FSS to the Rescue!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Aviation News | Comments Off on FSS to the Rescue!

FSSThis is a follow up to yesterday’s post about the Enhanced Search and Rescue Program being introduced in Alaska. I had e-mailed Flight Service to ask if the Delorme InReach device would be included as this is what I’ll be taking to Alaska this summer.

This morning I received a call from a lady named Angela who works in the Kenai FSS. She was calling to let me know they are working on adding the InReach to the list of approved devices. She also suggested that I file a “Master Flight Plan” with the FSS, showing my emergency contacts and a link to my InReach location. This will assist Search & Rescue and help them locate me quickly if needed. What a great idea! She also promised to get back with me once the device is added to the ESRS program. She also suggested we visit the FSS when we are in the area. I still remember when dropping by the Flight Service Station for a personal weather briefing was common. Due to advancing technology, reduced budgets and security concerns, the “in-person” visits became a thing of the past, particularly after 09/11.

As I am coming to understand, Alaska is a different place in many ways. Because of the vast wilderness and the large amount of General Aviation activity, FSS is an integral part of safe operations there. The fact that Angela took the time to call one pilot in Texas speaks well of her and her team in the Kenai FSS.

If you are ever tempted to “bash” the FAA, remember there are folks who are doing the best they can to help us out. Thanks again, Angela.

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