SARTIMES are used by AirServices Australia as a means of implementing search and rescue procedures at the earliest opportunity in case of a missing aircraft. The SARTIME is nominated by the pilot as the time the flight is planned to terminate. If the SARTIME is not cancelled, AusSAR (Australian Search and Rescue), AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority), and the police will eventually be alerted. The first step is to attempt to contact the pilot (or aircraft owner) by phone. If these attempts fail, an Emergency Uncertainty Phase will be declared and the full search and rescue operation may be initiated.
In nominating a SARTIME, it is essential that it is long enough to cover the duration of the flight and allows enough time to access communication facilities to cancel it.
According to AirServices, the best way to lodge, change, or cancel a SARTIME is by phone. VH and RAAus aircraft can lodge SARTIMES on 1800 814 931.
SARTIMES can also be lodged over the internet using NAIPS. If these two preferred methods are not available, SARTIMES can be lodged or cancelled over the radio.
SARTIMES MUST BE CANCELLED AT THE END OF THE FLIGHT!
As an alternative to a SARTIME, any responsible person (spouse, friend, instructor, etc.) can hold a watch on the arrival of the aircraft. They must have a description of the aircraft including registration number, flight details and relevant contact details. If necessary, they should preferably use the AirServices phone number (1800 814 931) but could also ring 000 if necessary.
It is a good idea to have the AirServices number (1800 814 931) and the AMSA number (1800 815 2570) entered in the mobile phone contact list. Entering the numbers as AAAirservices and AAAmsa will put them at the top alphabetically.
As a reminder to CANCEL YOUR SARWATCH, the mobile phone alarm should be set.
The SARWATCH system is there to save lives. Use it, but DON’T FORGET TO CANCEL YOUR SARWATCH, or all Hell breaks loose.
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