SAR Fundamentals/Air observer/Question bank


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When searching for a lost person from the air, what clues should you look for?

  • tracks
  • signals
  • smoke/fire
  • colour contrasts
  • movement
  • odd angles of light
  • debris
  • shiny objects
  • anything that appears out of the ordinary


What is the most important element of scanning, in an air search?

The ability to concentrate and maintain interest in the task.


How are sightings from an aircraft reported to the pilot and other team members?

State bearing & approximate range. Bearings are in terms of the hours of a clock.


Name some signals to keep an eye out for on the helicopter when looking at the ground?

  • smoke (fire)
  • flames (fire)
  • coloured smoke
  • single torch tree
  • flares
  • sunlight reflection
  • messages printed on snow, field or sand
  • parachutes
  • broken tree tops


How long is the maximum visual efficiency of an air observer?

2-3 hours.


What type of spotting will the helicopter pilot be doing in an air observation mission.

The pilot does not spot, only flies the helicopter.


What is the primary responsibility of an Air Observer?

To identify clues from the air and report their location

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