It's been a long week, but I got home early this evening. I've been in Wichita doing Enhanced Vision System (EVS) testing on the prototype Bombardier Global 5000. EVS has in infra-red camera that displays an image in the Heads Up Display (HUD). EVS offers two potential advantages: ability to see what is ahead during night operations, and the possible ability to see the approach and runway lights earlier in low visibility. The concept for low visibility operations is that if you can see the approach lights prior to reaching the approach minima, you can continue descent to 100 ft above the runway. At 100 ft above the runway, the pilot must be able to see the threshold or touchdown zone markings or lights with the naked eye, or a missed approach must be made (Note: all of the above is valid in the US only).

We're only part way through the planned EVS testing, and so far we've found some conditions where the EVS is no better than the naked eye, and other conditions where the EVS would allow landings to be accomplished that would have been missed approaches without it.

And here we have a large group of Smurfs. No, its the EVS flight test crew. We had test pilots and flight test engineers from Bombardier, Transport Canada and the FAA, an Operational Standards pilot from Transport Canada, and an Aircraft Evaluation Group pilot from the FAA (the FAA AEG pilot was not available for this flight - we had a second TC Operational Standards pilot instead).