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Old 26th Apr 2006, 01:58   #401 (permalink)
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I suspect there are no absolutes when it comes to AVMED, as is the same when it comes to Aviation. Concepts are important. If the pressure decreases with altitude (WE KNOW THIS TO BE TRUE) then staying as low as safely possible is beneficial when it comes to having holes in your body that leak bodily fluids out board. Many car accidents result in lacerations cuts and holes etc so % wise there are large numbers of folks with holes in them when they are being transported by air. Transport by air rather than road is generally organised for the speed factor. Having to climb up/down to LSALT and let down at the other end adds t++++ (timings plus) to your mission and hence the speed factor is not as speedy as it could/should be.

As far as the DA being lower at night than day, this only makes the machine perform better (more bernoulis) not the patient. The patient is still subject to Press varies proportionally with height. As far as agencies challenging what altitude is acceptable to be flown at, they won't as the Aviatior is supposed to be the subject matter expert and hence advise what is a good compramise for flight safety vs patient transfer. Hence most non aviator folks will be happy with what is offered.

If NVG allow you as the PIC to fly below LSALT at night and hence lower than when you are unaided, then you are presenting the patient at the other end (Hospital facility) in potentially a more stable position so the dudes in the white suits can perform their duties. Enough Said.

The black hole night approach, manoeuvring and departing an unlit area is easier/safer to fly with the addition of NVG and that alone may be enough to tip the scales away from night unaided ops.

At present other EMS operations over seas have and use NVG with all the rules and regs in place, so why not OZ?


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Old 26th Apr 2006, 02:47   #402 (permalink)
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The use of NVG would/will enhance all types of operations in many ways too numerous to list here. They simply make the critical phases of any flight so much safer.

Recent converts frequently comment that "I don't know how we did it without them" and "I can't believe how much I didn't see."
The wheel will turn and the luddites will eventually be forced to come on board.


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Old 26th Apr 2006, 03:03   #403 (permalink)
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So many issues, so little time!

Traps: you forgot to mention that Mick Haxell is also a Master Aviator in the pilot's guild, one of very few helicopter pilots to attain that award.
I am intrested in your other comment that NVG reluctance was due "more likely" to paperwork bureaucracy. More likely than what?

TopETQ and Max: low altitude issues are of little relevance to the overall push for NVG, and the statistics and technical aspects are a red herring: though beneficial to the poor ba5tard with the pnuemathorax as they so demonstrably are. NVG are primarliy for safety.
As a secondary, the EMS helicopter essentially justifies itself in only three ways:
1. Speed. Speed of response, speed of search, speed of transport, etc.
2. Access. Ability to access patients that no other vehicle can, or could practically access, to insert medical aid, search remote/rugged/offshore areas, and provide extraction, etc.
3. Concentrate Assets (force multiplier). Ability to bring higher level care/equipment/personnel to patient/incident.

NVG positively impact on all these aspects. It increases speed by reducing planning requirements significantly, reduces need for laborious night-sun approach and landings, reduces spiral climbs for terrain avoidance, dramatically increases speed of locating patients at night, etc, etc, etc. It increases access by safely enabling remote area night seraches (which can be done now, just not efficiently or with low risk). Lastly, the improved speed and access enables asset concentration at night with significantly less risk.

But remember: the number one reason is safety.

There is currently NO LEGAL IMPEDIMENT to strapping the goggs on right now and flying as long as you adhere to the current rules and regs. There is a Compiance Management Instruction (CMI) out that you can adhere to that allows you to gain the real benefits of NVG and use them as if you were on NVG rather than using them as if you didnt have them at all. Thanks to Mike Tavcar and the Victorian Police Airwing (VPAW).

The whole OZ industry will benefit from the labours of Tavcar and VPAW. Do a search and look up these names with NVG, and particularly the trial that NASUS mentions.

