Connecting the Rotorcraft Industry Through Flight Data

Flight Data Systems is a longstanding member of Helicopter Association International (HAI), which provides support and services with industry guidelines for the international helicopter community.

As an active member, Flight Data System participates in HAI events throughout the year, including HAI HELI-EXPO. This event offers a valuable opportunity for our team to network and connect with our various rotor-wing partners, worldwide.

In 2021, HAI made the difficult decision to cancel HAI HELI-EXPO 2021, which was initially scheduled for late March in New Orleans. Flight Data Systems looks forward to connecting with all our rotorcraft industry partners again at HAI HELI-EXPO 2022, scheduled for next March in Dallas, Texas.

At HAI's 2020 HELI-EXPO, the SENTRY recorder platform made one of its initial debuts to international rotorcraft operators. HELI-EXPO delivered an ideal platform for our partners to interact with the new SENTRY family, including the TSO-approved Flight Data Recorder, Cockpit Voice Recorder, and the combined Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder (CVFDR).

HAI's events enable us to showcase our flight data ecosystem and provides operators with a glimpse of the latest tools for maximizing their fleet management capabilities. Connecting with our support team at HAI events also facilitates opportunities for one-on-one support and recommendations on our existing product line.

With organizations such as HAI, Flight Data Systems can refine its products and services to align with today's global rotorcraft industry's needs. We are looking forward to meeting all our HAI connections again in 2022.

Learn more about HAI at

Are You Aware of the New Mexican Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder Mandates?

Mandates for flight data recording technologies, including Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) and Flight Data Recorders (FDR), are being integrated across international air space to provide fast and secure data collection capabilities from an aircraft for flight investigations and fleet management. 

Amongst the latest to impose new regulations for CVR and FDR recorders is Mexico. The Civil Aviation Federal Agency is enforcing changes over the next year. From Dec. 31, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2022, aircraft are to be equipped with CVR and FDR systems – based on the number of aircraft within an operator’s fleet. These rules apply to fixed-wing aircraft with ten or more passengers and large helicopters flying into Mexican airspace under an international air operator certificate. 

While strict CVR and FDR regulations are blanketing the international air space, recording devices are also evolving to allow impressive data capturing capabilities for more operational applications. 

Two Solutions to the Mexican Mandate

In 2020, Flight Data Systems unveiled the latest TSO’d, DO-160G qualified and fully EUROCAE ED-112 compliant SENTRY (FDR/CVR/CVFDR) recorder, as the world’s smallest, lightest, and lowest power ED-112A compliant flight recorder ever manufactured. The SENTRY’s initial design was for a very small aircraft, and the unit was strictly configured around the principle of reduced Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP), at just 4.7 lb (2.1kg) with a power consumption of 4 W (less than half that of many competitor’s CVR or FDR devices). 

To design the SENTRY, Flight Data Systems worked with both civil and military operators to develop this robust, all-encompassing unit that delivers the best future-proof features to ensure the system’s quality, with extensive consideration for the size constraints often found in the retrofit market. Its final configuration was designed from various elements of existing recorders on the market, with special consideration to future needs. In the end, the system produced was an obsolescence-free, crash survivable package with the lowest SWaP for ED-112A compliant recorders.

For operators opting to keep their current CVRs or FDRs, Flight Data Systems Modular Acquisition Unit (MAU) allows multiple aircraft sensor feeds to be harmonized into one data feed. This system will support a wide range of signal input types, including, ARINC 429, analog inputs such as synchro, frequency / tachometer, and discretes. The MAU’s stackable footprint provides operators with the ability to install in a wide variety of aircraft, including fixed-wing, rotor-wing, and UAV.

The SENTRY and MAU provide customizable solutions for operators of all aircraft types and the option to conform to international regulations with an end-to-end solution that stores all flight information securely and reliably in a single form factor. To learn more about the SENTRY and to download its brochure, visit

Interested in learning more? Contact us:

Shayne Boswell: Taking Flight Data to New Heights

With over 35 years of experience in the aviation industry, Flight Data Systems’ Services Manager Shayne Boswell delivers a wealth of knowledge to our valued partners. With an extensive aerospace background, Shayne supports various industry segments and global partnerships with expert care.

