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AeroSimulators Group are pleased to announce that their latest Pilot and Operator Simulator has been factory accepted in Denver and is now being broken down and shipped to the customer.  It is capable of delivering linked pilot and camera operator training in addition to providing an ISR Tactical Coordinator (or Ops Centre) input, all controlled from a single Instructor Station via Intercom.  It is currently built for King Air and Casa operations utilising a FLIR camera (simulated) although it can be roled for most aircraft and major camera systems (including bespoke cameras).  It is designed that so that pilots and sensor operators can learn procedural skills and promote "muscle memory" with the realistic flight deck and sensor equipment that includes moving map displays, radios and physical hand control units .  The customer can also use the simulator to develop tactics, techniques and procedures whilst instructing and exercising good crew resource management and human factors practices.

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Striving to Optimize

Post from: Grant Reid

Interesting report for those that enjoy how we got to where we are, and particularly why we did what we did.

Top EO/IR Technology, Platforms and Uses by the U.S. DOD 

As a Sensor Operator, we are always striving to optimize the equipment to get as much out of it as we possibly can. I am always impressed by the ingenuity a line Operator has over an instructor that deals with a rigid training system designed to ensure 'every Operator does this the same way, so they get the same expected result. Once in the field, it is a different story. When I was but a young Naval Aviator (no, I didn't know Admiral Nelson when he was a Lt), our Det Commander used to have a tactics round table every week. I continued that same line with all my Padawan to get them to realize that the manual is not the Bible, but a book of not so sutle hints on what the system is capable of; if you put your mind to it. The worse thing that could happen is you need to do a power dump to reset to defaults.

As the Training Supervisor here at L3 WESCAM, I know that all of our instructors get excited when they meet Operators that believe they have reinvented the wheel. Please think logically and say to yourself, "if I do this, I should be able to see this......". Then try it and record your results under as many environmental conditions as you can. And Logic would dictate that you not do this during a mission. Saying, Grant, said to try it won't cut it during the hotwash with the JTAC holding a club with your name on it.

That is all for today. I'll randomly send things down the Pipe as I get them. When I get things on MatriX C130 and MatriX UH60 or updates on the MX 8, i'll let you know.

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Remote Sensors 101

This week I was doing some research and came across this NASA website: NASA - User Resource - Remote Sensors. I think some of you might find it interesting from a professional development perspective or as a new ASO. The site gives a good overview of remote sensors and specific applications & projects, i.e., from both air & space. I’ll add it to the “Remote Sensor Centric” section of the ASOG library.

Don’t forget, if you know of any good webpages that relate to the Airborne Sensor Operator profession (commercial, public safety, defense), send it to me at pryan@aso-group.org, I’ll add it to the Link Library.

ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick)

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Over the last few years there has been an ever increasing proliferation of Electro-Optical and Infrared camera systems on many air (and land and sea) platforms. More and more companies are producing turrets that offer varying processing techniques that can enhance picture quality in order to deliver better detection opportunitites to a wide variety of agencies. But, like personal computers, I wonder how how much of the processing power is being exploited to it's full potential.
Having worked with people in the past who were more than willing to test systems to the point of destruction I have also seen the flip-side where operators have worked on sytems years and are happy to work with the picture that is immediately presented to them. More than once I've heard "I didn't know that function existed" or "I didn't want to try that because I didn't know what it would do".
Allied with the operating complexities are the interpretting issues. It's probably impossible to gauge how many things have been missed by an operator because they didn't notice a particular phenomena or anomoly. Operators don't know what they don't know.
As budgets get tighter, on-the-job experience will be harder and harder to gain. Classroom and synthetic training will need to be employed to a greater extent in order to maximise the output from complex systems. Anecdotally ASG Sensor Academy have heard that, to a greater or lesser extent, sensor manufacturers are often happy to make a sale yet offer very little training the "how to". The issue is further compounded by training regularly receiving minimal funding, and often overlooked altogether.
And why would an agency want to spend any money on training on a camera system......it's just like watching TV, right?

