Based in Blackpool, England, HeliSpeed has been operating its HeliTrax system for the past three years to provide helicopter operators with an effective platform to fulfill their flexible pilot staffing needs.
With more than 550 pilots in 56 different countries (all vetted and approved), HeliSpeed uses the HeliTrax system to locate the pilot closest to a requested job. The supplied pilot will have the correct mission profile experience and type rating, eliminating the need for the customer to search for the right pilot.
“A customer can log on [to the HeliTrax system] from anywhere in the world and request a pilot for a day, or however long their requirement is for, on practically every helicopter platform and any mission profile they need,” said Geoff Packer, CEO of HeliSpeed.
“The approved pilot will be allocated for the required period of time, and then they will depart.”
The HeliTrax system is a simple solution for operators who have reduced their pilot pool down to a minimum to avoid overstaffing, but are in need of more flexibility in their pilot supply when a temporary or new short-term contract arises.
But when taking care of customers, HeliSpeed goes beyond supplying pilots.
“[For example], when performing a ferry flight for a customer we support all aspects and logistics: sourcing the fuel, landing fees and clearances, handling agents, and of course, the supply of the pilot–a turnkey solution,” said Packer.
With convenience at the forefront, the HeliTrax system allows pilots to track and record everything from the beginning to the end of a job, including the fuel burned, the routing, when the aircraft took off, when it landed, and if there were any defects while performing the flight.
All the information is uploaded to the cloud, which allows the customer to view it with a smart device.
“Every single person that’s involved in the job will be able to view all relevant information in real time,” said Packer.
Honing the system
Roughly one year after the system launched, Larry Alexandre, former president of Heli-One and founder and managing partner of the aviation consulting firm Alexandre Dhanwant Associates, partnered with HeliSpeed to strengthen the business side of the system.
“[Larry] looks at it from a business perspective, and I look at it from a piloting perspective,” said Packer. “I know exactly the way the pilots work, and I know all the rules and regulations. We actually meet in the middle very well.”
Alexandre described the HeliTrax system as a two-pronged approach that supports helicopter operators by fulfilling their needs, while also supporting pilots by giving them opportunities to fly when off