3025. Tracking Aircraft Basic Weight Using Microsoft Access Relational Database


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H Rogers: 3025. Tracking Aircraft Basic Weight Using Microsoft Access Relational Database. 2000.



The objective of this paper is to provide the reader with an appreciation of some of what can be achieved with MS Access database in the field of aircraft weight and balance tracking, and to inspire the reader to investigate applications in their own field. This paper describes the background, reasoning, construction, operation, and features of the Microsoft Access database developed for recording and tracking aircraft basic weight and balance for Air New Zealand. Tracking aircraft basic weight between weighs is a process of recording modification weight changes, in an accurate and organised manner, and identifying when their cumulative effect requires republication of basic weight. Over the years there have been many methods of achieving this, some more or less complicated than others. Air New Zealand has operated over the years a variety of recording systems, from paper records to main frame databases. The difference between the previous methods and the current MS Access Weight and Balance database is that the MS database combines the benefits of all the previous methods, without many of the drawbacks. The problem with paper or spread sheet records for a fleet of aircraft of ten and above is the difficulty faced when researching whether a modification has been accounted for or not, and which revisions have been included. It quickly becomes a laborious task searching through all records. The database is the perfect form of weight record data management. Mainframes have been the only available databases of sufficient capability to manage aircraft weight records efficiently until recently. Unfortunately if enhancements were required, it was often difficult if not impossible to make these changes to the mainframe. Now with the modern PC based databases available, it is now reasonable for powerful weight and balance data management databases to be developed by the end user. Thereby allowing the recording medium to evolve with the changing requirements of the weights engineer. The Air New Zealand weight and balance database is developed in Microsoft Access because Air New Zealand chose to use Microsoft products. Initially the data was transferred from Paradox as flat file records, and then stripped down to tables and relational links created. The weight and balance database has been developed using common sense logic and terminology in a manner understandable for operators unfamiliar with Microsoft Access. MS Access allowed creation of simple forms for operation of the database which resulted in the database being simple and easy to use. The database records modification accomplishments, and alerts the weights engineer when change limits are exceeded. Other features include maintaining historical weight publication records for all aircraft, maintaining all records regarding inactive aircraft, a search capability for specific modifications, and modification status comparison between aircraft. It also records weigh dates, and forecasts upcoming weighs. The MS Access aircraft weight and balance tracking database has proven to be an efficient and accurate record keeping system which reduces the time required to manage weight and balance records for a fleet of aircraft. It?s strength is that it can be developed by persons unfamiliar with more advance programming languages, thereby allowing the developer the opportunity to evolve the database in keeping with changing requirements.


SKU: Paper3025 Category: