Unit of competency details

PUAAMS003B - Conduct stores dropping operations (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 17/Aug/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced09/Feb/2011

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Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 031505 Aircraft Operation  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 031505 Aircraft Operation  03/Sep/2009 
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Modification History

PUAAMS003B Release 2: Layout adjusted. Application added. Content reviewed.

PUAAMS003B Release 1: Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the competency to prepare for and carrying out stores dropping operations in a search and rescue context. It does not cover the competency to control and position the aircraft for dropping operations.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to members of Air Search and Rescue teams working in the air carrying out the dropmaster/loadmaster’s role.

All aspects of the unit should be implemented in line with organisational policies and procedures.

Team members and crews may be members of a range of government and/or non-government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a Unit of Competency.

Performance Criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the Range Statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the Evidence Guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Configure aircraft 

1.1 Stores are prepared prior to loading on aircraft. 

1.2 Search briefing is obtained from relevant Search and Rescue authority.

1.3 Aircraft is configured  for drop operations in accordance with the applicable flight manual.

1.4 Protective surfaces are installed and protective tape applied.

1.5 Stores  are checked and secured .

1.6 Principles of internal loading of cargo are complied with when loading the aircraft.

2. Locate target 

2.1 Distance estimation methods  are employed to identify target position.

2.2 Initial target marking smoke is prepared and dispatched to mark target area.

2.3 Visual sighting of target is maintained during stores dropping.

3. Dispatch stores 

3.1 Reference markers are dispatched under the pilot's directions.

3.2 Stores are dispatched under the pilot's directions.

3.3 Visual sighting of target is maintained during stores dropping.

4. Reconfigure aircraft 

4.1 Equipment is removed and checked for serviceability.

4.2 Items of stores used are annotated on the incident form.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required Skills 

  • check ancillary Search and Rescue equipment for serviceability
  • handle pyrotechnic devices in a safe manner
  • operate safely around aircraft
  • work in a crewed environment

Required Knowledge 

  • actions to be carried out in the event of in-flight emergencies
  • arming procedures for pyrotechnic markers and general operation of electronic markers
  • burning times of pyrotechnic markers
  • frequencies of electronic markers
  • general operation of light emitting markers
  • inherent dangers of handling pyrotechnic devices
  • maximum and minimum weight of a loaded helibox
  • meaning of the hand signals relayed by other crew members during a stores dropping operation
  • OH&S considerations as they pertain to operating within an aircraft during stores dropping operations
  • principles of teamwork

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Stores are prepared and secured safely and dispatched under the pilot's directions.

Consistency in performance 

Evidence should be gathered over a period of time in a range of actual or simulated workplace environments.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Context of assessment 

Evidence can be collected on the job but may be undertaken in a simulation.

Specific resources for assessment 

On job assessment may entail additional costs.

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the Unit of Competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised  wording in the Performance Criteria is detailed below.

Configured  may include:

  • removing doors
  • hatches
  • furnishings
  • fittings
  • outfitting with specialist equipment
  • crew equipment

Stores  may include:

  • safety knives
  • timer
  • dropmaster bag
  • seeblitz (strobe marker) life-rafts
  • heliboxes
  • pyrotechnic and electronic reference markers
  • stores delivery systems
  • pumps
  • storepedoes
  • search and rescue datum buoy
  • air droppable search and rescue radio

Secured  may include:

  • stowing stores
  • using nets
  • tie-down straps and static line cord

Distance estimation methods  may include:

  • using clock method

Unit Sector(s)

Aviation marine search and rescue.

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