|Can they see me? is a question lost individuals have when they try to signal aircraft flying over head. The fact is that the ability to be seen from the air is less than 10percent. Face it, an aircraft flying at 100 miles an hour looking for a taget of less than 6 feet tall from an altitude of at least 500 feet, the chances are slim they will see you. Any thing you can do to make yourself stand out increases that chance of being found.
Being in search and rescue, I have had the opportunity for test out different signaling devices and believe me, a mirror really works. I have drawn in aircraft towards me from as far as 20 miles. Mirrors really work.
On one rescue training, I flashed a airplane and they reported me as the missing party and headed in my direction. I was later corrected at the debriefing for this action. However, my point was proven to all the team members and well as the air squadron. Mirrors work!!!!
Josh Ketcham : 2 Rescue 20
Washoe County Search and Rescue