When most of us think of Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) we envision police helicopters looking for people on the ground or expensive all-weather systems in Gulfstream cockpits.
It’s hard to imagine FLIR in small general aviation aircraft at a price of $18,680.
Harder to imagine than that is the many ways in which FLIR can enhance safety.
Imagine that – like young John Kennedy – you’re a VFR pilot who becomes disoriented over water on a dark night. You can’t see the horizon. If you can picture that, go to the Forward Vision website and learn about a great solution. Forward Vision’s FLIR shows you the horizon. It also displays clouds, so you can avoid them.
Imagine that you’re instrument rated and your electrical system has quit, but you have Forward Vision’s FLIR running on its backup batteries. If you’ve had the forethought to draw a line across the screen’s horizon while flying straight and level, you can go right on flying straight and level. It serves as a poor-man’s gyro horizon.
Let’s say that there are no dire emergencies, but you do a lot of night flying, perhaps into strange airports. As you approach you can see the runway clearly and even read the numbers, most of the time. On the ground you can follow the taxiways and read the signs easily. On a nasty night, you can see other taxiing aircraft long before they can see you.
Day or night – Forward Vision’s FLIR doesn’t mind sunlight – it’s a great way to see airborne traffic, often before you can spot it by eye, and it even shows birds. Airplanes emit a lot of heat and so do birds.
In fact, the Forward Vision FLIR gives you day and night capabilities that no other non-military FLIR offers, regardless of price. Its temporary mounts allow you to mount it on a strut or elsewhere without an STC or Form 337, or while you work on one or the other.
Taken altogether, that’s a lot of additional safety for relatively little money.