The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has for the first time approved single-pilot instrument flight rules (IFR) operation of Cobham’s synthetic vision glass cockpit for the Bell 412 helicopter.

The synthetic vision translates the terrain ahead of and around the helicopter into an intuitive, real-time 3D visual picture helping a pilot to see the aircraft position in relation to its surroundings.

This electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) consolidates readings of all primary flight instruments into one efficient tool to reduce pilot workload and increase the safety of flight plans and procedures.

The EFIS includes features such as advanced, four-screen glass cockpit helicopter terrain awareness and warning system, highway-in-the-sky predictive flight director and an air data and attitude heading reference system.

The technology is further supported by weather products such as a next-generation weather radar, echo tops, graphical and textual meteorological aviation reports (METARs), and textual terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs).

The first such system fitted to a 412 will be delivered to the Search and Rescue unit of North Slope Borough, Alaska for performing medevac, search & rescue, and emergency missions in rigorous environment.