Ground To Air Signals

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Many people have heard about using tarps, emergency blankets, or other manmade material as an aid to help signal for recue.  But have you ever wondered what a ground to air signal looks like from the perspective of the aircraft pilot or search and rescue personnel?  Check out the video below to see what some commonly used man made materials look like from 10,000 ft, 5,000 ft and 1,000 ft above ground level.

I also get the perspective of a parachutist who helped us out by jumping out, locating the signals and snapping a few shots for you to see from his perspective as well.  The footage of him going out the door is pretty cool!  Once we are back on the ground you will also get the chance to hear from him on what he felt stood out the most as well.  You may be surprised at the answer.  Note: I apologize in advance for the short section where the volume is very low.

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I think you will all agree that this video demonstrates the need to make your ground to air signals as large as possible!  And to supplement with both natural and manmade material.  Don’t short yourself by thinking that a signal is just something that can be tossed out and forgotten about.  It will take work to make a very large, recognizable and effective signal.  Also this was shot on a very sunny day with hardly any overcast, so results could differ in different environmental conditions.

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3 thoughts on “Ground To Air Signals

  1. I used a mirror from my face paint compact to signal a rescue Blackhawk..Worked great. Glad too cause the groud team couldnt get to me..

  2. Bergmann, No doubt A signal mirror will work well for day time signaling. Have you ever used a buzz saw signal at night? They work well too. Thanks for the comments! I always appreciate them. Cheers JJ

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