Search And Rescue With Paramotors
Sept 25, 2007 by Ed
Ed Poccia and the Route 66
Flyers of Albuquerque have gained probably the most experience and
acceptance at helping with search and rescue. Teaming with authorities
there, they add a lot of capability while fostering a valuable
relationship with the community. Ed has offered to share the Operational
Syllabus they use for training operations and it is included below.
The syllabus is specifically
for their area west of Albuquerque but could be modified for other
areas. The word document can be
downloaded here but is
also listed below and in the pictures at right.
Rescue teams are loathe to
include those who they feel may impede their own efforts or who may wind
up needing rescued themselves so having a proffesional approach like
this is important.
Thanks to Ed for sharing.
PPG Search &
Rescue Operational Syllabus
- Reg. Team with the New Mexico
- James Newberry: Office: (505)
827-9228 Mobile (505) 469 2140
- List Team on the SAR Resource
Guide for Field Coordinators
- Reg. Team with New Mexico Field
- Bob Baker (505)-980-6603, (505)
853-2494, (505) 841-9256
- Develop Contact(s) with other
area SAR Teams
- Cibola SAR, Mike Dugger,
Training Officer KC5SFX, (505) 844-1091
- Bernilillo ARES, Ed Ricco, N5LI
- 2 meter SAR Frequencies 146.9
(+) PL67, 147.1 (+) PL 67
- Join the
New Mexico Emergency Services Council
- Provide opportunities to
demonstrate the flying characteristics of the PPG. Explain the
contributions PPGs could make to the Public Service community
- The PPG motor unit is properly
maintained and is in good operating condition
- The wing is maintained, inspected
and is within the manufacturer’s specifications
- Emergency Pack:
to be carried while flying drills and
missions is case a pilot is forced down
- Water, “space” blanket, fire
starter, whistle, protein bar, tissues, chemical light stick,
inspect repellent wipes, plastic tarp, map of the area….
- small pack to hold these
- FRS radio, cell phone, VHF/UHF
Ham radio programmed to SAR frequencies,
plus: chargers, spare batteries, antenna, cables
- Fuel, oil & mixing cups
- Different types of maps of New
- Tools, spare parts, first aid
kit, insect repellant, wind sock with support pole
- Personal items: Flight suit,
helmet, gloves, hand warmers, digital camera
- Transport system
(a way to carry your PPG and tie it down)
- Tarp 20’ x 40’ to facilitate
launches on rough terrain
Pilots shall develop a personal
checklist and use it to be sure all equipment needed for a SAR drill or
mission is available.
- Pilots can set-up and launch from
a variety of terrains at elevations from sea level to 9,000 feet.
Pilots shall use tarps on which to layout wings to cover unprepared
sites and protect sensitive habitat.
- Pilots can perform spot landings
within a 25 foot circle consistently in order to simulate landings
under restricted conditions as may exist on SAR missions.
- Altitude Control –Pilots shall be
able to fly consistently at an assigned altitude in a safe manner for
an extended period of time.
- Pilots can maintain an assigned
heading while flying regardless of wind direction
- Pilot shall demonstrate an
ability to develop an effective visual scan an area while flying a
search pattern safely
- Pilots shall be able to determine
distances from reference points using visual and other cues
- Pilots shall be able to fly in a
high/low formation with other pilots without compromising safety
- Pilots shall have the skill and
discipline to fly in a staggered line formation for an extended period
of time to effectively conduct a team search over a large area.
- Pilots shall be able to fly
within a tight space over different types of terrain such as canyons,
mesas, rolling hills, arroyos while keeping up an effective
visual scan and do it safely.
- Pilots shall be able to read a
magnetic compass and identify a spot on the horizon at the assigned
Pilots can use a sectional chart to
identify their location and the airspace in which they fly.
Pilots understand the restrictions assigned
to the airspace in which they fly.
- Pilots can read a topographic map
and identify the terrain displayed.
Pilots can employ such knowledge to develop
safe & effective flight plans.
Pilots can recognize a search area from the
air based on landmarks displayed on a diagram presented during a drill
or mission briefing
- Pilots can use GPS technology to
enhance SAR effectiveness & safety.
Holding an assigned heading
Marking waypoints to identify and confirm
search pattern locations
Marking the location of evidence and/or
Using the reverse course feature to set a
Pilots can identify their location
on different types of maps
- Pilots know that the most
effective method of scanning visually is to view one sector at a time
with your head steady before moving it to a new sector.
- Pilots have the visual acuity to
consistently spot search targets.
- Pilots shall have an attention
span sufficient to maintain effective visual scanning over an extended
period of time.
- Pilots shall carry a radio in
order to carry out needed communication with the command post and
other pilots while on SAR missions and drills.
- Pilots should carry secondary
communication systems; second radio, cell phone
- Team members should seriously
consider earning a Ham Radio license to take advantage of the
equipment, frequencies, and repeater system networks they could
access. Such capabilities greatly enhance PPG SAR Team communication
capabilities and improve pilot safety.
- Hams should join local ARES
(Amateur Radio Emergency Service) and participate in ARES nets.
- Pilots shall make themselves
aware of the operating features of their communication devices
including but not limited to: setting the
frequency, private line, volume and locking the functions so they
cannot be changed without operator input. The latter prevents
accidentally pressing a button and ending up off frequency, or worse,
transmitting on the open channel.
- Pilots shall perform a check of
the radio before takeoff. Check: the
available battery power, the volume as well as the unit’s ability to
transmit and receive.
- Pilots shall use the “Who,
What” format when
communicating over the radio. Location references are frequently made
as to where you are FROM the command post (CP).
Los Lunas Command Post,
this is Yellow PPG wing,
4 miles east of the CP.
I have spotted an abandoned
overturned ATV in an arroyo. Please repeat the description of the
vehicle used by the search subject.
- The identity of the Command
Post will usually be the name of the incident or its location. The
CP’s call sign will always be included in the drill or mission
- The station you are calling
must always be given FIRST.
- Pilots shall possess such skills
as needed to direct ground units to a search target using distance and
ATV Seven, this is the yellow PPG wing
directly overhead. The search target is 500 meters NW of your