For helicopter special missions such as aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, police surveillance and emergency response, the helicopter operators are often required to operate in inclement weather and at night over difficult terrain. The use of night vision goggles during such missions will significantly enhance flight safety and mission effectiveness.
Due to the nature of night vision goggles, the aircraft cockpit and cabin lighting needs to be modified to be compatible with the operation of night vision goggles. The modification involve not only the installation of compatible lighting and filters, but more importantly, an aircraft assessment to determine the compatibility of the lighting changes. This is a complex assessment that involves both ground and flight assessments to ensure that the lighting modifications are suitable and do not cause other physiological hazards.
GVH Aerospace was presented with the challenge of modifying and approving the helicopter night vision compatible cockpit lighting of the client’s BK117 helicopter used for aeromedical role. The client’s missions include emergency medical response, flying in rural Australia on a 24/7 basis and NVG operations are critical to the client’s ability to safely carry out its mission at night. GVH Aerospace performed the ground and flight test assessment and approved the deviations from the original STC installation, and the aircraft has been in service since 2007 saving lives.
GVH Aerospace has a long history of providing NVG lighting modification approvals in Australia on many different helicopter platforms including the following helicopters and aircraft:
- AgustaWestland AW109
- AgustaWestland AW139
- Airbus Helicopters EC130
- Airbus Helicopters EC135
- Airbus Helicopters EC145/BK117
- Airbus Helicopters AS350
- Airbus Helicopters AS355
- Airbus Helicopters AS365
- Bell 206
- Bell 412
- Dornier 328
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