Emergency Procedures

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
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gregangsten
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Location: Westchester

Emergency Procedures

Post by gregangsten » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:53 am

The recent helicopter rescue of a PG pilot from Kagel after a blown launch went fairly well, but it also exposed some weaknesses in our procedures. Rob took the lead in remedying this and produced a set of suggested procedures in the case of an injury emergency at our site. These suggested procedures are a very handy aid for what might be a frantic situation in the LZ. A printed copy will be available in the phone box at the pavilion (and on the bulletin board.) Under this list will be a key for access to the box above it which contains an aircraft frequency radio to monitor and perhaps assist a helicopter rescue.

Every pilot should be aware of this arrangement. Check it out yourself when you get a chance at the LZ. The list of suggested procedures is given below which you might consider copying to your phone. I put it is as a note on Google Keep, myself.


Suggested Emergency Response Procedures

INJURY IN OUR LZ – Flight Park Address: 12584 Gridley St, Sylmar, CA 91342

· Call 911. Provide the flight park address (above), and send a pilot out to Gridley Street to direct the emergency responders.
AIRLIFT RESCUE NEEDED – Kagel Launch GPS Coordinates: Latitude N 34° 20.00’ Longitude W118° 23.05'
· Call 911
a. Specify that the location is COUNTY of L.A. (NOT City of L.A.). Provide GPS coordinates for launch (above), or
closer to crash site if available. Grid map with coordinates in phone box.
b. Advise we will monitor aircraft frequency 123.025 MHz and assist helicopter pilot if requested. (There is a handheld
aircraft band radio for this purpose at the LZ, with instructions. A club member should take this
responsibility.)
c. Advise that any airborne glider pilots are requested to remain well clear of helicopter operations.
· Break down or pancake gliders in LZ so the helicopter can land there if needed.

MISSING PILOT
· It's important to first attempt to locate the missing pilot, before calling 911. The following steps are a guide.
a. Query pilots in LZ on glider colors and any possible location of the missing pilot.
b. Query pilots in air and on launch using the SHGA 2 meter frequency. Ask them to look for the pilot and provide a
GPS location or good locating instructions.
c. Call the missing pilot's cell phone.
d. Check the parking lot for the pilot's vehicle.
e. Have qualified pilots in the air perform a visual ground search of likely flight routes and bail out LZs.
f. Have a club member drive to both Big T LZs in case pilot landed out there.
· If none of the above results in locating the pilot, or if there is another reason to suspect the pilot may have crashed, then
call 911, following "Invoke Search and Rescue" below.

INVOKE SEARCH AND RESCUE
· Call 911
a. Specify that we have a missing hang glider (or paraglider) pilot in the L.A. COUNTY MOUNTAINS.
b. Provide them all requested information, including your phone contact information.
c. Advise we will monitor aircraft frequency 123.025 MHz and assist helicopter pilot if requested. (There is a hand
held aircraft band radio for this purpose at the LZ, with instructions. A club member should take this
responsibility.)
· Inform pilots on launch and in air that aircraft will be coming, and to clear the airspace ASAP.
· Break down or pancake gliders in LZ so the helicopter can land if needed (e.g. pick up a pilot to assist).

FIRE
· Call 911
a. Give good location directions.
b. Advise that glider pilots will stay clear of their operations.
c. Advise the glider pilots on launch and in air that helicopters will likely come soon, and to follow club rules.

SUSPECTED ARSON
· Call 911 if there is a fire.
· If there is no fire, radio pilots in air to observe for suspicious activities, take notes and get them to a club officer.

CRIMINAL ACTIVITY
· Carefully observe details.
· Call 911 if there is an imminent threat, or call the police.
· File a report with the SHGA Board of Directors.
Last edited by gregangsten on Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

Forger
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:44 am

Re: Emergency Procedures

Post by Forger » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:35 pm

In my experience, a consistent cause of confusion is the reporting party using a different coordinate convention than the responders and the posted wording sets the club up for such an issue. The coordinates can be in DEG° MIN’ SEC”, DEG° MIN.decimal(min)’ or DEG.decimal(deg)° but the club sign (if it matches what’s posted here) appears to be in DEG° MIN.decimal’ format but is written in MIN MIN.decimal’ (which is obviously wrong but somebody could try to quote it to the responders).

Also, no need to go to three decimal place in the seconds because you’re talking a difference of a few feet and the more numbers, the greater the possibility for confusion.

I recommend: Kagel Launch GPS Coordinates: Latitude N 34° 20.00’ Longitude W118° 23.05’
And NOT this: Kagel Launch GPS Coordinates: Latitude N 34’20.000 Longitude W118’23.050

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gregangsten
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 11:22 am
Location: Westchester

Re: Emergency Procedures

Post by gregangsten » Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:57 am

Thanks, Forger. Fixed it.

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BudRob
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Re: Emergency Procedures

Post by BudRob » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:45 am

These suggested changes will be made on our website and the 2 posted areas within the LZ.

It's nice to get a reality check from someone with Mark's experience. Thanks Forger!

Rob Burgis
President SHGA

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