civil air search and rescue association n.
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CIVIL AIR SEARCH AND RESCUE ASSOCIATION. PILOT TRAINING COURSE Phase 5 In-Flight Procedures. Pilot Responsibility. The CASARA Pilot has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of the crew

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civil air search and rescue association



Phase 5

In-Flight Procedures

pilot responsibility
Pilot Responsibility
  • The CASARA Pilot has the ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of the crew
  • Any actions or decisions made by any crew member that may affect the safety of the crew or may affect the objective of the mission, need to be known to the pilot
  • In flight, the pilot makes the final decision
  • The CASARA Pilot should normally handle all radio communications with ATC, Search Headquarters or any other aircraft
  • In some flight crew situations, the navigator may use the radio only by mutual agreement with the pilot such as sending a NOCL message
  • Inter-crew communications should be kept to a minimum and should cease if anything is heard on the aircraft radio
spotter distance briefing
Spotter Distance Briefing
  • Prior to commencing the actual search, the pilot or navigator should review with the spotters, the scanning range and search object details
  • An identifiable object or landmark on the ground on each side of the aircraft should be selected to demonstrate the scanning range for each spotter
spotter call around
Spotter Call Around
  • Prior to beginning a search, the CASARA Pilot should emphasize to the spotters to be assertive in calling the aircraft around if any possible target is seen
  • All other crew communications should cease if a spotter is calling the aircraft around
  • Only the spotter who saw the target and the pilot should communicate at this time
spotter rest
Spotter Rest
  • Being a spotter is a tiring job
  • The pilot should allow the spotters to rest their eyes at every possible opportunity
  • If instructed by Search Headquarters to make turns outside the assigned search area, take advantage of that opportunity to rest spotter eyes
  • An occasional 360ºturn or two during your search is acceptable for spotter rest
search track deviations
Search Track Deviations
  • As your navigator periodically marks your location along your search tracks, there may be occasions where a deviation has been made with loss of coverage
  • The pilot and navigator need to decide if a backtrack is necessary or the missed area can be covered on the next pass
  • Any assigned search areas missed should be identified to Search Headquarters
aircraft retasking
Aircraft Retasking
  • While training or during an actual search, your aircraft may be sent to another location using a different search pattern
  • Once your navigator has given the pilot the new heading, ask your spotters to rest
  • Prior to beginning a new tasking, the pilot will have to brief the crew on the new search object, search pattern, altitude and distance
  • Search Headquarters should be advised of start time “on scene” as well as your revised Bingo time
target sighted
Target Sighted
  • If a probable target has been sighted, the aircraft crew will communicate a NOCL to Search Headquarters or JRCC
  • Remain over the target until a rescue party arrives, your Bingo time is up or as directed by Search Headquarters or JRCC
  • You may be able to communicate with the search object, a ground or air rescue crew and provide directions or relay radio calls
nocl message format refer to inside back cover of casara handbook
NOCL Message FormatRefer to inside back cover of CASARA Handbook


  • Affirmative - positive identification that the object sighted is the search object


  • Negative - unable to positively determine that the object is the search object
nocl message format
NOCL Message Format


  • An eight or nine digit group denoting latitude and longitude position without north or west being used
  • Read over the radio in continuous single numbers

Bravo 4 8 4 6 5 2 3 7

nocl message format1
NOCL Message Format


  • Negative - when no survivors or casualties can be seen
  • Number - any number of survivors or casualties actually seen, followed by:
    • Undetermined - when the status of the survivors or casualties cannot be determined
    • Red - Immediate treatment and evacuation (priority 1)
    • Yellow - Early treatment and evacuation (priority 2)
    • Green - Routine treatment and evacuation (priority 3)
    • Blue - Deferred treatment and evacuation (priority 4)
    • White - Uninjured
    • Grey - Missing
    • Black - Dead
nocl message format2
NOCL Message Format


  • ONE - side of hill, also indicate N,S, E or W slope
  • TWO - in valley, also indicate N, S, E or W side of valley floor
  • THREE - in level country
  • FOUR - heavily wooded area (can be used with one, two or three)
  • FIVE - in water: ALPHA - near shore BRAVO - well off shore
nocl message format3
NOCL Message Format


  • ONE - request authorization to deploy SAR Techs
  • TWO - a helicopter will be required
  • THREE - a ground party could reach the location in good time
  • FOUR - a rescue boat will be required
nocl message format4
NOCL Message Format


  • Remarks - Briefly provide any detail which will allow JRCC to initiate appropriate action , bearing in mind that the transmission is not secure

For example:

    • inform how long you can remain on the scene
    • request an ETA for onscene of SAR aircraft or relief aircraft
crash location
Crash Location
  • if you can, hold an altitude higher than SAR Rescue aircraft to provide a homing target
  • provide whatever assistance you are able to give when requested
  • all other aircraft remain on assigned task
casara handbook

CASARA Handbook

CASARA Handbook is invaluable for all phases of SAR operations and training. The NOCL message is on the back cover of the CASARA Handbook.


In-Flight Procedures

End of Phase 5