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#236435 - 11/29/11 06:47 AM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: bacpacjac]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
The Gerber Bear Grylls survival knife implemented an interesting idea of including these signals on the back of its sheath.



However you do it, it does seem like it would be a good idea to include a small, quick reference of these signals on your person somehow.
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#236440 - 11/29/11 08:09 AM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: bacpacjac]
Bingley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
I haven't flown in a rescue helicopter before. How big do these signs have to be? I figure man sized?

It looks like I've got a little project of making some laminated cards for my bug in/out kit.

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#236448 - 11/29/11 02:30 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: Bingley]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6770
Loc: southern Cal
The bigger (within reason), the better. A helicopter on an active search mission is a much different deal from a casually overflying aircraft. They will have observers who should be looking for anything unusual or out of the ordinary.
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#236451 - 11/29/11 04:00 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: chaosmagnet]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Remember also that three of anything is a signal of distress. Three fires in a triangle is the classic.

Is that a distress signal? I thought a triangle usually indicates a landing zone for a helicopter?

I thought three fires in a straight line would be more of a distress signal.

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#236453 - 11/29/11 04:23 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: bacpacjac]
NuggetHoarder Offline
Member

Registered: 07/01/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Appalachians
I've been told by more than one rescue pilot that if you are merrily hiking along and a helicopter flies in close, you and everyone in your party should face the helicopter and make the "N" body signal with your arms to signal "No". Don't wave your arms - just stand there making the signal. This tells the pilot that you do not need help and they can fly off to look for the hikers they are looking for.

Of course, if you do need help, then everyone in your party should raise both hands in a "Y" for "Yes" (again no waving - just make the signal, face the pilot and stand there) and the pilot will interpret that as you needing help.

Pretty simple stuff.


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#236458 - 11/29/11 05:28 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: NuggetHoarder]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3600
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks Nugget. That's a pretty simply system!
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#236461 - 11/29/11 06:32 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: NuggetHoarder]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Hopefully, one arm is not injured preventing you from making the “Y” which would then appear to be an “N”.

Pete

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#236467 - 11/29/11 06:41 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: Arney]
chaosmagnet Online   content
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3060
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Arney
Is that a distress signal? I thought a triangle usually indicates a landing zone for a helicopter?

I thought three fires in a straight line would be more of a distress signal.


I've read both straight line and triangle in several references. I've never read about three fires being used to mark a landing zone, however.

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#236469 - 11/29/11 06:45 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: chaosmagnet]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
I've never read about three fires being used to mark a landing zone, however.

The first link in Izzy's post earlier has a set of ground signals similar to things I've read in the past. It also shows a triangle to indicate a landing spot.

I think I first read about the triangle on those deck of survival cards, way, way back when. Actually, Izzy's link may be exactly the same set of signals.

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#236471 - 11/29/11 06:53 PM Re: Emergency Communication [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6770
Loc: southern Cal
My experience is setting up improvised LZs is to simply activate one strobe (at night) to indicate the spot. If possible we had one person on the periphery with his arms straight out, back to the wind, which is really critical to the pilot. In daylight, we would pop smoke.

On one occasion we had to improvise with a bonfire - fortunately it was a hoist operation. None of the pilots in post operation critiques ever mentioned the need for more indicators.
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