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Helicopter Flight Training Sponsors

Jan
22
2021

A Unique Vision-Limiting Device

Posted 140 days ago ago by Admin

Erik Sabiston, founder of ICARUS Devices reached out to me on Linkedin to let me know of a product he’s promoting, a vision-limiting device for IMC training which seems to me to be very unique.  I am a flight simulator instructor and examiner and know the value of a flight simulator to access a pilot’s reaction to IMC events.  Erik’s product seems to be very useful in the actual aircraft that can be used on a student with a safety pilot of course.  The clear plastic mounted on either a baseball cap or a helmet flips down over the face of the pilot flying.  Then, controlled by an app by the instructor, they can reduce the visibility slowly to simulate going into an IIMC event slowly or suddenly.

I want to make the disclaimer before I give you any more information I have no financial interest in Erik’s product what-so-ever, my only interest is to impart the information to those of you who may think he has a good product and may want to explore it further.  Here is what Erik wrote when he reached out to me.

"Hi Randy. I wanted to tell you about my new company's vision-imitating device that simulates going into the clouds.  It is a controllable vision restriction device that accurately simulates the startle effect, marginal conditions and greatly improves aeronautical decision making skills. Eventually I hope to be able to link it to a weather planning device, allowing it to change based on an instructors’ programming at the table. It's easy to use, cheap to build and durable. We a lot of potential orders with US and foreign militaries, HEMS, flight schools, colleges and more lined up. This isn't about money for us, we just want it out there to help folks.

The inventor, Nick, sold his car to pay for the patent after his good friend (who got his first helicopter ride) died in a Spatial Disorientation accident. I believe in the device and I just want to get your opinion on it first. I appreciate your time and consideration.” 

Baseball cap mount

Helmet mount

Here, in part, is what the Icarus website touts about their product. 

“The greatest thing from an instructor’s standpoint is the ICARUS Device app. The pilot puts the device on before taxi and I set the app to VMC. This completely clears the ICARUS Device so the pilot can see just fine for taxi and takeoff. Then, at about 400 AGL, I tap the <1/2 VIS button on the app, and boom, the pilot is in the clouds. I even have a time delay to slowly make the ICARUS Device opaque to simulate slowly entering the clouds. I do the same thing on an approach, except in the reverse order, simulating we are slowly exiting the clouds.”

Here is a link to their product. http://txtopaviation.com/using-the-icarus-device-to-simulate-ifr-conditions/

And a YouTube link entitled Icarus Device Demo you can access that will give you a better idea how it works.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNxwvbOwwrQ

About Randy:
Randy Mains is an author, public speaker, and a CRM/AMRM consultant who works in the helicopter industry after a long career of aviation adventure. He currently serves as chief CRM/AMRM instructor for Oregon Aero. He may be contacted at [email protected].