SAR - Search and Rescue
24h Emergency Hotline +43-1-798 8380
If an aircraft is overdue, the alarms are activated...
According to the aviation regulations, aircraft with a MTOM of less than 20 tons must be equipped with an emergency location transmitter (ELT). This ELT is automatically activated in case of an accident. The COSPAS/SARSAT system is assisting SAR (Search and Rescue) ground staff to locate distressed aircraft much faster.
The SAR staff is primarily responsible to locate the distressed aircraft and to coordinate rescue activities for crew and passengers.
Whenever the time of last contact between an aircraft and ATC exceeds 30 minutes, or if an aircraft has not landed 30 minutes after the pilot has received landing clearance at an airfield and no other contact was established, a Level 1 Alarm internationally known as 'INCERFA' (Uncertainty Phase) is activated. The rescue coordination center requests the flight plan of the particular aircraft via the FIC (Flight Information Center), from which details such as aircraft type, registration, persons on board, route, alternate aerodrome or endurance can be taken.
If initial investigations do not give any useful information about the position of the aircraft and if further investigations were unsuccessful, a Level 2 Alarm internationally known as 'ALERFA' (Alert Phase), is activated.
If the evaluation of further specific data (e.g. Radar Tracks, Flightplan details, etc.) does not give any adequate information confirming the position and/or safety of the distressed aircraft, a Level 3 Alarm, internationally known as 'DETRESFA' (Distress Phase) is activated. An extensive search procedure begins. Austro Control SAR Crews are using two company owned aircraft especially equipped with homing equipment. At the same time, assistance is requested from the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Austrian Air Force. Additionally, the general public may be requested, via television or radio announcements to provide any information that may assist the search.
The aircraft registered OE-FSR, is one of the two search aircraft owned by Austro Control GmbH.