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Entries for September 2012

It is no secret the civil NVG industry was born from military utilization of night vision technology. The acceptance and eventual proliferation of Night Vision Goggles (“NVG”s) into the civil aviation industry is not without bumps and bruises. The path to acceptance by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and civil industry operators alike, has required education, patience, and compromise. Today, nearly fifteen years after the first civil operator was approved by the FAA to utilize NVGs, the civil industry continues to be plagued with issues related to regulatory oversight. In this article, we will discuss: past efforts to standardize the civil industry; how those efforts support today’s NVG industry; and efforts taking place today to ensure a safe, healthy, and prosperous future for NVG operators and regulators.

How’s this for an observation? On a global scale the USA is not a role model for HEMS even though the commercial concept of a helicopter air ambulance began right here in America.  Does that shock you?  It shouldn’t if you’ve watched over the years as I have the appalling accident rate the industry has suffered over a third of a century.

The helicopter pilot works in an amazing, ever-changing environment. The skills necessary to accomplish the task at hand for most commercial or even private helicopter flight operations require a high level of concentration, ability and finesse just to name a few. (social skills excluded)

I’m not sure I remember my first flight, I grew up flying with my father who was a pilot for Ford Motor Company. We flew fast freight out of Detroit in the mid-60’s and early 70’s with one of his friend’s cargo companies, so he was able to share his love of aviation with my brother and me.  My first Army helicopter flight in training was an interesting exercise made up of two components.  One, how much of a huge field I could try to crash in while, two, at the same time trying to keep the shiny side up.

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