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CHAPTER 3

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL

Air traffic control, as used in this manual, should not be interpreted to imply that path finders have the same role and mission as regular air traffic controllers. With the lack of sophisticated radar, weather monitoring equipment, and aircraft guidance equipment, the pathfinder can only advise and inform the pilot. The final decision to land, take off or drop equipment and personnel lies with the pilot.

Section I. PATHFINDER ATC COMMUNICATION

Air traffic control communication prevents collisions, expedites traffic, and provides flight information, using radio or directional light signals.

3-1. SAFETY

Pathfinders issue specific commands regulating vehicles, equipment, or personnel in the movement area. They aid in search-and-rescue operations (STANAGs 2863 and 3281), and they promote the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic by issuing clearances, instructions, and information.

a. Pathfinders, as ATCs, provide control service based upon observed or known traffic and airfield conditions that might constitute a hazard. These conditions include surface conditions; parachutists within control zones; vehicular traffic temporary obstructions on or near the LZ, DZ, or airfield; other aircraft; and enemy or friendly activities.

b. Pathfinders are responsible for surveillance of all visible air traffic operating within and around the airspace of the LZ, DZ, or airfield. They are also responsible for all aircraft, vehicles, and personnel in the movement area of the LZ, DZ, or airfield.

NOTE: Terms peculiar to ATC tasks are included in this chapter and the glossary.

3-2. VOICE CONTROL

Pathfinders and pilots must speak clearly and listen to each other to communicate vocally. A clear, decisive tone of voice is the best indication that the situation is well in hand. If a pathfinder sounds vague/hesitant, pilots may be reluctant to follow their instructions. A firm, confident voice and the use of standard words and phrases are necessary to facilitate the safe and orderly flow of traffic.

NOTE: The phonetic alphabet is used to indicate single letters, initials, or for spelling words whenever similar sounds or difficulties in communication make it necessary.

a. A voice transmission is a brief, concise, and uniform flow of communication. The pathfinder controller must speak distinctly and pay special attention to numerals. When the accuracy of a message is doubted, the complete message or essential parts are repeated. Radiotelephone communications use the following speech techniques.

    (1) Speak directly into the microphone.

    (2) Speak in a normal, conversational tone.

    (3) Avoid monotonous voice pitch.

    (4) Avoid speaking too slow or too fast.

    (5) Avoid emotion, nervousness, and indecision in voice tone.

    (6) Speak with confidence, especially in emergencies.

b. Transmitted messages must be necessary for control or to otherwise contribute to safety. Specific procedures and control techniques vary, but the following rules apply regardless of techniques used.

    (1) The pathfinder is responsible for issuing instructions and information relative to all known traffic conditions.

    (2) At least one component of a standard traffic pattern (final approach) will be used by the pilot, consistent with instructions issued by the pathfinder.

    (3) Pilots have the final authority on whether to accept clearances issued by a controller or not.

3-3. FORMATS

A pathfinder controller uses the following formats and sequences for ground-to-air radio communication.

a. He sets up his initial call-up sequence to an aircraft as follows:

    (1) Identification of the aircraft being called.

    (2) The words, THIS IS.

    (3) Identification of the calling unit.

    (4) The type of message to follow (when this will assist the pilot).

    (5) The word OVER.

    TANGO TWO SIERRA TWO SIX (T2S26), THIS IS CHARLIE THREE DELTA THREE SIX (C3D36) (short pause), OVER.

b. His sequence of reply to an initial call-up by an aircraft is as follows:

    (1) Identification of aircraft initiating the call-up.

    (2) The words, THIS IS.

    (3) Identification of the pathfinder control unit.

    (4) The word OVER.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, THIS IS DELTA THREE SIX, OVER.

c. The controller always prefaces a clearance (instruction) intended for a specific aircraft with the identification of that aircraft.

SIERRA TWO SIX, WIND CALM, CLEAR TO LAND.,OVER.

d. He may shorten the transmissions when no confusion is likely to occur. He may use just the last three numbers (or letters) of an aircraft's identification once communication is established with aircraft.

SIERRA TWO SIX, WIND CALM, CLEAR TO LAND,OVER.

e. He may omit THIS IS from his reply.

