Software allows mechanics to keep track of repairs in the air
By Robert Baun
Tom Callen's not a pilot. Not even a mechanic. But
the Fort Collins software developer is as much a part of the
helicopter business as anyone in the air or on the ground. Callen
owns CompuTrak, a software firm that makes maintenance tracking
software. The software allows mechanics and helicopter owners to
keep abreast of which parts in the aircraft need service or
replacement, simply by logging the flight information on the
computer. Callen, who also owns Micro Computer Systems, one of the
first computer stores in Fort Collins, was spurred to develop
CompuTrak by his friend Larry Hansen. In 1979, Hansen, owner of
Century Helicopters, approached Callen about the maintenance
paperwork problems in the helicopter industry. Helicopters are
subject to careful inspections and religious maintenance schedules.
Each part needs to be monitored, and requires overhaul or
replacement after a certain amount of flight time. In the late
1970s, mechanics would have to manually log each part and contact
the manufacturer about the part's history. "It was very time
consuming," Callen said. "Now, the computer does it in
seconds." Callen's product was the first maintenance software
for small aircraft. Bigger aviation companies used computers, but it
was a stodgy process. "They'd' mail in the (flight) hours to a
processing center," Callen explained. "Three weeks later
they'd get a report mailed back saying what they need to do.
"Little operations didn't have that facility. Now everybody
uses the computer." The CompuTrak program is updated
constantly, as Callen responds to needs of the customers. Today,
users of CompuTrak included the Arizona Department of Public Safety,
Qwest Communications, the FBI and the Denver Police Department. AS a
division of Micro Computer Systems, CompuTrak represents about 75
percent of Callen's revenue. Callen's come to be a fan of
helicopters, and sometimes rides in the aircraft that use his
software. "To me it's much safer than being in an
airplane," he said. He would know.
-- © Copyright 2001, the Fort Collins Coloradoan
© 2021 Copyright by CompuTrak. All Rights Reserved.
CompuTrak provides software that helps its global aviation customers manage their aircraft maintenance.
CompuTrak is aviation maintenance software by aviation maintenance professionals for aviation maintenance professionals.
Micro Computer Systems
515 Kim Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525. USA