Mr. pilot ..., or about communication with aviation

2019-05-30
Mr. pilot ..., or about communication with aviation

There are several ways to communicate with aviation. If the radio link fails, we can still transmit messages. This knowledge can be useful not only on the battlefield or desert island. Knowing the signal signs can save our lives when we are surprised by the weather conditions in the mountains. The mirror in the pocket does not always have to be used to correct the hairstyle;)

In combat conditions, or when we are waiting for emergency services and have no radio communication, we can still communicate with the aircraft. You can use your own body, materials at hand and Morse code.

When you make eye contact with the crew, give an appropriate signal. Stand in such a place that you are clearly visible and that nothing is covering you. Make sure that shadows, trees or buildings do not make the signs difficult to read. Make the gestures carefully and slowly, repeating them until the flight crew confirms understanding of the message. Flashes of green light several times or flashes of the wings - this confirms the understanding of the signal. On the other hand, red light or making circles in the air several times - means misunderstanding of the message.

The above alarm signals are common in military aviation in NATO countries. However, they should also be understandable by civilian pilots. If you like mountain hikes, you should learn two signals used by mountain rescue all over the world. Perhaps this way you will avoid a tragedy.

The second way to communicate with the aviation are emergency signs. Made on the surface with the use of signal panels or materials at hand. Examples of improvised materials:

  • fabrics (sheets, blankets, parachutes, etc.),
  • sand or earth,
  • wood (branches, beams, boards, etc.),
  • charcoal or ash,
  • vegetation (proper arrangement of cut plants or cutting them out in a specific shape).

You can also dig pits or form high embankments that will create appropriate marks by casting a shadow over the surface - this method is best suited to snow-covered areas. Make sure that the symbols are clearly visible from a height and contrast with the ground. It is best to use light characters on a dark background and dark characters on a light background.

Important! Remove signs if circumstances have changed or you are leaving the area. If you find yourself in a crisis or forget the correct signs and alarm signals, use the "SOS" sign.

You can also communicate with aviation using Morse code. The easiest way to do this is with a flashlight, you can also use a signal mirror. Any object that reflects sunlight is an emergency, for example:

  • pieces of glass or mirrors,
  • sheet metal fragment,
  • NRC foil,
  • lids for cans and canteens.

How to use a signal mirror?

  1. fabrics (sheets, blankets, parachutes, etc.),
  2. sand or earth,
  3. wood (branches, beams, boards, etc.),
  4. charcoal or ash,
  5. vegetation (proper arrangement of cut plants or cutting them out in a specific shape).

The main use of a signal mirror is to mark a position, but you can use it to send longer messages using Morse code. That is why the signal mirror is also called a heliograph (from Greek helios - sun, grapho - I write).

The American inventor Samuel Morse - the creator of the first electromagnetic telegraph in 1838 developed a special way to represent the characters of the alphabet. Letters, numbers and special characters are represented by short and long pulses. You can send them by means of light signals, sound signals, electric pulses and popular dots (short signal) and dashes (long signal). This system turned out to be so ingeniously simple that it is still used today. The famous emergency call is an SOS signal, which in Morse code consists of 3 short, 3 long and again 3 short signals, that is ● ● ● - - - ● ● ●. This abbreviation evolves from English as save our souls / skins, save our ship, or as send out succour. It is good to know how to send this signal, and as a soldier or a traveler, it is very useful to know the entire Morse code.

When sending a message, remember that one dash should be as long as three dots. The space between the elements of the character should be one period. Three dots - this is the space between characters. The space between groups of characters is seven dots.

Author: Paweł Zarzycki

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