Aids in Aircraft Recognition
Binoculars are a positive aid in aircraft recognition. By magnifying an aircraft image,
they aid you in distinguishing features at long distances. In contrast, if you use binoculars
to search for aircraft, you reduce detection range because of the binoculars' limited field
of view. Adjust the binoculars for your use and prefocus at the range the binoculars will
be used (where targets are expected to appear). Keep the binoculars readily available and
uncased for immediate use. When you detect an aircraft, keep your eyes on it and
carefully raise the binoculars to your eyes. Because of the binocular's narrow field of
view, you may lose the target with a jerky movement.
Search Sector and Alert Warning
Your ability to detect and recognize aircraft increases as the size of your assigned search
area decreases. Detection is more likely if you are assigned responsibility for searching a
narrow sector as opposed to searching the entire area surrounding your position. If you
are being supported by an aircraft alert warning system, a fairly large sector of about 90
degrees may be assigned for general surveillance. When a warning is received, narrow
your search sector to 30 degrees and center the search on the aircraft's approach azimuth.
When you use the horizon as a reference, do not concentrate your search too near the
horizon or you will miss detecting an aircraft at a higher altitude. Define your search
sector in both vertical and horizontal planes (Figure 6).