This page contains the US Army Field Manual on Pathfinder Operations. FM In daylight operations, pathfinders are not inserted into an LZ before the initial assault echelon unless the LZ requires extensive improvement or. HEADQUARTERS. FIELD MANUAL. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. No. (FM ). PATHFINDER OPERATIONS. OCTOBER

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Maintaining radio silence within the LZ is important. WARNING Ground personnel should be properly dressed and equipped with face mask and goggles due to the increased danger of frostbite from the rotor wash. Lighted night ianding symbols as seen by the pilot from different approach angles. Pathfinders infiltrate overland when the following conditions exist: Ground personnel should stay a safe distance away from helicopters during landing and shutdown after flight in icing conditionsand passengers should not exit until the rotor blades have stopped.

(e Book – English – Military) US Army – Field Manual FM 3 21 38 – Pathfinder Operations Oct2002

Support of Ground Operations All concerned must plan and know emergency codes. This threat overrides the controlled instrument flight rules in the aviation-series manuals.

Sling length should be added to obstacle height for computation of the distance required for departure clearance. This enhances the relationship between aviators and pathfinders; an understanding between the two is important to the successful completion of a mission.

If it becomes necessary to land in a formation different from that patyfinder which they are flying, the landing site commander ensures that this information is given to the flight leader as part of the landing instructions. Assault Zone Availability Report When the slope exceeds 7 degrees, observation and utility helicopters must terminate at a hover to load or off-load personnel or supplies.

The intercept point should be far enough from touchdown that it allows pathtinder in formation a final approach of at least 1 to 2 miles. X X Fire support. The altitude flown while in the traffic pattern is normally between 1, and 1, feet, but may vary depending ooperations the nature and requirements of the mission. The latter has radar and other sophisticated tools to monitor weather and guide aircraft.

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He does not transmit to an aircraft during the final approach, touchdown, landing pathflnder touchdowntakeoff lift-offinitial climb, or turn away from the field. The pathfinder leader considers obstacle height on approach and departure ends. A straight-in approach maybe expeditious to a pilot as long as it is within safety requirements. The pathfinder leader selects the exact location of the CC upon arrival in the area. Close coordination of their FM use is required to prevent misunderstandings.

Many of the conditions experienced in cold weather operations are similar to desert operations. opeations

FM Table of Contents

However, flights of medium or heavy transport helicopter CH and CHcarrying artillery or other bulk cargo, can often he expe cted to arrive at LZs in increments of one or two helicopter lFigure4-ll page Combat situations, however, may dictate less separation. To succeed, an operation must pathfinver security. Successful desert operations require special training, acclimatization, and great self-discipline.

High, hot, humid conditions decrease lift capabilities. He also has them remove or mark obstacles in or pathvinder the site. Warning Order Pathfinders must have a thorough understand ing of radio procedures to include phraseology unique to ATC jChapter 3ji.

Jungle conditions mean small landing sites that can handle only a few aircraft at a time. Terminal guidance personnel opwrations be familiar with the supporting aviation unit SOP and should be able— 1 To operate electronic and visual navigation aids to assist aircraft in locating LZs and DZs. Whenever possible, pilots should land upslope rather than downslope.

However, aviation units with limited pathfinder resources cannot provide continuous support.

Some frequencies may be blocked while other frequencies will not always permit operators to transmit clearly. The control center can consist of a single pathfinder. A helicopter requires a level, clear, circular area that measures between 25 and meters in diameter. Terrain, weather, and, Helicopters with skids should make a maximum performance liftoff. Next priority is given to multiple aircraft and slingloaded aircraft in the event two or more missions arrive at the same time. Write what time the aircraft or formation extracted.


The final decision to land, take off or drop equipment and personnel lies with the pilot. This date will be used to determine the date of the next inspection.

Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38

He transmits ceiling heights and flight altitudes using either way. Instructions concerning their use must be given to pathfinders by the fastest means available. At night, pathfinders can use lights of different colors except red, which marks obstacles to designate different helicopter sites or to separate flights within a larger formation.

He must rely on the crew chief and signalman to direct him. In snow-covered 5-38 with flat terrain, pilots may need marked and manned RPs. The ACL will be drastically reduced.

Full text of “Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38”

Rigging instmctions are also in FM They should tiy to work along the RIGHT side of the load so that they do not have to climb over or go around the load to seek safety. The problems presented by ice, snow, or rain are incorporated into pathfinder mission planning. The use of goggles, ear plugs, and cloth masks provide adequate protection for facial areas.

The pathfinder team operayions coordinates with the flight commander to set a specific time period to light the site.