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HeliTorque Forum Index » EMS, SAR & Law Enforcement

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Instruments & Goggles
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:41 pm    Post subject: Instruments & Goggles Reply with quote

An open question to generate some ideas...

We fly a single-pilot Instrument BK-117-C1 here at Stanford Life Flight -California. We are considering getting NVG equiped. Are there any of you who do both? (Not at the same time, of course) Here's where I'm in need of some suggestions...

NVG are obviously a visual flight tool. Seeing terrain and obstacles on those moonless nights will certainly increase the safety of our operation. But flying with NVG in poor visibility due to mist and or precipitation can set you up to enter instrument meteorological conditions inadvertantly!! Something to avoid like the bird-flu when you are down in the "hazard-rich" environment!!!

My feeling is that if the weather conditions require an IFR portion, we should not get below the cloud layer and then try to continue visualy using NVG. If the visibilty below a cloud layer is quite good, then maybe(?) it's appropriate. I don't have any recent NVG experience to know how to approach this transition.

Any suggestions and comments are welcome!!

FLY SAFELY!!!
aviatorjames
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biskit
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only question you posed is if anybody here flies instruments and goggles. I'm sure there are many here who do both.

Are you asking which is safer? Neither is always safer, you need to evaluate your situation and go with the mode of flight that is best for you.
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies for being unclear...

What I'm asking about is the transition from one to the other, i.e.
After shooting an instrument approach and making the transition to visual reference, are there operators that are then swinging down the goggles to continue to an off-airport landing site. That's why I'm asking here in EMS, because it's kind of an EMS/Rescue specific flight profile...
We often respond to 911 calls (999 in England?) and fly an instrument profile to the nearest airport with an approach. We then break off and continue visually to the accident scene. It is a difficult profile because the weather is obviously lousy!
Thanks again in advance!!

james
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biskit
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aviatorjames wrote:
After shooting an instrument approach and making the transition to visual reference, are there operators that are then swinging down the goggles to continue to an off-airport landing site. That's why I'm asking here in EMS, because it's kind of an EMS/Rescue specific flight profile...



Technically it would seem a simple decision - do you have legal weather to fly goggles? If so great(and why did you fly ifr if you had vmc with somebody dying in the back?). If not, then no.

From a practical standpoint, you're not paying the bills so whoever approves your missions obviously would have to decide on this. If they defer such decisions to the pilots then I want a job there!

I've done it, but only vmc and never on an actual mission. There would be finger pointing(and probably lawsuits if civillian) if you had a dying person on board and were unable to make it to the hospital because you flew ifr to a nearby facility and were unable to continue vfr. Imagine the statements even a cheap lawyer could come up with about that.
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madmag
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi aviatorjames,

I am flying EMS for the German operator ADAC. And I have flown for the German Armed Forces. What I can tell you is that the ADAC neither flies IFR nor NVG. But there are some ideas to do that in future. Apart from that I don
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our flight profiles are quite different here...

We are based in the San Francisco bay area where locally there are five trauma centers, three international airports and ten smaller airports. All served by instrument approach procedures. The bay area is framed by small mountain ranges that vary from 500m to 1000m in height. Our flying often takes us 175km away. The IFR capability is an essential tool for us. Fortunately, there are airports quite close to every trauma center, so unless it is very low IFR conditions, we can always break out and get to the hospital. When it's too low, we simply have our dispatch center call an ambulance to meet us at the airport for the short trip to the hospital. Sounds complicated, but it works quite well.

We want NVG for those nights when it's VFR because there is alot of un-populated areas in the local mountains and on the coast that are scary dark!! We do not see the NVG as a way to increase our flight numbers, but simply as an added safety tool for those dark and scary nights.

My concern (poorly communicated so far) is that NVG's can give a pilot a false sense of "adequate" visibility... right up to the point where he/she goes IMC and the goggles are no help. In fact, at that point they become a liability in the emergency transition to instruments.

As I stated before, my feeling is that the NVG will be a great help on VFR nights, but I'm a bit hesitant to incorporate both and IFR portion of the flight followed by an NVG portion. Or visa versa, since (as stated above) we can always have a ambulance come to the airport.

In writing all this, I feel a bit like I'm answering my own question here!! Mr. Green But I'm still hoping to hear from an operator that has both capabilities!!

FLY SAFELY !!!
aviatorjames
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biskit
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a great idea. Makes for a very powerful capability, but also requires that much more training and experience. I'm impressed by the fact that you can even consider such "radical" ideas!
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: NVGs for Emergency services Reply with quote

I am a Training & Checking pilot with the Victorian Police in Melbourne Australia. I organised and ran an NVG 'proof of concept' trial some years ago to prove the worth of this technology to both my Masters and to the Civil Aviation Authority (CASA) as the first step in getting the ball rolling to acquire this hardware operationally. It was a compete success and prompted CASA to put out the required approvals and also impressed my masters to fork out the money to buy 10 ANVIS 9 (ITT F4949) goggles plus cockpit mods.

After the Trial I wrote a Post Trial Report...this is now declassified and if interested can be downloaded from my private web site.
www.simflight.com.au/private.htm

Cheers
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aviatorjames
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JesusNut (that cracks me up!!) ..thanks!!
I haven't downloaded the document yet, but I appreciate you posting it for me (everyone).

james
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Casey
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 7:05 am    Post subject: NVG Reply with quote

Hi there!

We fly NVG on EMS missions in Sweden.
There are lot`s of info on http://www.nordicrotors.com

Quote:
As I stated before, my feeling is that the NVG will be a great help on VFR nights, but I'm a bit hesitant to incorporate both and IFR portion of the flight followed by an NVG portion. Or visa versa, since (as stated above) we can always have a ambulance come to the airport.


We don`t fly IFR (Yet) so i can`t help you there.

Cheers!
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WhirlyGuy
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiya Casey,

Just a quick hello from myself to welcome you to the forums.

That link that you have posted is an exceptionally good site for all HeliTorquer's to go and view. Mrs Whirly and myself met up with Rickard (owner of the site) in Sweden a few years back. Thoroughly nice guy. He codes the whole of that site by hand - phew!!! Smile

We were there visiting some Swedish friends of ours and popped in to a shopping mall (can't remember where now - Mrs Whirly will probably be able to help out with that one) as he was there helping out with a heli that was doing pleasure flights. We ended up helping him out with taking photos for some of the passengers whilst he was ferrying them in and out of the heli.

I seem to remember they ran out of fuel at one point - or the fuel truck they had wasn't quite pumping out the fuel so they had to take it to the nearest airport to get some more. In the meantime we got to have a sit in the heli - Mrs Whirly even went up for a ride at one point. Lucky bu**ar!! Smile Smile

Anyway nice to see you on the forums and hope to hear more from you in the future.

Best wishes,

W-GUY
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WhirlyGirl
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't remember the name of the place either, but it was a shopping centre and cinema complex in Stockholm, and they were doing the pleasure flights from the car park!

Oh, and they ran out of fuel on the ground not in the air - they had to go and fetch the bowser. It was due to the crowds and crowds of people who wanted to go flying! Very Happy

WhirlyGirl Cool
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