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Company SAR Times.

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Company SAR Times.

Old 20th Sep 2022, 11:21
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Company SAR Times.

Hi all,
Not 100% helicopter specific but will be used for a heli company.

What's software/ app does your company use or you have used for company SAR Time monitoring?

Currently using a 5 year-old iPhone that pilots Text or call that we manually respond and set an alarm on the same phone with the rego as the alarm name. Great for a hand full of aircraft but work for a large heli company with 150+ movements daily and poor ops member stuck with the phone does not have time much else.

Looked into a few lone worker type apps / software but the shortfall is only the end user can set / modify or cancel a SAR time. Some of our ops are very remote where only satphone or satellite coverage where Ops need the ability to set cancel or amend on behalf of the end user (pilot/aircrew)

Any help or a push in the right direction would be appreciated

Thanks!
520
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Old 20th Sep 2022, 12:59
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Have a look at iSAR from Bellwade - its what UKSAR uses still I believe
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Old 20th Sep 2022, 13:12
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New system for the Gulf of Mexico is being tested......

Minimum height of 100 feet AGL capability using Aircraft Transponder signals.

That means major installations with deck heights approaching or meeting that minimum height will afford real time tracking and with software at the Operator end would be able to automatically alert Operators of status of aircraft.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20020046999

Perhaps a GOM Pilot familiar with today's flight following system)s) can offer some more up to date information.
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Old 20th Sep 2022, 20:11
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Originally Posted by rescue520 View Post
Hi all,
Not 100% helicopter specific but will be used for a heli company.

What's software/ app does your company use or you have used for company SAR Time monitoring?

Currently using a 5 year-old iPhone that pilots Text or call that we manually respond and set an alarm on the same phone with the rego as the alarm name. Great for a hand full of aircraft but work for a large heli company with 150+ movements daily and poor ops member stuck with the phone does not have time much else.

Looked into a few lone worker type apps / software but the shortfall is only the end user can set / modify or cancel a SAR time. Some of our ops are very remote where only satphone or satellite coverage where Ops need the ability to set cancel or amend on behalf of the end user (pilot/aircrew)

Any help or a push in the right direction would be appreciated

Thanks!
520
I see your problem - SARTIME mandated by Ops Manual / Regs.

The pilot still has to communicate his "SARTIME" so I would look at asking your tracking provider to integrate something into their front end. Don't think that it would be too difficult as most of them can handle text comms.

"SARTIME" in this day and age is a fairly archaic way of doing things. Being archaic myself and from the days of HF and SARTIMES which would be the end of the next day, that left a lot of area to look in.

Tracking systems at least will tell you where you ended up within about 2 minutes at least. You do have a tracking system right?
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 06:03
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Originally Posted by RVDT View Post
I see your problem - SARTIME mandated by Ops Manual / Regs.

The pilot still has to communicate his "SARTIME" so I would look at asking your tracking provider to integrate something into their front end. Don't think that it would be too difficult as most of them can handle text comms.

"SARTIME" in this day and age is a fairly archaic way of doing things. Being archaic myself and from the days of HF and SARTIMES which would be the end of the next day, that left a lot of area to look in.

Tracking systems at least will tell you where you ended up within about 2 minutes at least. You do have a tracking system right?
Correct - Ops manual / Commercial Contract required company sar times. - I've been looking into this on and off for the last 6 months, and been in contact with the multitude of different systems we use. None are interested and the normal we will look into it response.

All our helicopters are fitted with Satellite tracking with 1min tracking intervals so finding is not an issue.

The issue is every single aircraft multiple times a day, even for 1nm flights setting, Cancelling or forgetting a SAR Time.

Ideal solution would be an App the pilots can set their sar to server and the only input ops needs to have is if they dont cancel, or input, extend or cancel on behalf of a pilot operating beyond mobile phone coverage!.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 08:31
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Ah I understand what you meant by SAR time now - I thought you were looking for a recording of SAR flights and hours for training and operational use.

Do I understand it is an app to calculate time to start overdue action?
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 09:04
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Ah I understand what you meant by SAR time now - I thought you were looking for a recording of SAR flights and hours for training and operational use.

