The use of NVGs requires specific ground training, flight training, flight experience and proficiency. In order to conduct NVG operations, CAO 82.6 requires pilots to be NVG Qualified. This endorsement must be conducted by an authorized instructor in Night Vision Goggle ground and flight training.
Heliwest draws on the experience of several ex-military NVG instructors and testing officers in it’s training facility, and can conduct initial NVG endorsements, NVG CCFs as well as NVG instructor ratings. Because of our unique locale, you will receive NVG training in rural, urban, coastline/ocean-side, and a variety of different environments; an advantage not found in other areas of the country.
NVGs have been used in military helicopter night time operations for decades, and most recently, have been identified as a key safety enhancement for air medical operations. Like FLIR, NVGs are military trickle-down technology. Originally designed for military applications, they have clear parallel benefits for civilian operators.
The purpose of Night Vision Goggles (NVG) is to allow aircrew to operate their aircraft visually at night.
Currently, NVG’s are not particularly easy to acquire because of high demand for the superior technology that literally allows pilots to see night time in a whole new light. With our aircraft having undergone the necessary equipment installation, cockpit modifications and flight crew carrying out training to operate using NVG’s, Heliwest is pleased to offer this capability to its already extensive list of services.
What allows Pilots to see shadows in the dark is an ever progressing technology that magnifies ambient light. Even when it is dark outside there is still some remnant of light not apparent to the naked eye. NVG’s magnify this light with the use of micro channel plates which are very thin wafer like plates containing 10.6 million fiber optic channels that make night look like day. Distance for visibility is virtually unlimited. The goggles provide a forty degree field of view similar to binoculars. They weigh about 1kg so they are relatively light and well balanced when fastened to a flight helmet.
Heliwest offer a training program where pilots will receive in depth training covering air medical factors, terrain recognition and hands-on time with the goggles. In summary the course consists of 2 days of ground training, 4 nights of flight training followed by a flight test.
Previously, night vision technology had limitations such as the inability to deal with bright light that may come into the NVG user’s view. When staring at a light bulb for instance, the wearer’s vision would completely blur out. Today the technology is so advanced that pilots actually turn up the lighting in their cockpit. Anything, including bright light, may be seen without difficulty.