EFX Illuminates Aviation Danger Zones

AV2-64Aviation danger zones
exist in all phases of flight, and they most often catch people on
the ground, especially when another task attenuates their
situational awareness. Almost walking into a stationary prop
protruding from the Innovation Showcase booth is how I met EFX Applied Technology at EAA
AirVenture 2019. Instead of watching where I was going in the
crowded venue, I was scanning the booths as I walked at the edge of
the aisle—until a brightly colored flashing light in my
peripheral vision stopped me short. Outlining a prop safety
perimeter on the concrete, it said “We Save Lives.”

When I stopped and focused my attention, it seemed clear that
given my proximity and direction of travel, one of the propeller
blades was reaching for one of my more sensitive anatomical
components. When I slowed my heart rate—and vowed to pay more
attention to where I was going—I picked up some literature on the
company whose tagline is “[DANGERZONE] See the light—Save a
life.”

laser 1Unfortunately, the
innovative coolness of EFX’s Interactive Personnel Alert Systems
(iPAS) got lost in the multitude of my AirVenture memories. And
then, little more than a week ago, I read about a
woman who lost her right hand and two toes
when she tried to
remove the nose wheel chock of an idling Cessna 172 at Key West,
Florida. According to reports, she and her husband, the pilot, were
preparing for takeoff and got out of the Cessna to find out why it
was not able to taxi.

My first reaction was one that many have but few readily admit:
I would never do anything like that! (And, so far, I have, along
with similar self-inflicted calamities of landing gear up and
running out of gas.) But then I remembered my near encounter with
the EFX display, and my heart started pounding as the memory
snipped played in my mind’s eye.

It made sense that iPAS saved me because humans rely first on
their vision, and our neural warning system has learned over the
eons to pay attention to movement in our peripheral vision because
it means some other member of the food chain might have us for
lunch.

laser 2Identifying the threat
is the first step in any fight-or-fight situation, and the small,
lightweight laser system that outlines an aircraft’s danger zones
does that, as well as laser painting the threat’s boundaries on
the ground, day or night. Apparently the FAA was interested in the
system as well, adding that it would fit well with the
non-essential equipment path to certification.

Only time will tell if aviation will adopt this patented system
that seems to be an effective last line of aviation safety. Safety
training and reminders to never lose situational awareness are all
good and necessary, but they will never overcome the blinders we
wear when we’re addressing a more pressing problem. That’s when
we need an alert of an imminent threat to break our narrow focus
and preserve our safety. –Scott Spangler, Editor

Source: FS – Aviation
EFX Illuminates Aviation Danger Zones



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