Do I understand it is an app to calculate time to start overdue action?
That's correct currently pilots will text if in mobile range or sat call us with the following
  • aIrcraft rego
  • POB
  • Departure location to Arrival location
  • SAR Time. (Time they should have well and truly arrived by)
  • Any other info


We acknowledge this then find the alarm with the same name as the aircraft rego in the phone and set that alarm for the SAR time set.

The pilot all going well will text or call cancelling their SAR time which we acknowledge then turn off the alarm.

If the alarm sounds we start our emergency response process to verify safety.

Sounds easy enough but do that 150+ times a day and chase up 10 or so forgetful pilots is not that efficient use of time and also allows for errors in wrong time set on the alarm or wrong SAR cancelled with fat fingers etc.

Ideally we want something to take the middle man out as much as possible.

When In phone coverage they have an app that they put all the required details in sends to an online server somewhere. Ops are none the wiser except the time pops up on an online dashboard or similar.

Again if in range pilot cancels the SAR online and the time disappears from the dashboard all is ok.

If out of range they can satphone call or landline call the ops team who can enter this online on behalf of the pilots.

If a SAR time expires then all the alarm bells activate, text or call is made to the ops team advising of overdue and then we start our emergency response process.

Bonus points if they system can semi start the emergency process for us. I.e on expiry of SAR system automatically sends a "ops normal?" Text to the pilot. After x time the SAR has still not been cancelled texts the ops team. After a further x minutes texts the emergency response team. Etc etc.

I'm hoping something like this exists out there even different ideas from other operators who still track SAR Times.

Or are SARTIMES not really used in the industry anymore with all the flight tracking, ELTs, PLBs...

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Old 21st Sep 2022, 09:23
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Is your emergency response divided into 3 phases - uncertainty phase, alert phase and distress phase - as per ICAO or do you launch SAR when the alarm goes off?

I am presuming phases where a SAR alarm would trigger attempts to confirm the location and status of the aircraft before launching SAR.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 11:11
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Is your emergency response divided into 3 phases - uncertainty phase, alert phase and distress phase - as per ICAO or do you launch SAR when the alarm goes off?

I am presuming phases where a SAR alarm would trigger attempts to confirm the location and status of the aircraft before launching SAR.
Yes 3 phases as per ICAO. As 100% of the alarm activations on the phone have not be due to lost aircraft to date and 99.999% of the time due pilot forgetfulness, our initial procedure as soon as the alarm sounds is send an "OPS Normal?" Text to the pilot which generally fixes the situation. If not then we escalate through the phases.

So the system being able to send this text on initial overdueness would probably reduce the 150+ interactions to maybe 10 a day where the pilot is simply out of coverage and calls us on a satellite phone.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 14:32
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I don't know of an app that does that but there may well be one out there.
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 15:58
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Remember Flight Notes vs Flight Plans.
”If I’m not back in a week send help!”
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 20:20
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Perhaps an app like this? It probably has way too much funcitionality, but sorties could be added as "shifts" and "workers" could actually be the aircraft.

https://www.signl4.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQ...caAmQYEALw_wcB

Link
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Old 21st Sep 2022, 23:05
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Originally Posted by MLHeliwrench View Post
Perhaps an app like this? It probably has way too much funcitionality, but sorties could be added as "shifts" and "workers" could actually be the aircraft.

https://www.signl4.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQ...caAmQYEALw_wcB

Link
Thanks MLHeliwrench

I'll have a look at that one, I have looked at about 15 similar options to this, They generally meet 90% of our requirements but their shortfalls are they dont allow operations to add / edit / cancel on behalf of the flight crew.
But i have not looked at that one as yet. WIll do now thanks.

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Old 26th Sep 2022, 07:10
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It seems that you have a fairly robust system in place already, but "forgetful pilots" are creating an unnecessary workload. I get the communication difficulties in working in remote locations (Aust' outback?) ... but perhaps the guys need to be incentivized to NOT forget. I'd start with $100 for the first offence & work up from there.
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