SIERRA TWO SIX, DELTA THREE SIX, OVER.

f. He may omit the facility identification after communication is established.

SIERRA TWO SIX, TURN TO HEADING ZERO FOUR FIVE, OVER.

g. He may transmit a message immediately after call-up (without waiting for aircraft reply) when it is short and receipt is ensured.

SIERRA TWO SIX, EXTEND DOWNWIND, OVER.

h. He may omit OVER if the message obviously requires a reply.

SIERRA TWO SIX, WHAT IS YOUR LOCATION?

i. He may emphasize appropriate numbers, letters, or words to distinguish between similar aircraft identifications.

j. He does not transmit to an aircraft during the final approach, touchdown, landing roll (touchdown), takeoff (lift-off), initial climb, or turn away from the field. It is very important that the pilot give his undivided attention to flying the aircraft at these times. However, any observed condition or known information that may affect the safety of the aircraft is transmitted immediately. Under no circumstances is information pertaining to hazardous runway, field, weather, or traffic conditions withheld from the pilot of an approaching aircraft.

3-4. NUMBERS

A pathfinder controller verbalizes numbers when transmitting by number units or digits.

a. He transmits ceiling heights and flight altitudes using either way.

CEILING FIVE HUNDRED (one unit); or CEILING FIVE ZERO ZERO (digits for emphasis).

ALTITUDE ONE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED (two units) or ALTITUDE ONE THREE ZERO ZERO (digits).

b. When expressing time, he uses the word TIME followed by the number.

0115 HOURS TIME, ZERO ONE ONE FIVE.
1315 HOURS TIME, ONE THREE ONE FIVE.

c. When transmitting elevation numbers, he uses the words FIELD ELEVATION and the number.

Elevation Radio Communication
17 (feet) FIELD ELEVATION SEVENTEEN.
50 (feet) FIELD ELEVATION FIFTY.

d. When transmitting wind speed, he uses the word WIND followed by compass direction and velocity (knots).

WIND TWO SEVEN ZERO AT FIVE.

e. When giving the heading, he uses the word HEADING followed by compass numbers (degrees); he omits the word DEGREES.

HEADING ONE TWO ZERO.

HEADING ZERO ZERO FIVE.

HEADING THREE SIX ZERO. (Indicates north [direction] heading.)

3-5. PHRASES

A pathfinder controller uses set phrases to control aircraft. Familiarity with the terminology and phrase style is essential.

a. Instruction Examples.

    (1) To issue takeoff (lift-off, departure) clearance when a delay is not desired.

    SIERRA TWO SIX CLEARED FOR IMMEDIATE TAKEOFF (DEPARTURE), OVER.

    (2) To issue takeoff (lift-off) clearance when aircraft is delaying on the runway.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, TAKE OFF (DEPART) IMMEDIATELY OR TAXI OFF THE RUNWAY, OVER.

    (3) To authorize a requested straight-in approach after landing instructions have been issued.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, STRAIGHT - IN APPROACH (to landing strip or LZ) APPROVED, OVER

    (4) To authorize a right-hand traffic pattern.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, RIGHT TRAFFIC APPROVED, OVER.

    (5) To issue the landing sequence.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, YOU ARE NUMBER THREE TO LAND; FOLLOW THREE EIGHT FIVE (aircraft identification number) ON DOWNWIND, OVER.

    (6) To instruct an aircraft to extend downwind leg to obtain necessary aircraft separation.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, EXTEND DOWNWIND FOR TRAFFIC SPACING, OVER.

    (7) To advise an aircraft of information not included in landing instructions but important to aircraft safety.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, BE ADVISED WE ARE RECEIVING AUTOMATIC FIRE FROM THE EAST OVER.

    (8) To try to establish communication with and learn the identification of an aircraft in his area.

    UH-ONE, TWO MILES WEST OF BLUE STRIP, STATE CALL SIGN, OVER.

    (9) To instruct aircraft to circle the LZ orlanding strip.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, MAINTAIN LEFT (RIGHT) CLOSED TRAFFIC, OVER.

    (10) To issue a clearance to land.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, CLEAR TO LAND, OVER.