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Drones For 3D Models In Dynamic Events

Video from UAS can already support blue-light authorities and defence in rapid decision-making in crisis situations. Spacemetric has been awarded a contract from Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova to significantly advance decision support by creating near real-time 3D models. The 3D modelling is not just of fixed objects, but also of dynamic events such as vehicles in motion, smoke plumes, accidents and crowds. This allows the user to analyse dynamic events in the same way as with a static 3D model, i.e. from a point of view and with the degree of zooming desired by the user.

The project combines innovative technologies and proven methods in close cooperation between users from the Swedish Defence Procurement Agency (FMV), the Greater Stockholm Fire Brigade and Spacemetric.

 

More info is available on www.spacemetric.com

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PAvCon 2018 – Great Time Had By All

Here’s a short post to let the other ASOG members know how the Police Aviation Conference – Europe went for those ASOG members who attended this week in Warsaw Poland. We’ll share the official conference report when it’s released.

Overall, we had a great time! The best part was meeting fellow members in person. We were able to share experiences (there I was stories etc.), network and open doors for future opportunities. Plus, we were able to absorb a good amount of top-notch information related to the full spectrum of Public Safety Aviation operations, new technologies, and aircraft.

In a nutshell, day 1 focused on the Police Tactical Flight Officer (a.k.a. ASO) with briefings on roles & responsibilities, systems, and simulator training. Day 2 and 3 covered many police aviation topics ranging from Safety Management Systems (SMS), unmanned operations and an introduction to the Airborne Sensor Operators Group. Again, many more professional development presentations were given besides these.

If you want to know more about how the event was, reach out to any of your fellow members who attended an ask:


• Patrick Ryan
• Gareth Davies
• Adrian Harrison
• Bryn Elliot
• Georg De Cook
• Mark Keogh
• Gustavo Duarte
• Peter Myers
• David Domoney
• Bob Moll

Also, according to the PAvCon organizers, they have a soft plan to run the program same time next year but at an airfield near Rome, Italy. We’ll keep everyone posted on details as time goes and for those interested to start making plans.

More Too Follow!

ASOG Desk Editor

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1st ASOG Rendezvous – PAvCon Europe

FYI: If you’ve been following the Event Board, next week is the Police Aviation Conference (PAvCon) Europe. This will be our first real opportunity for ASOG members to meet, network and just have a good time in person. Plus, it will allow us to promote the ASO (TFO) profession in a positive way.

Speaking of that, the event organizers have given us two presentation slots (TFO Training Day and Day 3 of the main conference). We’ll give you updates on how the event goes and share any items-of-interest, i.e., share with our fellow members. If you have any questions, please let me know.

More too follow

Cheers Mates!

Patrick

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ASO Job Search – Key Words

If you’re searching the internet for your next Airborne Sensor Operator (ASO) job, here are just a few common titles to plug in the search window, i.e., they should give you a good view of current opportunities (primarily in the commercial / contracting sectors):


Primary:
• Airborne Sensor Operator
• Sensor Operator
• UAV (RPA) Sensor Operator
• Aerial Acquisition Operator
• Payload Operator
• UAV (RPA) Payload Operator


Secondary:
• Aerial Survey Navigator
• Aerial Survey Technician
• Aerostat Operator
• Aerial Photographer or Videographer
• ELINT/EW Operator or Technician


Tertiary:
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) / Instructor
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) /Field Operations Specialist
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) / Field Service Representative
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) / Technician
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) / System Engineer or Integration Engineer
• (Primary or Secondary ASO Title) / Imagery Analyst
• (Aerial Surveying, Mapping, ISR, etc.) / Project or Program Manager
• (Aerial Surveying, Mapping, ISR, photography, etc,) / Planner

Bottom-Line, if you’re running an internet job search campaign, it’s a good idea to write-down keywords to help with your search but also for building your resume and preparing for interviews.