Oz lags the world by YEARS in getting over the fact that not only gifted ex military pilots are good enought to fly NVG safely. Hopefully VPAW will show us what the world has been trying to show us for 15 years.
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Old 26th Apr 2006, 06:42   #404 (permalink)
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Contact "STARS" EMS in Calgary, Alberta, Canada...They have been certified to use NVG's for a year or so now on their Bk117's and have set the standard in North America for civillian NVG operations. They are also now approved to use them in the mountains..Miles Mozel is the Chief Pilot...
FAA approved Part 135 NVG operations started in 1999. There are a large number of NVG operators in the US and I hardly think that STARS has set the standard for North America. Maybe Canada?

If anyone is serious about the application and regulatory approvals for this type of operation, they will not go far wrong in talking to Aviation Specialties Unlimited.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 01:41   #405 (permalink)
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Helmet fire,

Yep Mike T did start the NVG project back in mid 90's and it is a shame that it has taken this long to even get this far, which by the way is still not there yet. I know the MT tried to get somewhere with Haxell who on the surface sympathised with the NVG cause but did substantially nothing to further it. Others, like Greg Olssen and the HAA have in recent years also taken on the battle to further the NVG cause for the benefit of all. It was only after the VPAW NVG Trial, now almost 4 years ago, that things started to move because of an excellent VIC/TAS CASA Team leader who got off his backside and did something positive to see the Trial start and the VPAW application proceed. Thankfully CASA people like Beasy & Anderson are in the CASA system who believe in progressing not stagnating.

I hope that Olssen,the HAA and others continue to lobby strongly for NVGs but I also hope they do not get to influenced by operators who want a cheap fix and FAA rules, which are not necessarily world's best practice.

If you think training is expensive try having an accident.....
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 03:51   #406 (permalink)
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NASUS: hear, hear! I agree with much of what you say.

I want to pick up your comment re the FAA rules and "world's best practice". World's best practice is unfortunately subjective terminology because it means so many different things to so many different people. We are balancing the significantly increased safety represented by the adoption of NVG versus the cost of introducing the capability. If you make the capability so expensive to introduce, or the rules so restrictive, then few get to attain the desired outcome of a safer night flying method. Conversly, if you adopt ridiculous minimums to ensure the capability is cheap, you create more accidents because the operators are unaware of the limitations.

World's best practice is a throwaway line to articulate this balance. Resource rich operators invariably come up with a different answer than do resource poor ones, and NVG is no different. During the industry consultation phases of the HAA push for NVG there were operators and individuals who made arguements for a 10 hour pilot training courses, 8 hours for crewmen, full military style cockpit mods of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and hours and hours of ICUS before command. Then there were others who argued for NVG to be an endorsement on your night rating like a NDB or VOR. A lap around the block and box ticked, a cockpit mod costing $2000 (yes there is one flying), and lets get on with it. Everyone who presented an arguement claimed it as world's best practice - but who is right?

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau concluded it's Aviation Research Report B2004/0152 – Night Vision Goggles in Civil Helicopter Operations by saying: “NVG’s have the potential to enhance safety but risk mitigation is required by ensuring a comprehensive implementation package AND properly resourcing the capability in terms of equipment and training.”
Though they too failed to quantify what "properly" and "comprehensive" actually meant. Nevertheless, it is an excellent report into the capabilities and limitations of NVG and the HAA used it to have a stab at creating Australian rules.

That brings us to the FAA rules. Years ago (1994 ish I think) the FAA comissioned an not-for-profit organisation to examine the adoption of an appropriate set of rules for NVG flight. That organisation (the RTCA)subsequently formed Standing Committee 196 (SC-196) and invited representatives from all over the world - including incidently, Mick Haxell from Australia (amongst others) and Mike Atwood from Aviation Specialties Unlimited (see link above) essentially steered the committee. I believe PPRuNe's JimL was also there. SC-196 created and published a number of standards documents that have essentially become the international standard for NVG use - or at least the starting point.