His unique avionic insights provide a solid base for our success by delivering solutions that drive ROI and isolate our customers’ maintenance issues. He also supports an expansive list of operator readout services for our global aviation partners. According to Boswell, his interest in aerospace began at an early age, and avionics continue to provide him with intense fascination in his career today.

How were you introduced to your career?

My family had a connection with aviation and living next to Heathrow (Airport). I was always going to work with my father. I spent a lot of time in and around B747 freighters.

What is your favourite FDS technology/product/service?

My favorite technology is the Handheld Multipurpose Interface (HHMPI). It is an exceptional tool for optimizing fleet management.

What do you do today within your role?

I am the global Flight Data Services manager – this ranges from readouts to Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) for both civilian and military customers. The role involves the day-to-day running of the Readout and FDM department, general project management, and ensuring the team is on track and providing a good service in a timely manner.

What do you like most about Flight Data Systems?

This is a multinational business that has retained a close-knit culture, synonymous with family-owned businesses. It is a very close family-type business with a wide range of products and services supporting most aircraft operators’ end-to-end solutions. This allows all employees opportunity to be involved in all areas of the business.

What’s the most challenging and most memorable project that you’ve worked on?

There are two major projects that I can say have been challenging; one is the recent migration of the Australian Defence Force’s Flight Data Monitoring program to a new application. With potentially 400 aircraft, forward planning was key, requiring some effort and project management. The second is the joint design of new and improved flight data decompression and replay tool between Flight Data Systems and our sister companies. This software will allow SAFR Readouts to replace the older STARS software and give the Readout and FDM departments more options internally where STARS could not.

What advice do you have for others looking to join the aerospace sector and fill a similar role to yours?

My advice would be to gain as much experience as you can. This role requires a lot of aircraft knowledge from avionics right through to performance.

What do you do for fun?

A fun time is family time! However, when I am not spending time with the family, I’ll be watching soccer.

What book/podcast/television show are you reading/listening to/watching right now?

Basically, any sport that involves a ball is on my watchlist.

The Flight Data Systems Ecosystem

Flight Data Systems, based in Melbourne, Australia, has over three decades of flight data expertise. Today, Flight Data Systems is a 360-degree end-to-end flight data solutions provider, offering a full spectrum of products and solutions.

In 2004, Flight Data Systems began designing analysis software and signal conditioning technologies, which progressed to ground support equipment, quick access recorders (QAR), and flight data acquisition units. In 2019, the company released the SENTRY, a SWaP-optimized cockpit voice and flight data recorder designed with modern Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology utilized without a processor.

After years of development, Flight Data Systems has developed a true ecosystem of flight data solutions to help operators transform raw data into impactful and insightful information to optimize their fleet management.


Flight Data Systems’ small and lightweight Modular Acquisition Units (MAUs) and Remote Data Concentrators (RDCs) allow for data collection at the source. These units support a wide range of digital and analog signals including ARINC 429, synchros, frequency/tachometer, and discretes. Capable of up to 24 channels per expansion module, operators can streamline data collection through these unique devices to reduce aircraft wiring. In addition, these data acquisition units also provide cost-effective mechanisms to increase parameter collection for legacy flight data recorders with limited input capabilities.

The small and lightweight units allow operators to install the modules in numerous aircraft types including fixed-wing, rotorcraft, and unmanned aviation systems. In addition, the units can be expanded to include features such as ELT and QAR functionality. Used to reduce wiring, operators can streamline all data into one feed for easy read-write capabilities on all flight data recorder platforms.

Flight Data Storage

In 2019, the SENTRY Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorder (CVFDR) was unveiled as the lightest, smallest, lowest power FDR and CVR platform available on the market. The robust, crash survivable ED-112A unit was designed to meet compliance requirements including datalink (CPDLC) recording and battery backup (RIPS), providing aircraft operators an upgrade path from legacy recorders to allow for increased inputs and parameter recordings. It received the official Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Technical Standard Order (TSO) in November of 2019 and remains one of the most innovative solutions in the marketplace.

The SENTRY’s unique architecture and size sets it apart from other flight data recorders. The unit weighs a remarkably low 4.7 lbs (2.1 kg) and consumes less than half the power of other units available to date. The SENTRY is ideal for all aviation platforms, including military, fixed-wing, rotor-wing, and UAV aircraft. It also provides expansion capabilities and offers both digital and analog interfaces. Available in FDR, CVR, and CVFDR configurations, the SENTRY provides superior flexibility for capturing data and utilizes software-free Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) architecture to reduce setup costs. When designing the SENTRY, Flight Data Systems captured the variables that would ensure the CVFDR unit would remain a cost effective, future-proof option for operators looking to upgrade their onboard systems to modern regulatory standards.