    (11) To instruct an aircraft on final landing approach that clearance has been cancelled.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, CONDUCT GO-AROUND, OVER.

    (12) To inform an aircraft to continue its approach to the landing area.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, CONTINUE APPROACH, OVER.

    (13) To inform pilot of observed aircraft condition upon request or when necessary.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, LANDING GEAR APPEARS DOWN AND IN PLACE, OVER.

    (14) To describe vehicles, equipment, or personnel in the movement area in a manner that will assist pilots in recognizing them.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, AIRCRAFT TO LEFT OF RUNWAY, OVER. SIERRA TWO SIX, VEHICLES ON TAXIWAY, OVER.

    (15) To describe military traffic as appropriate.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, BE ADVISED HELICOPTER ON DEPARTURE END, OVER. SIERRA TWO SIX, BE ADVISED CH-FOUR SEVEN (CH-47) ON RIGHT SIDE OF RUNWAY, OVER.

    (16) To describe the relative positions of traffic using the clock direction-and-distance method.

    SIERRA TWO SIX, U-SIX, YOUR THREE O'CLOCK, FIVE HUNDRED METERS, OVER.

b. Terminology.

    (1) Abort. Do not complete landing or takeoff (lift-off).

    (2) Acknowledge. Was message received and understood?

    (3) Affirmative. Yes.

    (4) Be advised. Indicates additional information is forthcoming, such as an unusual condition or hazard to flight.

    (4) Be advised. Indicates additional information is forthcoming, such as an unusual condition or hazard to flight.

    (5) Break. Indicates the separation of back-to-back transmissions to two separate aircraft; or indicates the separation of the text (message) from other portions of a transmission.

    (6) Conduct go-around. Do not land, circle the landing area, and begin another approach.

    (7) Correction. An error has been made in transmission; the correct lata is forthcoming.

    (8) Execute. Drop personnel or equipment.

    (9) Form your own approach. Authorizes pilot to enter traffic pattern at his discretion. (Most suitable for aircraft with a slingload or or flights of aircraft.)

    (10) Go ahead. Instructions to proceed with message.

    (11) I say again. Prefaces a message repeated by request.

    (12) Last calling station. Identity of station attempting to establish communication unknown.

    (13) MAYDAY. Emergency, clear airways.

    (14) Negative. No.

    (15) No drop. Do not drop personnel or equipment.

    (16) Out. Transmission ends and no response required.

    (17) Over. End of transmission; response is expected.

    (18) Read back. Repeat message.

    (19) Report. Pilot contacts control facility when reaching a designated location, for example, REPORT ONE MILE OUT.

    (20) Roger. Transmission received and understood

    (21) Say Again. Request repetition of a message.

    (22) Standby. Pause for a few seconds; or, prepare to drop personnel or equipment.

    (23) State call sign. Requests the aircraft's identify.

    (24) State intentions. Requests the aircraft's plans.

    (25) State location. Requests the aircraft's exact location.

    (26) Unable to approve. Pilot's request refused.

    (27) Verify. Check with originator.

    (28) Words twice. Communication difficult; transmit each phrase twice.

    (29) WILCO. I understand and will comply.

    (30) You are unreadable (broken, garbled). Transmission cannot be understood.

Section II. LANDINGS

The safe landing of aircraft requires control of the airspace around the site as well as the area on the ground. Managing air traffic involves using traffic patterns and maintaining separation of aircraft.

3-6. TRAFFIC PATTERNS

A traffic pattern is a means of control used by the pathfinder to assist in airspace management over his location, which is in and around a landing site, airfield, LZ, or DZ (Figure 3-1). A traffic pattern normally extends out to one mile from the final approach of the landing area in all directions, depending on the type of aircraft or size of the facility.

a. In a normal (left) traffic pattern, the aircraft makes all left turns, keeping airfield, landing site, LZ, or DZ to the pilot's left. In a right traffic pattern, the aircraft makes all right turns, keeping everything to the pilot's right.

b. The traffic pattern is used to control aircraft separation around a no-threat landing site. Rotary-wing aircraft may enter the pattern from any direction as long as safety requirements are met. (Refer to Chapter 4 for fixed-wing procedures.) The altitude is determined by the height of the obstacles or aircraft requirement, and maybe adjusted as the situation dictates.

c. The altitude flown while in the traffic pattern is normally between 1,000 and 1,200 feet, but may vary depending on the nature and requirements of the mission.



