Canadian Helicopters has selected the Max-Viz EVS-1000 enhanced vision system for installation initially on emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters as the safety record of air ambulance operations comes under increased scrutiny.

The Montreal-based operator has completed a 90-day evaluation of a system loaned by Max-Viz and is now putting together a programme to equip Sikorsky S-76s in EMS operation across Canada, says Bill Harwood, director of sales for the Portland, Oregon-based EVS manufacturer.

Canadian Helicopters has purchased the demonstration system, which is installed in a Eurocopter AS355, and is arranging the funding to equip the S-76s, Harwood says. The helicopter operator is also planning another evaluation on a Bell 412 used for homeland defence missions, he says.

The infrared sensor will be mounted on the roof of the S-76, and the image presented on a liquid-crystal display mounted on a swing arm attached to the cockpit sidewall. The uncooled sensor has a 53° field of view and improves situational awareness at night and in reduced visibility.

Harwood says there is a “lot of interest” in EVS from the North American EMS sector, which is under pressure to improve safety after a run of fatal accidents. While some operators use image-intensifying night vision goggles, the ideal solution is to have both NVGs and EVS, he says.

Canadian Helicopters crews evaluated the EVS-1000 at day and night and in reduced visibility. “We believe our evaluation proves that installation of EVS will enhance the safety and reliability of our operations,” says vice-president of safety Sylvain Seguin.


Source: Flight International