If you know of other keywords related to the ASO profession and how to search for a job, please share...More the better!

ASOG Career Center


(Image: Wikimedia Commons - ResDigital18)

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As part of the mission of ASOG to inform the public of the different types of Airborne Sensor Operators in the profession, we’ll start collecting and sharing videos that depict in a visual way the duties, responsibilities, equipment and general perspective of each type of ASO in their specialized industry sector.

To start things off and with the European Police Aviation Conference right around the corner, we’ll start with this clip.

If you have a video that you want to share, please post on the blog board or send me a link and I’ll post it right away.

ASOG Desk Editor

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One of the purposes of ASOG is to help individual members with their professional ASO career. One way is for individuals to show they go "above-and-beyond" by participating in professional groups or associations that positively further their professional career field.


As many of you know, ASOG is just that, a young but growing professional group that focuses on the ASO profession and the aerial work industry. So, to show you’re serious about your career as a Sensor Operator / Aircrew Member and you’re just not punching-the-clock at the end of the day, add ASOG and other related professional associations to your resume.


Here’s an example of what your resume “Professional Associations” section might look like:


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS


• Airborne Sensor Operators Group (ASOG)
• Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)
• Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA)
• American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS)
• Association of Old Crows (AOC)


Again, the above is just an example. However, what associations do you recommend for your specific professional ASO industry sector, i.e., commercial, public safety or defense?


ASOG Desk Editor

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ASOG Members,


One of our members (Wayne Dahlke - Training Lead, ARL-E at Leidos) is looking to hire folks for his program. Review his note below and contact him directly if you’re interested…Wayne is in the members directory.


Cheers!


ASOG Career Center


-------Job Announcement Note:


Do you miss flying, but don't want to deploy again for a while? Do you miss teaching students on the aircraft, and watching the light bulb go on? Do you want to help the Army and the joint community do airborne intelligence collection better? If so, I have a just the job for you!


I am looking for flight instructors who can teach in a classroom, understand intelligence collection, sensor operations, and how to translate engineering into operator.


I have 4 positions available, job numbers 653198 and 653199. Three are in El Paso, Texas (Ft Bliss) and one is in Manassas, VA. $85K+ plus benefits.


Please DM me if you have specific questions about the position or the company.

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ASOG Members,


The ASOG ASO Search and Rescue Working group just completed the 1st edition of the ASO Search and Rescue (Public Safety / Maritime / Fixed-Wing) Training Guide. As an ASOG member, you can “Log-In” and find the guide (and in the future other training guides) in the “Career Center/Training and Cert.” area of the website (which will link you to the final document developed in the working group).


As you know, one of ASOGs goals is to codify the standards, techniques and procedures across the different aerial work industry sectors related to the Airborne Sensor Operator position or profession. This is our first guide under the category of “ASO Training.” The intent of these guides is to “what to expect to study” fashion regarding general knowledge for fulfilling the responsibilities of a crewmember and a basic understanding of specific ASO operations. The means to obtain this knowledge can be accomplished via self-study (internet, books, etc.), learning from peers or by taking a course.


If you have any questions, inputs or comments regarding this guide, please send me a note. Our/your guides are living documents and have the Lat/Long space to change. If you are interested in developing a training guide on your specific ASO position, please let me know, we’ll get a working group started.


Before I close, I would like to recognize the members who led the way in developing this guide. Both members are truly Subject Matter Experts in both Maritime/SAR operations and training. Michael Sheehy and Glen Moratti, my hat is off to you! Super effort on taking time out of your busy schedules and sharing your top-level experience and knowledge with our global profession…”Good On You!”


Thank you Everyone!


Cheers!


ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick Ryan)

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A Year in the Life of a New TFO

As I was preparing for PAvCon 2018, I came across this article about a new Police Tactical Flight Officer. You don’t see too many articles like this from the TFO (ASO) community.  Enjoy the read!

