I’ve known about the degree confluence project for a couple of years now, but have never knowingly visited any confluence points myself. Being in an aviation unit in Korea I intended to visit some confluence points from the air and get some birds eye photos, that is until I read the rules and realized the visits had to be on the surface.
As a Medical Evacuation (Medevac) unit one of our missions we train for is the recovery of downed aviators who need to be rescued from the sea. I realized that one of the areas we do this training in was very near the N37 E126 confluence point.
Since we actually touch the surface when the rescue ladder (caving ladder) or the hoist is in the water I thought this would be a legitimate visit to a point not actually visitable by foot anyway. So, during our latest training mission we made one of the recovery points the confluence point.
When we do this training we always fly in pairs to cover each other, especially when the water is cold and survival time in the water is limited. Before the flight and during the mission briefing we informed our other aircraft crew about the project, and while we were doing our caving ladder training on the confluence point we had them approach and snap some photos of us on the spot.
Without auto hover in a UH-60 Blackhawk it’s a bit challenging hovering over open water without any fixed references to focus on, so getting a picture of the GPS exactly on the coordinates was a little tricky. The glare from the windshield didn’t help getting a good picture of the GPS either, but finally with a good steady hover established and the glare figured out an acceptable picture of the GPS was taken.
This was at the end of training for the day, so after we got the pictures we linked up in formation with our sister aircraft and headed for the 25-minute flight back to the base.