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I need a few questions answered about NVG, please.


Roondog
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I would appreciate any input/ answers to these questions.

 

1. What is the most common NVG system(s) used by civilian operators and what are the pros and cons of these systems?

 

2. If you could change anything about the system(s), what would it be? ie; size, weight, ease of operation, capabilities etc?

 

3. Do these systems require FAA certification before being used and if so, are the certs general or specific to the type of operation for which they are being used?

 

4. What type of operators utilize NVG in any capacity ie; EMS, LE?

 

I'm sure I will have more questions as this thread develops. I appreciate your time and expertise in discussing this topic with me.

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ANVIS-9 is the most common model. They're the latest generation, and they work pretty well. Weight and cost are the primary cons. If I could change anything, it would be the weight. They're lighter than previous models, but still heavy, and mounting well forward, require counterweights, making the entire assembly very heavy. The FAA must certify the operation for Part 135 operators in the company ops specs, but public use operators can do whatever they want, since the FAA has no oversight over them. Law enforcement and HEMS operators are the primary users. Good luck with your homework, since you'll need a better authority for your sources than me.

Edited by Gomer Pylot
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NVG's are regulated by the FAA per PART 61.

 

FAR 61.57 (f) Night vision goggle operating experience. (1) A person may act as pilot in command in a night vision goggle operation with passengers on board only if, within 2 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performs and logs the following tasks as the sole manipulator of the controls on a flight during a night vision goggle operation—

 

(i) Three takeoffs and three landings, with each takeoff and landing including a climbout, cruise, descent, and approach phase of flight (only required if the pilot wants to use night vision goggles during the takeoff and landing phases of the flight).

 

(ii) Three hovering tasks (only required if the pilot wants to use night vision goggles when operating helicopters or powered-lifts during the hovering phase of flight).

 

(iii) Three area departure and area arrival tasks.

 

(iv) Three tasks of transitioning from aided night flight ( aided night flight means that the pilot uses night vision goggles to maintain visual surface reference) to unaided night flight ( unaided night flight means that the pilot does not use night vision goggles) and back to aided night flight.

 

(v) Three night vision goggle operations, or when operating helicopters or powered-lifts, six night vision goggle operations.

 

(2) A person may act as pilot in command using night vision goggles only if, within the 4 calendar months preceding the month of the flight, that person performs and logs the tasks listed in paragraph (f)(1)(i) through (v) of this section as the sole manipulator of the controls during a night vision goggle operation.

 

(g) Night vision goggle proficiency check. A person must either meet the night vision goggle experience requirements of paragraphs (f)(1) or (f)(2) of this section or pass a night vision goggle proficiency check to act as pilot in command using night vision goggles. The proficiency check must be performed in the category of aircraft that is appropriate to the night vision goggle operation for which the person is seeking the night vision goggle privilege or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of that category of aircraft. The check must consist of the tasks listed in §61.31(k), and the check must be performed by:

 

(1) An Examiner who is qualified to perform night vision goggle operations in that same aircraft category and class;

 

(2) A person who is authorized by the U.S. Armed Forces to perform night vision goggle proficiency checks, provided the person being administered the check is also a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;

 

(3) A company check pilot who is authorized to perform night vision goggle proficiency checks under parts 121, 125, or 135 of this chapter, provided that both the check pilot and the pilot being tested are employees of that operator;

 

(4) An authorized flight instructor who is qualified to perform night vision goggle operations in that same aircraft category and class;

 

(5) A person who is qualified as pilot in command for night vision goggle operations in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section; or

 

(6) A person approved by the FAA to perform night vision goggle proficiency checks.

Edited by Spike
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What are the capabilities of the Anvis 9? Does it function off of a heat signature, ambient light or both? Is it able to operate in fog or sand in a desert environment? I've noticed that the average cost of this unit is between $8-$13k. Is this accurate? How many training hours are required to be able to operate? Is there any scheduled maintinance or calibrations required? Would there be any interest in a unit that is essentially a pair of sunglasses with a remote, wireless power supply that could be adapted so as to not interfere with mission sensitive equipment?

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I would appreciate any input/ answers to these questions.

 

1. What is the most common NVG system(s) used by civilian operators and what are the pros and cons of these systems?

ITT and Lipton are the primary makers.

 

2. If you could change anything about the system(s), what would it be? ie; size, weight, ease of operation, capabilities etc?

Integration the system into the helmet and run the power supply through the headphone jack or another aircraft power source.

 

3. Do these systems require FAA certification before being used and if so, are the certs general or specific to the type of operation for which they are being used?

Yes the goggles are FAA certified and each aircraft also has to be certified to use them. Most new aircraft now come from factory nvg ready.

 

4. What type of operators utilize NVG in any capacity ie; EMS, LE? EMS and LE. Every government agency uses them. The military of course. Even fire fighting companies are starting to use them.

