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HeliTorque :: View topic - The use of night vision goggles at the Regensburg HEMS base
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HeliTorque Forum Index » EMS, SAR & Law Enforcement

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The use of night vision goggles at the Regensburg HEMS base
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: The use of night vision goggles at the Regensburg HEMS base Reply with quote

The use of night vision goggles at the Regensburg HEMS base draws closer
December 22, 2010

Preparation for the use of Night Vision Goggles (NVGs), at the Regensburg HEMS base of HDM Luftrettung is gaining pace: The helicopter of type EC 145 completed multi-day tests conducted by Eurocopter, the helicopter manufacturer, on NVG capability last week. Pilot training goes along with it. In April 2011, the regular NVG operation will start in Regensburg. It is, after Munich, the second HEMS base in Germany that is allowed to use Night Vision Goggles in air rescue operations.

At Eurocopter, "Christoph Regensburg" was subjected to a test in a darkroom: Because Night Vision Goggles intensify any light that is present in the dark, a check had to be made, for example, to find out to what extent disturbing light sources or reflections were present in the helicopter cockpit. In subsequent flight tests, a check was carried out to find out whether in the cockpit displays, there was still room for improvement for day and night flights.

"With the Eurocopter tests, we are a little bit closer to our goal of using Night Vision Goggles on board the ‘Christoph Regensburg'. In the next step, the European Aviation Safety Agency, EASA, will look over the test results, and will hopefully provide us with the authorization soon", explains Johann Haslberger, responsible for training at HDM Luftrettung.

The comprehensive training of the pilots is a further milestone in the preparation for the use of Night Vision Goggles. HDM Luftrettung was able to use the already-existing training experiences of its Munich pilots, who have been using Night Vision Goggles on board the "Christoph München" for over a year. In the meantime, all the pilots in Regensburg have completed their theoretical training and have started with their practical training. The contents of that training are on, for example, how to handle the goggles during a flight, and how to use the goggles when approaching the emergency location. An additional focus is on procedures in emergency situations.

The Night Vision Goggles, which are attached to the pilots' helmets, provide the pilots with a new visual capability at night. Obstacles, such as high-voltage lines and wind turbines can be better detected, and at an earlier stage. Also, difficult weather conditions can be better distinguished and avoided by flying different routes. Consequently, NVGs make an important contribution to safe flight rescue at night.

Source: DRF Luftrettung
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