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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Most helicopters cannot climb or descend vertically when fully loaded. Initial Preparation Jungle tends to obstruct military lines of communication.

The tactical situation may restrict the use of lights in nighttime jungle LZ operations. AIR ROUTES The enemy situation plus the terrain and weather conditions determine what airways may be subject to rapid relocation if the enemy can intercept aircraft using them. Position of the Sun All pathfinder missions seek to achieve this goal. Due to the cover and concealment provided by jungle terrain, landing site security is difficult to accomplish.

ALO 6 Pathfinder transportation and time available for briefing.

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This allows the landing site party to employ all usable areas on the site. This date will be used to determine the date of the next inspection. Pathfinders use navigation aids to help aviators find and identify an exact area.


If a filter is not available, paint the lens cover or cover it with plastic tape to reduce light intensity. This lighting configuration aids the flight-crew during hookup, lift-off, and landing. Knowing the landing zone location, but unsure of the exact location of the landing site, the pilot continues his flight closer to the center of the zone.

The ability to land crosswind or downwind depends on the type of helicopter.

Full text of “Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38”

Pathfinders may need to set up relay stations. In each case, they start out by setting up ground-to-air radio communications. Never twist them or join them together with knots. When flight altitude is restricted by the air defense threat to altitudes below those established by AR for standard instrument flightthen a minimum clearance of 1, feet over mountainous terrain and feet over flat terrain is possible. X Locations of the primary and alternate communications checkpoints coordinates.

This patnfinder the aviation unit that will fly the loads. Flight leaders may need visual steering commands, time and distance information, Such a position particularly at night enables the pathfinder ATC to observe the final approach of helicopter formations, and it ensures correct alignment with the required landing direction and sufficient obstacle clearance.


In the mountains, the helicopter offers the best way to rapidly move forces. Traffic Patterns Additional markings and improvements are continually made until the site is ready to support the ground tactical plan.

Helicopters with wheels and airplanes should make a running-type takeoff. If the departure heading is different from the land heading, the departure heading must be given as the first element of the departure instructions. He calculates an intercept heading from the RP, if necessary. When the sun rises or falls to just above the horizon, avoid using an approach path that faces operatioons into it.

Pathfinder Operations FM 57 38

The pilot will hover as low as pathfindder and no longer than necessary due to the aircraft’s decreased lift efficiency caused by ground effects. Due to density altitude problems in tropical areas, the aircraft may not be able to develop enough lift to clear tall obstacles.

Pathfinders, as ATCs, provide control service based upon observed or known traffic and airfield conditions that might constitute a hazard. For instance, ground fog may cause a pathrinder unless the landing site is moved to a higher elevation.