Search and Rescue

If a registered civil or ultralight aircraft crashes, ditches or goes missing, the Civil Aviation Rescue Coordination Centre has national responsibility for coordinating the search and rescue.

The most important things to improve your chances of survival, and to help search and rescuers are:

  1. Know how to handle an emergency, forced landing or ditching.
  2. Before departing, submit a flight plan, SARTIME or leave a Flight Note with someone responsible. If you have to make a forced landing, a major confidence booster to survival is knowing that a search will have commenced.
  3. In the event of an emergency, get out a MAYDAY or PAN call. If not operating on an ATS frequency, always have the area or overlying airspace frequency set for immediate use. This is the most responsive method to alert the search and rescue system.
  4. Make sure you have survival equipment suitable for the area being overflown. Know how to use it, and make sure you keep it well maintained. An emergency supply of drinking water is crucial. Also ensure that you have an emergency supply of prescribed medications.