Rescue of the Lahela K The   two   people   aboard   the   Lahela   K   had   been   missing   for   over   a   week.   Rescue   teams   had searched   over   80,000   square   nautical   miles   without   success,   when   an   ARIA   aircraft,   in   transit to Wake Island, detected a weak distress call . . . The   aircrews   aboard   the ARIA   aircraft,   call   sign AGAR   21   aircraft   61-0326   and AGAR   27   aircraft 60-0374,   were   outbound   from   Hickam AFB,   Hawaii,   in   support   of   a   Command-directed   test   over Wake   Island   on   26   August   1992.   As   the   task   force   was   departing   Hickam,   the   aircrews   were alerted   by   the   Coast   Guard   to   an   ongoing   search   and   rescue   effort   for   the   surface   vessel “Lahela   K”,   that   had   been   missing   since   17   August.   The   boat   had   been   transmitting   distress calls   on   channel   23   of   a   citizen’s   band   radio,   reaching   ham   radio   operators   as   far   away   as   the Marshall   Islands.   The   two   people   on   board   had   been   without   food   and   water   for   several   days. The   Coast   Guard,   Navy,   and Army   had   extensively   searched   over   80,000   square   nautical   miles looking for the vessel. While   in   transit   to   Wake   Island,   the   aircrews   detected   a   weak,   intermittent   distress   call   from   the lost    board.    Responding    immediately    to    the    call,    the    crews    initiated    a    search    effort    which entailed   flying   a   grid   pattern,   with   the   navigator   mapping   the   strength   of   the   distress   calls.   This narrowed   the   search   area   down   to   a   1,000   square   nautical   mile   area.   In   communication   with the   board,   AGAR   27   instructed   her   to   fire   a   flare.   After   two   flares   were   fired   without   making   a visual   contact,   both   aircraft   coordinated   and   executed   independent   search   patterns   at   low altitude for over five hours. Unsuccessful   in   their   search,   the   crews   devised   a   plan   to   utilize   the   cross-dipole   antenna mounted   on   the   seven-foot   steerable   telemetry   antenna   in   the   nose   of   the   aircraft.   Making   the decision   to   change   the   aircraft’s   precise   mission   configuration   in   order   to   accommodate   the rescue    effort,    both    Mission    Commanders    led    their    crews    in    developing    an    electronic configuration   modification   real-time,   taking   only   hours   to   accomplish   what   normally   took   many days.   They   continued   working   until   they   developed   an   effective   method   of   homing   in   on   the distress   calls.   The   signals   from   the ARIA’s   antenna   were   routed   directly   to   the   HF   radios   tuned into   the   citizen’s   band   channel   23.   While   swiping   the   antenna   on   AGAR   27   left   to   right,   The Mission   Commander   monitored   a   signal   strength   meter   and   assisted   the   antenna   operator   on determining   the   origin   of   the   Mayday   calls.   The   crew   then   computed   the   heading   and   vectored the   aircraft. After   two   passes,   the   survivors   aboard   the   boat   spotted AGAR   27   and   fired   a   flare, later   exclaiming   “it   was   the   most   beautiful   aircraft   they   had   ever   seen”   AGAR   27   then   radioed the   vessel’s   coordinates   to   the   primary   rescue   forces.   Both   of   the   aircraft   when   circled   over   the lost vessel until help arrived. Of   the   many   accomplishments   one   is   capable   of   achieving   in   a   lifetime,   none   can   compare   with the   saving   the   life   of   another   human   being.   