Kennedy Air Ag
Kennedy Air Ag is a small family aerial ag business operating 3 aircraft on bushfire operations throughout NSW Australia. Two of these aircraft are Air Tractor AT802’s contracted by State & Federal Agencies and both are fitted with the Perkins Technologies DAAM system developed by Larry Perkins.
We first became aware of the Perkins Technologies DAAM (Data Alarm Acquisition Monitor) when tendering for a Government contract with our AT802. We were immediately drawn to the product over all other systems for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, we knew Larry’s reputation with over 40 years in motorsport was exemplary. He has always been known as a tough competitor, but it is the engineering ability and innovation of his team that has always stood out. In short we know this is a quality product backed by a quality company.
Secondly, the system is unparalleled in the market. We are still in our first full fire season with the DAAM, and are still amazed at what the unit has provided for our business. We can keep an eye on all of our company pilots and how they are handling not only the engine, but quite significantly, how they are treating our airframe. With the G-force recording device, the ability to see what the airframe is experiencing in all facets of flight is invaluable and gives us great peace of mind that we are operating within the aircrafts limitations at all times. This will be of great benefit to our operations in the future when spar life limitations can be increased with the ability to prove the activity of the spar over it’s entire life.
We were very impressed with the compact nature of the unit including the cockpit interface. The Perkins Technologies engineers came to our base and installed both units in our AT802’s over 2 days, the installations were done very professionally and both units worked as advertised straight out of the box. Since their installations, we have had 2 in-field visits from Larry Perkins to ensure the units are running well and give us software updates. This is the kind of backup service we need when we are providing services to Government agencies, and Perkins Technologies are very committed to it.
Innovation and forward thinking are two assets Perkins Technologies have. When looking at how pilots conduct ECTM on P&W PT6-67 engines (and all PT6 types) in agricultural installations, Larry discovered it was flawed logic to be trending an engine by using the outside air pressure. As most ag aircraft have air filters installed, the air pressure seen by the engine is not the same every time a trend is taken due to the state of the filter. With this in mind, Perkins technologies developed air pressure sensors upwind and down wind off the air filter. This gives the pilot the ability to position the aircraft so that he receives the same air pressure on the “clean” side of the filter every time an ECTM is conducted. A secondary benefit of these sensors is the ability of the pilot to ascertain whether the air filters are becoming blocked well before he sees any performance reduction in his engine.
The cockpit display is a great secondary display of all engine parameters should a gauge fail or should the pilot want to cross reference the accuracy of a gauge. The office software that comes with the system is extremely easy to install, and anyone with limited computer knowledge can use it after very little training. The ability to easily see any alarms or exceedences on the engine or airframe at a glance is invaluable. We can also provide transparency of operations when delivering services to the fire agencies, with the ability to show them our flight activities after download.
We can see that the Perkins Technologies DAAM system will pay for itself many times over during the life of our engines and airframes. It is the best money we have spent on our AT802’s and cannot recommend it highly enough, it will be the first thing we fit to our next Air Tractor!
Mick & Andrew Kennedy
Kennedy Air Ag Pty Ltd