Founded in Boise, Idaho by former AH-64 Apache pilot Mike Atwood in 1995, Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) led the way–working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other agencies–to unrestricted NVG use among first-responders and law enforcement agencies. His place on the RTCA committee that wrote what would become the FAA’s current night-vision operating regulations. That work was completed around 1999. That same year, ASU received Part 135 operational approval from the FAA for night vision installations. These regulations have enabled ASU to support early adopters such as Enloe and Mercy Medical Centers as well as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and have been a passion for Mike Atwood since before ASU’s inception.
“When I reflect on the 25-year history of ASU, I cannot help but think about all the lives that have been saved and people that have been touched,” said Atwood. “Our brothers and sisters around the world fly every night, risking their lives to help others. We have to get NVGs to them to reduce unnecessary risks. Will there still be accidents? Yes. Will there still be mistakes? Yes. But we can help reduce unnecessary accidents. That is why we continue to try and make NVGs available–to keep people safe.”
1995 – Aviation Specialties Unlimited was established
1999 - RTCA committee completed writing what became the FAA’s current night vision operating regulations
1999 – Aviation Specialties Unlimited became a Part 135 operator
1999 - The first operational approval for unrestricted NVG use in a helicopter was granted to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California
2003 - ASU received its first supplemental type certificate (STC)
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