This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
NIGHT OPERATIONS There is a great reluctance by city/county fire agencies to pursue

nighttime dipping operations over bodies of water, even with NVG. Pilots complain of a ‘white-out’ effect from water vapor stirred up by the helicopter’s rotor wash, especially over large bodies of water, and some have even reported mud on the windscreen from dust mixing with water vapor and sticking to the glass. As a result, current standard practice is to land and do a ground

fill, where fire hoses are attached to a helicopter’s drop tank for the purpose of refilling between drops. This is labor intensive, since a ground crew has to perform the operation while the flight crew remains on the idling helicopter, but pilots pretty much universally agree that it is the safest way to do things. As soon as the load is completed, the helicopter can lift off and return to the fray. Insofar as hoist rescues are concerned, there are two schools of

thought: traditional hoist and European style. The aircraft hovers directly over the target in a traditional hoist operation while lifting and lowering personnel. In European style, the aircraft moves slow- ly forward while lowering the medic, then hovers during the last 10’ of the medic’s descent. The European method has two main advan- tages: less danger to those on the hoist or the ground if an engine failure occurs; and a reduced tendency for the people on the hoist to be spun around by the rotor wash. Currently, there are three fire agencies in Southern California

which use NVG: Los Angeles County Fire Department, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, and Orange County Fire Authority. These agencies use Generation 3 aviator goggles (typically designated as AN/AVS 9 – nicknamed “ANVIS 9”). We now take a brief look at what their experience and policies entail for effective (and safe) use of NVG.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36