Flying with the CAP
CAP aircrews hone excellent piloting skills through numerous missions. Over the years, CAP aircrews
have provided assistance to numerous boaters in need. In addition, the
squadron is tasked by the U. S. Air Force and other agencies for special
missions. Other emergency services missions can include transporting
medical technicians, lifesaving medicines and human organs for
transplant. When disaster strikes, such as a hurricane, CAP provides
emergency communication systems and gathers vital information for
emergency management through aerial and ground reconnaissance.
The Civil Air Patrol offers many opportunities for volunteer service.
There are numerous roles which initially require minimal or no prior
experience. We provide training to develop skills for important roles of
mission base staff, ground team, and aircrew. Some of the critical
positions you can fill include:
Mission Radio Operator (MRO) – A ground based position which involves
communication with the airplane while in flight or other CAP radio
stations. Requires basic ES qualification.
Mission Scanner (MS) – An introductory but important flight crew
position, where the Scanner sits in the back seat during missions and
scans the ground looking for targets. Requires basic ES qualification.
Mission Observer (MO) – An advanced aircrew position which requires
significant aeronautical knowledge and ability to operate the radios and
navigational equipment, in order to assist the pilot. Requires Mission
Mission Pilot (MP) – The Pilot in Command (PIC) for all missions.
Requires Mission Scanner qualification, Form 5 checkride, Form 91
checkride, etc. (see separate document on how to become a CAP pilot)
The squadron provides training for all of the above positions. Cadets
are eligible for basic flight training, CAP does not provide basic pilot
training for senior members. It is the personal responsibility of all
CAP pilots to meet FAA requirements for currency in light planes
including bi-annual flight review and medical certificate, and to meet
the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards.
CAP Pilots have access to CAP airplanes for use to maintain currency of
pilot qualifications. The personal expense incurred for using CAP
aircraft is minimal, less than half of the typical hourly rental rate
for a similar type of aircraft. The PIC is responsible for paying for
the cost of the airplane. These cost may vary depending on Florida Wing
charges and gasoline costs. Check with the unit’s Operations Officer for
the latest rate. The airplane cost may be waived by the Air Force for
actual missions, or by a Flight Release Officer.
Click here for Pilot FAQs
you’re a pilot, CAP has plenty of opportunities for you. CAP owns the
largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft in the nation, primarily
Cessna 172s and 182s, and CAP pilots are able to fly those planes to
perform CAP missions in service to their local communities. You can find the full list of requirements to fly for CAP under our Pilot FAQs.
CAP pilots fly reconnaissance missions for homeland security, search
and rescue, disaster relief, and even counterdrug operations at the
request of government or law enforcement agencies. They sometimes
transport medical personnel and supplies and blood and live tissue. In
times of disaster, they assess damage and transport emergency personnel
from site to site. When not flying traditional emergency missions, cadet
orientation pilots fly orientation rides for cadets and teachers while
also maintaining their own proficiency.
The Civil Air Patrol’s aircraft are located at strategic locations
throughout the nation to be readily available when missions arise. CAP
members maintain these aircraft at the highest levels of safety and
efficiency and have access to specialists at CAP National headquarters
for maintenance, safety and training questions.
As a CAP pilot, you perform some of the organizations’ most
important work. CAP is also a great place for you to meet and work with
people who share your interest in flying and want to use their skills in
a meaningful way.