UPS To Install Emergency Vision Assurance System On Its Aircraft


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UPS To Install Emergency Vision Assurance System On Its Aircraft

By Shane Nolan


April 8, 2011 - UPS announced it would equip its air fleet with the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS), becoming the first international air carrier to take such a step.

You may recall On September 3, 2010 a UPS 747-400 cargo plane, Flight 6, had departed Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) about 6:53 PM local time, with a filed fight plan to Cologne, Germany. The pilot reported to air traffic control upon takeoff that there was a fire onboard the aircraft and requested to return back to the airport. 

The Captain declared an emergency and was instructed by controllers to land at a near by Emirati air force base in the desert. It appears that there was a fire onboard the Boeing 747 and that the fire had caused a considerable amount of smoke in the cockpit to the degree that the pilots were unable to see outside the aircraft and were unable to read their instruments on the cockpit panels. 

Installation of the enhanced safety equipment comes at the recommendation of the Joint UPS-Independent Pilots Association (IPA) Safety Task Force.

?Safety ownership is a core value at UPS,? said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols. ?We have long been committed to protecting our employees, aircraft and customers? shipments and this new equipment will add yet another layer of safety.?

?Since forming the safety task force last fall, the IPA and UPS have mobilized quickly to research and recommend fire safety enhancements,? said IPA and Safety Task Force member Capt. Bob Brown, lauding the level of cooperation between union and company. ?EVAS is an important step forward.?  

In the event of smoke in the cockpit, EVAS helps maintain a pilot?s critical field of vision by displacing the smoke with a transparent Inflatable Vision Unit (IVU). ?EVAS allows pilots to see their flight path, vital instruments and perform the key tasks of flying in dense-smoke situations,? said Bertil Werjefelt, the president of Vision Safe, which manufactures the device. ?It?s a real safety enhancement and we?re very pleased to be working with UPS Airlines.?


Installation is expected to begin with UPS?s B-767 fleet, after which the equipment will be added to the primary over-water aircraft, the B-747-400 and MD-11. Full fleet equipage will be a multi-year process as the company works to obtain proper certifications and cycle aircraft through modification.  

VisionSafe Corporation was formed to explore various new ways to provide vision for individuals in common land and air environments as well as marine, submarine and scuba diving environments. In the process, the company developed and patented the EVAS system for pilots who might have to deal with smoke in a cockpit. The system has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration since 2001.

UPS is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.

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