What are the rules concerning radar altimeters and NVG operation in rotorcraft?
The requirement for the radar altimeter is straightforward: FAA will not certify a helicopter for NVG operations without a radar altimeter, as stated in FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 7, Section 4. FAA considers the radar altimeter to be a required part of any night vision imaging system (NVIS) and guidance concerning the process of NVIS certification can be found in AC 27-1 MG 16 and AC 29-2 MG 16. For expanded guidance and further details on the need for the radar altimeter, please refer to RCTA/DO-275 and RTCA/DO-268.
Jessie K. Kearby is a Certification Engineer for Aircraft Night Vision System Integration, Modification and Repair Center at Aero Dynamix, Inc.
In addition to his established working relationship with the FAA, Jessie K. Kearby was recently recognized by Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) as a Subject Matter Expert on Aircraft Night Vision System Modification.