19-14. The M185 signal device is part of an aviator's survival vest. The device consists of a pen-shaped gun with a flare attached by a nylon cord. When fired, the pen flare sounds like a pistol shot and fires the flare about 150 meters (495 feet) high. It is about 3 centimeters (1 inch) in diameter.
19-15. To have the pen flare ready for immediate use, take it out of its wrapper, partially screw on the flare, leave the gun uncocked, and drape the cord around your neck. Be ready to fire it well in front of search aircraft in a nonthreatening direction and be ready with a secondary signal. Also, be ready to take cover in case the pilot mistakes the flare for enemy fire. It is important to note that pen flares may deflect off tree limbs and tree canopies. This may cause the flare to deflect or shoot back to the ground, causing a forest fire hazard. Ensure you have proper overhead clearance and an obstacle-free path to shoot through.