Blinded by Smoke

Commercial airline pilot, Captain Brian S., was executing a normal flight plan when he noticed smoke rising around him. What he didn’t know at the time, was that oil had leaked into the air conditioning system, blowing smoke into the cockpit. The situation turned critical within moments as the cockpit filled with thick smoke. In that instant, he and his crew were flying blind.

EVAS Smoke detection

How an innovative solution to a critical safety risk is clearing a path to safer skies.

Captain Brian recalls, “It happened all of a sudden, real quickly, and I couldn’t see my flight instruments. I had to put on my mask and goggles and the oxygen mask hose caught on something. I couldn’t lean forward and couldn’t figure out what it was caught on. I couldn’t see the panel, so I’m feeling around the cockpit by hand where the autopilot controls are. Until we get this smoke resolved, we can’t see anything in the cockpit . . .”According to FAA reports, there are an average of three incidents a day due to smoke, fire or fumes on aircraft in the US alone. With the proliferation of lithium-ion battery-powered devices (on average nearly 600 lithium batteries per commercial flight), there is a growing awareness of fire and smoke safety protocols in the aviation industry today.

VisionSafe’s Emergency Vision Assurance System, EVAS, is a Cockpit Smoke Displacement System that is available for installation via OEMs and aftermarket installation for airlines, cargo operators, corporate fleets and private jets. The EVAS safety system displaces smoke from the flight crew’s line of sight to their critical flight instruments and the windscreen, and replaces it with clear, filtered air via a bespoke Inflatable Vision Unit.

Hundreds of private operators, passenger aircraft and most global air freighters are already EVAS equipped. In all, EVAS has been installed on thousands of aircraft and has Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) applicable to over 120 aircraft models.
Bombardier, Dassault Falcon Jet and Gulfstream have designated EVAS as an OEM client option, with EVAS included as standard equipment on select aircraft.

VisionSafe also holds EVAS certifications for Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, Textron and other aircraft. As the landscape of technology and travel continues to evolve, the prioritization of onboard safety measures like EVAS becomes paramount. Flight departments, pilot unions and government agencies are vocal supporters of safeguarding pilot vision during smoke emergencies, and currently, many aircraft have no protection against continuous blinding smoke. EVAS is quick and easy to install and provides a crucial layer of safety to address a serious problem: when you can’t see, you can’t fly.

For more aviation articles, click here.

About The Author

For editorial consideration please contact editor@jetsetmag(dot)com.

Related Posts