------------ Article:  “A Year in the Life of a New TFO”

Article Source: Preston Neighborhood Watch Association ( http://www.mldclifford.co.uk/a-year-in-the-life-of-a-new-tfo.html ), the author is unknown.

October 2014. Just landed from the second flight of the shift. So far it’s searches for one missing person, one motorbike that failed to stop for officers, possible poachers in fields following the sound of gunshots (probably fireworks!), one drink driver located hiding in bushes having run from his crashed car and an abandoned attempt due to low cloud to get to Pendle Hill to help search for 2 drunk males who went for a midnight stroll and got lost. All pretty standard stuff really. Now time to take a breath, have a cup of tea, wait for the next call and reflect on my first year having completed training to become the newest Tactical Flight Officer to join the team at the Warton based aircraft of the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

Rewind nearly 2 years back to December 2012. The only two specialist roles I wanted to do in the Police was to be a Police Dog Handler or, as it was known then, an Observer on the Air Support Unit. Having recently suffered the disappointment of a failed attempt to become a Dog Handler the application form was released to become a TFO as it was now known. The post, along with a lot of others in the police, was always thought to be ‘dead men’s shoes’ but it is different now. NPAS had been created. A national service with a national recruitment process. I submitted my form – nothing ventured, nothing gained I thought! And 8 months later following a rigorous selection process I was in, I had a start date.

September 2013. I bid my farewells to my old team and went to the Fire Service Training College at Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire for 3 weeks of intense training, both theory and practical. I met with 11 fellow newbie’s from all over England and Wales from varying backgrounds in the police and together we embarked on our new path. The views when flying were stunning but there was no time to enjoy the sights. Conveniently on every flight the electronic mapping system failed meaning we had to navigate the traditional way using paper charts! 3 weeks later the course was complete and I had passed along with 10 others. Sadly one person didn’t make it and two have since left the role deciding it’s not for them. I was then posted to my base of choice, NPAS Warton stationed at BAe Systems, Warton, near Preston.

October 2013. Following the weekend off I had my first tour of duty on the Monday – a night shift! And so began a 12 week local procedures course. I was nervous but had some confidence in the fact that I was on home territory. I knew where most of the major towns and road networks were, how hard could it be? How wrong was I! The first week or two, having completed both day and night shifts, really left me mentally exhausted. I had completely underestimated how intense it would be in the aircraft, there’s just so much to think about. There’s listening to and liaising with officers and control rooms on up to 4 different radio channels that need changing as you fly around the region, listening to 2 air traffic control channels, navigating including avoiding obstacles and restricted or controlled air space, directing the camera operator what to look at to name but a few.

Training was hard. Again electronic mapping systems ‘failed’ and I quickly realised that not only did I have to familiarise myself with Lancashire but also Merseyside and Greater Manchester and there’s always the potential to go Cumbria, Cheshire, North Wales and West Yorkshire. Initially we would lift out of Warton and the pilot wouldn’t go anywhere until I told him. I got no help and for good reason. I had to learn the hard way. Essentially the bottom line was I had to know exactly where we were at all times. If there was a problem with the aircraft and we had to land, the pilot would want to know where was safe to go and I’d have to tell him almost instantly. To that end my training officer would constantly point out a town, village, individual feature or farm and ask what it was called. Again that started to get easier. When you’re on a job orbiting the target or following a person/vehicle and you’re looking in an A to Z, the screen to see what the camera operator is viewing and then back out of the window it is very easy to lose your bearings as the world looked different every time you looked! At times I had no idea which way was north, south, east or west. Then I would be asked to name a nearby village!

Slowly, very slowly, things started to click. Changing a radio channel took seconds to change instead of minutes freeing up brain capacity for something else. I was amazed at how quick my local knowledge improved and I could name the bigger towns and villages without consulting the map. The bad flights got fewer and the better flights became more frequent. Eventually I reached a level where my training officer deemed I was ready for my line check – an annual check we all have to do to be signed off as competent and safe to carry out the role.

