17 April 2008

Adventures With Kandy

Night landings at accident scenes...
Yeah they're exciting, but statistically they're probably the most dangerous part of flying a helicopter ambulance. The industry has recognized this and is working to make that portion of our job safer. One of the ways to do that is with the use of Night Vision Goggles,
or NVG's.

I retired as the U.S. Army was beginning to use the devices in earnest. I was introduced to NVG's but never flew with them. Early versions were pretty sad...
VERY heavy and awkward, with a limited field of view. (Some said using them was like trying to fly while looking through two toilet paper tubes.) Still, those that learned to use them properly said given the choice, they'd never fly at night without them.
New versions are improved in EVERY way.
In our company, bases in mountainous areas are getting them first. Our base MAY get them sometime before I retire... I'd like to get the chance to use them so I know what all the fuss is about!

Kandy has attached her first set to her helmet and also seems to be sold on them. Go and read about her "Goggles" experience.


nec Timide said...

The SAR crews I've worked with have the same kinds of things to say. The only issue is the older airframes that don't have NVG compatible instruments the pilot can be dazzled by a glance at the gauges. That is easily solved in a two pilot ship, but changing out the instruments is the real solution, but takes both time and money and there never seems to be enough of either of those.

ProPilots said...

Hi Greybeard. So far so good with the goggles. I'm getting more used to them with every flight. Last night doing a scene I had the a-ha moment of "I'll never fly at night without them". Good stuff. I hope you guys get them sooner than later. Kandy