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Old 14th Mar 2016, 09:25
  #202 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Not lost, but slightly uncertain of position.
Posts: 221

Having flown more than 250 hours with NVG's in high performance military jets, I can assure you that NVG's are not part of the solution in this case. Below i will try to explain why:

NVG's are the single biggest killer in the fast jet business right now. This is due to two main reasons. Firstly, while wearing NVG's the pilot will lose all depth perception cues. This is not an issue for a civilian airliner on an IFR route, but for military aircraft flying all sort of tactical formations, it has led to many midairs and close calls. Secondly and more importantly, NVG's tend to lead to Spatial Disorientation among fast jet crews. Maneuvering violently on NVG's in a situation where the horizon is not constantly visible (steep dive) has led to many Spatial D attributed losses.

It takes me roughly 15 seconds to done my NVG's. But that is only possible because I am already wearing a helmet with a proper mount. Before each mission the NVG's are mounted on the helmet/head in the life support room and calibrated. This is necessary if one is to have the best possible result of wearing them.

The keys to succes in the use of NVG's are as follows. Always maintain the horizon in your crosscheck and always include a proper scan of your ADI. But the horizon is not always visible. For NVG's to work properly while used in aviation, the amount of light outside the cockpit has to be above 2,2 millilux. Or you could be in IMC conditions. Wearing NVG's in IMC conditions might also lead to Spatial D.

Then there is also the fact, that NVG's won't work properly if the cockpit lighting is NVG hostile. In military aircraft that use NVG's, there are normally to sets of cockpit lightings. One which is the normal white light, and one which is greenish and kan be selected on when flying on NVG's. The glow from non NVG compatible light will make the NVG's gain down on their own, thereby giving you a pure view outside the cockpit. The NVG hostile light also tends to be reflected in the canopy or windscreens which causes pure visibility.

Last but not least, the one thing that every military fast jet pilot learns when flying with NVG's, is to always be ready to focus on the ADI in case a Spatial D situation arises, since the NVG's will make the situation much worse.

Therefore as you can see, I find it hardly unlikely that a civilian pilot, with no training, in an aircraft with NVG hostile light, possibly in IMC conditions, and with only 90 seconds to live, will get any benefits from spending 15 seconds donning his NVG's, while he could have used the time better looking on his PFD's/ADI's (or what ever they are called) trying to determine which one is lying and which way is up.

Last edited by F-16GUY; 14th Mar 2016 at 17:33.
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