Thursday, November 9, 2017

Tech Tips: The "Landing Strip" fine search...what is it?

Many instructors teach a 2-axis grid fine-search.  However, many people end up performing a pretty sloppy grid search, complete with excessive movement of the searching beacon and elevation changes that affect the ultimate accuracy of their pinpoint location, and spend a lot of time doing so.

One alternative that is easier and faster for many people is to teach the "landing strip" fine search.  Mammut prefers this approach, especially with newer practitioners, to try to improve the efficiency of the search.  In this case we can take 2 approaches to improve the efficiency of the fine search--we can do this through TECHNOLOGY such as that used in the Smart Fine Search in the Barryvox S, or we can do that through TECHNIQUE, such as the "landing strip" fine search here.
The "Landing Strip" is the extension of using an airplane and airport as an analogy for doing a beacon search. When you are really far away from the airport, you can fly high and fast, and directional changes wont affect your ability to make a safe landing--we liken this to the signal-search phase of a beacon search.
The "airport" analogy for a beacon search has the rescuer slowing down and holding the beacon lower as they approach the buried subject, similar to a plane slowing down and losing elevation when approaching the runway.
As you get closer, the airplane needs to slow down a bit and lose elevation, and needs to reduce any maneuvering in order to come into the airport in the correct direction--this is akin to the coarse search.  In the final approach to the runway, the plane needs to slow way down, lose most of its elevation and come in very straight--this is the fine-search.  For this reason, when we teach beacon-searching, we use a "airport" visual.

 In the "landing strip" fine search, the rescuer approaches low and