Let's take a look at what I think is a well appointed Chase Team trailer. That would be my trailer. While it is a work in progress, I think you will find it at the top of its class with respect to having everything you need to assist the pilot and his Team in a search mission.
There is a great deal of room for innovation with respect to how many and what types of vehicles a Team can put together. For a foot-launch Pilot, a car or crossover SUV may be all that he needs since he can carry his paramotor and Ground Support/Operations Specialist, communications and EMS material, as well as other support equipment, fairly easily in such a small space. A van would be nicer but not required. A full-blown cart Pilot with a Team of three other personnel, can have several vehicles, including an RV command center pulling the Chase Team trailer and an additional vehicle pulling a boat for water rescue support. That is how I am set up.
I will at some point go over all these vehicles, one by one, but in this article, I will show you how I have set up my Chase Team trailer. I have plans for making even more improvements. The trailer is a 6-ft by 12-ft enclosed trailer and a relatively cheap one at that. It has a drop down ramp door for the back door which makes rolling the paramotor into place for anchoring pretty simple. Let's look at what kind of equipment is loaded aboard this baby.
Paramotor trike - The Chase Team trailer is first and foremost the transport vehicle for the paramotor and its fuel, accessories (like a strobe light I can attach), refueling equipment, spare parts, cleaning and lube supplies and the tools to do any needed repairs or modifications on scene. It also holds the parts for pending upgrades that I plan on installing when I have time or when I reach the point where I want to try out or add something new.
Flying equipment - This includes my fire-retardant flight suit, gloves, boots, hood and other flying clothing, the radios and cameras and associated batteries and chargers.
Emergency rescue equipment
Water rescue - For a downed Pilot in the water, I carry a kayak and kayak dolly, a life jacket and helmet, as well as two large inflatable fenders that both stabilize the kayak and will be used as flotation for the aircraft or the Pilot at the crash site.
Tree rescue - For a treetop rescue, I carry a portable generator and scene lighting equipment. I carry a small, lightweight electric chain saw, climbing and repelling lines, harnesses and hardware, protective clothing and helmet as well as climbing spikes.
Rapid response rescue - For downed pilots during takeoff or landing, I carry an electric bike (e-bike) equipped with EMS and fire suppression equipment. This is at the disposal of the EMS member so that he can make a rapid transit and arrival at the site of the crash to render immediate medical assistance or fire suppression if needed. It is equipped with a fire extinguisher, fire blanket and extrication equipment designed to detach the Pilot from the craft. The e-bike can also be used to run equipment from the Chase Team trailer to the accident scene for any rescue scenario.
Comfort items - This includes a change of clothing, gloves, safety vests for directing traffic or working on the runway, a toilet, bug spray, sun-tan lotion, deodorant, hand sanitizer, hand soap, insect sting/bite ointment, mosquito netting, towels, drinking water, etc.
Vehicle maintenance equipment - This includes a spare tire, a wheel lock, a ball hitch dolly, a folding ladder, chains and locks, electrical tools and wiring, light bulbs, a broom, a mop and other cleaning equipment. A clean trailer is a happy trailer.
Miscellaneous equipment - This includes my windsocks, extension cords, generator, helium balloons, spare cordage, bungees, anchor rings, Velcro, flash lights, fasteners, battery powered hand-drills, air pumps, a ten by ten foot awning, a chair, a table, chock blocks, flares. bolt cutters, a bow saw, weed wacker and a few other things I can't think of at the moment.
All of these items are necessary to minimize the risk for the Pilot and the Team members, to keep them comfortable and sharp. The ability to retrieve, use and replace these items in a timely manner is the primary responsibility of the Ground Support Specialist and Team Medic*.
What a hobby! So that's where the benchmark is, guys and gals. The bar has been set for each of you to match or better. If you can think of something I forgot or something that you think would just be better, please feel free to comment below. I hope, in the near future, to do a detailed video walk-thru and show all the equipment and how it is used. If you know someone that would be interested in this kind of thing, please forward this article to them and encourage them to subscribe. I will be displaying my trailer and trike at the Palm Bay Paramotor Fly-in on March 13-15. Come join me there and we can bounce ideas off each other. And join ASAR National anytime.
"What do we do?"
"How do we do it?"
Red Angel One
*We refer to any designated EMS person as the Team Medic with or without paramedic certification.
Copyright 2020 - Sandy Graves - All rights reserved on all content.