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quickly be in an inadvertent meteorologi- good stuff I learned from Scott Baxter ship, two-way communication, and the
cal conditions. Crew coordination be- when he pioneered the Bell NVG initial ability to maintain situational awareness.
comes critical, and any unaided class, and for all those able, I highly rec- Often times, as flight crews become more
crewmember should advise the flight crew ommend this initial and recurrent training. proficient with NVG operations, overcon-
of diminishing visibility. Mission planning, crew coordination fidence and complacency can compromise
Whiteout situations, low visibility, and plain old good judgment remain the safety of flight. Risk assessment and man-
CFIT, inadvertent IMC and resultant loss best manner in which to prevent being in agement must be continuous from the ini-
of control deserve our attention, as these dangerous and deadly situations. Good tial pre-flight briefing to the post flight
preventable accidents continue to occur. crew coordination involves flight leader- de-brief.

When faced with inadvertent IMC condi-
tions, hopefully a situation we constantly
train for, it is important to note that acci-
dents occur when attempting a turn, as a
further loss of situational awareness often
happens. Having this knowledge, and ob-
structions permitting, climb straight and
advise ATC you have an inadvertent IMC
emergency condition. Let the TFO tune
any radio’s, as the PIC, just concentrate
on straight and level flight. Today many
pilots have never heard of the no-gyro
and/or radar surveillance approach that
controllers used to provide. While a se-
nior controller recently advised me that
very few ATC facilities still train for or
provide true ASR approaches, they are
able to help and advise you of turns,
climbs, descents, etc by issuing com-
mands such as “turn – stop turn”, “climb –
stop climb”, and therefore vector onto and
down a localizer approach during IMC
conditions. Check with your local con-
troller to see what services are available
in your area. If you have a military base
located near you, they most likely can pro-
vide you with a true ASR approach. You
just listen, fly to their commands.
Again, good judgment, early on, is the
best prevention. If you are in diminishing
visibility and ceiling, land as soon as possi-
ble, any parking lot, field, etc – being ever
so mindful of obstructions. During these
landings, slow is good and slower is better.
Many of us in law enforcement have
been flying with NVG’s for some time so
it’s important to remember that the moon
phase, azimuth and relative position are
all important factors influencing image
quality and operational capability. Once
the moon is less than 20% above the hori-
zon, the atmosphere begins dispersing
more lunar light resulting in less image
detail. It is interesting to note that most
military recorded accidents while operat-
ing on NVG’s occurred when the angle of
the moon was less than 30 degrees above
the horizon. Lunar levels can be obtained
at the website. This was all • Heli-Expo 2010 Preview Issue 15
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