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Aviation Specialties Honors Night Vision Award Winners at Heli Expo

(BOISE, Idaho — February 20, 2012)  Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) announced honored the award winners for the Second Annual Night Vision Awards, Sunday February 12, at Heli Expo in Dallas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety won the Community Awareness Award. They have been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN and many other media outlets.  They have used their NVGs protecting the Texas Border.

“This award is important to the TX DPS as it reinforces our commitment to the NVG program,” said Assistant Chief, Tim Ochsner.   “NVGs allow us to conduct our missions more safely and effectively.  The integration of NVGs with the cutting edge technology of our law enforcement equipment is a game changer for our aircrews as they conduct complex, dynamic missions throughout the state of Texas.”

Travis County STAR Flight won the Mark of Excellence Award. Willy Culberson is their Director of Aviation Operation.  “Flying as an Air Medical Pilot for STAR Flight here in Central Texas we experience a lot of dark moonless nights,” said Culberson. “Flying with Night Vision Goggles allow the pilots and medical crews to safely fly to the accident scene and land at an unimproved landing area and deliver emergency medical treatment to a patient. My crew and I were able to fly and safely complete a lifesaving rescue mission flying with Night Vision Goggles by hoisting 3 EMS Rescue Personal from a rescue boat that were stranded in middle of the raging flood swollen San Gabriel River near Georgetown, Texas, at night on September 8, 2010 during tropical storm Hermine.  I would have delayed launching on this critical mission until daylight if I, and my crew, were not equipped with Night Vision Goggles.”

Helicopters Otago, from New Zealand won the International Advancement award for their pioneering efforts to introduce Night Vision Goggles to their country.  They were the first to use NVGS in EMS operations and aerial firefighting. Since their early adoption of NVGs, other operators in the county have followed.

“Night Vision Goggles increased our night operations by 40 percent, “ said Graeme Gale of Helicopters Otago.  “It has change the out come of many patients from missions we couldn't do before NVG. We alone have rescued hundreds at night only because of NVGs and kept the crews safe and there have been no accidents/incidents on NVGs in New Zealand.”

 A 10-Year Service award was given to the Los Angeles County Fire Department Air Operations Unit.  REACH Air Medical Services, STAT MedEvac and Collier County MedFlight were given the 5-Year Service Award.

Last year STAT MedEvac pilots conducted more than 12,850 HNVGOs, accumulating more than 5000 flight hours while transporting more than 3,300 patients at night.  Many of these patient transports were from unprepared landing zones, in remote, mountainous locations, that the pilot flying would have been encountering for the first time. 

“The ability to turn night into day utilizing NVG technology allows STAT MedEvac to conduct these transports in the safest manner possible and allows us to provide a vital service to patients in the communities we serve, who might otherwise would have to endure arduous ground transports or not be transported at all,” said STAT MedEvac Director of Operations John Kenny.  “Recognition of STAT MedEvac’s commitment to the highest safety standards hopefully will encourage other helicopter operators to invest likewise in night vision technology and raise the bar for the helicopter industry when it comes to passenger safety and service.”

Steve Adams is the Director of Operations from Collier County MedFlight.  “Collier County MedFlight would like to express how grateful we are to receive this award,” said Kenny.  “The program recognized early on how important NVGs could be for our area of operations.  We operate in SW Florida with a vast majority of our area of responsibility being the Everglades with limited ground lights at night.  Without NVGs we would not be able to operate to this level safety in and around the Everglades.”
The Night Vision Awards were established in 2011 to recognize operations using night vision systems to safely protect and serve communities while championing the call for safe night flights.

About ASU

Since 1995, ASU’s goal has been to implement night vision in the civil aviation market to increase operational safety and improve mission capabilities. Our focus is on providing a turnkey solution to our customers so that with one call they can obtain:

  • Night vision goggles and replacement parts
  • Service/inspection for goggles 
  • NVG cockpit lighting solutions, installed by our FAA-approved 145 repair station technicians at our facility in Boise, Idaho, or at the customer’s facility 
  • Cockpit replacement parts provided by our FAA-approved PMA
  • Initial and recurrent training for flight crews on the use of night vision via an FAA-approved 141 Training Program and/or 135 Air Operator Certificate
  • Assistance in establishing Night Vision Programs.

To date, ASU has performed 600 aircraft STC installations in the United States and sold over 4500 aviator systems worldwide.  For additional information, call 208-426-8117 or e-mail ASU at info@asu-nvg.com

Photo courtesy of Benjamin Russell

 Photo courtesy of Benjamin Russell


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