USAF launches software application for C-17 Globemaster III pilots

19 March 2020 (Last Updated March 19th, 2020 11:03)

The US Air Force (USAF) has launched a data-powered software application called Puckboard to provide scheduling training for the pilots and crew of C-17 Globemaster III flexible cargo aircraft.

USAF launches software application for C-17 Globemaster III pilots
C-17A Globemaster III pilots perform pre-flight checks before conducting a local training sortie at Joint Base Charleston. Credit: USAF/ Staff Sgt Trevor T McBride.

The US Air Force (USAF) has launched a data-powered software application called Puckboard to provide scheduling training for the pilots and crew of C-17 Globemaster III flexible cargo aircraft.

Developed by and for airmen, Puckboard helps plan aircrew qualification flights automatically and allows schedulers to match aircraft commanders, pilots, and loadmasters with available flights to complete currency requirements.

The requirements include aerial refuelling and tactical training events for a year.

The digital interface Puckboard will start using live data and enables planners to visualise flight schedules and generates recommended schedules for each crew member.

With Puckboard, events can be automatically populated in a short span of time. It also allows planners to dedicate additional time to develop individualised training for each crew member.

The earlier process required airmen to shuffle ‘pucks’ around a whiteboard for determining the best match manually.

USAF 15th Wing Aloha Spark team captain Eric Robinson said: “Before Puckboard, the process of scheduling training was slow and outdated.

“We are now at the beginning of a complete overhaul (of the scheduling process), starting with the current Puckboard product, that will continue to be improved until the old process is an afterthought.”

When conflicts such as mechanical issues and mission changes occur, Puckboard enables easier schedule modifications.

The first phase of development is complete and Puckboard is planned to be implemented for the USAF C-17 fleet. The team and AFWERX are hosting a ‘Datathon’ in the coming months to improve the application further.

TRON started the next step of integrating with the Aviation Resource Management System to ensure the expansion and synchronisation of the tool with existing systems of record, with support from the Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate.