Just Good News.biz : January 13, 2014
While Silicon Valley may get much of the startup publicity, thanks to one Maine startup, the Pine Tree State is landing on the map at airports all across the country. >>> Read Full Article
Sanford Regional EGC: January 2, 2014
Did you know that when you count the total number of take-offs and landings, Sanford’s airport is actually the busiest in Maine?
The City recently approved an investment in a cutting-edge new technology called the GARD system. >>> Read Full Article
Bloomberg Businessweek : December 28, 2013 Edition
When it comes to flying planes, the rules are pretty cut and dried. They clearly weren't observed when, this summer, a pilot took off from a New Mexico taxiway, the narrow strip of pavement connecting airport runways. >>> Read Full Article
MaineBiz : December 23, 2013 Edition
Ron Cote, left, and John Guimond, have developed a device to improve safety at smaller airports by capturing and saving radio communications transmitted by pilots and airport personnel. Less than a year on the market, the device is in use at 13 airports. >>> Read Full Article
We were mentioned in the MCOA (Minnesota Council of Airports) Monthy News Brief. >>> Read Brief
AUGUSTA, Maine —We’ll probably never know what led to a fatal airplane crash at the Knox County Airport last year because no radio transmissions were ever recorded.
In that crash, a small plane that was taking off clipped a pickup truck crossing the runway, killing Marcelo Rugini, an exchange student from Brazil, David Cheney of Beverly, Mass., and BJ Hanigan, a University of Maine graduate from Portland.
But today, a new device developed by two men from Maine is allowing small, towerless airports to record and save those transmissions.
It’s called the General Audio Recording Device.
John Guimond began developing the device within days after three men died in that Knox County Crash.
"It was that comment that we'll never really know because the audio was lost, it was never recorded,” Guimond said.
Guimond, who is manager of the Augusta Airport, teamed with his friend Ron Cote, an electronics specialist, to develop the GARD system, a small recording setup general aviation airports can use for a variety of situations.
"Training, for data recording, and also for accident investigation," Guimond said.
Relatively inexpensive, about $2,500, it’s taken just a few months for word of the GARD to reach small airports around the world.
"We’re getting emails from New Guinea. We’re getting emails from Australia. I looked at John, I said, ‘What did we create?" Cote said.
In Maine, the device quickly caught the Department of Transportation’s attention.
The DOT is so impressed with the training capabilities it has offered to split the cost of installation with each of Maine’s nearly four dozen towerless airports.
"The key thing for us is that prevention of finding out discrepancies that might be happening during flights or during things the ground crew was doing and actually correcting that before you have an accident,” said Scott Rollins, state aviation director with the DOT.
The transmissions can be saved for decades, in the event of any mishap or crash, providing tangible evidence where just a few months ago it might be just a guess.
"Giving some people some comfort that I said this and I did everything I could, everything I was supposed to do,” said Guimond.
We were picked up by a Polish aviation news resource dlapilota.pl July 18, 2013
>>> Read Full Article (In Polish)
OWL'S HEAD (WGME) -- A little black box could have a big impact when it comes to your safety in the air. Two Augusta men invented a device they hope will prevent crashes like the one in Owl's Head that killed three men last year.
Less than a year later, it's still not clear what went wrong at a small airport in Rockland. And there is no way to know what the pilot said before he crashed because the radio communications at small airports aren't recorded.
The Rockland tragedy prompted Augusta state airport manager John Guimond to ask his electrical-supervisor friend Ron Cote for help. “Week to 12 days we had a prototype.”
The prototype is a small black box and software. It's called a General Audio Recording Device, or GARD™. “We record and capture all radio broadcast like what's going on now.”
The transmissions are filed away and can be listened to by managers. It's brand new technology that could help in investigations and also prevent them.
In the week GARD™ has been used at the Augusta State Airport, Guimond says they've identified certain situations where radios need to be used more often. There's also been positive feedback from four other Maine airports.
There are 42 public airports in Maine that the Department of Transportation works with. None of them have control towers, so the dot says it will reimburse those airports half the cost if they install the GARD™ system.
DOT officials say a count will help allocate resources and funding. The GARD™ system costs between $2,500 and $3,200.
It's been a surreal journey so far for these Mainers, one they hope will ultimately save lives.
Some 19,000 small airports across the country don't have control towers and could benefit from the GARD™ technology.
We were mentioned in Aviation eBrief AOPA - News of the day! July 15, 2013 >>> See Original eBrief