The less said about my first line check the better. The nerves well and truly got the better of me. It was my worst flight for a long time and it was difficult to pull out any positives. Nevertheless we tried again the following night and it couldn’t have gone any better. Phew! So that was that, signed off.

My next shift I was doing it for real without the safety net of my trainer sat next to me. First job – we went to Liverpool for about 90 minutes and completed 5 different tasks there, a real baptism of fire. What helped though was amazingly the mapping system now worked! Not only that, the crew joined in. Whereas before there was no help, or barely any conversation, now it was a real team effort. The pilots are fantastic. They rarely need telling which way to go, they’re off. More brain capacity freed straight away!

If I was being brutally honest I would say it has taken a good 10 months to get to a stage where I now can’t wait to go to work. When air support is asked for officers on the ground are waiting for you and when you arrive on scene, you effectively become the commander of the incident. That’s a big pressure to get right. And if it’s not quite going to plan – sound confident! Pursuits were my main worry. Still are. Providing a quality commentary is crucial in helping to bring the pursuit to a safe conclusion. I was glad once the first couple were out of the way, the first being all the way from Blackpool on the motorway network and culminating in Bolton town centre.

The unit is predominantly a reactive outfit so there is downtime compared to my last role as a Response Officer where there wasn’t any. That took some getting used to but I’ve learnt that when in the air, mentally you’re far busier than many roles in the police at any given time so the downtime is important to debrief, unwind and prepare for the next task.

When I first joined, my friends and family all said there must be amazing views but I honestly don’t remember once looking out the window to admire the view for some time due to being so busy. But I refer one last time to brain capacity! 12 months on and I can now take the odd moment on the way back to base from a task and take in stunning views at all times of the day and night, a real perk of the job. Views we like to share on our official twitter account @NPAS_Warton. And there’s not many better feelings than catching the bad guys or finding that vulnerable missing person.

It’s been a tough 12 months but I wouldn’t change it for anything, I never forget what a privileged job I do, I’m in the best job in the Police!

Well, got to go, duty calls!

-------------- End

ASOG Desk Editor

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If you have some years and flight hours under your belt as an ASO (both manned and unmanned), you’ll know not all ASO Instructors are the same. In a very simple or broad breakout, one can categorize the different types of Instructors as "the good, the bad and the ugly!"

Let’s start with the ugly or what I like to call the “SCREAMER.”  In general, the screamer is abrasive, abusive, stern, excitable, condescending, or foul-mouthed. Their attitude and behavior are counter to all the basic principles of flight (and technical) instructing. Their oblivious to the needs of the student and how their negative behavior affects everything from the student, crew and flight section. I’m sure all of us can look through your flight log and point to a few names!

A bad ASO Instructor is the individual who is good or even outstanding as a stand-alone Mark-1 ASO plus an individual you can have fun drinking a beer with. However, they either don’t have the natural ability, motivation or proper training to instruct others. In the end, the student says “nice guy but I didn’t learn anything!”

O.K., now for the good ASO Instructor, a good ASO instructor is very proficient as an ASO and enjoys or even loves instructing! Here’s a list of traits that I think highlights a good ASO Instructor:

  • Attitude – Love of profession and love for teaching.
  • Disciplined – Observing regulations and standards, i.e., a good role model.
  • Certified – His or her hard work, experience, and technical skills are validated by other professionals.
  • Teaching Abilities – Understand each student learns differently, i.e., knowing different instructing methods.
  • Tough Love “Tough Coddling” – Like a parent, doesn’t coddle their students but lets them learn from their mistakes.
  • Mentoring – Goes beyond just instructing technical modules but share the art & spirit of being an Airborne Sensor Operator.

If you find yourself as a professional ASO or even a secondary professional ASO instructing others but have never learned the trade of instructing, here’s one free open source for you to do a little self-professional development: FAA Aviation Instructors Handbook.

