Savannah – In the past, I haven’t had the opportunity to monitor post-Hurricane operations on the radios because I was too busy at work. With Hurricane Dorian, we only received a close brush from the storm, so extra hours at work weren’t required and I’ve had the time to do some listening. I got back home in Savannah from Brunswick this morning, fired the shack radios back up, and it wasn’t long before I started hearing a lot of activity.
The Civil Air Patrol was extremely active in the Coastal Georgia areas around Savannah and Brunswick. There were six CAP aircraft in the area:
CAP 920 (C172, N426CP, GA Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 921 (C172, N697CP, GA Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 924 (C182, N945CP, GA Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 930 (C182, N402CV, GA Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 939 (C182, N493CP, GA Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 941 (C172, N9433L, GA Civil Air Patrol)
Most of them came in from North Georgia this morning, went into Savannah-Hilton Head IAP then began flying what sounded like photo/survey missions around the area. Based on CAP 941’s ADS-B track over Savannah, it appeared that Hospitals and Public Health/Psychiatric/Behavioral Health facilities were primary targets for their missions.
Civil Air Patrol mission communications were mostly with SAVANNAH MISSION BASE on CAP Air 1, but there was also traffic on CAP Guard 1, CAP Tac 1, and CAP Repeater 56 in Midway (this was the first time I’ve been able to confirm Repeater 56’s frequency pair and PL).
149.275 (PL 141.3) – CAP Air 1
139.875 (PL 173.8) – CAP Tac 1
148.150 (PL 107.2) – CAP Repeater 56 Midway
150.225 (PL 162.2) – CAP Guard 1
In the Savannah area, Chatham County’s MD-500 helicopters were active flying what sounded like survey/photo missions as well. EAGLE 0# flights (MD-500, Chatham County) were up on local Savannah Air Traffic Control frequencies as well as the Chatham Aviation talkgroup (TG 199) on the SEGARRN trunked system.
While I didn’t hear any solid operational traffic from them, the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol was also active in the South Carolina Lowcountry. It sounded like Beaufort Approach/Departure wasn’t open yet this morning, but it did open later in the day; during that time, the SC CAP aircraft utilized Savannah TRACON while in the Beaufort area. There was some activity on the SC CAP Repeater R25, 148.125 (PL 107.2) that was probably related to the SC CAP flights, but I couldn’t copy it well enough to confirm it.
CAP 3903 (C182, SC Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 3935 (C182, SC Civil Air Patrol)
CAP 3990 (unknown, SC Civil Air Patrol)
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was also active this morning on their Beaufort Repeater, 151.415 (DCS 703). Units in boats around the Beaufort and Hilton Head area were working with LIMA 18, a South Carolina state helicopter that was also identifying as PALMETTO 8 with Air Traffic Control.
Other agencies and assets were also active in the area today. It appeared that NOAA 68 (B300, N68RF, NOAA) flew a survey mission around Coastal Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry this morning before going into Savannah-Hilton Head IAP. Two Coast Guard Auxiliary aircraft, COAST GUARD/COAST GUARD RESCUE 61B (M20T, N1161B, Private) and COAST GUARD 309X (Maule M-5-210C, N309X, Private) worked in the Coastal Georgia and South Carolina Lowcountry throughout the morning, with one of them, 61B, working Sector Charleston on Marine VHF Ch. 21, 157.050.
Throughout the day, aircraft that evacuated area airports and military airfields returned home, but that activity will be the subject of another post.
The Coastal Georgia area was very lucky with Hurricane Dorian; it passed by far enough offshore that we didn’t feel near the effects that the South Carolina Lowcountry and North Carolina did, much less what the Bahamas experienced with Dorian stalling over them as a Category 5 Hurricane. Please keep those in the Bahamas and the Carolinas in your prayers and if you’re able, find a way to help support them.