3-7 METHODS OF ENTRY

An aircraft may enter the traffic pattern from any point and from any direction within the area surrounding the landing strip/zone, consistent with safety requirements.

a. Entry into the traffic pattern normally occurs in the first one third of the closest leg at an angle no greater than 45 degrees.

b. A straight-in approach maybe expeditious to a pilot as long as it is within safety requirements. The criteria for a straight-in approach is that the aircraft is within 30 degrees on either side of the land heading.

c. A circling approach is when an aircraft approaches the location from any direction, overflys the landing site, and circles to the direction of landing. Normally, the pathfinder advises the pilot which direction to circle to expedite the approach and to avoid other traffic in the same airspace. This is the type approach often encountered by the pathfinder.

d. Departing aircraft normally leave on the same heading as landing or as close to it as possible, depending upon the wind direction. When the aircraft's destination is not in the direction of departure, the aircraft may fly a portion of the traffic pattern. The pathfinder's responsibility is to ensure that arriving and departing traffic does not conflict.

e. Closed traffic is used when an aircraft does not land on the first approach, or during DZ operations when an aircraft is required to make more than one pass over the DZ.

f. A go-around is used when for some reason it is not desirable for the aircraft to land after the pilot has reached the final approach leg of the traffic pattern.

3-8. TRAFFIC PATTERN LEGS

There are five possible legs to a traffic pattern; however, they are not all used every time. The minimum pattern that can be flown is the final approach leg; regardless of the type approach made, the final approach is always flown.

a. Upwind Leg. flight course parallel to the land heading in the direction of landing.

b. Crosswind Leg. A flight course at a right angle to the land heading off its upwind leg.

c. Downwind Leg. A flight course parallel to the land heading in the direction opposite of landing.

d. Base Leg. A flight course at a right angle to the landing runway off its approach, extending from the downwind leg to the intersection of the runway centerline (extended).

e. Final Leg (Approach). A flight course in the direction of landing along the runway centerline, extending from the base leg down to the runway.

3-9. ADVISORY SERVICE

The pathfinder controller issues advisories in his area of responsibility for the safe operation of aircraft. Such information may include temporary or permanent conditions on the landing field.

a. Temporary conditions may include construction work on or immediately adjacent to the movement area; rough portions of the movement area; degraded braking conditions caused by ice, snow, mud, slush, or water on the runway; or parked aircraft on the movement area.

b. No two landing areas and situations are identical. Each location presents its own problems with respect to environmental conditions, peculiar weather, preferred landing directions, and so forth.

    (1) The final approach to a particular runway may require a glide slope angle that is higher than normal.

    (2) Unusual terrain features near the airfield may, under certain wind conditions, create turbulence that can be hazardous to aircraft operating nearby. Also, helicopters operating nearby can create turbulence that maybe hazardous to light aircraft.

    (3) Prohibited areas, mountains, or other obstacles directly in line with the end of the runway may require abrupt turns immediately after takeoff (lift-off).

    (4) Friendly artillery or mortar fire within the control zone may require that the pathfinder give the pilot information pertaining to the origin, range, direction, and maximum ordinate of the firing. Air strikes within the control zone, especially those involving high-performance aircraft, must be included. Information pertaining to the enemy situation must also be given to the pilot.

3-10. SPACING TECHNIQUES

Spacing provides more Separation between aircraft in the traffic pattern to alleviate traffic congestion. There are basically two methods used to obtain the separation required: the 360-degree turnout and the traffic pattern extension.

a. Instructions for the 360-degree turnout (a 2-minute maneuver) may be issued at any point in the traffic pattern except on the final approach. When a pilot receives instructions to begin a 360-degree turnout, he turns away from the center of the landing site, makes a wide circle, and reenters the traffic pattern at about the same point from which he left it (Figure 3-2). Subsequent turnouts maybe required if adequate space is not obtained from the first one. An example of the radio dialogue between the pathfinder and the pilot is as follows:

Pathfinder: DELTA THREE SIX, BEGIN THREE SIX ZERO DEGREE TURNOUT FOR SPACING AND REPORT REENTRY.

