Getting Started With Copilot

This document will step you through the procedures for setting up a new 'blank' Copilot Aviation System. Datahawk staff will normally prepare an installation package with the necessary basic empty data files and some default items already pre-loaded for you. In other cases we may have transferred your data from existing files into a fully working system.

Setting Your Organisation Details

Select Options File from the Tools Menu then click the 'Company Details' button. Check and edit your address, phone numbers, GST number and Bank Account number details and Save your changes.

Select Messages from the Statements Menu then choose 'Message Code 1'. Edit the statement messages where required to suit your preferences and Save the changes.

Setting Up The Debtors System

Set up your required Account Classes. If you operate an aero club, you should create membership classes to suit your subscription billing. Example classes could be Student Member, Pilot Member, Family Member, Life Member, Associate Member, Staff Member etc. Also retain the Trade Account, Other Clubs, Internal Account classes.

Create Account Files for all students, pilots, staff, trade accounts or any debtor. Ensure that you have a cash sales account and it is also a good idea to create a 'Trial Flight' account for prospective student introductory flights. Please note the advice about Creating Account Codes when loading new accounts.

Open the Staff Pilot File and add all your flight instructors and any commercial pilots that you may employ for charter operations. The best option for Staff Pilot codes is to use their respective initials. Input just two characters if possible to avoid confusion with aircraft registrations. You may use three letter initials if you have many instructors/pilots to maintain.

If your organisation has chosen to use the General Ledger option you should now modify or input your required financial accounts for monthly and yearly reporting. You need to have a basic chart of accounts ready before setting up your Sales Groups. If you do not have the GL installed, just ignore this option and use the built in default chart of accounts when creating Sales Groups.

You now need to design and create your desired Sales Groups. You will require groups for 'Fixed Wing Income' and 'Rotary Wing Income' if you also operate helicopters. This software is normally supplied with the mandatory groups already loaded. Create any other 'groups' that you desire and link them to your Ledger accounts. Sales groups consolidate your invoice item codes and flight invoices into group revenue totals that will eventually be posted to your General Ledger chart of accounts.

After your Sales Groups have been created, you can create your non-flight invoice Item Codes for all other items that you sell to customers. Examples are Logbooks, Maps and Charts, Training Manuals, Fuel, Oil, Subscriptions, Landing Fees, Airways Fees etc etc. These individual items will be allocated to a chosen Sales Group. This file also controls the GST content of all items. This software uses GST inclusive pricing for all invoice amounts. Therefore, all your Dual/Solo rates and non-flight invoice item charges must be loaded as GST inclusive values.

If you wish to use the optional Ground Tutor Invoicing system, select the Tutors File and load your staff tutor details into this file. If your staff flight instructors are also ground tutors, then they need to be loaded into this file as well. If you will be using the Tutor Invoice functions, then you will also need to create the required 'Item Codes' for tutor billing in the Item File before creating the Tutor master file records.

Please check that Tax Codes are correct. You should not need to edit these values because Datahawk will update your system automatically if the current GST rate changes.

Load your fleet aircraft into the Aircraft File. Note that each aircraft is allocated to a 'Sales Group' number (see the lower left corner of the screen). You should always try to fill in all of the operating values for the aircraft. The MCTOW (Maximum Ceritified Take Off Weight) in Kilograms is important if you are using the Automated Airways Fee system supplied by Datahawk because it is a factor when calculating airways charges.

Aircraft Meter Readings - Before you start to input Flight Transactions, you need set the correct Hobbs Meter, Tachometer or Airswitch readings in the Aircraft File at the starting value of the first flight that needs invoicing. i.e. You should attempt to start processing at the beginning of a calendar month. The meter readings that you input into the Aircraft file before your first flight entry should be the final flight readings of the previous month. (You only input the last two primary digits and two decimal places of the Hobbs meter into the Aircraft file.)

Before you start inputting Flight Invoices, have your CFI or Instructors check and modify the Flight Codes. It is important that these codes are established before inputting transactions to ensure that the historical flight data shows the correct flight descriptions in the future. Once the codes are set up, they should not be altered or changed apart from adding new codes when necessary.

You will not need to load or modify Nationality File or Navigation File items unless you have a need to add a specific code or description. Datahawk maintains the Navigation File for you and will update it when required.

If you need to load 'Opening Balances' into your debtors accounts, then use the Journals transaction option to input the required balances.

You should now be ready to begin processing debtor transactions. (Note - You may need to set up the Aircraft Maintenance system before you begin if your organisation has that option installed also - See below).

The Debtors Monthly Processing Sequence page explains how this module should normally operate during the month.

Setting Up The Aircraft Maintenance System

If your organisation has elected to use the Datahawk Aircraft Maintenance system, you will need to add your maintained aircraft and set up any additional Maintenance Codes that are required.

You can find the instructions for initial maintenance system configuration on the Maintenance System Set Up page which will step you through the procedure for loading your first aircraft into the Maintenance System.

Finally, before you start to input Flight Transactions, you should set the correct Hobbs, Tachometer or Airswitch readings in the Aircraft File. The invoicing system keeps track of the aircraft meter readings to ensure that all flights are billed correctly and to update the maintenance system if you are using that software feature also.

Setting Up The Creditors System

If your organisation has chosen to use the Datahawk General Ledger system, then you are advised to set up the bulk of your expense and cost accounts in the ledger chart before adding expense codes because you will need to allocate each expense code to a valid general ledger number.

You should now create your usual Expense Codes that will be required when entering purchases and costs. The expense code options are logical and straight forward.

You can now create Creditor Files for each company or person that you pay money to or purchase goods from. Creditors include Staff members also. You will see that you can set the most common expense code for each creditor when you create the account. This is why it is more useful to create your expense codes before loading the account details.

If you need to load 'Opening Balances' into your creditor accounts, simply create a GST exempt Expense Code named 'Opening Balance' and then use that code to input the Creditors opening balance to the required accounts using the Creditor Invoice function.

You should now be ready to begin processing expenses.

The Creditors Monthly Processing Sequence page explains how this module should normally operate.