SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

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GavinL-W
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Re: SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

Postby GavinL-W » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:12 am

Just a thought I have recently come up with and would like to bounce the idea amoungst the rest of you (I know I may get a slap on the wrists from some). I am well aware that there are a lot of microlighters/lsa pilots that fly around the patch or from place to place without filing a flight plan or even telling anyone where they are flying to. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong how long will it take for someone to know that you have not arrived back? And then what direction to even start looking? I am thinking of starting a watsap group with this concept in mind (not official in any way). Basically it will be a group to say I am going flying, this is where I will be flying and should be back by a certain time, and maybe leave another contact number of a mate. The idea is then we can start looking after our fellow aviators on a grass roots level, if in the event that sh$# hits the fan we can at least notify the arcc( search and rescue) and give them a pretty good lead to go on so that the search and rescue is fast and within a time that will save a life. Any thoughts in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to message me privately or bounce ideas here. Thanks
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Re: SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

Postby John.com » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:05 pm

GavinL-W wrote:Just a thought I have recently come up with and would like to bounce the idea amoungst the rest of you (I know I may get a slap on the wrists from some). I am well aware that there are a lot of microlighters/lsa pilots that fly around the patch or from place to place without filing a flight plan or even telling anyone where they are flying to. In the unfortunate event that something goes wrong how long will it take for someone to know that you have not arrived back? And then what direction to even start looking? I am thinking of starting a watsap group with this concept in mind (not official in any way). Basically it will be a group to say I am going flying, this is where I will be flying and should be back by a certain time, and maybe leave another contact number of a mate. The idea is then we can start looking after our fellow aviators on a grass roots level, if in the event that sh$# hits the fan we can at least notify the arcc( search and rescue) and give them a pretty good lead to go on so that the search and rescue is fast and within a time that will save a life. Any thoughts in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to message me privately or bounce ideas here. Thanks
Gavin, you raise a highly relevant issue. Definitely no wrist slaps! vhpy

There are no easy solutions to the issue of how and when to mount a search & rescue mission for a missing aircraft. The key element becomes HOW to determine that an aircraft and its PIC/PAX are indeed missing.

Unfortunately, flight plans are rarely, if ever, lodged for a microlight flight within the cabbage patch or beyond. The only way to establish if an aircraft is missing is if YOU as the PIC do not SMS a family member on your return, having advised them beforehand of your intentions, which would include your ETA back at your hanger after your flight.

Flight following, which is very big in the USA due to the prolific number on controlled airfields and dependent on having a transponder, is not really an option in South Africa, particularly not for microlight cabbage patch flights.

A way around this is to lodge your own flight plan (I will post an example later) with at least two family members, which gives times and waypoints and advises from which waypoints you will SMS that you have safely arrived. These would normally be places where you have stopped to land. Clearly, the final waypoint, which is for when your flight ends, is of utmost importance. Failure to check in by SMS within 30mins of ETA at the final waypoint would result in the necessary checks starting to establish your whereabouts.

This can be done in a few ways. Firstly, by trying to contact you on your phone by either calling or SMS, or secondly, by the people tasked with 'flight following' you checking online on a flight tracking application such as Air Nav Pro. Such flight tracking URL and username and password MUST be contained in the flight plan you have lodged with your friends who are tasked with flight following you. Whereas such an application is dependent on mobile phone connectivity, it is 90% 'up' for most cabbage patch flights.

It is my humble opinion that posting your planned whereabouts and intentions on a Whatsapp group will bear little or no results in the event of you not showing up back at the hanger, as most people on the group are simply not tasked with your wellbeing and safety and won't have the energy or interest to be waiting to see whether you have returned from your flight on a Sunday morning.

As I said, I will post a sample SMS Flight Plan a little later.

Thanks again for raising this.
Last edited by John.com on Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
John Comley
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Magaliesberg, South Africa
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"Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills"
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Re: SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

Postby John.com » Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:59 pm

This is a SMS Flight Plan I did for a 5 hour flight to Marble Hall and back.

Clearly, one of the keys to making such a flight plan available is to STICK TO IT! Venturing off the stated flight plan simply complicates any S&R effort.

This SMS Flight Plan was SMSed to two family members who had been briefed of the importance of 'flight following' me.

