Aviation Specialties helps launch police department’s NVG program

Aviation Specialties Unlimited (ASU) has completed a full-service order for the Pasadena Police Department, including four new night vision goggles (NVGs), modified interiors in the departments two Bell OH-58s and initial training for seven pilots.
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The Pasadena Police Department plays a vital role in the protection of one of Americas most notable cities, said ASU director of marketing Hannah Gordon. It is critical to have the right equipment, modifications and know how to maximize the use of your goggles by understanding them. We are honored to have completed the modifications, training and sales of the new NVGs to Pasadena.
Pasadena sits about 10 miles northeast from downtown Los Angeles, Calif., near the San Gabriel Mountains, with a diverse population of about 140,000 people. Although Los Angeles is well lit at night the outlying areas are not.
Flying the foothills of Pasadena at night can be very intimidating, said Pasadena Police Department chief pilot, Patrick Polimeni. It is very easy to lose any visual cues that would indicate a sharp increase in terrain, canyon walls or obstructions. The first time I flew in the foothills with night vision goggles, I could clearly see theses hazards as if it were day and working calls against the foothills are no longer intimidating. I can recall several calls along the foothills that we would either fly at very high altitudes or not normally go to because of the inherent dangers of not being able to see the terrain. With this technology we can now handle these calls without a problem, at altitudes that allow the TFO to be effective.
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ASUs customized training included not only orienting the pilots with the equipment, but also teaching them how to use NVGs flying in their surrounding environment. 
After the training it became very clear how to best use NVGs during an emergency, said Polimeni. Those dark holes have now become suitable landing areas in the event of an emergency. Before the cockpit lights were modified it was difficult to distinguish the different colors on the gauges that indicate cautionary, or exceedance areas. Now with the lighting installed you can clearly see the numbering on the gauges and when you are approaching those time limiting or do not exceed areas.

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