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Night flight


usage and technology have


grown exponentially in the past few years and the dilemma from FAA mandate to have a minimum of 2 crewmembers for NVG flight operations below 300’ AGL has evolved as well. There are two general sides taken in this discussion. The first is the belief that NVG operations can be con- ducted safely with only the pilot using NVGs, while others believe that NVG flight operations below 300’ AGL is a multi-crew task. Each side of the discussion believes the alternative to be undesirable. In this article, we will take an objec- tive look at this issue.


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL


BACKGROUND The dilemma stems from the current ver-


biage, imparted by the FAA, contained in the Limitations Section of most NVG aircraft lighting STC holder’s rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) sup- plement which states “an additional crewmember shall be equipped with and use NVGs during landing at unimproved sites to assist in obstacle identification and clearing and during takeoff when operational conditions permit.” Because of this limitation, many operators that would normal- ly operate single-pilot (or NVG pilot only) in a


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given area are now required to operate with an additional NVG equipped crew-member when conducting NVG operations. The dilemma is further exaggerated due to the fact the same operator would not be restricted to the above limitations for operating in the same given area without NVGs. It is important to note that civil aviation


NVG use is comprised of much more than air medical and law enforcement operations. Many other civil operations such as fire fighting, utility, and on-demand transportation benefit from the use of NVG technology. Many of these opera-


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