Bell Helicopter to Distribute NORTH Flight Data Systems Through Aeronautical Accessories Brand

FORT WORTH, TX (June 24, 2014)Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced it is now a distributor for NORTH Flight Data Systems’ (NORTH FDS) voice, video and flight data recorders, through Bell Helicopter’s Aeronautical AccessoriesTM brand. The flight data recording system allows Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) operators to meet the omnibus helicopter safety rule recently issued by the FAA.

The complete FDS has received an FAA supplemental type certificate (STC) for Bell 407 and Bell 407GX aircraft. The system includes a cockpit voice/video recorder (CV2R), quick access recorder (QAR), video camera, microphone, flight data recorder and software. The NORTH FDS system is the only fully integrated light weight CVR/FDR for single and light twin helicopters today.

“NORTH FDS’ product line is a perfect example of the type of value-added products distributed through Aeronautical Accessories,” said Jennifer Lunceford, manager of sales for Aeronautical Accessories. “NORTH FDS’ products not only improve the data recording capabilities of our Bell 407 fleet, but they provide a means for our HEMS customers to easily comply with the FAA’s new requirements.”

The full suite of NORTH FDS components includes a continuous recording loop featuring one video and six audio input sources through the CV2R  while the QAR provides a 16 GB SD card which can be removed for instant replay of audio and video. The video recorder’s camera assembly offers a variable focal lens to allow the customer to select their desired field of view, and an auto iris to allow consistent recording in either bright sunlight of even dark NVG cockpit conditions. The multi-function data acquisition unit (MFDAU) captures all engine and airframe data on either the new digital aircraft or the legacy fleet of analog ships.

In addition to the full complement of hardware, the NORTH FDS offers a Flight Analysis Safety Trend and Reporting System (FASTARS) — a complete software application to download, display and perform Flight Operation Quality Assurance (FOQA) analysis. Customers can create their unique set of operational events using any available parameters and quickly determine operational exceedances by phase of flight.

“We are focused on providing affordable voice, video and flight data recording equipment previously unavailable to light helicopter operators,” said Jeff Warner, president, NORTH FDS. “This new collaboration with Bell Helicopter allows us to reach a broader number of our mutual customers to ensure they have access to the same types of data and systems as operators of larger aircraft.”

The NORTH FDS system has also received FAA STC approval for Airbus Helicopters’ EC135, AS350B3 and EC130. For more information on the NORTH Flight Data System product line, please visit www.aero-access.com or call 800-251-7094 to speak with an Aeronautical Accessories representative.  

About NORTH Flight Data Systems, LLC

NORTH Flight Data Systems, LLC® (NORTH FDS) is dedicated to the design, manufacturing, integration and support of lightweight flight safety equipment and services. They work to provide best-in-class lightweight recorders for both fixed and rotary wing fleets worldwide.

About Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter, a wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical-lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tiltrotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit www.textron.com

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