Pilot: ROGER. (After turnout is complete) LIMA ONE SIX, DELTA THREE SIX HAS REENTERED.

Pathfinder: DELTA THREE SIX, ROGER, REPORT BASE.

Pilot: ROGER.



b. Extension of the traffic pattern is limited to three legs: upwind, crosswind, and downwind (Figure 3-3); however, only one leg may be extended at a time. The base leg and final approach cannot be extended because they run back into the traffic pattern itself. Instructions to extend the traffic pattern will include the length of the extension; it is normally twice the original length of that leg. Care is taken not to extend the leg too far where you lose visual contact with the aircraft.



3-11. FINAL LANDING INSTRUCTIONS

Final landing instructions consist of a current wind reading (direction and velocity) and clearance to land. Any change to the situation may be included in the final landing instructions. Final landing instructions should be issued as soon as the pilot reports from the designated point, but not too early. As a rule, once an aircraft has been cleared to land, that clearance cannot be rescinded except in extreme situations. The optimum reporting points vary, depending on the situation.

Situation Reporting Point
Aircraft in traffic pattern. Base leg of traffic pattern.
Straight-in approach. Final.
Aircraft authorized to form own approach. Final.

a. Flights of aircraft flying in formation (other than in trail) and aircraft with a slingload usually form their own approach.

b. In-flight emergencies have top priority to land, followed by medical evacuation aircraft. Next priority is given to multiple aircraft and slingloaded aircraft in the event two or more missions arrive at the same time. All other flights follow these.

3-12. TAXIING AIRCRAFT

When issuing taxiing instructions, the pathfinder includes a route for the aircraft to follow in the movement area plus instructions to hold at a specific point, if necessary. However, movement of aircraft within loading, maintenance, dispersal, or parking areas is the pilot's responsibility, although he might be assisted by signalmen.

a. The controller holds a taxiing aircraft short of an active runway by at least two airplane lengths. This procedure ensures that landing aircraft have sufficient clearance.

b. The controller issues concise and easy-to-understand information.

SIERRA TWO SIX, TURN RIGHT AT SIGNALMAN. TANGO THREE SIX TURN LEFT AT END OF RUNWAY, OVER.

3-13. MINIMUM AIRCRAFT SEPARATION REQUIREMENTS

The following minimum separation criteria should be followed during normal operations. Combat situations, however, may dictate less separation.

a. Arriving Aircraft. The preceding aircraft (A) has taxied off the landing strip before the arriving aircraft (B) crosses the approach end on its final glide (Figure 3-4, A).

b. Departing Aircraft. The preceding aircraft has either crossed (A) the opposite end of the runway or turned away (B) from the projected path of the departing (C) aircraft before the latter begins its takeoff run (Figure 3-4, B).

c. Departing and Arriving Aircraft. The departing aircraft (A) has crossed the opposite end of the runway before the arriving aircraft (B) crosses the approach end on it final glide (Figure 3-4, C).

d. Departing, Preceding, and Arriving Aircraft. The preceding aircraft (A) and arriving aircraft (B) taxied off the runway before the departing aircraft (C) begins takeoff run (Figure 3-4, D).



Section III. GROUND-TO-AIR COMMUNICATIONS

A rapid and efficient means of communication between aircraft and ground stations is necessary in air traffic control. Two-way radio is the best means since information can be exchanged quickly and there is little doubt as to the intent of the messages. All aircraft may not be equipped with operational radios; therefore, a system of visual signals has been established. The visual system also serves as a standby or backup means of communication in case of radio failure in the aircraft or at the control center, or if an aircraft desires to land and does not have the control frequency (Table 3-1). Colored smoke signals may also be used, but their use must be coordinated between the pathfinder and the aviation unit.