This then begs the question - has this international group of subject matter experts got it so wrong? Or could they be said to have created "world's best practice"?

In accordance with the CASA CEO stated vision of adopting established international practices unless a safety case prohibts it, finding middle ground in the Oz industry views, PLUS recognising that SC-196 might have got it right, the HAA went down that line. So did the FAA.

The HAA "Australianised" it a bit: for example few other countries have a night LSALT like Oz (and the SC-196 does not refer to any) and tightened up some of the definitions in response to industry concerns - such as pilot flight training will be a min of "5 hours NVG flight time", not just "5 hours", and instrument profficiency must be demonstrated prior to commencement of the course.

Have the HAA got it that wrong?

Your last comment was:
If you think training is expensive try having an accident.....
What about Malborough and Mackay? 8 fatalities that I contend would have been prevented if NVG were in use. 8 fatalities that have occured since the SC-196 pointed the way forward. 8 fatalities that have occurred while CASA have tossed and turned over the meaning of "world's best practice" without resolution. How does that sit with your quote?

And if it was not for Tavcar, Beasey, Anderson (you named him above, I am not sure what role he played) VPAW,and now Byron, I shudder to think where development would be.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 05:52   #407 (permalink)
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Ah yes "Sleasy Beasy" a man after my own heart. Not sure what Greg is up to these days and YES its about time SH-T happend with respect to capability.

With any luck VPAW will be seen as the appropriate model from which other templates will follow.

CASA-Get on with it!

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Old 27th Apr 2006, 06:13   #408 (permalink)
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Rest assured Max, Greg, Dave Donaldson, Dan Tyler, Mike de Winton, Tony Wood,and Brendon Balin are still chipping away. Efforts also from Peter Cook, Brett Knowles, and Mark Morrison.

Curious though, why would you choose the VPAW model over the SC-196 model?

Last edited by helmet fire; 30th Apr 2006 at 10:04.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 12:23   #409 (permalink)
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Helmet fire,

I hear what you say...as an ex mil NVG instructor pilot I feel that there are 2 extremes that I do not feel comfortable with; what the CASA CMI proposes is far too high, especially for left hand seat NVG crewperson. On the other hand what the HAA propose of 5 hours only (HAA model) for pilot training is far too low. Somewhere in the middle would be more appropriate. 5 hours could be done in just two nights...and then the pilot is let loose PIC! Not sure if I feel comfortable with this I'm afraid. Has this pilot experienced different environmental conditions in those two nights? Has that pilot done all of his training, in those two nights, with a full moon and clear Wx? Am I missing something here?

Operators don't seem to complain to CASA much about having to pay for a 10 hour endorsement on a medium twin, just accept it, especially for pilots who have thousands of hours on twins yet they have a financial problem with paying out for more than 5 hours NVG for pilots who have never touched NVGs and may only have very little unaided night hours?? Strange! I would be more comfortable teaching NVG in the civil context over a 15 hour period, 5 hours dual and 10 hours ICUS say! 4 -5 hours for a non flying left hand seat NVG crewperson is more than enough. I know the FAA are saying 5 hours and that's it but I'm certainly not comfortable with releasing an NVG 'newby' pilot with those hours PIC! Sorry but that's how I feel.
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Old 27th Apr 2006, 13:00   #410 (permalink)
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VPAW only to say that it is happening in our own back yard and CASA has formed a relationship that recognises their AOC. Better to cut and paste (I mean this tounge in cheek) from your own lap top than some one elses.

Mike De Winton-Good bloke, Allo to Mike


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Old 28th Apr 2006, 02:06   #411 (permalink)
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I understand the sentiment, but by cutting and pasting the VPAW model, you are importing rules and requirements that aare suited to their environment, not necessarily yours. And that may be fine for your operation, but it will not suit others.

NASUS, you asked:
Am I missing something here?

Ummm….only since you asked – yes! Ring up one of the guys listed and get the draft!!

