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Kelowna entrepreneur develops low-cost aviation video black box recorder

A Kelowna entrepreneur has won a prestigious award for developing a low cost, highly effective aviation video black box recorder.

Ephraim Nowak is hard at work preparing to mass produce his company’s latest development, SkyVU.

“It’s a novel cockpit video recorder for small aircraft that are currently not required to use a black box recorder,” said Nowak, CEO of Percept Systems

Nowak, a six-year veteran of the Central Okanagan Search and Rescue Team, says the idea for a low-cost aviation video recorder came to him after responding to a small plane crash that killed former Alberta premier Jim Prentice along with three others in 2016.

WATCH BELOW (Aired April 26, 2018): Pilot likely disoriented in 2016 crash that killed ex-Alberta premier

Pilot likely disoriented in 2016 crash that killed ex-Alberta premier
Pilot likely disoriented in 2016 crash that killed ex-Alberta premier

“As a search and rescue member responding to that, I remember our team waiting to see what the accident investigation report would say,” said Nowak.

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“It actually came back inconclusive and that started me thinking about what can we do to actually improve aviation safety.”

Unlike other cockpit recorders, SkyVU doesn’t require a wired connection to gauges to obtain aviation flight data, which, according to Nowak, makes it simple to install and extremely cost effective.

“We’re looking at about a third of the cost of conventional systems,” he said.

WATCH BELOW (Aired October 16, 2018): TSB facing uphill battle into investigation of BC plane crash without black boxes

TSB facing uphill battle into investigation of BC plane crash without black boxes
TSB facing uphill battle into investigation of BC plane crash without black boxes

Nowak’s ground-breaking eye in the sky has already been deployed on two BC Wildfire Service Rappattack helicopters.

As well SkyVU has just awarded him one of five prestigious MITACS entrepreneurial awards.

“It was a huge milestone for us,” said Nowak.

“I would say we’ve been working on this for almost a year, which in terms of aviation products is an extremely compressed time frame.”

WATCH BELOW (Aired April 26, 2018): Renewed calls for flight recorders in all non-commercial aircraft across Canada

Renewed calls for flight recorders in all non-commercial aircraft across Canada
Renewed calls for flight recorders in all non-commercial aircraft across Canada

SkyVU is currently awaiting Transport Canada approval and Nowak is hoping to bring the video black box recorder to market
before the end of the year.

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