3-14. ELECTRONIC WARFARE ENVIRONMENT

The pathfinder should anticipate an active electronic warfare environment for all operations and ensure that he is familiar with the proper counter-countermeasures to be used. These include prowords that indicate a switch to an alternate radio frequency, transmission authentication procedures, brevity codes, and required reports to be initiated when enemy interference is suspected. Proper radiotelephone procedures and SOI are used during all operations.

a. To limit the possibility of compromise, pathfinders reduce the electronic signature at the LZ/DZ by depending on thorough mission planning and coordination to develop control procedures that enable the mission to be executed under radio listening silence. This is the goal of all pathfinder missions.

b. When mission planning time is limited, or tactical and or meteorological conditions present a constantly changing influence on the operation, it is likely that GTA communications will be required to resolve possible conflicts between friendly airspace users and to advise of previously unknown restrictive landing conditions (wind gusts, hazardous slopes, obstacles, soft landing surfaces, or limitations in the number of landing points available). Training and close liaison with aviation aircrews enables the pathfinder to develop an understanding of what information is pertinent to the situation. This reduces transmission time to the minimum.

c. When an unknown influence causes any variation in the mission plans, it is managed as an exception to established procedures. The most questionable part of the mission is the exact location of the landing site. A variety of influences may necessitate its relocation. For instance, ground fog may cause a delay unless the landing site is moved to a higher elevation. Unless the proposed landing site is secured and has been surveyed by either air or ground reconnaissance, its suitability to provide an adequate number of landing points or an assembly area for the ground unit is questionable.

d. If the mission is to reinforce or to resupply a ground unit in contact, a change in the tactical situation may also make the proposed location unsuitable. The closer the proposed site is to the enemy activity, the more questionable it is that any specific location will remain suitable to mission requirements from the time of planning through execution.

e. Therefore, maintaining radio silence within the LZ is important. Because of this, most air movements require the establishment of a CCP to ensure a common point from which the pathfinders and the aircraft can reference their relative positions and provide each other time to adjust to any additional changes.

f. The GTA net is strictly for communications, but the pathfinder cannot assume that all transmissions are from aircraft. A log of arrivals is kept in the event an aircraft is overdue at a destination. The headquarters in charge of flight plans contacts intermediate stop points to identify the last known location and to aid in search-and-rescue operations.

3-15. GROUND-TO-AIR TRANSMISSIONS

The list of possible situations a pathfinder may encounter while using GTA is endless. However, if he can master the following four most common ones, he will be able to handle just about anything.

a. Situation 1--Known Aircraft Location.

    (1) Initial contact. Pilot radios transmission at coordinated time and location.

      (a) Pilot: ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX (A1L16), THIS IS ROMEO TWO BRAVO TWO SEVEN (R2B27), OVER.

      (b) Pathfinder: ROMEO TWO BRAVO TWO SEVEN, THIS IS ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX, OVER.

      (c) Pilot: THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN, CCP INBOUND,OVER.

      (d) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, STATE TYPE, NUMBER, AND INTENTIONS, OVER.

NOTE: After establishment of two-way communications, call signs may be abbreviated. With multiple flights, instructions issued by pathfinder GTA communication should identify the particular situation by including that station's call sign at the beginning of the transmission.

      (e) Pilot: THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN, FOUR UH-SIXTIES (UH-60s),TROOP DROP-OFF AND SLINGLOAD FOR YOUR SITE, OVER.

      (f) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, ROGER, HEADING THREE TWO FIVE (325), THREE THOUSAND (3,000) METERS. LAND THREE TWO FIVE, SIGNAL ON CALL, LAND ECHELON RIGHT SLINGLOADAIRCRAFT USE NUMBER FOUR LANDING POINT CONTINUE APPROACH FOR VISUAL CONTACT, OVER.

    (2) Air traffic control information.

      (a) HEADING THREE TWO FIVE, (distance) THREE THOUSAND METERS, OVER.

      (b) LAND THREE TWO FIVE, OVER.

    (3) Pertinent information.

      (a) SIGNAL ON CALL (prepare to establish positive visual contact).

      (b) FOUR UH-SIXTIES (UH-60s) IN ECHELON RIGHT (advises pilot of the size of landing site).

      (c) SLINGLOAD POINT ON NUMBER FOUR TOUCHDOWN POINT (night only).

