Gone are the days of maintenance tracking at the desktop and printing papers, thanks to apps keeping things handy
Keeping track of the maintenance paperwork for an aircraft can be a royal pain, even if you are the proud owner of a Cessna 172. Increase your record keeping responsibilities to include a fleet of Part 135 business aircraft and you just went from a headache to a migraine to a cluster headache, all in record time! But it doesn’t have to stay that way!
I will never forget how happy I was when my boss hired a full-time maintenance person. What a relief! That was when we were converting our maintenance paperwork from pen and paper to electronic everything. Our new mechanic had the unpleasant task of establishing a monitoring system, recording, writing up discrepancies, and releasing repairs for our fleet. But what a thrill when it was all done!
Our mechanic spent hours in front of a desktop computer, then along came the iPad, and eventually the smartphone, and the game changed again. Maintenance tracking software became available on mobile apps; they were ok, but maybe not great. Until now. Traxxall was available as a mobile app in the past, but the user experience and functionality were not quite the same as it was on the desktop. Last year, they decided to make some changes and redesigned the app to replicate the desktop experience better. Their users have been rapidly transitioning to the new app ever since.
I’m pretty sure that most pilots and mechanics want everything on their iPads and smartphones, but they don’t always want to feel like they’re on their iPads and smartphones. To help this feeling, Traxxall added new features and now they find that most people go straight to the app and don’t even use the old platform anymore. But here’s where it gets cool – the app allows for maintenance signatures, so there is no need to print out and sign documents anymore!
Of course, the option to print a document is always available, just in case someone wants to continue with the paper logbook, but it is no longer a necessity. Users can save the document in PDF format for emailing or storing. There is also a brand new checklist function, which allows mechanics or owners to create a checklist template, including a signature requirement to confirm compliance. When the checklist is complete, it is stored in the app’s document section, providing a clear history and audit trail should it ever be needed.
Mechanics also have access to a new inventory module, allowing them to view expiration information, minimum thresholds and reordering, parts availability, and technician requests. It’s amazing!
The current target market for the Traxxall app is midsize to large business jets and helicopters, but they are expanding to include repair stations. They will be specifically looking to help smaller maintenance shops and Part 135 charter operators. There are even more developments in progress and it seems like this app will continue to improve, making life easier for all of us. I can’t wait to give it a try!