HeliSpeed Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) and Night Vision Goggles (NVG) Training Course

In the past Night Vision Goggle’s (NVG) training as in the main been supported using expensive twin engine helicopters, over the last two years HeliSpeed Academy has been developing a cost-effective single engine helicopter training platform to perform Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) and Night Vision Goggle’s (NVG) training using the R44 Helicopter. If required to support the customers training needs the helicopter flight training and ground school training programs can be provided at the customers base

Flying at night with low light levels can be very challenging. NVG night flying is carried out under VFR with the operation being conducted with visual reference to the ground. This exposes the aircraft and crew to a significant risk of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) or collision with other obstacles.

A FAA study best summarised the potential benefit of NVGs when it stated:

When properly used, NVGs can increase safety, enhance situational awareness, reduce pilot workload, and stress that are typically associated with night operations.

As more operators find out about the benefits of Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) they start to understand that it’s not just a case of affixing a set of Goggles to your head and let’s go flying! With the increasing interest by civil operators to conduct night operations, this has brought a corresponding increased level of interest in employing night vision goggles NVG as an aid in night VFR flight.

NVGs are solely enhancement devices which are used as part of a functioning Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) helicopter which is an aid to enhance vision during visual meteorological conditions (VMC) flight.

The use of NVGs does not alter the requirement for minimum VFR conditions to be present. There are limitations on the capability of the NVIS and the use of NVGs for operating at night, it is therefore incumbent on any operator to employ proper training methods and operational procedures to minimise these limitations and to ensure a safe night’s VFR operation.

To provide HeliSpeed Academy’s customers with a cost-effective solution for NVIS / NVG training, HeliSpeed Academy has developed and had approved a cost-effective single engine NVIS/NVG training platform using a R44 helicopter. This platform helps by reducing the costs of actual flight training, allowing the user to ether reduce the total cost or even have more flight time at a reduce cost which helps the pilot to better understand and appreciate the complexities of NVG flight.

EASA documents highlight that NVG training should be conducted in two Tier approach. HeliSpeed Academy has adopted this format and has designed all its single engine NVIS/NVG initial training programs to fully meet this requirement.

HeliSpeed NVIS /NVG Training Aims

  • The aim of our NVIS / NVG courses are to provide students with high levels of NVIS proficiency, along with a well-balanced NVIS experience base.
  • This training will help to offset many of the visual performance degradations associated with night time operations.
  • NVIS experience stems from proper training coupled with numerous NVG flight operations. HeliSpeed provides this by through ground school training and cost-effective actual R44 helicopter NVIS / NVG flight training program.

Tier One (Initial Training)

  • Aimed at Students who have little or limited prior knowledge of NVIS/NVG’s or how to operate them.
  • Ground school training will be given to support all subjects within the tier one training program.
  • Flight training will be given to reach a NVIS operational standard where they can safety use NVIS/NVG’s within a safe VFR flying environment.

The NVIS/NVG Initial Qualification Ground Training will consist as a minimum training detailed below: –

  • Course Intro & Training Requirements
  • NVIS General Characteristics
  • General Anatomy and Characteristics of the Eye
  • Night Vision Human Factors
  • Terrain Interpretation and Environmental Factors
  • Pre & Post Flight Procedures
  • NVG Night Mission Planning
  • NVIS Flight Techniques
  • Basic Instrument Techniques
  • Blind Cockpit Drill
  • NVIS Emergency Procedures

Tier Two Training

Before commencing this training, students will normally have taken the HeliSpeed Academy Initial training course and have experience of NVIS operations they will be acutely aware of the NVIS operational envelope and its correlation to various operational effects, visual illusions, and performance limitations.

Tier two will; –

  • Be aimed at performing flight profiles and operations which the students will perform during his everyday flight duties. 
  • All training is tailored to both the students’ and their operational needs.
  • Continued exposure during these NVIS training programs will help strengthen and solidify the students experience base.
  • This training module will also include tailored ground training to meet the operators’ operations.
  • All training and training standards will be Event Based.

The NVIS/NVG Tier Two Training will consist of tailored training to fully support the customers operations as detailed below: –

  • Ground Operations
  • General Handling & NVIS Appreciation
  • Take Off, Landings & Circuits
  • Navigation
  • Emergency Procedures

Helispeed Academy’s NVG training programme only uses the latest Fenn NG800 NVGs fitted with 4G+ white phosphor 2300 FOM image intensifier tubes. The advantages of this are :

  • Lightweight design- Goggle Mass 525g Bracket Mass 75g
  • Improved flight safety –Independent left/right power, a battery failure causes loss of only one tube
  • Fast F/1 objective lens – Maximises performance of IITs in low light conditions
  • Optics at correct distance from eye – whole 47.5° wide field of view is visible
  • No ITAR – Designed and manufactured in the UK
  • Excellent EMC characteristics
  • Compliant with RTCA/DO-275

If you require any more information about HeliSpeed Academy Night Vision Imaging Systems (NVIS) or Night Vision Googles (NVG) flight training programs please do not hesitate to contact us.


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