Seeing Through The Darkness With Lutheran Air

By Bob Johnston

December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) When the sun goes down, it's difficult to see in the dark... But the pilots and crew of Lutheran Air no longer have that problem.

Multimedia journalist Bob Johnston took to the skies to show us how easy it is to see in the darkness.

Night vision goggles are no longer a tool just for the military.

Rex Alexander of Lutheran Air says "Good evening sir, Lutheran Air is off of Lutheran Hospital. Be off to Huntington Hospital climbing to 2000 feet."

Lutheran hospital recently purchased three sets of night vision goggles for the pilots and crew of Lutheran Air to use during night flights. The ten thousand dollar devices enhance ambient light two to four thousand times allowing the pilot to see in the dark.

Alexander says "With the goggles on you can actually see contour, contrast, and detail down tot he leaves on the trees."

When you compare video taken at night to video shot through night vision goggles, you can see the difference. The night vision goggles make it seem like it is almost daylight.

Alexander says "I think for the industry and for our program, it's a game changer for safety as far as night operations. It is a significant enhancement to be able to go from a night operation of 20/200 best case to go to 20/20 and be able to see the obstacles and be able to see all the things that are out there at night is phenomenal. It is a major improvement in safety."

As great as night vision can be, there are still limitations. But it is better than the naked eye.

Alexander says "The biggest thing is being able to see outside the realm of where the light will show you. If I turn the light on you will see... even with the goggles ... that's kinda what I see. Everything outside the light disappears. And that's what the naked eye does. With the goggles and the light off, all I have to do is turn my head

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