Its Simple !
FASTRetrieve has been designed to require the absolute minimum of work from the competitor. All that is required from a landing pilot is an SMS containing the pilot number and the UTM co-ordinates of the current position (eg 210 543348 6047859 would indicate pilot 210 and the position as shown).
Note that the UTM Base Zone (eg 32T) is not required since the system knows where the comp is happening - though if you want to send it as well then that's OK.
Pilots are asked to send this text as soon as they land to allow time for the retrieve co-ordinator to change vehicle routings as required and also to ensure that we have the latest position fix on each pilot.
Additional pilots can be included in the message as needed (separated by spaces) and you can also add any other text you may feel like (eg I am in the bar with the red sign outside).
Pilots landing in Goal should send 'GOAL xxx' where xxx is the pilot number(s) - also 'no retrieve' can be added to indicate you do not need picking up.
Its very fast !
As soon as your message is received the system will plot your position
on the map (this is available on the internet assuming we have internet at
HQ) and the retrieve co-ordinator can get on with getting a vehicle to
you. You will receive a message (normally Received and Plotted) from the
system to indicate that everything is good. If there is information
missing from your message you may get 'Received - No Co-Ordinates In
Message' which indicates that either a) You did not include any
co-ordinates or b) The co-ordinates you sent were incorrect or in the
wrong format - please make sure you use UTM since this is what
FASTRetrieve will decode.
When the vehicle arrives...
It is a general fact that getting bus drivers to report anything at all
just doesn't work - we try at every comp to get the drivers to report who
is on the vehicle but there always seems to be a problem with this
information. As a result, we ask pilots to let us know when they are
retrieved (this is far more efficient) - simply send a text like '210
retrieved' or similar and the system will update your status to 'on a bus'
- if you help its all much quicker.
A note about reporting back
Sometimes we fail to get a report back message from a pilot and, when asked, he/she will say 'I knew I was able to get myself back so I didn't bother to report' - this breaks the whole system. It is only by knowing who is safe on the ground that we can start to form an idea of who may be missing. If we have 10 pilots showing as 'potentially still flying' then it is impossible to start to look for them. It is only by getting this list quickly down to 1 or 2 that we can focus on any potential problems. If we don't know about you then we may be looking for you and not spending our time looking for someone else who may have a real problem.
Please understand that it is your duty to your fellow pilots to ensure that we know as soon as you are safe so that we can shift our attention to someone who may need it.
And, finally, Live Tracking
FASTRetrieve is fully integrated with LiveTrack24 and will soon have full integration with the Flymaster Live service as well. Sometimes we receive messages from pilots saying 'landed - find my by live tracker'. If the live fix is less than 3 minutes old it is accepted by the system but you should never assume that the tracker is working - they fail quite a lot and it isn't always possible to tell (the lights may be blinking quite normally but the tracker, for whatever reason, may not be sending the data). You should always send a position report when you land - if your tracker is working your position will be updated but if it isn't then at least we have a position to work with.