The HAA model is a competency based system in accordance with the Australian training system. Unlike the VPAW or even the SC-196 model, it defines the competency outcome of the graduate pilot or crewman, and then breaks down those competencies into the sorties. Experience, however, is a valuable part of the aviation training system that is not really taken into account by competency-based systems. Recognising this, 5 hours was chosen IAW the international standards of SC-196. A “feeling” or being “uncomfortable” about 5 hours is not considered a sufficient safety case to ignore what the international standard is, especially until you begin to break it down into competencies and see how long it takes to achieve those competencies.

Unlike your Mil experience, civ NVG students will not only be the day 1 types. Some of them will show up with 20 years of IFR EMS, thousands of hours on type, more than 1000 hours of night and more than 1000 hours of IFR. Do you really “feel” that this guy will require more than 5 hours to fly from A to B with a GPS NB 500ft, descend, conduct a pad recce and approach and land on NVG? Note that other competencies such as aided winching or rapelling require more traininig.

Now if you are Mil, and a day 1 pilot, I agree with more traininig. But in that very same situation I had 10 hours instruction and came out a Black Hawk NVG Formation captain, doing time on target (no GPS) at 50 ft into non recce’d pads and dust landings. And I am not a good pilot. That’s what 10 hours gave us. Newby civ pilots will also require more hours, but that will be determined by their ability to achieve the competencies, not tick and flick an hours box. Your example of the twin training is exactly my point.

In order to further align the proposed system with SC-196, the HAA model specifies that you must have more than 250 hours total before training, have a NVFR rating with at least 20 hours night, 10 of which Are post a night rating, 5 in the last 3 months. If you have an instrument rating, you are sweet. If not, you have to complete at least a MINMUM of 1.5 hours night IFR (without a visible horizon) training with a night and IFR instructor, to achieve competency in U/A and Inadvertent IMC (IIMC) recovery to VFR flight before training.

Once on the course, you must do it in no less than 5 flights (busy 2 days I think), and one flight must be conducted in low illumination on in areas devoid of surrounding cultural lighting. And you must achieve all the competencies. A similar sorry for crewmen who have a 2 hour course.

The VPAW model suits VPAW, but it does not hope to cover the variety of operations, operators and pilot types that will be doing training. The SC-196 system did try to cover those.

As for companies letting the newby NVG pilot go PIC straight after, advice of which is also covered in the proposed CAAP, but essentially it is up to the Operator (and they are required to consider this issue), not CASA. What is your safety case to prohibit this international standard?

Any of that make you feel a little more comfortable?
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 13:13   #412 (permalink)
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I agree with NASUS wholeheartedly...

Anything less than Mil Spec (the `VPAW' model) is asking for trouble..NVGs are not just a strap on and go option...

A whole lot of early NVG accidents US/UK provide the basis for the current Mil Spec....why re invent the wheel, Greg?

Goggle Up!
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 22:49   #413 (permalink)
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Um, I think NASUS actualy said about the VPAW (CASA CMI) model was:
what the CASA CMI proposes is far too high
and then mentioned the 5 hours of the HAA model as at the other end of the spectrum. I tried to demonstrate that model is a lot more than just 5 hours of NVG and away you go. Which bit of the HAA model troubles you, Delta? Lets talk specifics, not just general degradation of a model I am sure you are intimate with. You are aren't you?

Because you are so well informed, let me take the time to help you out a bit: the mil spec and VPAW models are very different.
What part of the HAA model says "strap them on and go"? Just a tad condescending and emotive, n'est pas?
And if you soooooo dont want to re-invent the wheel, that rules the VPAW model right out. It is not mil spec, and it is not SC-196. The HAA model is based on.....actually read all about this point above - it has been made enough times.

Hopefully I have shown above that the HAA model is not that different from the VPAW model after all, and is competency driven. The VPAW CMI requires 8 hours, (not 8 hours of NVG flight), and includes mission training too. It does not define competency outcomes. The VPAW model was used extensively in the development of the HAA model, and if you look back through the thread you will see that I praise the VPAW efforts as the van-guard of NVG in Oz. I stand by that praise.

