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Tue, Dec 21, 2010

Online Night Vision Resource Responds To FAA SAFO On Night Vision Gear

Agency Said Many Operators May Not Be Performing Adequate Maintenance

The FAA released a SAFO on Dec 15 to  notify operators of aircraft equipped with a Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) of potential deficiencies in the configuration and condition of installed NVIS equipment. The safety alert warns "many operators of NVIS-equipped aircraft may not be adequately meeting the inspection and maintenance requirements of NVISs."

NVGsafety.com - an online resource site for Night Vision Goggle (NVG) safety and education - has posted the SAFO 10022 bulletin, along with complementary information (NVG maintenance regulations, articles and resources) to assist organizations understand and respond to related night vision program management issues.

The FAA findings are the result of a recent FAA's Aviation Safety (AVS) nation-wide sampling of NVIS-equipped aircraft.  FAA teams, made up of Flight Standards Service (AFS) inspectors and Aircraft Certification Service (AIR) inspectors/engineers, discovered that NVIS-equipped aircraft were frequently out of compliance with FAA NVIS requirements.

The FAA has determined it is likely that other NVIS-equipped aircraft may not be properly configured or maintained for NVG operations. They determined that "the likelihood of configuration and maintenance problems increases as aircraft continue in service after NVIS modifications". The bulletin warns "many operators of NVIS-equipped aircraft may not be adequately meeting the inspection and maintenance requirements of NVISs."  

Non-compliance to NVIS maintenance regulations is a critical safety issue and failure to properly maintain an aircraft's NVIS configuration and equipment can degrade NVG acuity and prevent the flight-crew from clearly seeing aircraft instrumentation. As noted in the bulletin "an aircraft that does not comply with the STC and/or ICA requirements, or that has inoperative or improperly maintained equipment, should not be operated until corrective action has been taken."

The FAA SAFO maintenance bulletin outlines the primary reasons that NVIS-equipped aircraft were frequently out of compliance and provides key guidance on how to resolve these issues. 

FMI: www.nvgsafety.com

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