If you know of any instructor traits (the good, the bad and the ugly) that I missed or an example, please comment.

ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick Ryan)

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Even though you might NOT see yourself from your current professional or student position as an Airborne Sensor Operator (ASO), see if you’re an Airborne Sensor Operator in this Q&A:

Q1: Is my primary profession (.e.g. Archeologist, Police Officer, Student, Photographer, ISR Imagery Analysis, Land Surveyor, Fireman, Research Scientist, Realtor, Engineer, Powerline Inspector, GIS Analysis, etc.) other than a person solely (full-time) participating in aviation & aerial remote-sensing activity? Also, can aerial remote sensing capabilities support my primary professional goals & objectives?

Q2: Do I participate in Aerial Work flying activities with a Pilot-In-Command (PIC) of a manned or unmanned air vehicle and operate & collect data with remote-sensors and/or I’m both a PIC and sensor operator controlling an unmanned system to collect data?

Q3: Does my participation in an aviation activity as a crew member or team member (manned & unmanned) could affect the safety of an aircraft conducting a flight and the results of the data collected? 

If you answered YES to the questions above, you’re an Airborne Sensor Operator! Because this profession is not well defined in the global academic, commercial and civil aviation administration communities (something ASOG is trying to change), it could be confusing to see yourself as an Aerial Work crew member. There’re many non-flying professionals who drive their car to an airport with the intent to fly & collect data or participate on a sUAS crew who are working as an aircrew member vs. a hybrid-passenger! Bottom-line, the Airborne Sensor Operator profession consists of both full-time & part-time Airborne Sensor Operator professionals.

Either full-time or part-time, the following recommended standards will round-out your professional skills and improve the quality of your aviation participation and data collection activities:

General Responsibilities - Airborne Sensor Operators should:

  • Approach flying with seriousness and diligence,
  • seek excellence in airmanship,
  • develop and exercise good judgment and sound principles of aeronautical decision-making,
  • recognize and manage risks effectively, and use sound principles of risk management,
  • maintain situational awareness, and adhere to prudent operating practices and personal operating parameters (e.g., minimums),
  • act with responsibility and courtesy, and
  • adhere to applicable laws and regulations.

Crewmembers, Passengers or People In Your Area of Operations - Airborne Sensor Operators should:

  • Maintain a professional crew member mindset at all times (vs. Passenger mindset),
  • keep your fellow crewmembers, passengers or people in your area of operations as safe as possible,
  • act professionally towards your crew members, passengers or people in your area of operations and practice the principles of Crew Resource Management,
  • seek to prevent unsafe conduct by crew members, passengers or people in your area of operations, and
  • avoid operations that may alarm, disturb, or endanger crewmembers, passengers or people in your area of operations or people on the surface.

Training and Proficiency - Airborne Sensor Operators should:

  • participate in regular recurrent training to maintain and improve proficiency beyond legal or professional requirements,
  • participate in flight safety & remote-sensing education programs,
  • remain vigilant and avoid complacency,
  • train to recognize and deal effectively with emergencies & collection system failures,
  • prepare for and review each lesson carefully, and
  • maintain an accurate log to satisfy your training and currency requirements.

Use of Technology - Airborne Sensor Operators should:

  • become familiar with and properly use appropriate aviation & remote-sensing technologies,
  • Invest in new technologies that advance flight safety & remote-sensing. Learn and understand the features, limitations, and proper use of such technologies,
  • carry redundant systems and equipment and use them in appropriate circumstances,
  • maintain basic flying and remote-sensing skills to enhance safety in the event of failure or absence of advanced instrument displays or automation, and
  • use flight simulators and training devices as available and appropriate.

After reading this post and you believe you meet the definition and standards of an Airborne Sensor Operator (even as a secondary profession or duty), Airborne Sensor Operator Group (ASOG) welcomes you to the community. So get out there and “kick the tires, light the fire and you’re cleared to cut.” But most of all be safe and enjoy being an Airborne Sensor Operator!