But some one needs to mount a safety case as to why we should not adopt the international standard. A safety case is more than a gut feeling. Pointing to an unknown, unquantifiable number of "early" accidents is not a safety case. Delta, over to you to substantiate those claims.
And if someone can, now is the time we need to hear it before the rules are finalised in Oz. We need input, and we need experiences. No good pooh poohing the cake if you have not helped to bake it.

In fact I am aware of only two civ NVG accidents in the US/UK (or the world for that matter), but only one that was being operated IAW the FAA/International standards.
1. Often mistakenly quoted here was a US public use police op where a 500 hour pilot took off at night in fog and flew over water. Accident investigators failed to confirm if he was on NVG or not. BUT....Public Use aare not subject to the FAA rules, and this op did not comply with them in any way, including no documented traaininig course, no instrument profficiency, etc, etc, etc.
2. a squirrel that went in after alleged pilot disorientation. he goggled up, and degoggled during the disorientation recovery (don't remember thhat bit in the traaining), and used the goggles at the bottom to avoid losing his own life.
Meanwhile, how many have died from CFIT without the NVG?
Rega in Switzerland have been doing NVG for 15 years WITHOUT INCIDENT. And their training regimeis....? A clue: it is less restrictiive than the HAA model, and they operate in a slightly more adverse environment, don't you think?

Do we Aussies really know NVG that much better than a international pannel of experts who have been doing NVG in the civ environment for up to 15 years whilst we are yet to kick off?
I know what the kiwis are thinking right now...
Any guesses?

Goggle up? absolutely.

Last edited by helmet fire; 29th Apr 2006 at 03:23.
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 00:14   #414 (permalink)
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...first to qualify my comments, I'm ex-mil, NVG qual'ed now EMS SPIFR 24 hour ops in mountainous, freezing-level environment (Australian) - Jeeze, talk about outing yourself -
I agree with the model Helmut Fire is refering to for Aust Ops, but only after reading his comments above.
I too at first thought that 5 hours gog trg is way too few to command in this challenging environment (won't comment on non-EMS as I don't feel I have the experience to claim that right). But, to paraphrase some of his comments, this training is competency based, so if the trainee isnt up to speed on the prescribed manoeuvres and knowledge, he wont get the tick in the box.
I also strongly agree with the point that this will be training for crew already experienced in the environment in which they are to opperate . That environment doesnt involve anything like low level tac nav time on target formation in an actively hostile environment. Yes the EMS role takes us potentially into difficult and dangerous situations, but in my operation and all that I know of, it is here where the EMS crew use their experience and knowledge to avoid actual risk, be that by using certain techniques/training/equipment(NVG?), or by turning down the job outright. This will not change with the application of NVG methods.
I am comfortable with the idea of 5 NVG hours training for experienced opperators who will only be allowed to opperate NVG once they prove they are competent.
I'm glad to hear that ops such as winch will require extra training. It sounds like the basic qual will allow us to get airbourne, cruise (say what you like about medical requirements for low level, if I can stay low, avoid ice, decrease the flight time, avoid traffic, help the patient, and have the advantage of always seeing where I am going to land if I or the patient have an emergency), locate and land without ever losing visual touch with obstacles. Simple, safe, smart.
HAA and the guys pushing this deserve our full support and thanks, and the future of our industry deserves our input. From experience, this isnt a closed shop, the guys appreciate all the industry input they can get.
Keep this thread going. It's a great way to get the message out there, and to gather industry/individual input.
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 02:20   #415 (permalink)
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I didn't 'out' you mate, you 'outed' yourself! I mentioned your name because I imagined you would be reading the thread.....

Your response was articulate and well reasoned, and I believe that we both have the same aims in mind...

NASUS makes the point regarding the CMI setting too high a standard, but I think he was referring to the non flying NVG crewmember....

