Aviation Specialties Unlimited, Inc. (ASU) and L3 Warrior Sensor Systems recently entered into an agreement, making ASU an authorized Technical Standard Order (TSO) service centre and – upon approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – an authorized TSO recovery centre. The master service agreement authorizes ASU to market, sell and service L3 TSO-certified goggles domestically to ASU’s existing customer base.
“Having worked diligently with L3 and the FAA to bring a TSO Night Vision Goggle (NVG) to market, and becoming an L3 authorized TSO repair centre, we have made great strides toward the advancement and enhancement of safety, standardization and efficiency within our customers’ NVG programs,” said President of ASU, Jim Winkel. “We are proud to be the first (and only) Part 145 Repair Centre to receive this certification from L3.”
The TSO C-164a certification on an NVG identifies to operators and inspectors that the goggle meets or exceeds FAA design, performance and production minimum standards. TSO enables the FAA to move away from the more encumbered (and sometimes confusing) process of approval, which (until TSO approval) has been as an adjunct listing (by part number) within the Flight Manual or Supplemental Flight Manual.
L3 announced last year that it received TSO C164a authorization for its M949 aviation NVGs. L3 and ASU worked with the FAA for 18 months to receive TSO approval. ASU has designed, modified and installed NVIS lighting on more than 1,200 aircraft of various configurations and has sold more than 2,000 L3 M949s to customers around the world.
“Working with ASU certainly aided Warrior Sensor Systems in obtaining our TSO, and we know that authorizing ASU as a TSO repair centre ensures that the quality and integrity of our goggle standards will be maintained for customers,” said Lynn Bollengier, Vice President and General Manager of Government Solutions for Warrior Sensor Systems. “ASU is known for the qualified technicians that run its repair centre. It is extremely important to us that our goggles are cared for in a way that always ensures our customers receive top-notch performance.”
The new TSO recovery program, once approved by the FAA, will allow customers with qualified NVGs to obtain TSO certification from L3 via ASU’s Part 145 Repair Station during the regular 180-day NVG service and inspection. Operators seeking to upgrade their approved NVGs to white phosphor or higher-performing green image intensifier tubes will also be able to accomplish the upgrade during the TSO recovery program with ASU.
“The significance of TSO and TSO recovery, is to provide for an approved, standardized and safe NVG, which can be used with approved aircraft NVIS lighting systems. The reason we worked diligently with L3 for the last several years was to ensure that we continue to raise the NVG bar for our customers,” said Winkel.