VisionSafe (Booth No. N1726) is demonstrating its emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) here at the NBAA convention as a survival factor in the event of a smoke-filled cockpit.
The company notes that while the FAA uses only a small amount of temporary smoke in its aircraft certification process, VisionSafe’s EVAS allows pilots a clear view of the instruments and out the windscreen in a worst-case, smoke-filled cockpit scenario.
The Kaneohe, Hawaii-based firm emphasizes the need for such a safety-enhancing package, quoting the Airline Pilots Association: “There are an average of three smoke incidents daily in the U.S. [and] on average one out of three requires an emergency landing due to smoke.” And VisionSafe added that over the past 50 years, U.S. and international foreign accident investigation authorities have made numerous recommendations to eliminate the unsafe conditions associated with smoke in the cockpit that can’t be stopped. VisionSafe believes its EVAS is the answer and has found a growing group of clients that believe the same.
One of the most recent is UPS. The global package carrier, at the encouragement of its UPS-Independent Pilots Association Safety Task Force, is in the process of equipping its entire fleet of some 200 aircraft with EVAS. Task force member Capt. Bob Brown lauded the cooperation between union and company, describing the decision as “an important step forward” in terms of safety enhancement. A UPS Boeing 747-400 crashed on Sept. 3, 2010, in Dubai following what is suspected to be a lithium-battery-fueled fire.
Ross Lewis, a GIV captain, had occasion to deploy the EVAS during a smoke-filled cockpit event and wrote to VisionSafe: “In a smoke environment like we just had there would be no way that somebody could land this aircraft under those circumstances with that much smoke in the cockpit unless they had a unit like this.”
According to VisionSafe founder and CEO Bertil Werjefelt, the EVAS is FAA certified and can be designed to fit any aircraft model. And he noted that Bombardier, Dassault Falcon and Gulfstream offer it as a standard option. Werjefelt said VisionSafe is aware of three deployments of the EVAS on corporate aircraft and that, “In all cases, EVAS played an important role…preventing what we call the smoke trap.”
EVAS has a retail price of $17,000 per unit uninstalled. Installation requires from two to eight hours, depending on the aircraft and the complexity, and installation drawings can be seen on the VisionSafe website (www.visionsafe.com).