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Infrared Systems for Pilots

by John M. White |

Enhanced Vision Systems have been available for some time on high-end jet aircraft, and now there is a version available for Aero Med helicopters as well. This infrared technology will bring a higher level of safety to helicopter operations that traditionally have had a poor safety record. The system uses infrared technology to improve a pilot’s ability to view obstacles in front of the aircraft during times of poor visibility such as fog, haze, smoke, light precipitation and darkness. Because emergency extraction helicopters usually wind up being called at night or in poor weather this system should provide a significant improvement in safety.
Rodgers Helicopter Service contracts with Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearny, Nebraska to provide helicopter, pilots and mechanics for AirCare, the medical evacuation unit of Good Samaratan Hospital. The new Enhanced Vision System was installed to improve safety and help the mission of AirCare. The pilots noted that the $100,000 system us is totally updated, cheaper to install and run than competitive systems. Infrared Ehanced Vision System AirCare began operations in 1982, but in 1985 had a fatal accident resulting in the deaths of all three crewmembers aboard the helicopter. Currently AirCare serves the state of Nebraska in a 150 mile radius of Kearney with a helicopter that has a top speed of 175mph. The Director of Operations for Rodgers Helicopter Services said that Good Samaritan Hospital has been very safety conscious and completely supportive of Rodger's efforts to continually improve the safety of their operations. Given the record of medical evacuation helicopters in recent years it is impressive to see the dedication to safety demonstrated by Rodgers and Good Samaritan. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 If there were no risks it probably would not be worth doing. I certainly believe an airplane is capable of killing you, and in that sense I respect it. — Steve Ishmael, NASA Test Pilot.

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