The Handheld Multipurpose Interface (HHMPI) device is one of the most successful Flight Data System products. An immensely powerful tool for ground support crews, the HHMPI has become synonymous with ground support equipment and is approved by Airbus. The HHMPI supports the most advanced data offloading abilities from any aircraft. It streamlines and simplifies flight data offloading in one seamless unit and connects directly to various leading FDR brands. It can also support multiple memory devices in various data storage formats, providing data transfer flexibility for the heightened demands of commercial airlines, Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), and military operations.

The HHMPI’s flexible data capturing capabilities are invaluable for operations involving expansive fleets with a complex variety of data recorders. It has been designed to connect to a wide variety of FDRs and CVRs from manufacturers including L3, Honeywell, Universal, and the SENTRY model to simplify the data offloading process. It also provides networking options with other HHMPI units to ensure fleet-wide consistency of FDR data downloading and management, and is now a world-leading flight data recorder download tool.


Flight Data Systems provides industry-leading readout services for Flight Data Monitoring and Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) programs. SAFR readouts of flight recorder data allow operators to maintain reliable maintenance records and to comply with leading regulatory authorities by offering secure reports and documentation.

Flight Data Systems offers support to fixed and rotor-wing operators to identify maintenance trends, safety concerns, establish benchmarks against international databases, and provide proactive tools to minimize Aircraft on Ground (AOG) times. Our in-house team of aviation specialists has decades of experience in flight safety and delivers the highest quality support.

Complete Ecosystem

After three decades of innovation, the entire Flight Data Systems’ ecosystem provides operators with end-to-end flight data solutions. As a multinational organization, we are proud to support militaries, commercial airlines, and business jet operators with best-in-class solutions to maximize operational efficiencies, safety, and business ROI.

Are you interested in learning more? Contact us.

Top 5 Downloading Perks of the HHMPI

The Handheld Multipurpose Interface (HHMPI) is one of Flight Data Systems’ best selling technologies. For ground support crew, it is the signature device for downloading data from an aircraft’s Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and audio from a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR). From Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, OEMs, to military and business fleet managers, and a variety of ground support crews, the HHMPI is the “go to” all in one device for downloading flight data from an aircraft’s flight data recorder or an entire fleet.

While its flexibility is invaluable for operations with expansive fleets with a complex variety of systems, here is a list of the best features that provide invaluable downloading support for operators.

1. Interface Options

Managing aircraft flight data from a variety of applications can be a daunting task. However, the HHMPI is designed to simplify downloading and connect seamlessly to various FDR and CVR systems. The HHMPI enables swift downloading from the most popular FDRs and CVRs, including L3, Honeywell, Universal and Flight Data Systems’ signature SENTRY model.

2. Network Connectivity 

The HHMPI can be configured to automatically upload flight data to a secure FTP server upon connection to an Ethernet network. For added convenience the HHMPI can support wireless data transfer with a Wi-Fi adapter. The HHMPI can also be configured remotely with a web browser over a secure HTTPS connection.

3. Multiple Data Transfer Options

Transferring data to a ground station can easily be configured to either Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SD Card, USB Flash Drive, Compact Flash and PC Cards. Depending on the connected recorder, the HHMPI can support a variety of different FDR, CVR and DLR download options, including “Download All,” “Download Since Last,” “Download Memory Mark,” and “Download Time.” These options allow operators to save time by only downloading the data they need.

4. Fleet Networking

To streamline its downloading capabilities to ground stations, the HHMPI conveniently interfaces with most CVRs and FDRs, including legacy recorders. The HHMPI stores aircraft fleet data, allowing operators to select specific tail numbers for downloading. This option enables operators the ability to isolate and monitor data from each aircraft.

