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B-1. General

Experience has shown the requirement for simple visual signals for use in an emergency by personnel who have become lost, crashed, or parachuted (or who are members of search parties), and who have need for medical assistance, food, information regarding the route to be followed, etc. Three types of such visual signals are contained in figures B-1, B-2, and B-3.

B-2. Visual signals

The use of one or more of these signals or types of signals will depend on individual circumstances and availability of signal material. However, as far as possible, the following instructions will be adhered to with respect to the signals contained in figures B-1, and B-2:

a. Form signals by any available means. (Some of the means usually available in an emergency situation are strips of fabric, parachute material, pieces of wood, stones, boughs, tamping snow or by marking the surface by or staining with oil, etc.).

b. Make signals not less than 3.5 meters (10.5') in length.

c. Take care to lay out signals exactly as depicted to avoid confusion with other symbols.

d. Provide as much color contrast as possible between material used and the background.

e. Make every effort to attract attention by other means such as radio, flares, smoke, or reflected light. Smoke is one of the best attraction methods, because it can be seen for a great distance and will be investigated by all pilots, both military and civilian, as a routine matter. Be sure to give your signal while the aircraft is approaching you. Do not wait until the aircraft is straight above or has passed by.

f. The emergency signals included in this manual should be reproduced for use by individuals and/or small units which are required to accomplish independent or semi-independent missions.

B-3. Conveying and Acknowledging Information

a. When it is necessary for an aircraft to convey information to individuals who have become lost or isolated, or to search parties, and two-way radio is not available, the crew will, if practicable, convey the information by dropping a message or by dropping communication equipment that will enable direct contact to be established.

b. When a signal has been displayed and is understood, the pilot will acknowledge by dipping the aircraft's wings from side to side or by other prearranged signals.

c. When a signal has been displayed and is NOT understood, the pilot of the aircraft will so indicate by making a complete right turn or by other prearranged signals.

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