The UK/US accidents I refer to are not civilian...I am talking about the many military accidents which occurred as people started discovering some of the pitfalls in the (then) emerging technology...the weather traps, the new range of illusions, the need for new cockpit ergonomics and crew protocols...these are the things which served to define the 'mil spec'.

I don't think the VPAW's stance is about being exclusive, I firmly believe that the best fallback from a degraded or failed NVG situation is an instant reversion to IFR...and IFR in a well equipped IFR cockpit..it's all about risk mitigation..

Competency based training has its merits...but with NVG, it is important to expose the pilot to the full range of operating conditions..and it may not be possible to achieve this over a short training period.

(sips coffee,....thinks) I make the analogy of deck landing qualifications in the military (because NVG ops in Oz are still confined to the military) You would have probably qualified in Moreton Bay, or some relatively benign location. Remember when you first tried the same procedure,landing on the same ship at sea? You would have found it a little different, to say the least!

NVGs will save lives in Australia...we both know that...but they can bite even the well trained.. you know that too.... What experience level and aircraft capablity was on board 108, when it made its unscheduled (and very lucky) landing on top of a mountain in ET? Fair enough, you say...we don't intend to conduct those sort of ops...I agree...

But it is a contemporary example of a well trained crew in a very capable and sophisticated aircraft, coming unstuck in an NVG/bad weather combination...

Dampen down that fire a tad, helmet...we are both on the same side...

Just from different schools.....(of thought)

Happy landings, old friend!

P.S. Your command of French is impressive, to say the least...
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 03:54   #416 (permalink)
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Fair enough. Except for the French bit!! Mon Dieu.

Sorry for the fire, but it has been a long road that is not over yet.

I will post the pilot competency statements tonight and that may help you come to terms with the proposal. As I said above, all input to the current development is welcome, but it really helps if the current standards are well understood before-hand as comments linking the HAA and SC-196 models to a strap on and go scenario are both provocative and wide of the mark: resulting in occaisional fire from mein helmet!!! As w'ocker says, most of those exposed to the actual detail of the model come to agree with the general thrust.

No course of training will expose you to a large variety of conditions, and I hear your concerns. As a direct result of that very issue, the HAA model added to the SC-196 requirements by having to have a sortie completed with low illumination in an area devoid of surroundiing cultural lights. If you are trying to squeeze all your training into two days, then most of your course will be done like that. As for a variety of weather and terrain, that sort of supervision will be an operator responsibility, as it is now.

The ET event is not applicable really (tac formation to very low weather limitations). But your IFR points have also been heavily considered by both the SC-196 and the HAA models. In short, the HAA model is proposing that where no IFR rating/aircraft is used, the min wx is NVFR over the entire route too NVFR LSALT levels. Qualification competencies also include a demonstrated IIMC recovery.
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 05:26   #417 (permalink)
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I touch base with the hard working NASUS from time to time, and I am familiar with the proposals on the table.

At the risk of drawing fire from itinerant jet ranger drivers, I think you overstate the ease with which the average pilot will come to grips with NVG ops...and I still believe you are paying lip service to the requirement for a prolonged and varied exposure to different operating environments.

At the additional risk of 'playing the man', look at yourself, and Daff, and Mike A, et al. You are all highly experienced ex military pilots, who have had the benefit of a thorough and extremely expensive training course, followed by a long period of consolidation, followed by years of experience, during which you would have seen a vast array of NVG environments. Have you forgotten how difficult it was during the first couple of hours? And given you had a crew of four?

You can't buy experience, nor can the average operator afford to buy the sort of equipment you have been fortunate enough to fly...

As I previously mentioned, these environments are not what we envisage for civil ops, but it doesn't take much to move from a benign cockpit situation to a nasty one. You've been there...we all have...

Why do you think companies like IT* don't want to sell this equipment to anyone but 'big chopper' law enforcement and EMS organisations?

