It can't be repeated enough, the prime directive in any search and rescue operation is "Don't become part of the problem." Or put differently, use extreme caution and be safety conscious all the time not only for yourself but for those around you. Every member of the team is a safety officer. It is paramount that all members of the team exercise caution when operating in their specialty be it flying, boating or off road driving.
But paramotor flying has special risks. Using it for low level flying to carry out a search amplifies those risks. Every pilot should be prepared to protect themselves as much as possible in the event of a crash. If a team has practiced and they have the equipment and tracking information in place at the command center, the search for the pilot should not take long, baring some physical obstacle or lack of equipment preventing it. In this article, I will go over some equipment that I think is absolutely necessary to carry on board, whether the pilot is a foot-launcher or trike flyer. In addition to dressing for the occasion (more on that in another article) I carry the following Items to both shorten the time between the crash and my rescue and to treat myself if needed should I sustain serious injuries. There are considerations regarding equipment. How heavy is it? Can it be operated using only one hand? Can you retrieve it easily if needed?
The first thing I carry is a noise maker. I have carried a whistle since I started flying because it came with my life jacket. I always fly with a life jacket but I will cover that in an article of its own. But the whistle isn't as loud as it needs to be. It is so small and light that I will continue to carry it as a backup, but I recently started carrying a small gas operated air horn that I took off our boat. After searching for the best alternative, I came across this gizmo which appears to be a fantastic solution. It is a little large but it is feather light and deafeningly loud. I would leave my headset on when using it, at least the ear on the noisy side since it will make your ears ring.
I still highly recommend a handheld gas operated air horn if you decide the Storus won't work for you. This one is only one of many brands available.
In the event that you are injured, you should not only carry some first aid equipment but you should know how to use it. I would take a basic first aid course and add the certification to your ASAR resume. I bought the Recon emergency packet.
You need to open the package and decide which parts you want to take on board. I would definitely take the tourniquet, the bandage and dressing, and the space blanket. You might want to add another space blanket. If you are flying a sunset search and go down, it will soon be dark and that may prolong the recovery operation. It is imperative that you staunch any bleeding and preserve your body heat. You may have to do everything using only one hand so give some thought to how you will deploy and use these items. Practice putting the tourniquet on regularly to refresh your memory. It should be rote memory. Don't try to figure things out in an emergency.
Speaking of the dark, if you are conducting a sunset search, you should of course have a strobe light on. If you are a foot-launcher you probably have your strobe on your helmet and if you loose your helmet in the crash you will lose your light in addition to several other important things. I will address helmets in a couple of articles. I expect it will be an ongoing discussion. I will carry a small strobe on my life jacket in addition to the one mounted on my trike. Paramotor Crazy Dave did a recent vlog on strobes that is well worth viewing (here) and we need more videos like that. Here is the one I have. I will attach this one to my life jacket and buy a stronger light for my trike in the near future.
And finally, you can't have too much light in an emergency. A flashlight is great but you need two hands to operate one. One to hold the light and one to do whatever you need to do. I recommend buying several head lamps and attaching them to strategic points on your rig and helmet so that all you have to do is turn them on if needed. You can strap them across your thigh or upper arm as easily as around your head.
I will be discussing my flying suit (jumpsuit and boots) in a different article as well as a detailed article on my life jacket and I plan on doing an article on the knife or knives you should carry. I carry a seat-belt cutter knife on my trike that is easily accessed for use in an emergency for cutting rigging and fabric. I have been fascinated with ropes and lines and a collector of knives since the army. There is a great knife out there for every situation. I will give you my input about what I carry and why and what you should consider when choosing one.
All of the items shown in this article were take from Amazon. I don't endorse a particular brand or vendor unless I specifically say so. I am looking for feedback from you, fellow ASAR enthusiasts. Please feel free to make constructive comments or ask questions. Help us build this science and this organization. Let others know that we exist and send this link to anyone you think would be interested. Like every development in aviation, biplane dog fights, Flying Fortresses, flying Clippers, there is a window of opportunity for you to be one of the originals. "You should have been here when . . ."
A back slapping, fist pumping welcome to our second Squadron; The 863rd - Sky Pirates from the Bradenton, Lakeland area of South Central Florida. Huzzah! They have enough members to probably field two teams right out of the gate. Special thanks to PPG Gorilla for his efforts to put the team together. Thanks man!
I have been invited to be a guest on Paramotor Nation this Sunday at 7:30 EST on YouTube. Please tune in.
What do we do?
How do we do it?
"Operations, this is Red Angel One - Launching at this time"
Copyright 2019 - ASAR National - All rights on all content.