 

I'm sure I will have more questions as this thread develops. I appreciate your time and expertise in discussing this topic with me.

What are the capabilities of the Anvis 9?

Improves night vision to 20/40 instead of 20/200

 

Does it function off of a heat signature, ambient light or both?

Ambient light only. Uses lower end of spectrum. From infrared to near green.

 

Is it able to operate in fog or sand in a desert environment?

Yes. Can help see through fog although this is regarded as a bad thing because you can fly into some nasty stuff if not careful.

 

I've noticed that the average cost of this unit is between $8-$13k. Is this accurate?

Yes. About 10 grand per pair

 

How many training hours are required to be able to operate?

135 requires a ground school and 5 hours for initial cert. After that each additional airframe requires a 1 hour transitions. Each airframe requires an annual checkride. Another pleasantry is that another "crew member" is required to be trained and wearing the goggles during off airport landings.

 

Is there any scheduled maintinance or calibrations required?

Yes 180 day certifications

 

Would there be any interest in a unit that is essentially a pair of sunglasses with a remote, wireless power supply that could be adapted so as to not interfere with mission sensitive equipment?

See above. Integrate it into the helmet visor and you'd be rich. I assume you are looking for a business market here. Remember the military originally made these and improved them. They are still doing that to this day. They already have integrated visor displays. Now us lowly civilians just have to wait for the trickle down.

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Thank you to Gomer Pylot, Spike and Jimbo2181 for your assistance. The information you have provided is invaluable for what I'm trying to achieve. Jimbo2181, you are correct in that I am looking for a business market. I'm thinking outside the box in an effort to create a position for myself within a corportation that has a patent on this new technology. In todays job market, you need to be creative and not rely on simply sending out resumes via the internet. Being a pilot myself, after learning of this technology, it became apparent that this may benefit the industry. If you or anyone else has considerations for me in regards to this topic, please feel free to add your opinions and/or thoughts. Again, thank you for all your help. Maybe one day, we will shake hands at a booth at Heli expo.

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Part of the problem is that the googles hang several inches forward of the helmet, moving the center of gravity well forward, thus necessitating even more weight in the rear to counteract the arm of the goggles. Thus you end up with a helmet, goggles, batteries, and weights of several pounds. I just weighed mine, and it's 6 pounds altogether. That's a lot of weight to hold up for hours at a time. In the event of a crash, the torque on your neck is going to be pretty high, likely more than my little pencil neck can handle.

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I have about 100hrs of NVG time as PIC using the ANVIS 9 Gen III and about 5 yrs and a couple thousand hours as a crew member. I dont notice the weight really being an issue necessarily, although lighter would always be better. Probably the biggest thing I would like to see is a wider field of view. As they are now, they are like flying looking through two toilet paper rolls.

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Some people handle the weight better than others. I've never really had an issue with it. The narrow field of view and limited effectiveness without any ambient light are the major limitations. If your sunglasses don't work similar or better in these areas I doubt you'll find a market.

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Sidebar divergence….

 

While goggles have greatly enhanced night time operational safety, for me at least, it’s turned some of the most magnificent picturesque views into puke green sterility…….

 

You have a point, I do flip up when I want that view. But I value being able to see for scores of miles on a clear night when it amplifies every light in range. And I really appreciate being able to see tower guide wires, etc. directly instead of having to infer them from cleared vegetation.

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It’s a compromise and yes, the view is still there so if I want, I can go off goggle to enjoy it. Conversely and more significantly, the black hole is still there so on goggle it is…. The funny thing is, operating in the black was the norm but nowadays it’s completely unacceptable without the giggles. How did we ever get-er-done for all of those hours pre-giggle……

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Take this quick online NVG course with video and accident reviews. Will help you out a lot.

 

http://www.faasafety...ng.aspx?cID=175

 

click enroll then take the course. It's FREE

Edited by JDHelicopterPilot
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towers/windfarms and airports are more and more equipped with LED's. LED's are most often invisible or very weak under goggles. I dont know much about LED's but the one's that i encountered here in MN are outside the spectral range/ light frequency range of the anvis-9 goggles iam using. maybe that is something you can change in your "invention"

 

@jimbo 2181

goggles with integrated HUD are already out there in the military for at least 6 years

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I agree with Flying Pig 100%.

 

The weight is a small issue IMO compared to the limited field of view. I have been told that the military has goggles with a wider field of view now but they are unavailable to civilian at this time.

 

Also, I thought the goggles were more like 10K/tube?

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Thank you everyone for your input. Your information has been well recieved. I have considered posting this topic on another forum for more international response. Can someone tell me, would similar answeres be given as those posted on here, or are there other considerations that I might learn about by inquiring abroad and if so, what issues might I be concerned with?

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