schedule book system that had to be employed, before any CAMP System came into existence.
So how does the CAMP System work?
First you send copies or images of all of your logbook pages to CAMP either in Ronkonkoma, New York or in Saint Denis La Plaine, France. A CAMP analyst will be assigned to you and your aircraft and once the current ‘snapshot' of your aircraft status is entered into the CAMP System Mainframe and careful verification reference has been made to all of your logbook entries, your assigned analyst is now responsible for ensuring that your aircraft's maintenance program is managed correctly and that all maintenance transactions and reports are accurate and timely. Your CAMP analyst is tasked with conducting a monthly review of your aircraft's maintenance information with you, either over the phone and/or by email thus confirming for you that your aircraft's information is up-to-date and in full compliance. Fortunately for all of its existing and future users, CAMP conducts user seminars worldwide on an ongoing basis. These free seminars are designed to give first hand experience with new features and functionality of the CAMP system products. In addition, the seminars provide an opportunity for direct feedback between CAMP and its customers.
The CAMP Maintenance Management service includes a variety of reports that make the job of aircraft maintenance tracking and planning a whole lot easier. The primary reports include:
- Aircraft status
- Due List
- Aircraft History
- Work Cards (including procedural text and illustrations).
Additionally, there are a wide variety of forecasting and historical reports that cover many other information requirements. Every one of these reports are available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, on-line and can be obtained either by you, or any authorized (by you) maintenance facility or other authorized person. Furthermore, CAMP creates the primary reports for its users every month. These preprocessed reports are available on-line and in a printed version which can be mailed to your office, hangar or home. The majority of CAMP's aircraft owner/operator users follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance program. There are however, a wide range of users who require custom maintenance inspection programs for their aircraft for regulatory reasons (i.e. FAR Part 121 or Part 135 operators) or due to the size of their aircraft (i.e. Boeing family or Airbus family types of aircraft).
In addition to its standard services, CAMP also provides customized maintenance tracking and planning services which include:
- Based on your usage and needs, development of a customized inspection manual for your aircraft that can be used to obtain regulatory approval.
- Ongoing support of custom programs and manuals to allow the operator to keep current with revisions and advisories and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.
- Develop and manage a customized maintenance program and schedule based on the approved inspection manual.
- Provide input and support for your maintenance planning.
Aircraft document retention and management is vital to keeping your aircraft in regulatory compliance. In addition, aircraft resale value can be dramatically lowered if proper documentation is not readily available. The CAMP Maintenance Management service includes a wide variety of choices for integrated aircraft document management and archival. The following is a list of some of the aircraft documents that can be managed and archived through this CAMP application:
- The CAMP Electronic Logbook allows users to electronically archive all of the logbooks related to the users aircraft and more importantly browse and search them in a flexible way.
- Completed CAMP work cards are scanned and archived. Furthermore, they are linked to the respective maintenance tasks so that a work compliance form can be easily retrieved when researching a maintenance task's history.
- Images or videos of inspections (e.g. corrosion inspection) can be attached to the corresponding task for historical reference.
- Wiring diagrams for the aircraft can be attached to the aircraft or to individual maintenance tasks.
- Part service tags can be attached to a component that will follow the component irrespective of the aircraft it is installed on.
- Any structural modification documents (i.e. FAA Form 337) can be attached to the aircraft as a part of its permanent record.
Logbooks are the most essential documents associated with your aircraft. They are critical for compliance, ongoing maintenance, and for resale purposes. However, there are severe limitations when logbooks are maintained only in their physical form. They can be easily lost or damaged, they are difficult to search and they are hard to distribute. CAMP offers an electronic logbook service that addresses the limitations of the physical logbooks. The CAMP Electronic Logbook is based on scanned images of all of your aircraft logbooks (airframe, engines, APU), fully indexing their contents, and making it accessible through the CAMP web-based Maintenance Management application. This type of Electronic Logbook provides you with the following advantages:
- Complete archival of your logbooks (in case of loss or damage to the physical logbooks) and anytime, anywhere access to them via the Internet.
- Full indexing of the logbook contents allows your maintenance technicians to be extremely efficient: they can search through all the pages of the logbooks by simply typing in what they are looking for, whether it is a date, hours/landings/cycles, a part number or serial number, an AD or SB, the name of a service center or a technician – anything that's typed or handwritten in the logbook.
