"There have been many devastating fires in North America and throughout the world already this year," said ASU founder and President Mike Atwood. "Operators around the world are fighting fires at night and it is critical that they receive training to assure that their pilots and crew remain safe when combatting the elements."
Operators in Australia, and other countries, as well as operators in California, are already fighting fires at night. ASU has provided NVG training to many of those operators and assisted with some initial proof of concept work in Canada. As a Part 133 Certificate holder, ASU’s instructors have experience conducting external load and fire fighting operations and understand the complexities of safe fire fighting procedures. The training by ASU provides belly tank helicopter pilots NVG specific flight skills and knowledge to safely fill the tank and procedures used to approach, attack and depart the fire line. The NVG will allow pilots to see hot spots unable to be seen by the naked eye. The course includes Part 61 NVG ground and flight qualification training and Special Operations (Belly Tank fire fighting) training, including a Part 133 endorsement, if required. In addition to offering the training, ASU will also aid operators seeking to meet night vision cockpit modification requirements for their existing fleet of aircraft.
"Fighting fires is unlike any other operation and special precautions need to be taken," said ASU Chief Pilot Justin Watlington. "Training pilots on the use of NVG equipment before they face the fires enables them to become more prepared for potentially dangerous situations and to successfully and safely complete their work. Our Flight Instructors are prepared to train operators at our location in Boise or at the operator’s facility in their aircraft. ASU provides assistance in adapting a customer’s existing Part 133 program to include NVG training and operations. Our goal is to maximize their efficiency using the night vision systems and assure their safety. Whether customers need pilot training, aircraft modifications or recurrent training, ASU is prepared to fulfill operators’ needs."