Albuquerque, NM – June 16, 2008 – Developers of the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet released information today on a revolutionary pilot monitoring device. It is part of a system announced by the company last October.
Eclipse is the only aircraft manufacturer to have received FAA approval for its Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) program. Using the aircraft’s highly-integrated avionics; key aircraft, flight and crew parameters are collected, forwarded to Albuquerque headquarters and analyzed. FOQA is used by most major airlines to conduct trend analysis, find aircraft design issues and detect pilot training deficiencies.
President Vern Raburn commented, “We promised to bring you a world-class flight operation strategy using next-generation integrated avionics and data collection systems. We identified a proprietary method of extending this from the aircraft to the crew. We knew we could collect the ‘vital signs’ of the aircraft so why not monitor the pilots?”
Raburn added modestly, “Actually I came up the idea. There’s an old expression in aviation. If a pilot gets into real trouble, then soon he will be ‘picking buttons off the seat.’ I consulted the aeromedicine experts at the Lovelace Foundation here in Albuquerque. They confirmed there is more to this than a sophomoric joke.”
“Thus Eclipse developed and produced the world’s first biosensor for airman physiological and psychological parameters. Disguised as the center upholstery button on the pilot and copilot’s seat, the sophisticated device is actually a miniature strain gauge, and three-axis accelerometer and attitude sensor… about the size of the end of your thumb. We call it the Vernometer… rhymes with odometer.
“Since deliveries began, we installed these in all two hundred Eclipse 500 aircraft and they have provided very important data for the FOQA program. We decided not to announce the existence of these sensors in accordance with our very strict non-disclosure rules for the protection of proprietary information. We act in the best interest of our customers and investors, and had planned to keep this a trade secret. However, we are unveiling this revolutionary invention as a result of a recent minor incident in Illinois.”
Raburn continued, “We have a central monitoring station that displays the output of all four hundred Vernometers, two per plane. I happened to be looking at the monitor when the red annunciator began flashing for a pilot landing an Eclipse at Midway airport. It signaled simultaneous gluteus maximus and sphincter overloads - something we’ve never seen before. Turns out the pilot mishandled the throttles and had to go-around at full power, and then land power off. It ain’t no big deal; the Space Shuttle takes off wide-open and lands power-off all the time.”
“Our full analysis of the FOQA data revealed that the plane worked to design and certification standards, but the crew overreacted and started pushin’ and pullin’ too hard on them levers… it ain’t a tractor, you know. Anyhow… we’re glad everyone is safe. After landing, as the pilot was leaving the aircraft, he noticed that he’d pinched a button right off the seat. Instead of seeing a piece of thread on the seat cushion, he observed the signal cable trailing from the biosensor button and gave us a call. We decided this would be an auspicious time to announce another example of disruptive technology from Eclipse Aviation.”
Raburn concluded, “We’ve always planned on capitalizing on our unparalleled success in aviation by translating it into other fields. Take the large central monitoring capability we’ve built or the FOQA project. It’s a massive commitment in secure facilities, terabit servers, backup power and hundreds of technicians and operators. I’m pleased to announce that Eclipse has won a sole-source contract to control more than two hundred million refrigerators in the United States. We turn the light on or off in your refrigerator based on a signal from opening or closing the door, transmitted to our central station, and a signal sent back to the lamp. That’s technology transfer at its best. Take it from Vern… it ain’t nuthin’ unless it’s disruptin’.”
In case you have not been a regular reader, Black Tulip is our 'official satirist'. And, as usual, there is a germ of truth in what he says. After all, how can Vern be so certain it's always the pilots' fault, unless he knows something we don't.....
The tulip mania peaked in the Netherlands during the 1630s. The black tulip was the most sought after, until found to be biologically impossible.