Mankato Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol

ELT Search Leads to Sikorsky S-55 Helicopter at Le Sueur Airport PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 April 2008 13:37

Search and Rescue Ground Team and Aircrew from Mankato Composite Squadron Share Credit in Non-distress ELT "Find"

On Sunday, 27 April 2008 Mankato Composite Squadron's leadership received a phone call stating an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal was received near Le Sueur, MN by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). Within 45 minutes a ground team and air crew was dispatched and was enroute to the area.

On their way to Le Sueur the ground team maintained radio contact with the air crew which had launched from Mankato Regional Airport. The air crew and ground team were able to narrow the ELT signal down to the Le Sueur Airport. The ground team arrived at the airport and within minutes had the signal tracked down to a Sikorski helicopter that was parked on the ramp.

The mission concluded with the ground team contacting local authorities who in turn contacted the owner of the helicopter. The helicopter's owner promptly arrived at the airport and pulled out the ELT allowing the Mankato Composite Squadron personnel to deactivate it, terminating the distress signal. After a quick debriefing of the situation, both ground team and air crew returned safely to Mankato. It is assumed that the ELT activation was the result of a maintenance issue.

Also of Note: Red Wing Composite Squadron was activated to search for a second ELT based on signals received by the AFRCC. At the time Mankato located and deactivated the ELT in Le Sueur, the signal thought to be in the Rochester area ceased. It is believed the signal from the Le Sueur area ELT was responsible for both signals. Red Wing Squadron was informed that the target was located and mission complete.

    The members of the Search and Rescue Ground Team included:
  • 1st Lt Luke Frederick, Ground Team Leader
  • Lt Col Robert Gaffer
  • 1st Lt Russell Merchlewitz
  • SM Dan Sargent
  • Cadet Carl Swanson
  • Cadet Calan Merchlewitz
  • Cadet Jon Macemon
  • Cadet Mike Sargent
    The members of the Search and Rescue Aircrew included:
  • Maj John Barsness
  • Capt JoEllen Peters
  • MSgt John Vanderhoof
Last Updated ( Friday, 02 May 2008 16:02 )

National CAP News