If you’re interested in furthering the ASO profession and want additional information regarding ASOG & its mission, you can find us at www.aso-group.ning.com or if you’re reading this post on our webpage, click the “Sign-Up” button.

ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick Ryan)

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The Will to Survive

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”     Benjamin Franklin

Hey, Airborne Sensor Operator do you have the will to survive? As Airborne Sensors Operators (ASO), our work environment at many times is in remote areas, over every type of terrain and during every season around the world. If an aircrew makes a forced landing, or if a sUAS/RPA ground surveying crew has a vehicle problem in a harsh situation, or gets lost on a job in a very remote location, they need to know the basic skills to stay alive and safe until rescue comes.

Up to this period, military ASOs and a large percentage of the public Safety sector ASOs (Law Enforcement, SAR, First Responders, etc.) have received Aircrew Survival Training be it ground (Summer/Winter) or water survival. However, many on the civilian or commercial side of the ASO community have not.

The point of this post is to provide “food for thought” for those civil or commercial Airborne Sensor Operators who routinely are in a position to be in “harm’s way” when flying in an aircraft or traversing remote terrain with their sUAS/RPAs. Because many governments and companies don’t require ASOs to obtain Aircrew Survival Training, they run a very high risk of “not making it” if they have a “bad day at the office!”

For those commercial ASOs who had training when they were in the military or received private training many years ago, a refresher course or a personal “Safety Stand-down Day” to review the basics to knock the rust off would recalibrate your skills. Remember, ”if you don’t use it, you lose it!”  

For those commercial ASOs who have never thought of this area of their professional ASO development kit, the basic tracks one can take to prepare better for a “bad day at the office” are:

Track 1 (Self-Study):

A few of the larger civil aviation organizations around the world and some nongovernment organizations provide some form of free information, courses or online programs regarding surviving after a forced landing or in a wilderness survival situation. Additionally, you can find open source training products and videos on the internet. Overall, even though this information is worded to manned aircraft pilots, as you know, the same information applies to unmanned aircrew members as well as all manned aircraft non-pilot crewmembers. Below is just a sample of sources available:

Track 2 (Training Course):

The second track is taking a course, for a fee, which should consist of both classroom and field exercises.  There are many companies around the world which provide such services and the type of training varies. In general, these programs typically provide participants with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Prepare for an emergency (Gear/kits, Contingency Planning, etc.)
  • React to a forced landing (land/water-based) or ground-event emergency
  • Care for themselves in a survival situation
  • Utilize available survival equipment
  • Participate to the maximum extent in their rescue.

To sum it up, If you’re a professional ASO who works sensors onboard an aircraft or off-board a UAS/RPA in remote locations but has no training regarding how to handle an emergency or survival situation, are you prepared to handle or better yet have the “Will to Survive” a life threating event?

Again, “Food for Thought”!

 

Author: Patrick Ryan

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Aviation Safety and the ASO!

One of the major reasons ASOG came about is to make a small contribution to aviation (+ aerial remote-sensing) and a big contribution to the Airborne Sensor Operator (ASO) profession. One significant area is Aviation Safety and how the ASO is a critical part of the “Safety Net” (this includes unmanned sensor operators who support a drone operator…as a crew).

Take a look at this webpage and review the Accident archives related to the ASO community (Flight Type – Aerial photography, Ambulance, Calibration, Cinematography, Fire Fighting, Geographical, Meteorological, Military, Survey/Patrol/Reconnaissance, and Topographic):

B3A / Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives

One negative trend I see with accidents that appear to have an ASO onboard is the term “PAX on board” which could mean that not enough emphasis (knowing who’s a PAX and who’s a Crew member, training, CRM, etc.) given to this critical crew position.

What other trends do you see?

ASOG Desk Editor (Patrick)

 

(Image: Wikimedia Commons – Guillaume Normand)

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