      (d) GSI SETTNG SEVEN (approach angle from the glide slope indicator).

      (e) FIELD ELEVATION, FOUR TWO FIVE FEET (actual field elevation).

    (4) Advisory information.

      (a) Flight advisories include the enemy situation (if a threat to the aircraft).

      (b) Landing advisories include surface conditions on the landing site (sand, mud, or blowing snow), and GSI setting nine or above (steep approach).

      (c) Departure advisories include obstacles in path of aircraft leaving the site (obstacles above the obstacle departure lights).

    (5) Aircraft in sight.

      (a) Pathfinder: BRAVO TWO SEVEN, THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, I AM AT YOUR TWELVE O'CLOCK, FIVE HUNDRED METERS, IDENTIFY SIGNAL, OVER.

      (b) Pilot: THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN,I IDENTIFY GREEN SMOKE, OVER.

NOTE: At night during specialized activity such as external load drop-off or pickup, or when unsafe surface conditions require the marking of specific landing points, that arrangement must be known by the flight leader to enable him to organize the flight for landing. A light gun with a dot-dash sequence is used to identify the site.

      (c) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, VISUAL CONTACT (and once the pilot identifies the site), WIND THREE TWO FIVE AT EIGHT, CLEAR TO LAND,OVER.

NOTE: Once the pilot identifies the site, the pathfinder issues final landing instructions. If a traffic pattern has been established and is in use, the aircraft is placed in the traffic pattern at a safe and expeditious location and the pilot is instructed to report base. When the pilot reports base, the pathfinder issues final landing instructions. For special situations, the pathfinder may elect to require the pilot to circle left or right in lieu of placement in the traffic pattern, and then he issues final landing instructions.

    (6) Departure Instructions.

      (a) Pilot: LIMA ONE SIX, THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN, READY FOR DEPARTURE, OVER.

      (b) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, WIND THREE TWO FIVE AT EIGHT CLEAR TO DEPART STATE INTENTIONS, REPORT CLEAR OF LANDING ZONE, OVER.

NOTE: If the departure heading is different from the land heading, the departure heading must be given as the first element of the departure instructions.

      (c) Pilot: THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN, RIGHT BREAK AFTER DEPARTURE, OVER.

      (d) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, ROGER, OVER.

      (e) Pilot: THIS IS BRAVO TWO SEVEN, CLEAR TO THE WEST, OVER.

      (f) Pathfinder: THIS IS ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX, ROGER, OUT.

b. Situation 2--Aircraft Reporting from a Cardinal Direction and Distance.

    (1) Quite often, mutually supporting helicopter operations are conducted to increase the security of an LZ operation; for example, a team of observation and attack helicopters maybe acting as a screen for the LZ. The team may not contact the pathfinder because there is no intention of landing and the utility or lift aircraft know of their location because they communicate over internal UHF and or VHF radio nets. The need could arise that aircraft not originally expected by the pathfinder may require landing at the LZ. In this instance, the initial contact requires a different response by the pathfinder.

    (2) Because of possible conflict with aircraft departing the landing site in the same direction, it is necessary to track the inbound aircraft's course and to include this unexpected arrival as an advisory to mission aircraft. To accurately track the aircraft, the pathfinder uses a commonly known point (in the direction of the aircraft) to control the situation. This point can be a prominent terrain feature, a checkpoint, or an aerial control point previously established by the ground unit for maneuver control. This situation is identical to situation 1 except the heading and distance are not given.

c. Situation 3--Aircraft with an In-Flight Emergency.

    (1) An in-flight emergency occurs when an aircraft develops a mechanical problem that challenges the pilot's ability to maintain control. Due to the pilot's preoccupation with his immediate problem, the pathfinder assists by moving the other air traffic away from the aircraft with the emergency, who has priority. If the emergency develops before initial contact, operational security requires a full information exchange as in a standard transmission.

    (2) After the emergency has been declared by the pilot, the situation continues as follows.

      (a) Pilot: ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX (A1L16), THIS IS CHARLIE ZERO WHISKEY ZERO TWO (C0W02), IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCY (MAYDAY), OVER.

