Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/First aid/Signaling aircraft
Make a distress signal
Make a distress signal on the ground by piling rocks, branches, or other debris to form large letters spelling "S.O.S." This is the universally recognized signal for help. Try to use materials that contrast with the surrounding environment. In winter, you may be able to stomp an SOS into the snow. Make the letters read from east to west (or west to east) so that the shadows catch the letters better.
Light three fires
You may also light three fires to signal for help. Build them either in a line or in a triangle, and get them good and hot. When you see a rescue plane during daylight hours, add green plant matter to the flames. This should cause thick smoke. Be careful to not extinguish the fire by doing this.
Signaling mirror The emergency signaling mirror is approximately 3 by 5 inches and consists of an aluminized reflecting glass mirror, a back cover glass, and a sighting device. It is used to attract the attention of passing aircraft or ships by reflection, either in sunlight or in hazy weather. The reflections of this shatterproof mirror can be seen at a distance of 30 miles at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Though less effective, and with possible shorter range, mirror flashes can also be seen on cloudy days with limited visibility. To use the mirror, proceed as follows:
- Punch a cross-hole in its center.
- Hold the mirror about 3 inches in front of your face and sight through the cross at the ship or aircraft. The spot of light shining through the hole onto your face will be seen in the cross-hole.
- While keeping a sight on the ship or aircraft, adjust the mirror until the spot of light on your face disappears in the hole. The bright spot, seen through the sight, will then be aimed directly at the search ship or aircraft.