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East Bay Regional Park District Air Support Completes ASU Night Vision Training Program

9th February 2009 - 14:45 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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East Bay Regional Park District’s Air Support unit’s (4) pilots and (12) aircrew members completed their night vision initial training course conducted by Aviation Specialties Unlimited.

Upon completion of the course, the Regional Parks Unit, located in Hayward, California was quick to implement and employ the use of the new critical safety equipment. A short (5) days after completing their training, Police Officer Pilot Kevin Iocavoni and Tactical Flight Officer Gary Hirata where dispatched in search of (7) overdue hikers consisting of (3) adults and (4) children. Within ten minutes after initiating the search, the hikers were found.

Pilot Officer Iocavoni stated that under the night vision goggles, they were able to spot the hikers who were utilizing a small pen light to gain the helicopters attention. The light, being shined through a dense grove of trees would have been nearly invisible to the naked eye. Pilot Officer Iocavoni stated that he was certain the search would have taken much longer if it had not been for the use of the NVG’s. The ground unit assisting in the search was surprised by the short amount of time it took the Air Support unit to locate the hikers.

Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) was the preferred vendor in the implementation of Regional Parks’s Night Vision Goggle operation. Utilizing the superior ITT Night Vision F4949 Pinnacle Night Vision Goggles and ASU’s FAA Approved Flight Training program, Regional Parks was able to implement this critical safety component to their flight operations unit with turn-key results. East Bay Regional Park District is the 230th helicopter base to be trained and certified by ASU and their highly qualified Instructor Pilots.

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