Argus International is rolling out a customizable flight risk assessment tool (FRAT) called SafetyLinQ. Part of a full line of safety products that Argus has in the works in preparation for looming safety management system (SMS) mandates, SafetyLinQ can be tailored to fit the needs of fixed-wing, rotor-wing, unmanned, flight school, and other operators.
Considered as a key component of SMS, a FRAT is designed to help operators identify a risk profile as they plan flights and evaluate factors such as type of operation, environment, aircraft, crew training, and overall operating experience.
With SafetyLinQ, users can define the categories, questions, and scoring parameters of their own operations. The tool uses UFI+ (user-friendly interface) to simplify the ability to customize the categories, questions, and scoring. In addition, Safety LinQ provides for dual safety scoring, inter-application communication, role-based access, electronic signature, and third-party integration.
Dual safety scoring enables two levels of scoring and tracking. The user can look at a category or an entire report. The electronic-signature feature provides a means for gaining approvals at various FRAT scoring levels before departure. Using a dynamic portal, the tool can interface with scheduling software or flight planning software. It also can tie in weather information.
SafetyLinQ can highlight scores that exceed the user-set parameters and send out emails or text messages to notify chief pilots, top company executives, or whomever the user would like to see that information.
“The Argus team has done a great job building a tool that can be used by a student pilot through to a professional pilot—truly helping every aviator in identifying their risk before they fly, bringing additional safety to our industry,” said Argus senior v-p Mike McCready.
SafetyLinQ was designed to support all pilots from beginners to experienced ones and professionals, Argus said, stressing that complacency and not accurately assessing risks could hamper safety efforts.
McCready added that the FRAT tool is part of an overarching effort to develop products that focus on quality and “is the first of a host of safety solutions that are going to be coming from Argus as we get ready to support the industry with the SMS regulations coming out of the FAA.”
Further, he said, Argus is hoping SafetyLinQ will reach operators that haven’t typically used risk-assessments tools, such as drone operators. “We’re hoping to really educate that part of the industry on what it means to be proactive in safety,” he added.
In addition, Argus is looking at the tool as a “starter” for operations such as flight schools that are training pilots who may be moving up into the professional ranks and will one day have to incorporate a full-blown SMS program, McCready noted.