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NVG and neck pain

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NVG and neck pain

Old 5th Jan 2012, 23:37
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 217
Some folks on here have gone thru AN/PVS-5 full face goggles, AN/PVS-5 cut-away goggles (I remember at least 3 mounting systems for these), AN/PVS-5 COBB mount = each version got a little lighter and more user friendly.
The original ANVIS were lighter yet and much better visual acuity. Some folks were using Litton 909s about the time the Army decided on their original ANVIS purchase. From the original ANVIS 6 to todays standard has lost very little weight, but the acuity and filtering has been greatly improved. We have also seen trys at different color portrayed to the eye, brown, yellow, red. ect.... Now you can add weight back to the NVG with clip-on HUD, clip-on compass ect...
Current NVG are not quite 1/2 the weight of the original AN/PVS-5, but they are not far off. Add to the original AN/PVS-5 a counterweight of nearly a pound and a half that you have to use to keep your helmet sitting steady. I have never had to use a counterweight on the ANVIS, so they are easily two to 2.5 pounds lighter than a PVS-5 set-up.
mfriskel is offline  
Old 7th Jan 2012, 12:49
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 321
Canadian News Article...

Night-vision goggles causing neck problems in military pilots | News | National Post

They are the embodiment of a modern, high-tech military and a fixture in Hollywood action movies, but night-vision goggles can literally be a pain in the neck, new Canadian research seems to confirm. A recent study found that most of the Canadian Forces helicopter pilots surveyed suffer from sore necks, and previous research lays much of the blame on the bulky, image-intensifying goggles worn on after-dark missions.

The effects can be debilitating for some, said Patrick Neary, a kinesiology professor at the University of Regina who has led much of the Canadian research. The hazard has been identified in other countries, too, with some pilots actually grounded because of the cervical strain.

“Talking to some individuals, I know they have problems sleeping because of this,” he said in interview Thursday.

Night-vision goggles, which amplify available light thousands of times and display images in green on built-in screens, have become standard issue throughout the armed forces, used by infantry soldiers for low-light operations as well as air force personnel. They contribute to a total weight with the helicopter pilots’ helmet of about 3.6 kilograms, said Prof. Neary.

The problems seem to come when crew move their heads to view the in-flight computer, which sits below shoulder level.

Dean Black, a retired lieutenant colonel in the air force and former CH-146 Griffon helicopter pilot, said Thursday the goggles came into use in the 1990s and are now considered essential.

“They are not only indispensable to air crew, but to people on the ground who depend on the ability of the helicopters to come and help them,” he said. “It means the helicopters can operate 24/7 and in deteriorating conditions…. It turns night into day, albeit all in a green colour, but it really brightens things up.”

Mr. Black, now executive director of the Air Force Association of Canada, said wearing the goggles never caused him much trouble, though he found himself “getting more tired, more quickly than normal.” Some others did suffer considerable pain, however, including one female Griffon officer whom he recalls being grounded because of it.

The latest study by Prof. Neary, Prof. Wayne Albert of the University of New Brunswick and others surveyed a small sample of pilots and flight engineers on the Griffon. Just published in the journal Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, it found that more than half the 40 personnel reported flight-related neck pain, with no difference between the pilots and engineers, who sit further back in the aircraft and perform non-flying tasks. All wear night-vision goggles.

An earlier internal study by the Canadian Forces found that almost all of the pilots who had flown at least 150 hours with night-vision goggles reported neck pain, and that 16 of those surveyed had been grounded because of the pain.

Counterweights on the back of the helmet to offset the effect of the goggles in front help somewhat but do not eliminate the problem, he said. Exercises that help develop muscle co-ordination and strength in the neck, however, appear to make a significant difference, said the kinesiologist.
Canadian Rotorhead is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2012, 09:08
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 843
Hi all,
we use NVG (Anvis5) as well, me having 760 + hrs so far with them.
Some of our older pilots, who don´t use them frequently, seem to get problems with their neck quicker – even with less total NVG hours logged.
I myself had problems with pain in the elbow, which went away after treatment of the neck (some nervs just didn´t like the tension of my muskels there)
It helps to straighten up the neck frequently.
Including sitting straight in the bird, whenever you can.
Also, get with you back so close to a wall, that you nearly fall forward and get your back and head on to the wall, lifting your arms horizontal and your forearms vertical and holding that position for half a minute or so. Even if it looks funny to bystanders, do that a couple of times a day.
It helps to reduce the problems you might encounter flying NVG.
Greetings Udo
Flying Bull
Flying Bull is offline  
Old 25th Jan 2012, 14:07
  #24 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: India
Posts: 91
NVG - Why the Pain Neck?

Grateful thanks for all the respondents to my query on neck pain…
An analysis of physical cause of neck pain among NVG users is available at NVG: Why the Pain in Neck.
AvMed.IN is offline  

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