      (b) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, WIND ZERO THREE FIVE AT SIX, CLEAR TO LAND, STATE INBOUND HEADING, OVER.

      (c) Pilot: THIS IS WHISKEY ZERO TWO, HEADING TWO SIX ZERO, OVER.

      (d) Pathfinder: ALL STATIONS, THIS IS ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX, BE ADVISED, IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCY APPROACHING FROM THE EAST, REMAIN CLEAR OF LANDING SITE AND MAINTAIN RADIO SILENCE UNTIL EMERGENCY HAS BEEN TERMINATED BREAK - WHISKEY ZERO TWO, CAN I BE OF FURTHER ASSISTANCE, OVER.

      (e) Pilot: THIS IS WHISKEY ZERO TWO, NEGATIVE, OVER.

      (f) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, ROGER, OVER.

NOTE: Advise the emergency aircraft of any aircraft remaining on the landing site. For example, WHISKEY ZERO TWO, BE ADVISED, TWO UH-ONEs ON NORTH END OF SITE. After the emergency has been terminated and normal operations can continue, transmit a net call. The emergency may be terminated only by the pilot declaring the emergency.

      (g) Pathfinder: ALL STATIONS, THIS IS ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX, EMERGENCY HAS TERMINATED, I CAN ACCEPT TRAFFIC, OVER.

    (3) Departure instructions are the same as in situation 1.

d. Situation 4--Misoriented Aircraft.

    (1) During limited visibility, adverse weather, in-flight emergencies, or when a map is not accessible, pilots may become unsure of the location of the landing site and they may not be at an easily identifiable land point. In such cases, the pathfinder is able to assist the pilot by directing him to either a known location or the landing site. At terrain flight altitudes, the misorientation maybe as little as 200 meters in some environments. The pathfinder may hear the aircraft but cannot see it. Pilots whose aircraft have the proper equipment may use FM homing techniques and may get a proper orientation during the initial contact without requesting a long or short count. For signal security, FM homing is one of the least desirable methods for navigation because of the increased requirement for the ground station to transmit. If the pilot can identify his point in relation to a known point, the pathfinder can recommend an inbound heading.

    (2) In this example, an aircraft at the CCP is unable to establish voice communication with the pathfinder due to low altitude or radio interference. Knowing the landing zone location, but unsure of the exact location of the landing site, the pilot continues his flight closer to the center of the zone.

      (a) Pilot: ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX (A1L16), THIS IS CHARLIE TWO ECHO THREE FOUR (C2E34), OVER.

      (b) Pathfinder: CHARLIE TWO ECHO THREE FOUR, THIS IS ALPHA ONE LIMA ONE SIX, OVER.

      (c) Pilot: THIS IS ECHO THREE FOUR, FOUR UH-ONEs INBOUND FOR LANDING, REQUEST NAVIGATIONAL ASSISTANCE, OVER.

      (d) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, DO YOU HAVE FM HOMING CAPABILITY?

      (e) Pilot: THIS IS ECHO THREE FOUR, AFFIRMATIVE, OVER.

      (f) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, SHORT COUNT FOLLOWS (l-2-3-4-5-5-4-3-2-l), END SHORT COUNT STATE INBOUND HEADING, OVER.

      (g) Pilot: THIS IS ECHO THREE FOUR, SAY AGAIN, OVER.

      (h) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, ROGER, ORBIT PRESENT LOCATION, DESCRIBE PROMINENT TERRAIN FEATURES, STATE LAST KNOWN LOCATION, HEADING, AND DISTANCE FLOWN, OVER.

      (i) Pilot: THIS IS ECHO THREE FOUR, CCP HEADING THREE SIX ZERO, TWO THOUSAND METERS, I SEE A THREE-ACRE POND WITH DAM ON THE SOUTH, ORIENTED EAST-WEST OVER.

NOTE: The pathfinder plots the course correction and continues with the standard transmission.

      (j) Pathfinder: THIS IS LIMA ONE SIX, HEADING TWO NINE ZERO, EIGHT HUNDRED METERS (advisories if any), OVER

    (3) The standard ATC information continues as in situation 1 and ends with DESCRIBE PROMINENT TERRAIN FEATURES EN ROUTE, OVER.



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