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This page contains the US Army Field Manual on Pathfinder Operations. FM In daylight operations, pathfinders are not inserted into an LZ before the initial assault echelon unless the LZ requires extensive improvement or. HEADQUARTERS. FIELD MANUAL. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. No. (FM ). PATHFINDER OPERATIONS. OCTOBER

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Ground troops must do everything they can to improve landing point surfaces so aircraft can land. High, hot, humid conditions decrease lift capabilities. Place two vehicles about 35 meters apart and 35 meters downwind of the landing point with their headlight beams intersecting at the center of the landing point Figure Combat situations may dictate less separation Figurepage The pathfinder conducts a final, thorough check of equipment.

Pathfinders place two vehicles about 35 meters apart and 35 meters downwind of the landing point. Chapter 4 discusses fixed-wing procedures. Choose a Hard Surface. If the pathfinders locate the proposed site near enemy activity, they will most likely have to move it sometime between planning and execution to ensure that it continues to meet mission requirements.

This marker consists of five lights. The number of additional pathfinders employed is dictated by the size of the landing site, the expected density of air traffic, the number and type of visual and electronic aids to be used, and the tactical situation. All pathfinder missions seek to achieve this goal.


The pathfinder may hear the aircraft but cannot see it. The order describes any member’s duties not covered in the unit SOP. Departing, Preceding, and Arriving Aircraft. Aircraft are In staggered trail right formation. However, if he can master the following four most common ones, he will be able to handle just about anything.

Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38

However, the charge rapidly builds up again. The direction of landing should be over the lowest obstacles and generally into the wind, especially at night.

On a straight-in approach, the aircraft must remain within 30 degrees to either side of the land heading. This would eliminate problems encountered by the pilot when adjusting from one light condition to another. This date determines the date of the next inspection. A signalman operztions be used at a slingload point.

FM Chptr 4 – Helicopter Landing Zones

In such cases, the pathfinder is able to assist the pilot by directing him to either a known location or the landing site. From a pathtinder to degree slope, direct pilots to hover, as appropriate. When the accuracy of a message is doubted, the complete message or essential parts are repeated.


This condition assists the pilot in overcoming the effects of torque, reduces power requirements, and aids in heading control. Animportant factor is the number of helicopters required to land at one time at one site to accomplish the mission.

He must know these phrases and how to use them. At other times, tactical or meteorological conditions may affect the operation. Check for cuts and tears in the nylon-urethane plastic sheath on each loop. In the absence of sufficient signalmen, reference lights three lights spaced triangularly 5 meters apart gm positioned 25 meters in front of the load as a marker. When in support of a ground unit, the pathfinder leader coordinates with the aviation element to determine the ACL per type of FM aircraft.

The Army has many types of cargo containers.

At night, lights of different colors may be used to designate different helicopter sites or to separate flights within a larger formation. Strong winds naturally raise dense clouds of dust and sand, and rapid temperature pathfindsr often follow strong winds.