CALSTAR 6 air ambulance pilots operating helicopters around Lake Tahoe are successfully using military-grade night vision goggles to navigate around mountain peaks and bad weather to transport patients from the South Lake Tahoe (California) area to emergency rooms in Reno.
Equipped with new night vision technology, Brevard's only air ambulance can now fly closer, faster, and safer than ever before. From full-ICU capabilities to all the latest flying gadgets, see how First Flight delivers trauma patients from death's door to the hospital doorstep — saving the day, and burning the midnight oil.
Usually reserved for animals or superheroes, night vision sure helps when you’ve got to find things in the dark, so understandably the Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew is chuffed that their helicopters have been fitted with high-tech Night Vision Goggles (NVGs).
The NVGs, which have cost around $300,000 to install, will be worn by pilots and chief crew members on search and rescue operations and other missions after dark.
Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) have received Transport Canada approval for cockpit modifications on the MD900. ASU completed a cockpit modification for Yukon Territory based Horizon Helicopters. The MD900 will be used for Emergency Medical Services and Search and Rescue missions.
"We chose ASU because they came highly recommended from a pilot that knew their work and because of their experience working with Transport Canada requirements," said Operations Manager for Horizon Helicopters Cole Hodinski. "Night vision goggles and equipment are still new in Canada and ASU has completed a number of projects in our country. We wanted to work with someone that already had experience."
ASU announced that they completed a full-service order for the Pasadena Police Department. The Pasadena Police Department purchased four new night vision goggles, modified the interiors of their two Bell OH-58s and received initial training for seven pilots.
"The Pasadena Police Department plays a vital role in the protection of one of Americas most notable cities," said ASU Director of Marketing Hannah Gordon. "It is critical to have the right equipment, modifications and know how to maximize the use of your goggles by understanding them. We are honored to have completed the modifications, training and sales of the new NVGs to Pasadena."
Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) announced that they have now sold more than 4,500 night vision aviation systems worldwide. This gives ASU more aviation systems sales to civilian operators than any supplier in the world.
"I can remember when the thought of night vision systems in the civil market was just a luxurious dream," said ASU's founder Mike Atwood. "Our goal at ASU was to make that dream a reality and make NVGs readily available to operators around the world. The milestone in sales is a major accomplishment for us, but the numerous lives that have been saved from averted crashes, successful EMS, SAR and Law Enforcement missions is unquantifiable. I am glad that ASU had the opportunity to help make a safer environment for pilots all over the world."
The tail-end of this week's storms were whipping through the area, and CALSTAR 6 lead pilot Kris Hunt was guiding the helicopter over Kingsbury Grade. In the back of the chopper, flight nurses Ted Langevin and Nathan Schwab were busy caring for a man who had been injured when a vehicle struck him Thursday night.
ASU is looking for a qualified NVG Installation Technician. Technician is responsible for the installation of supplemental lighting systems to include rotorcraft and fixed wing aircraft. To include completion of associated paperwork; delivering professional customer service over the phone and in the field; coordination of post installation updates and participating in procedural documentation, etc. Additionally responsibilities may include but are not limited to performing general aircraft maintenance. This position is full time with benefits upon successful completion of 90 day probationary period.
Lutheran Air is always on call and when the sun goes down is no exception.
"We've been flying at night safely for quite some time. We've just taken it to a whole new level with night vision goggles," said Rex Alexander, a pilot with Lutheran Air.
The new night vision goggles magnify available light to make the eyes see things they otherwise couldn't see in the dark. Light is brought in from one end of the lens and amplified three to four times, turning the black abyss of night into a green field of clarity.
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