I acknowledge and applaud your efforts so far...but there is a way to go yet, and I think the first transition from military to civil ops should mirror the former as much as possible.

Down the track, after a few years of safe and successful operation...then look at lowering the standards...don't start out that way mon ami...

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Old 29th Apr 2006, 12:25   #418 (permalink)
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Mate, I appologise for the fire and you come back with Helmetfire/Hellfire.
Ok then.
I am familiar with the proposals on the table
But you think the VPAW model is the mil spec....
Anything less than Mil Spec (the `VPAW' model) is asking for trouble
sounds like you are well on top of it.

I think you overstate the ease with which the average pilot will come to grips with NVG ops
If you have a safety case to back up this thought, now is the time to share as they are getting close to finalising the standards.
Also, do I really need to explain the relationship between "average pilot" and competency based training?

and I still believe you are paying lip service to the requirement for a prolonged and varied exposure to different operating environments
And the VPAW solution is what?
When I went through in 1990 or 91, we did our entire course, 10 hours of it, in two weeks in the same Townsville training area. Hardly meets your proposition, how about you?
Environmental conditions vary so much across bases, a one rule fits all is ridiculous. Learning out at Mataranka in the dry is going to be a challenge if you require all sorts of different conditions. So it is left to the operator to supervise the transition into their environment. As it should be. Do you have a superior suggestion?

I did get a 'phone call today with a suggestion that we post a bit of the HAA stuff to get the info out there, so I will do that in response to any questions or issues, starting with the pilot stuff posted below. But before I do, Delta has asked of the system:
Down the track, after a few years of safe and successful operation...then look at lowering the standards...don't start out that way mon ami...
Again, I am proposing that we accept that 15 years of safe civil ops meets this measure. And yet again I ask:
Do we Aussies really know NVG that much better than a international pannel of experts who have been doing NVG in the civ environment for up to 15 years whilst we are yet to kick off?
I am still keen on hearing from Delta why 5 hours is not enough, or why the SC-196 standards are defective. That is; keen to hear a safety case rather than a feeling, or simply because thats how we did it when we were military.

Here is the current proposal for the pilot training for initial qual.

Training Competency Outcome of this course: Perform the duties of an an NVG Pilot to safely and effectively take off, fly and navigate en-route across country, and descend, reconnoitre and land or hover to lit, unlit and unprepared HLSs using NVG.
Minimum Qualifications prior to commencing NVG training
Before commencing NVG training leading to the award of an NVG qualification, the trainee pilot must , as a minimum, have the following:
a. Hold at a current Commercial Helicopter Pilot licence or Air Transport Helicopter licence; and
b. Hold a current night VFR rating for helicopters; and
c. Have logged at least 250 hours of aeronautical experience as a helicopter pilot of which no more than 50 can be in an approved flight simulator representative of the aircraft category that will be used for NVG operations; and
d. Be appropriately endorsed on the aircraft type intended for training; and
e. Have logged at least 10 hours of night (unaided) helicopter (not including training leading to the award of a NVFR rating), 5 of which are in the three months leading up to the initial award of an NVG rating; and
f. Hold a current Instrument Rating or in the three months immediately prior to the commencement of training, undergo not less than 1.5 helicopter flight hours of dedicated dual night instrument training with an approved helicopter instrument instructor to achieve competency in unusual attitude recovery and inadvertent IMC recovery with sole reference to the aircraft’s instruments.
g. Pilots are to be qualified/certified for advanced operational sequences, such as winching, etc, unaided prior to undergoing NVG training for those sequences.
Training Intent
Due to the importance of the pre flight planning and goggle adjustment phases, it is intended that the lessons be conducted in no less than 5 flights, and expose the trainee to at least 1 flight in low illumination conditions such as those with little or no moon in areas devoid of surrounding cultural lighting.

NVG Pilot Training is a competency based system with a prescribed minimum of 5 hours NVG Flight time. The minimum is set with the intent of specifying the minimum training an experienced night/IFR pilot would require to achieve basic competencies. Therefore, where pilots have low night, IFR or total helicopter time, these minimums shall be increased.

