Aviation Specialties Unlimited, (ASU) was awarded the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Operations Inspectors and Aircraft Certification Pilots night vision goggle (NVG) contract while operating fixed-wing aircraft. ASU will provide both initial training and recurrent training to FAA beginning in July. ASU initially began training the FAA in 2017, when they were awarded the first fixed-wing training contract.
ASU’s training takes place in Boise, Idaho, in the high desert mountains and in remote areas where low-light conditions and challenging terrain make it ideal for training. ASU has trained pilots and crews from around the world that fly in extreme conditions for unique missions. For initial NVG flight training, FAA pilots and inspectors will receive eight hours of classroom training, 1.5 hours of daytime flight training, and 5.5 hours of NVG flight training. ASU will also conduct recurrent training at its Boise site.
In the first contract for the FAA fixed-wing training, ASU trained 19 inspectors for both initial and recurrent training. Including helicopter training iterations, ASU has conducted over 800 training events for the FAA in its 25-year history.
“Continuous NVG training is vital for pilots that operate in this demanding environment,” said ASU Director of Business Development Chad St. Francis. “Fixed-wing NVG operations within the national airspace is relatively new to this community. Most of the regulations for NVG operations have been tailored for rotary-wing operations. We see growth in the NVG fixed-wing community, especially from aerial fire suppression operations, aerial agricultural spraying, law enforcement, and DoD/Federal contractors. The FAA recognizes that these operations require standardization and certification, as with the rotary-wing community. We look forward to providing initial and recurrent fixed-wing NVG ground and flight training to both FAA Inspector Pilots as well as endorse those Commercial Fixed-Wing operators that require NVG operations to execute business and missions safely.