New Part 141 night vision goggle program takes flight

By Matthew Everett

Bristow Academy Inc. recently announced that the FAA has approved their Part 141 Night Vision Goggle training program. The program is intended to train helicopter pilots to use helmet-mounted night vision goggles during night flying. Night vision goggles are often employed by the military, but their use in civilian flying is continually expanding. Night vision goggles are now routinely used by emergency medical services and civilian law enforcement pilots.

The Bristow Academy program consists of two courses, which are designed to fully support trainees from initial training to recurrent training. The initial course is intended to teach the basics of night vision goggle flying and is backed up by the refresher course which aims to keep the pilots current.

The courses will be taught by Bristow Academy’s cohort of highly qualified instructors. Initial training is to be performed at the Titusville, Florida campus in compatible Bell 206-B3 helicopters. The academy hopes to expand the training to their fleet of Schweizer 300 CBi helicopters once approval is granted.

Bristow Academy is an accredited flight training school that is approved by the FAA and the European JAA. They are the only helicopter flight training organization outside Europe approved to offer training for the European JAA Commercial Pilot’s License.

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Matthew Everett is a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at

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