The intent is that Operators (as opposed to the Authority) will build extra requirements into training syllabi to satisfy any advanced operational sequences particular to their operation, such as specialised coastal rescue, winch, rappel, etc , and are a component of risk management when seeking variation on the operational guidelines established in this CAAP. As another example, Operators may feel a progression through a period of ICUS is suitable to their operation, and should institute those requirements overlaid on these minimums. Such increases are not limited to the flight sequences, but may also be desired in the ground training phases.

With the exception of inadvertent IMC recovery, and loss of visual reference procedures, training may be conducted in an approved NVG flight simulator. Notwithstanding the minimum flight time, proficiency must be demonstrated in at least the following subjects:
a. Preparation and use of internal and external aircraft lighting systems for NVG flights and operations.
b. Preflight preparation of NVGs, planning considerations, and appropriate route selection for NVG flights and operations.
c. Correct piloting techniques (during normal, abnormal, and simulated emergency aircraft operations) whilst using NVGs during the take off, climb, enroute, descent, and landing phases of flight.
d. Normal, abnormal and emergency operations of the NVGs during flight.
e. In flight simulated Inadvertent IMC recovery to VMC with sole reference to the aircraft instruments. Non instrument rated pilots require training additional to the 5 hours in order to demonstrate instrument proficiency.
f. Loss of Visual reference procedures on landing and take off.
g. Sound crew co-ordination.

These competencies can be achieved in an example of a qualification competency evaluation that reads:
As a minimum, trainee to demonstrate competency in:
1. Mission planning/flight planning for the flight.
2. Determining the serviceability of NVIS equipment, including aircraft components.
3. Performing cockpit drills including switch selection and ‘Goggle/de-goggle” procedure.
4. Performing hover, taxi and transit procedures.
5. Performing crew resource management appropriate to NVIS operations.
6. Performing NVIS practice malfunctions and emergency procedures.
7. Performing NVIS departure and navigation.
8. Performing circuit operations to unlit confined areas located in areas devoid of surrounding cultural lighting.
9. Performing Loss of Visual reference procedures on landing and take off .
10. Perform Inadvertent IMC penetration procedures and safe recovery to VFR flight.
11. Perform a selection of practice aircraft emergency procedures, under NVIS conditions, applicable to the aircraft type.

Note that these standards are the current proposal at the working group level. They are not a finalised position, and are subject to change.
All safety cases pointing out deficiencies in the above are invited.
helmet fire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th Apr 2006, 16:02   #419 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: On the move...
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Posts: 359
Good info.

Well done Helmet Fire. Good post and it sets the scene for what is being discussed.
Did this make it to a NPRM (or similar) for public discussion?
CYHeli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th Apr 2006, 22:49   #420 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Posts: 296
Congratulations to Helmet Fire and friends

I know how much you have all devoted to this frustrating project over the years. The others who have helped, and stayed with you, when CASA had a flat tyre are also deserving of a pat on the back.

This project was first pushed by a group of which I was a member in 1993. At that time I was an Army Reserve instructor using NVG. I was told by CASA that it was a low priority - lacking expertise within the regulator.

The industry members who have fought so hard to run with the ball in Australia need to be recognised. You can image how they must feel when NZ, with their limited NZCAA resources, got the project underway, a couple years ahead of us - when it was our launch!

They have used the current US model (and US advisors under contract). It seems to be working.

Even today, CASA are advising industry that the earliest this will be resolved will be mid-year. So hopefully, we will see some progress - as this is only a few months away.

I hope the CASA move to Brisabne, and new restructuring, and the spilling of the 65 technical positions, will not distract from this important safety issue.

Well done guys.......if you had a dollar for every hour you spent finding a workable paper .... then you would be "millionaires".

And you are volunteers too!
robsrich is offline   Reply With Quote

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