Minimizing Risks of Night Operations: Night Vision Training

European Rotors is your chance to participate in a Night Vision (NV) Training conducted by Human Factors and Night Vision specialist Douglas Vine on 7 November 2022. The half-day NV training course is a condensed version of AMST’s comprehensive NV training going beyond standards.

NIGHTFOX VTIGS, the most advanced interactive NV classroom training system will be used by Mr. Vine during the training. This makes the course an ideal opportunity to experience the innovative system first-hand.  

You can book your spot with European Rotors:  EUROPEAN ROTORS 2022 Training Day

Introduction to AMST’s Night Vision Training 

Flying at night places additional risks on aircrew. Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) do not turn night into day! Failure to appreciate the limitations and potential illusions associated with the use of NVGs can prove fatal. The key to minimizing these significant risks is a structured training programme. The NV training course covers the key elements of NVG operating procedures. 

The particular risks of NVG operations are: 

  • Narrow field of view 
  • Loss of stereopsis – reliance of monocular cues 
  • Misperceptions 
  • Fatigue 

The identification of the risks is taught with 2 training systems. The NIGHTFOX NVTS with its terrain model board provides a “real world” view of the night scene. Trainees can compare this three-dimensional picture with the two-dimensional visual cues that the NVGs present to the human eye.  

The NIGHTFOX VTIGS interactive classroom training system is used to demonstrate blinding effects and NVG “washout”. The training focusses on different terrain types from high to low contrast scenes. The complete scope of training goes from urban environments to low contrast mountainous terrain with upsloping valleys. The need to aggressively “scan” the night scenes to capture the NVG image is especially important. Crew integration is therefore essential. 

AMST offers a comprehensive NV training that satisfies and even goes beyond the requirements of NATO STANAG 7147. The course examines in detail operational accidents and the difficulties encountered in conducting operations in extreme low light environments with degraded visual cues. As Spatial Disorientation (SD) is a risk during night operations, the training also has an SD component. 

Specific topics include: 

  • Principles of image intensification – form and function 
  • Visual physiology – visual deficit and countermeasures 
  • Vision in flight 
  • The night operating environment 
  • Crew Resource Management – the conflict 
  • Accident prevention – case studies 
  • Human factors – other related risks 
  • NVG fitting and integration 
  • Demonstration of contrast/texture gradients 
  • Demonstration of reflectivity and albedo 

The structure of the NV training ensures that all aircrew receive identical training. This includes rear crew members such as load masters and winch masters. With this complete training solution, the team can develop good Crew Resource Management. 

The flight safety benefits are clearly iterated with state-of-the-art equipment and a building-block approach to the training process. Basic visual physiology and physical principles of NV and NVGs are explained and demonstrated. Each pilot flies NVG missions with specific mission-based scenarios. For the NV training, participants can use their own standard NVGs or NVGs provided by AMST.

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