General   Yates,   Commander   of   the   Air   Force Material   Command,   in   recognizing   this   heroic   effort,   stated,   “to   be   involved   with   saving   human life   is   reason   enough   for   recognizing   the   efforts   of   the   crews,   however,   the   ingenious   way   in which   this   event   was   accomplished   deserves   special   accolade.”   By   capitalizing   on   the   ARIA’s high   tech   systems   in   unconventional   configurations,   the   crews   not   only   demonstrated   their ability    to    adapt    to    high-demand,    short-notice    taskings,    but    their    willingness    to    apply    their knowledge for the sake of others. AGAR-21 61-0326 Lt   Col   Mark   Nelson,   Lt   Col   Dave   Ross,   Capt   Dave   Meador,   Capt   Vince   Orlando,   Capt   Lou Volchansky,   Capt   John   Hambel,   2Lt   Chris   Miller,   MSgt   Bill   Fessler,   MSgt   Jerome   Klark,   MSgt Allen   Riek,   TSgt   William   Lesuer,   SSgt   Robert   Barens,   SSgt   Diane   Dunlap,   SSgt   Dave   Majors, SSgt   Lester   Pease,   SSgt   Richard   Perez,   SSgt   Steve   Raines,   Sgt   Christy   VanCamp,   ARA   Jeff Fuller, SRA Robert Guere, Mr Chris Lesniak, Mr Dwayne Reeves, Mr Bob Schutte. AGAR-27 60-0374 Maj   Kevin   Calt,   Maj   Phill   Collins,   Capt   Marvin   Blankenship,   Capt   Jules   Hoehn,   Capt   Frank Albanese,   SMSgt   Larry   Lowe,   MSgt   Charles   Haschke,   MSgt   Bill   Ringle,   TSgt   Van Adams,   TSgt Donald   Bonesteel,   TSgt   Larry   Matts,   TSgt   Guy   Smith,   SSgt   John   Mackey,   SSgt   Mark   Rambis, SSgt   Larry   Richardson,   SSgt   Scott   St.   John,   SSgt   Brian   Wiedman,   SSgt   Jim   Woodruff,   Sgt   Tim Kimmet,   SRA   Oscar   Moreno,   Amn   Marty   Groves,   Mr   Jack   Henry,   Mr   Mark   Simpson,   Mr   Cliff Stogdill. Source: Against the Wind, 90 Years of Flight Test in the Miami Valley
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Rescue of the Lahela K The   two   people   aboard   the   Lahela   K   had   been   missing for    over    a    week.    Rescue    teams    had    searched    over 80,000   square   nautical   miles   without   success,   when   an ARIA   aircraft,   in   transit   to   Wake   Island,   detected   a   weak distress call . . . The   aircrews   aboard   the   ARIA   aircraft,   call   sign   AGAR 21    aircraft    61-0326    and    AGAR    27    aircraft    60-0374, were   outbound   from   Hickam AFB,   Hawaii,   in   support   of a    Command-directed    test    over    Wake    Island    on    26 August   1992.   As   the   task   force   was   departing   Hickam, the   aircrews   were   alerted   by   the   Coast   Guard   to   an ongoing   search   and   rescue   effort   for   the   surface   vessel “Lahela   K”,   that   had   been   missing   since   17 August.   The boat   had   been   transmitting   distress   calls   on   channel   23 of   a   citizen’s   band   radio,   reaching   ham   radio   operators as   far   away   as   the   Marshall   Islands.   The   two   people   on board    had    been    without    food    and    water    for    several days.     The     Coast     Guard,     Navy,     and     Army     had extensively   searched   over   80,000   square   nautical   miles looking for the vessel. While   in   transit   to   Wake   Island,   the   aircrews   detected   a weak,    intermittent    distress    call    from    the    lost    board. Responding   immediately   to   the   call,   the   crews   initiated a   search   effort   which   entailed   flying   a   grid   pattern,   with the   navigator   mapping   the   strength   of   the   distress   calls. This   narrowed   the   search   area   down   to   a   1,000   square nautical   mile   area.   In   communication   with   the   board, AGAR   27   instructed   her   to   fire   a   flare.   