Pilot of a Bell 429 chooses Blue Sky Network for Satellite Tracking
Blue Sky Network strives to deliver advanced tracking solutions using reliable Iridium satellite network and cutting-edge technology hardware and software. Blue Sky Network’s HawkEye Portable Tracker (HEPT) offers an extensive array of alerts, two-way messaging, and position reporting and communication options. Here is what one of Blue Sky Network’s satisfied customers, Chris Hughes, is saying:
1) How did you use Blue Sky Network’s products in your operations? Which product did you use?
As the pilot of a Bell 429 operated by a large coal mining company, the helicopter supported a mission to fly executives to mines on a daily basis to review each mine’s progress. Typically, we took off at 7am five days a week and visited three or four mines in a day, arriving home around 5pm. While at each location, local management used the helicopter for aerial survey of their property. Our Blue Sky Network product was the Hawk Eye Personal Tracker.
2) Did BSN products solve any obstacles or problems that you were having in your operations? How so?
The top management of the world’s second largest coal company would ride the helicopter into the mountainous terrain of Appalachia where there was little to no VHF or cellular reception. This meant that during the flights, no one knew of the aircraft’s location or condition of the key management executives. The HEPT solved this problem by allowing the Helicopter Dispatcher to monitor our exact real-time position. Rapidly changing weather conditions in the mountains resulted in unplanned landings at sites unknown to any other company personal. With the HEPT, the Dispatcher could pinpoint our location and even communicate with the helicopter to confirm status and amended plans.
3) Why did you choose Blue Sky Network over other options?
We selected the Blue Sky Network HEPT after researching similar available products for cost, capability and reliability. Purchase price was low. Monthly service cost was adjustable to suit our needs. The extensive communication capability was a plus beyond the tracking function. On the very rare occasion we needed to talk to Blue Sky Network, knowledgeable people were immediately available.
4) What do you think are the benefits of using these systems in aviation operations?
Safety was paramount. Should an unplanned landing occur that put passengers or crew at risk, or in need, help could be dispatched immediately. Secondarily, en-route changes could be tracked and the proper ground personal notified of these changes. Better coordination and utilization of the aircraft resulted from company personnel regularly communicating with the Dispatcher for updated helicopter position and schedule.
5) What features do you like or use the most?
The HEPT best suited our operation. Purchase price was low. Portability was useful. Communication was critical. At first, our executives did not like the idea of someone watching where they were going. However, quickly they appreciated the fact that they were being protected at all times.
6) How do you feel about Blue Sky Network customer service and support?
Customer service and support were relatively unknown at the time we decided to use Blue Sky Network. Only limited customer feedback was available at that time. However, in talking with Blue Sky representatives, they had all of the right answers to our questions. As it turned out, the service and support were excellent.
7) Would you recommend our products? If so, why?
I would highly recommend Blue Sky Network. Other helicopter operations in Appalachia were using different tracking products and most were not satisfied with the overall results. It was a good decision for us. All company personal from the CEO to the pilot were happy with the decision to use Blue Sky Network.
Erickson Air-Crane Utilizes Satellite Tracking Tools for Aerial Firefighting
“Pilots of firefighting aircraft have a challenging job, but being equipped with Blue Sky Network’s D1000 gives us peace of mind…” said Erickson Air-Crane Chief Pilot Dave Barnett.
Erickson Air-Crane, a leading global provider of aerial cargo and firefighting services, has chosen Blue Sky Network as its solution provider for Satellite tracking and communications. Outfitting its heavy-lift air cranes with Blue Sky Network’s D1000 (an AFF-compliant Iridium Satellite Tracker), Erickson is able to effectively communicate, coordinate and plan fire fighting operations for improved situation awareness, overall safety and coordination, helping to ensure that fires are extinguished as efficiently and as quickly as possible.
Polar First Attempts Record-Setting Helicopter Flight
“Considering the inherent danger…it is a relief to know we can rely on the Blue Sky Network flight tracker to keep us in contact with our crew on the ground at all times, no matter where we are.” said pilot Jennifer Murray.
With the Blue Sky Network onboard, Polar First helicopter expedition teams continue to set records of circumnavigating the globe by way of the poles. Notably, in 2003, during their 1st and near tragic attempt which ending in a crash, Bly Sky Network’s D1000 GPS enabled flight tracking telemetry system was the single crucial component of the voyage which immediately directed emergency crews to the crash location, a safety net with undoubtedly ended up saving lives.
Lindbergh Flight Reenactment to Use Blue Sky Network Equipment; New Spirit of St. Louis Equipped With BlueSkyLink Satellite Communications
“Blue Sky Network equipment was absolutely central to the success of the New Spirit of St. Louis flight.” said Erik Lindbergh.
Bly Sky Network state of the art satellite system accompanied Erik Lindbergh (grandson of Charles Lindbergh) on the recreation of his grandfather voyage from New York to Paris on the 75th anniversary of this history trip. Erik flew a Lancair Columbia 300 across the U.S. and the Atlantic with Blue Sky Network equipment installed in the New Spirit of St. Louis aircraft and he underlined the importance of the satellite communications system enabling him to stay in continual communications with the world through the Blue Sky Network and the Iridium satellite system.
Blue Sky Network Tracking and Satellite Communication Solutions Used During Hurricane Katrina Emergencies
“As a captain with the Sulphur Fire Department in Louisiana, I can attest first-hand to the power of Iridium’s mobile satellite communications service [provided via Blue Sky Network] in a large scale disaster.” said Captain Brandon Blalock
During the Katrina emergency, Blue Sky Network technology was key in providing crucial tracking and email capabilities to the Sulphur Fire Department’s rescue efforts. With truck mounted Blue Sky Network D1000 tracking and messaging units, emergency planners and organizers were able to communicate and coordinate their efforts through Iridium satellite services when most other communications channels were non-operative. This communication life-line not only saved lives but was essential in providing telemetry data during post-incident analysis by government officials.
Blue Sky Network Is Proud to Be a Part of the First Non-Stop Solo Round-the-World Record Attempt
In early 2004, Blue Sky Network teamed up with Steve Fossett and the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer team to provide global flight tracking, engine monitoring and 2-way email messaging for the first every solo, non-stop flight around the globe. The Global Flyer was equipped with a Blue Sky Network D1000 and a portable Iridium phone. Steve was using Blue Sky Network’s D1000 for tracking, email messaging and telemetry requirements and a 9505A phone for voice communications.
Open Passage Expedition
The mission of Open Passage Expedition is to draw awareness to global warming issues and the impact as warmer temperatures. Blue Sky Network is proud to contribute to the effort by equipping the 40-foot sailing vessel with a D2000 GPS tracking and communications solution and an Iridium 9555 satellite phone for its voyage through Canada’s Northwest Passage.