Home Forums Safety Down Pilot is OK marker

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    This past Wednesday I cut a flight short after seeing a downed PG on the South side of Regionals. Not knowing if this was a recent mishap and seeing no rescue activity, I sped toward the LZ to alert EMS. Upon landing I shouted to the nearby crowd of pilots there was a downed PG and was subsequently told “we know.” Other PG pilots had seen the visiting pilot land and that she was okay. Others were apparently in radio contact her and monitoring her hike out. An embarrassing and miserable incident for the pilot, but a true non-emergency.

    I heard a suggestion that might be worth considering for similar situations. How about putting one half of our big “X” on the field. This would indicate a glider is down but not an emergency. A true emergency, of course would require the whole X spread upon the LZ.

    Of course a radio would be helpful and should be utilized if available, but few pilots carry them and it would necessitate monitoring, or at least scanning, a common frequency.

    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    Pilot Crash Protocol:

    If you find yourself crashed on the hillside uninjured, get your wing folded up right away if you can. Text, call, radio or signal the fact that you are ok so emergency responders arent sent on a dry run.

    If youre injured, stay put. Your lack of activity is the signal that you need help. If possible, call or radio for help.

    If youre flying and see a downed pilot, get close enough to determine whether theyre injured or not-(without jeopardizing your own safety) and communicate whether an emergency response is warranted or not. Note details on the crash location; coords, landmark, distance and direction from x……

    If you are unsure if the pilot is injured and there is no apparent movement within a few minutes, 911.

    When in doubt, 911. Now!

    I’d much rather visit a pilot in the hospital, than at their funeral.


    Yes. What Dan said.

    Plus, if your wing is too tangled to fold, and you plan to walk out, place your empty harness visibly on top of your wing. This falls under the “signal the fact that you are ok” part of Dan’s comment.

    David Webb
    General Member

    In this case, it was lucky that someone was finally able to get ahold of the pilot. I and a couple others on the same frequency were above the downed pilot and none of us saw movement – just the wing spread out on the bushes. Since there was no word from the pilot and we were all seeing the same thing, I believe the request to call 911 was already issued on the radio, but I think someone at the LZ was able to establish comms with the pilot and the all-clear went out a few minutes later. Overall good outcome and was good to hear that there were no injuries.

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