How Barr Air Patrol Utilises Spidertracks To Improve Performance

A Case Study


Barr Air Patrol have been operating in the aviation industry for over 70 years throughout the USA, where their bread and butter was aerial pipeline inspection and patrol. They have since expanded to aerial imagery, including videography and stills, as well as LIDAR work and leak detection. 

We caught up with Greg Reeves, Safety Manager / Assistant Director of Operations at Barr Air Patrol LLC, about their long standing partnership with Spidertracks, and how the team uses objective data to enhance their safety performance and operations.






With a fleet of 45 aircraft, which operate across four different time zones all over the United States, it is a logistical challenge for Reeves to have complete oversight of where they are at all times. The team flys at 500-600 feet during their missions, so it’s critical that he can monitor how his team is flying, review how the aircraft are being flown, and take proactive steps to mitigate future risks.


With the latest features from Spidertracks available on Spider X hardware, Barr Air Patrol recently implemented a fleet-wide adoption, and upgraded from their Spider 3 and Spider 6 models. This has given Reeves and the team consistency across all aircraft, and the ability to obtain objective data with Insights. 

Barr Air Patrol has been cited as a “Process Safety Champion” for its high quality of services and receives regular accolades from industry experts for its operational and safety performance. They’ve further enhanced their safety with the utilisation of Insights. It’s an additional layer with data-driven decision making - they can visualise the data over time, see trends with safety events that Reeves has set, and use this to analyse past flights, correct behaviours, and ensure pilots continue to fly safely. 

“Insights really allows you to see how your fleet is being operated,” says Reeves, “Without having to have a check airman in the aeroplane, without having to have an intrusive process where somebody else sits in the back of the aeroplane with a clipboard and those kinds of things, which you know, in a smaller plane it really isn't practical anyway.

And so, with data that comes out of Insights, you can go from thinking you have a pretty good, safe group of pilots, to being able to prove it, because the data doesn't lie, and you're able to turn it out all the time and see whether or not you're getting pilots that are complying with policy, or whether you're not and then able to drill down and figure out what the causes are, if the answer is no. And that’s kind of the gold standard.”

Spidertracks has proved invaluable for Reeves, where a stabilised approach has been one of the major focuses. They have limits set on descent rates and bank angles in the final phase of approach, and Insights sends alerts when these parameters have been breached. This allows Reeves to have constructive conversations around training processes, make justified decisions to adjust some routes, and openly speak to pilots about these by referring to their reports generated by Insights, giving the team direct practical value and return on their investment.

“It's not just about making a pretty chart, which is easy to do for most of us, but you can actually visualise the data over time. We're a year and a half basically, into the Insights feature in Spidertracks, and the trend line is almost zero in terms of our events. Even as we've seen our flight hours increase, the events continue to trend down which tells us that we have pilot staff that are paying attention to how to fly the aeroplane, crew contacts that we're making are actually having an influence on how they fly the aeroplane. I've had pilots tell me when I go out and do visits with crews and those kinds of things that it has changed the way they fly which I guess is the biggest endorsement you could ask for.”