- When the regulatory agencies want to inspect your aircraft's logbooks, you don't have to present the physical logbooks to them. You can simply grant them access to the CAMP Electronic Logbook.
- When you wish to sell your aircraft, you can easily allow buyers to review your logbook by simply granting them time-controlled access to your aircraft.
- Most importantly, indexing the contents of the logbooks, allows your aircraft's maintenance records to be cross-linked with its logbooks so that they are in synchrony.
Additionally CAMP has developed an Inventory Management System which is designed to increase the efficiency and streamline the process of ‘cradle-to-grave' parts management. This system can be used by any size facility, from one with a single stockroom to one with a global inventory distributed across multiple, geographically diverse locations. The CAMP Inventory Management System is offered as a hosted, web-based application that allows users universal access to their inventory system without the need for any special software. Issues covered by this system include:
- A hierarchical and customizable parts catalog for rotables, consumables, expendables, and tools.
- Powerful physical inventory management with tracking across multiple stock owners / locations and tools for managing optimal stocking levels.
- Complete parts procurement process that includes requisitions, purchase orders, and receipts.
- Comprehensive parts information tracking that includes warranty management, management of cores and loaners, and shipping.
- Information console for providing a quick view into the state of your physical inventory.
- A full selection of reports that allows the user to get different views into the state of the inventory – inventory status reports, order management reports, stock valuation reports, and historical reports.
- Full integration with CAMP Maintenance for requisitions and returns of parts, tools, and consumables.
Finally, CAMP has developed a very comprehensive Flight Scheduling system which again is available as a hosted, web-based application that allows authorized persons from your flight department access to the application from anywhere in the world. Users may also choose to install the application on their corporate intranet. The CAMP Flight Scheduling program includes:
- Comprehensive trip management that includes building trips, passenger manifests, assigning crew, and managing logistic details.
- The ability to manage crew qualifications, schedules, and assignments.
- Detailed airport atlas with extensive customization capabilities.
- Contact/passenger information and preferences management.
- Customizable trip billing.
- Extensible reporting module based on Crystal Reports.
- Integration with CAMP Maintenance Management to post aircraft utilization information and to view maintenance events to assist in flight planning.
I am certain that you will agree that these are an extremely impressive array of Tracking System products that have all been spawned from the imagination of people who were actively working with the index card and schedule book system in the 1960s.
My story about this company does not quite end here because as you know, the GlobalAir site was founded upon the goal of becoming the leading ‘Aircraft for Sale' advertising site. Like CAMP, the GlobalAir site has metamorphosised itself into something that is much, much more.
In 2003 CAMP acquired the New Jersey based, AMSTAT Corporation (www.amstatcorp.com), a provider of market intelligence for business aviation. This expanded CAMP's aviation information product range and has allowed CAMP and AMSTAT to offer new and valuable information services to their users through the integration of their respective knowledge bases and systems.
Primarily the best new program, in my opinion, that has resulted from this recent acquisition is the CAMP ‘Broker Program.' This unique and progressive program gives business aircraft brokers the ability to enroll and maintain aircraft on CAMP at no charge for the period of time that the aircraft is listed for sale. This new program's highlights include:
- Free logbook review and enrollment onto the CAMP maintenance tracking system.
- Free electronic access to work cards, status reports, due lists, and other key reports.
- Free electronic logbook which saves time and travel for logbook review by prospective purchasers.
- A Maximized resale value by allowing the aircraft to be advertised as "aircraft is On CAMP."
In order to qualify, the aircraft must be on an exclusive listing and must not have been active on CAMP within the last 6 months. For further information about the Broker Program or CAMP in general, I suggest that you call Ms. Lynn Sosnowski who is the Sales Representative for CAMP Systems International's Broker Program. Lynn was previously a broker liaison for nine years with the AMSTAT Corporation. Lynn has extensive experience and knowledge of the pre-owned aircraft marketplace, and therefore she was chosen to head this new program up for CAMP.
- So what Maintenance Tracking Systems do you employ in your own flight operations?
- Have you had any experience with CAMP or any other system?
- Do you remember the days of the index cards, schedule books and schedule boards?
- Any input that you care to make will be of great interest to all of the readers here at Globalair.com. So please don't be bashful and go ahead and write your comments and suggestions here.