5. Power Docking Cradle

After downloading data from an aircraft, the FDS40-0373 docking cradle provides the ability to transfer the data over Ethernet while charging the HHMPI unit. For operators, this charging and data offloading option provides rapid data collection and battery support through the docking station, optimizing turnaround time for an aircraft.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team:

Celebrating Women of Aviation Week with Jennifer Weiss

Women of Aviation Week is about celebrating women’s accomplishments in aviation and inspiring others to construct the industry’s future. As we highlight the women that are our aerospace leaders, Flight Data Systems is proud to encourage more women to join the industry. Women deliver energy to the industry that facilitates equality and innovation, and Flight Data Systems is honored to provide an environment that encourages women to become industry leaders. Because of this, we would like to highlight the talented faces behind our team.

What brought you to work in aviation? 

I saw a Honeywell job posting on the weather channel. I was an aerospace engineer in a master's program wanting to get on the space shuttle.

What positive trait(s) do you feel women bring to the industry? 

I believe women bring estrogen or lack of testosterone. Women work more together to solve a problem rather than against one another as in a competition.

What would tell young females interested in joining the industry? 

Follow your dreams, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn to be better.

Do you have a female mentor or idol in the aviation industry? If so, how have they inspired you? 

Yes. I have a mentor, and she is so logical in her approach and helps me overcome my emotional bias.

Do you have any inspiring lessons that you have learned about life while working in the aviation industry? 

Oh yes! Working in the flight recorder industry with accident investigators and regulators helps me feel this work is important for safe travel. The janitor had once told me I did great things!

What's your favorite thing about the industry? 

I love seeing things from above.

To learn more about Women of Aviation Week, visit

Celebrating Women of Aviation Week with Rihana Mohammed

Women of Aviation Week is about celebrating women’s accomplishments in aviation and inspiring others to construct the industry’s future. As we highlight the women that are our aerospace leaders, Flight Data Systems is proud to encourage more women to join the industry. Women deliver energy to the industry that facilitates equality and innovation, and Flight Data Systems is honored to provide an environment that encourages women to become industry leaders. Because of this, we would like to highlight the talented faces behind our team.

What brought you to work in aviation?

I was qualified for this job because I had previous job experience and qualifications that matched up with the job requirements. And secondly, I joined Aviation Industry because I wished to be part of a bigger picture. Aviation Industry is a niche industry, and it is a matter of pride to be part of the Aviation industry where the sky is the limit.

What positive trait(s) do you feel women bring to the industry?

Women are perfect planners since they have great organizational and multitasking abilities. Women are forward thinkers, and they always have a game plan. This point is a positive trait. They can spot a crisis before it happens and stop potential problems; it allows women to bring symbiosis to the workplace, leading to a peaceful, fun, and productive workplace. Women are also very patient compared to men. This ability to withhold anger and frustration makes them key players in communicating with clients. This character trait is another great asset to have in the sales department when we communicate with people from different parts of the world with different cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. The other most valued trait women bring to the Aviation industry is their organizational skills. 

What would tell young females interested in joining the industry?

I would tell young females to have the right attitude and never give up on their dreams. I would explain to them to be confident and to accept all challenges. It is a fascinating and ever-changing industry. The nature of aerospace and aviation is always moving, always changing, and always improving. The sky is the limit, just spread your wings and fly up and high. Take pride and enjoy being part of the most booming industry.

Do you have a female mentor or idol in the aviation industry?

I recently read a biography on Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena, an Indian Air Force (IAF) Officer, and former helicopter pilot. She is an inspiring woman who deeply felt and fiercely loved her job. She faced many obstacles and challenges daily in a male-dominated sector, yet every day. She continued with the same determination and willpower to make a difference and excel. She fell, but she did not fail. She learned and got up every day. Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena was the first Indian Air Force woman officer who made history during the Kargil War in 1999. As the first Indian flying officer, she flew Cheetah Aircraft into the combat zone and rescued several soldiers. "Never give up on your dreams."

Do you have any inspiring lessons that you have learned about life while working in the aviation industry?

1. Never stop learning - education is the key to many things in life. 

2. Work hard in life to achieve your dream goals - there is no substitute for hard work. 

3. Never fear changes - if you are afraid of the future, you will be afraid to make changes. If you embrace the future, you will take action to achieve your dreams. As the saying goes, " the future is still much bigger than the past." 

4. When you love your work, you will enjoy doing it.

What's your favorite thing about the industry?

I enjoy connecting with people globally.

To learn more about Women of Aviation Week, visit