Airbus Helicopters AS350s can now operated in Canada with night-vision technology from Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU). The company said it has received notice from Transport Canada that it had approved a supplemental type certificate (STC), pursued with HNZ Topflight.
“HNZ Topflight provides advanced helicopter training that supports their company operations across Canada as well as military, police and commercial customers around the world,” said ASU's quality assurance manager, James Haney. “Working with Transport Canada, we were able to modify the aircraft, obtain the STC and get the aircraft back in operation as soon as possible.”
This modification is ASU’s 208th on the AS350, according to the company.
In September, ASU announced it had received an STC for night-vision technology on the Sikorsky S-92. This certification was for Bristow operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
ASU also champions the technology’s use in firefighting. The company’s director of operations, Justin Watlington, spoke with R&WI in July about the technology’s importance.
“We've seen our accident numbers in EMS go down tremendously with night controlled-flight-into-terrain incidents since the general use of night-vision goggles,” Watlington said, arguing that aerial firefighting is in the same stage as air ambulances in the early 2000s. “We're just kind of getting started right now. I really think that there is a true interest in putting the fire out. Fighting fire at night is an essential part of that.”