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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: squawk 1277 for SAR Missions
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AG13
Newbie

Posts: 3
Unit: NHQ008

« on: August 13, 2017, 01:32:51 PM »

If MPs, ICs, AOBD and OSCs could help get the word out to review AIM 4-1-20.g.1, note 2 and start using 1277 instead of 1200 for any AFRCC mission it would be very beneficial to the NRAT Team. This can include non CAP aircraft involved in the search such as State Police Helicopters. We are working on some new products to be rolled out in the future, announcements will be made at National in Texas later this month. Use of this code instead of 1200 also lets ATC know who you are and can assist in keeping other aircraft away from the area in the event a formal TFR has not been established. Additionally, we can easily pull the radar data at the end of the search day and show you what areas have been covered. If you are on VFR flight following with a discrete code with ATC, then please put that code in the debrief of the 104, so we can pull the data.

We have had several large searches that went on for days that we have been requested to get the radar data on what was covered. These searches involved outside agencies as well. Sorting out millions of 1200 codes is very time consuming.

Thanks for all you do for CAP!
Lt Col Mark Young
National Radar Analysis Team
NHQ-008
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etodd
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 865

« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 05:14:58 PM »

Quote
g. Transponder Operation Under Visual Flight
Rules (VFR)
1. Unless otherwise instructed by an ATC
facility, adjust transponder to reply on Mode 3/A
Code 1200
regardless of altitude.
NOTE−
1. Aircraft not in contact with an ATC facility may squawk
1255 in lieu of 1200 while en route to, from, or within the
designated fire fighting area(s).
2. VFR aircraft which fly authorized SAR missions for the
USAF or USCG may be advised to squawk 1277 in lieu of
1200 while en route to, from, or within the designated
search area.

Bold print mine for emphasis.  Ask ATC first ... don't use 1277 unless approved.

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MS - MO - AP - MP
AG13
Newbie

Posts: 3
Unit: NHQ008

« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 08:44:17 PM »

I can copy you the regs (FAA orders) but read it through one more time. 1. Correct, ATC may assign you that code. 2. NOTE-1 Aircraft NOT in contact with ATC may use the 1255 for firefighting. NOTE 2 does read different in that is says 1277 "may be advised" to use 1277. The actual orders and interpretations vary, but if you contact ATC and ask for use it will be gladly given. There is a push on the ATC side to have SAR aircraft to use the code to assist with monitoring a TFR. What the radar team will present at National will show you why this is important. So, yes, request o take off you be allowed to use 1277 unless you want a discrete for VFR flight following. in many areas, VFR flight following is not available due to radar coverage or workload. We have many other sensors out that have coverage other than what Center has access to, so do not let that deter your from using 1277. Here soon, when the next round of Iridium Satellites get launched, we will have greater coverage if your aircraft is ADSB equipped. (limitations apply). Beta testing is in progress as we speak.

Thanks for helping get the word out!
Mark
   
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Mordecai
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 1,094
Unit: SI

« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 12:54:02 PM »

I can copy you the regs (FAA orders) but read it through one more time. 1. Correct, ATC may assign you that code. 2. NOTE-1 Aircraft NOT in contact with ATC may use the 1255 for firefighting. NOTE 2 does read different in that is says 1277 "may be advised" to use 1277. The actual orders and interpretations vary, but if you contact ATC and ask for use it will be gladly given. There is a push on the ATC side to have SAR aircraft to use the code to assist with monitoring a TFR. What the radar team will present at National will show you why this is important. So, yes, request o take off you be allowed to use 1277 unless you want a discrete for VFR flight following. in many areas, VFR flight following is not available due to radar coverage or workload. We have many other sensors out that have coverage other than what Center has access to, so do not let that deter your from using 1277. Here soon, when the next round of Iridium Satellites get launched, we will have greater coverage if your aircraft is ADSB equipped. (limitations apply). Beta testing is in progress as we speak.

Thanks for helping get the word out!
Mark
 

Silly thought... if this is that important, can NHQ publish an advisory that gets added to the RSS feed in e-services? Then EVERY pilot and member for that matter will see it.
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AG13
Newbie

Posts: 3
Unit: NHQ008

« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 03:12:50 PM »

Sure, we can get that done. and for those not familiar with the NRAT team, it is a squadron of NHQ-008. The National Radar Analysis Team works hand in hand with the Cell Phone Forensics team and use radar from various sources including FAA, Air Defense, and other military sources as well as Plane Plotter, Flight Radar 24 and Flight Aware to collect radar data on all aircraft movements in the US. We log about 1 GB of data an hour at NHQ. The data is only used for SAR for missing aircraft. We delete the data after 14 days. If a plane goes missing, then we use software to filter out the millions of targets to find the one we are missing via various means and produce a track in Google Earth for the IC. We usually can nail down a location within a 1/4 mile, depending on what radar and ADSB sites are in the area. The cell forensics teams use cellular data to to help us find the right track by analyzing when any cell phones or other tablets communicated with towers to give is a time and space that we can tie to a track. When then combine the product and send to AFRCC to send out to the IC.

We have had some more difficult missions recently where it snowed 2 feet after the crash and of course was hard to find, the search finally suspended and the plane found in the spring. There were multiple agencies involved and then we get requests back to produce tracks of what areas were covered (or missed) of the search area. This is difficult to do with a bunch of 1200 targets running around that may or may not have been involved in the search, and takes hours of work to figure out who is what. Hence the request that all aircraft make use of the allowance by the FAA to be able to use 1277 for AFRCC searches. Then we can give you tracks at the end of the day with what areas were covered. Or, if you are on a discrete, put the code in the debrief of the 104 so we can pull that track. We get that information to the PSC for the next days plans. In the case of the Colorado flooding 4 years ago, this worked very well as our assignment was to cover every state highway in NE Colorado. By pulling the 1277 codes, we could easily tell what roads were missed.

I don't want to let the cat out of the bag, but we have some great tools coming out for the ICs and AOBDs at Nationals in 3 weeks to demo.

Once you see what we have coming out, the importance of this will make much more sense. For those who cannot attend, we will try to make it to Region Conferences as well as do some Webinars for everyone.

Thanks,
Lt Col Mark Young
NHQ-008

   
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CAP Talk  |  Operations  |  Emergency Services & Operations  |  Topic: squawk 1277 for SAR Missions
 


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