ZU-BST Flight Plan

Date: 17/01/2016

NOTE: All times are local time (UTC+2) and NOT Zulu time!

Aircraft: Microlight (Aquilla 582)
Call Sign: ZU-BST
PIC: John Comley
PAX: nil

Special Notes:
1. Long range tanks (50 litres standard + 50 litres long range tanks) giving 7:30 flight time

Departing AD: Aeroden
Estimated Time of Departure: 05:30


Airfields (AD), Waypoints (WP), Reporting Points (RP) Destinations (D) or Stops en Route (SeR) with Estimated Arriving & Departing Times:
1. Aeroden - AD (05:30 > ETD)
2. Mongena - WP (06:30 > 06:30)
3. Rhenosterkop Dam - WP (07:15 > 07:15)
4. Blue Max - SeR (07:45 > 08:45) - might stop for coffee
5. Marble Hall AD - D (09:00 > arriving, then flight around Marble Hall)

Return Flight >>

6. Marble Hall AD (11:00 > ETD)
7. Blue Max - WP (11:15 > 11:15)
8. Rhenosterkop Dam - WP (11:45 > 11:45)
9. Mongena - WP (12:30 > 12:30)
10. Aeroden - AD (arriving > 13:00)

Final Arriving AD: Aeroden AD @ ETA: 13:00

I will report via SMS on arriving at Marble Hall AD and on final arrival back at Aeroden AD.

Search & Rescue

Remember: John flies with a mobile phone and bluetooth headset! Call or SMS before launching S&R

Track John's flight REAL TIME at:
http://services.xample.ch/users/johnmcom/tracking Password = <secure>

John carries a 406MHz & 121.5 MHz PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) HEX ID # 4B2E72AFB0FFBFF
SAMSA Call Centre = +27 21 938 3310

Important Numbers:

Search & Rescue (Santie White)
+27 (82) 8238493
+27 (11) 9286454

GPS Co-Ords of ADs and Waypoints:

#1 : Aeroden - AD
25d43'30.17''S
27d44'23.90''E

#2 : Mongena - RP
26d20'49.85''S
28d21'26.73''E

#3 : Rhenosterkop Dam - RP
25d7'56.94''S
28d51'53.99''E

#4 : Blue Max - SeR (Oom Paul +27 82 559 6115)
25d1'55.78''S
29d8'1.93''

#5 : Marble Hall - AD - D
24d59'30.00''S
29d16'60.00''E

Legend:
WP = Waypoint
RP = Reporting Point
SeR = Stop en Route
AD = Aerodrome
D = Destination



These are two of the Air Nav Pro flight tracking maps, which people can monitor LIVE, as you are flying. The first shows the complete trip from Aeroden to Marble Hall, and the second is a closer shot of the approach to Marble Hall, showing the orbit overhead Blue Max, to see if he was in:
Flight Tracking - ZU-BST - 16.01.17 - 1.jpg
Flight Tracking - ZU-BST - 16.01.17 - 2.jpg
John Comley
ZU-BST (the Beautiful Seductive Temptress)
Magaliesberg, South Africa
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"Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills"
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GavinL-W
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Re: SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

Postby GavinL-W » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:14 am

Thank you very much for your input John, greatly appreciated. I asked our local flying group their opinion on the idea and feedback was very positive. We have started a trial Microland SAR watsapp group at Microland to see how it works out, would be awesome if other fields did something similar. Will try and keep things simple to begin with, would rather encourage more use of this idea. Roy from Microland is also playing around with ideas around creating an app for phones to use. Will give feedback in a few months. Safe flying
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Re: SEARCH AND RESCUE - In Case of Emergency

Postby John.com » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:43 am

GavinL-W wrote:Thank you very much for your input John, greatly appreciated. I asked our local flying group their opinion on the idea and feedback was very positive. We have started a trial Microland SAR watsapp group at Microland to see how it works out, would be awesome if other fields did something similar. Will try and keep things simple to begin with, would rather encourage more use of this idea. Roy from Microland is also playing around with ideas around creating an app for phones to use. Will give feedback in a few months. Safe flying
Perfect, I would really like to hear how it works and how effective it is.

Please keep us posted.
John Comley
ZU-BST (the Beautiful Seductive Temptress)
Magaliesberg, South Africa
Read my flying blog here . . . http://johncomley.blogspot.com/

"Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills"

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