Joint WFFD and CFD Exercise Briefing June 22, 2021

Below is the mission brief we used for the exercise on June 22. The debrief can be found here.

Human Factors:

Stress, passenger stress, fatigue, any concerns about aircraft condition.

High Risk Maneuvers:

Low level flight and flight near other aircraft. Separation and airspace will be critical.


TFR in effect 1400 to 1800. Demon 2 will need to be back and on the ground at LHZ no later than 1400. WX brief at hangar on day of flight. No active NOTAMS listed for RDU or TTA.

Currently forecast:

Wind: 040 10 kts

V: 10+

Clouds: Few 12,000

Mission Objectives:

Testing hasty search procedure for using two aircraft to cover more ground to search for a potential missing person on or in the water. Then to use confirmed target location to guide drone into nearest good LZ to conduct flight operations and maximize battery flight time.

Training Objectives:

Become comfortable with two airplane formation and see if the process works or needs adjustment

Call Signs:

Fire Demon 1 – Cessna 182

Demon 2 – Barron will be Demon 2 when talking between the aircraft after terminating with RDU.

Water 1 – will be our victim and partner in the boat below on Jordan Lake

Crew Coordination:

There is no second pilot in either plane so no hand off of controls. In the Barron, the spotter will be behind the pilot. The right seat passenger will be tasked as assigned by Andrew.

In the 182 Ian will be serving as Tactical Flight Officer and will be primary communications with Demon 2. Andrew may assign right seat as comms for training communications.

Departure Procedures:

RDU has been briefed on our operation so we will ask for a departure to a point 16 nm on a 232 heading from RDU. RDU will probably give us a turn out and then once clear of the Charlie we can terminate and make our way to the approximate operational area and enter the area at no higher than 2,500’ MSL

Op Area Confines & Requirements:

Max ceiling in ops area will be 2,500’ since we will have arrivals or departures headed out over us. Floor will be 1,500’ unless it is safe to go in for a closer look over the water at 1,000’

No turns steeper than 60 degrees.

Barron will make primarily counterclockwise turns when searching.

182 will make clockwise turns.

TTA is 8 miles to the SW and RDU Charlie airspace is 7 miles to the NE.

If you need to level out and get oriented then use the bug out areas (Alpha and Bravo) as shown by the arrows. The map below shows the tallest tower in the red box. 1402’ MSL.

Ground is 300 MSL.


We have a three cove area we will be using for our exercise. The locations in the cove had been coordinated with Water 1.

This is the test boat. We will also have a test jet ski.

Depending on timing we might start first with the jet ski. Either way, the boat and jet ski will be dead in the water when we make our passes.

Exercise 1

We will start with Water 1 located at the mouth of the cove at the lake. Demon 2 will go in at 2,500 and the crew will attempt to spot the boat. If the boat is not spotted Demon 2 will descend down to 2,000 and try again.

Demon 1 will remain outside the ops area in one of the bug out areas while this is conducted. When the boat is spotted. Demon 2 will fly out to the opposite bug out area while Demon 1 enters the search area at 1.500 feet to record and spot the boat. This will be the same position and hold procedure in the bug out area for all exercises.

Exercise 2

Water 1 will coordinate with Demon 1 and relocate to one of the assigned areas. Demon 1 will bug out and allow Demon 2 to come back into the area at 2.500 or 2,000 to attempt to locate the boat. Demon 2 will make left turns.

Once the boat is located Demon 2 will direct Demon 1 to the location and then bug out to allow Demon 1 to record the boat.

Exercise 3

Similar to exercise 2 but Water 1 will move close to the shore in the designated area and not in open water.

Demon 2 will talk Demon 1 into the target and it the craft will be recorded on video and camera.

Exercise 4

Water 1 subject will exit the boat and make a lot of commotion in the water. Demon 2 will attempt to locate. If located Demon 1 will be called in for a lower inspection.

Exercise 5

Water 1 subject will just be floating in the water. Demon 2 will attempt to locate. If located Demon 1 will be called in for a lower inspection.


If we make it this far we will give Water 1 the opportunity to tell us their scenario and all we will know is they are somewhere in the three coves. Same procedure.

Bug Out Alpha is to the NW and Bug Out Bravo is to the SE.


We will depart practice area and climb to 3,000’ MSL and head south of RDU for a 32 return.

Post Landing:

Stop airplanes, discuss lessons learned and experience. Brainstorm how to make this process work in the future with out of area departments or how to improve it. Talk about if flying down to do exercise. Get Demon 2 out of RDU as close to noon as possible.

Post Flight:

Each participant should send Steve an email with lessons learned and observations.


Aborted Takeoff – Discuss all.

Ditching – Discuss

Loss of Orientation – Bug out at minimum 2,500.

Radio Failure – 7600 and second aircraft will contact Raleigh to accompany NORDO aircraft back in.

Emergency Stop Operations – “Knock It Off” and proceed to bug out areas.

Important Frequencies:

Exercise will use the assigned SAR training freq of 122.90 or if congested 122.85 when operating in ops area or to communicate with Water 1 over area.

Sanford TTA

CTAF 123.075

            AWOS 120.625

            Raleigh Approach 125.3

Raleigh RDU

            ATIS 123.8

            Clearance 120.1

Approach 125.3

            Tower 127.45

            Ground 121.9


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