After   two   flares were   fired   without   making   a   visual   contact,   both   aircraft coordinated   and   executed   independent   search   patterns at low altitude for over five hours. Unsuccessful   in   their   search,   the   crews   devised   a   plan to    utilize    the    cross-dipole    antenna    mounted    on    the seven-foot   steerable   telemetry   antenna   in   the   nose   of the   aircraft.   Making   the   decision   to   change   the   aircraft’s precise   mission   configuration   in   order   to   accommodate the   rescue   effort,   both   Mission   Commanders   led   their crews     in     developing     an     electronic     configuration modification   real-time,   taking   only   hours   to   accomplish what   normally   took   many   days.   They   continued   working until   they   developed   an   effective   method   of   homing   in on    the    distress    calls.    The    signals    from    the    ARIA’s antenna   were   routed   directly   to   the   HF   radios   tuned   into the    citizen’s    band    channel    23.    While    swiping    the antenna    on    AGAR    27    left    to    right,    The    Mission Commander    monitored    a    signal    strength    meter    and assisted   the   antenna   operator   on   determining   the   origin of    the    Mayday    calls.    The    crew    then    computed    the heading   and   vectored   the   aircraft. After   two   passes,   the survivors   aboard   the   boat   spotted AGAR   27   and   fired   a flare,   later   exclaiming   “it   was   the   most   beautiful   aircraft they   had   ever   seen” AGAR   27   then   radioed   the   vessel’s coordinates   to   the   primary   rescue   forces.   Both   of   the aircraft    when    circled    over    the    lost    vessel    until    help arrived. Of    the    many    accomplishments    one    is    capable    of achieving    in    a    lifetime,    none    can    compare    with    the saving   the   life   of   another   human   being.   General   Yates, Commander    of    the   Air    Force    Material    Command,    in recognizing   this   heroic   effort,   stated,   “to   be   involved with   saving   human   life   is   reason   enough   for   recognizing the   efforts   of   the   crews,   however,   the   ingenious   way   in which   this   event   was   accomplished   deserves   special accolade.”    By    capitalizing    on    the    ARIA’s    high    tech systems    in    unconventional    configurations,    the    crews not    only    demonstrated    their    ability    to    adapt    to    high- demand,   short-notice   taskings,   but   their   willingness   to apply their knowledge for the sake of others. AGAR-21 61-0326 Lt    Col    Mark    Nelson,    Lt    Col    Dave    Ross,    Capt    Dave Meador,    Capt    Vince    Orlando,    Capt    Lou    Volchansky, Capt   John   Hambel,   2Lt   Chris   Miller,   MSgt   Bill   Fessler, MSgt    Jerome    Klark,    MSgt    Allen    Riek,    TSgt    William Lesuer,   SSgt   Robert   Barens,   SSgt   Diane   Dunlap,   SSgt Dave   Majors,   SSgt   Lester   Pease,   SSgt   Richard   Perez, SSgt   Steve   Raines,   Sgt   Christy   VanCamp,   ARA   Jeff Fuller,    SRA    Robert    Guere,    Mr    Chris    Lesniak,    Mr Dwayne Reeves, Mr Bob Schutte. AGAR-27 60-0374 Maj     Kevin     Calt,     Maj     Phill     Collins,     Capt     Marvin Blankenship,   Capt   Jules   Hoehn,   Capt   Frank   Albanese, SMSgt   Larry   Lowe,   MSgt   Charles   Haschke,   MSgt   Bill Ringle,   TSgt   Van   Adams,   TSgt   Donald   Bonesteel,   TSgt Larry   Matts,   TSgt   Guy   Smith,   SSgt   John   Mackey,   SSgt Mark   Rambis,   SSgt   Larry   Richardson,   SSgt   Scott   St. John,   SSgt   Brian   Wiedman,   SSgt   Jim   Woodruff,   Sgt Tim   Kimmet,   SRA   Oscar   Moreno,   Amn   Marty   Groves, Mr Jack Henry, Mr Mark Simpson, Mr Cliff Stogdill. Source: Against   the   Wind,   90   Years   of   Flight   Test   in   the Miami Valley