Global News: Kelowna entrepreneur develops low-cost 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.
“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.
“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.
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.”
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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.