Brothers 282nd Aero Composite Squadron - Civil Air Patrol


CAP Pilots


Are you a pilot that would like to take your flying to the next level? Perhaps you are not a pilot but would be willing to climb aboard a small aircraft and perform a visual search of the terrain below? The Civil Air Patrol has a number of opportunities for people of all backgrounds and experience levels to volunteer for our "Missions For America".

For pilots, the prerequisites to fly a CAP aircraft are as follows:

- Be an active CAP member at least 17 years of age
- Possess a valid FAA private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificate
- Possess a Class III or higher medical certificate
- Possess a current flight review in accordance with FAR 61.56
- Successfully complete ground preparatory training
- Successfully complete a CAPF5 flight check in a CAP aircraft (required annually)

Those members that are not pilots or that do not meet the minimum pilot requirements may consider becoming a Mission Scanner or Mission Observer. These aircrew members are responsible for completing the assigned mission while the pilot operates the aircraft. Typical duties include looking for the search target, radio communications, navigation, and collision avoidance. Serving in this capacity allows the member to gain familiarity with Civil Air Patrol's operations, which is knowledge that will be very helpful should the member become a CAP pilot in the future. For members with advanced FAA ratings and considerable experience, there are also opportunities to become a CAP Instructor Pilot or a CAP Check Pilot. If you are interested, squadron staff members will assist with the entire process.

Civil Air Patrol currently owns and operates the largest fleet of single-engine aircraft in the world. The majority of these aircraft are Cessna 172's and Cessna 182's. In the past several years, CAP has replaced a number of it's older aircraft with brand new Cessna 182s equipped with the Garmin G-1000 avionics package.


C-182 C-182

Once a new pilot has met all of the basic criteria, there are a number of exciting opportunities to serve!

CAP Transport Mission Pilot

The basic duties of a Civil Air Patrol Transport Mission Pilot include the safe movement of critical items or personnel from one place to another. Frequently these missions may include humanitarian concerns, such as transferring blood or human tissues when no other feasible transport method is available. CAP Transport Mission Pilots may also provide communications support, by operating an aircraft equipped with a radio repeater over a designated area to allow ground units to communicate with one another. Whatever the assignment, a CAP Transport Mission Pilot gets the job done safely and without undue delay.

CAP Transport Mission Pilot Qualifications
Meet all applicable criteria to become a Civil Air Patrol pilot, with the following exceptions:
- Active CAP member at least 18 years of age
- General Emergency Services Qualified
- Minimum 100 hours experience as pilot in command
- Minimum 50 hours cross-country experience




CAP Emergency Services Mission Pilot

The Civil Air Patrol Emergency Services mission provides some of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities available to CAP Pilots. The typical aircrew consists of one Mission Pilot with the sole responsibility of operating the aircraft in a safe manner and maintaining the prescribed search patterns. One or two trained CAP Mission Scanners or Mission Observers are responsible for conducting the technical operations of the mission. There are a number of different mission types that are possible for the Mission Pilot.

Search and Rescue
Typical search and rescue targets may include an activated Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), a missing or overdue aircraft, or a missing person. Search and Rescue missions are usually assigned by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center through a local Civil Air Patrol Incident Commander. These missions are flown at a relatively low altitude and airspeed thus requiring the careful attention of the pilot in command. Pilots involved in these missions train frequently on a number of search patterns used for specific situations.

Disaster Assessment and Relief
One of the hardest questions for officials to answer in the immediate wake of a natural disaster typically involves the scope of the damage and the resources required to meet immediate needs. This is where the work of the Civil Air Patrol aircrew comes in. CAP aircrews can mobilize quickly and locate the affected areas, survey the damage, and send digital images back to the requesting agency in real time using the Civil Air Patrol's Satellite Data Imaging System (SDIS). If additional details or photos are requested, this information can be relayed by radio to the aircrew and the necessary diversion made.


SDIS Image
SDIS Image

Civil Air Patrol aircrews provide incident managers with real time information about the location and extent of damage in disaster situations. Should more detailed or different information be requested, aircrews can provide that within minutes utilizing the CAP Satellite Data Imaging System (SDIS).


Homeland Security
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the Civil Air Patrol has been tasked with many operations pertaining to Homeland Security and the protection of American citizens. These operations often include the passive reconnaissance of specific areas of interest to local or federal authorities. CAP has been credited with providing invaluable assistance in alerting authorities to suspicious activity during large profile sporting events, political rallies, and other mass gatherings. The United States Air Force may also request CAP aircrew assistance to intentionally violate protected airspace while gathering data on the military response to the incident. This information is then used to ensure the protection of our nation's sensitive assets are top notch and ready at a moment's notice. No matter what the specific tasking, authorities turn to the Civil Air Patrol because of our highly skilled volunteers and the reasonable cost of operation for our aircraft.


SDIS Image
SDIS Image

Civil Air Patrol aircrews have the unique opportunity to observe critical infrastructure and places of local and national interest for suspicious activity, using many of CAP's airborne advanced technologies.


Most emergency services missions flown by a qualified Mission Pilot are funded through Civil Air Patrol's National Headquarters and the United States Air Force. Aircrews utilize Civil Air Patrol corporately owned aircraft in the completion of these missions and are provided reimbursement for all fuel, oil, and communications expenses.

CAP Emergency Services Mission Pilot Qualifications
Meet all applicable criteria to become a Civil Air Patrol pilot, with the following exceptions:
- Active CAP member at least 18 years of age
- General Emergency Services Qualified
- Transport Mission Pilot Qualified
- Mission Scanner Qualified
- Minimum 175 hours experience as pilot in command


CAP Orientation Pilot

A series of five orientation flights in a powered aircraft are offered to all youth members of the Civil Air Patrol as a part of their participation in the cadet program. These flights are typically completed in corporately owned Cessna 172 or Cessna 182 aircraft. Orientation flights are designed to introduce the cadet to general aviation in a hands on manner that cultivates their interest in aviation. All flights are completed during the daytime and in visual meteorological conditions. Cadets are encouraged to actively participate in the flight planning, preflight inspection, and all non-critical phases of the flight. Cadets sit in the right seat where they can observe all actions of the pilot in command. In addition, if conditions permit another cadet is allowed to observe from the rear seat without the flight counting towards their allotted orientation flights. The order and information presented in the powered orientation flight process is as follows:

Flight One - Ground Handling, Preflight Inspection, Takeoff, and Landing
Flight Two - Normal Flight Maneuvers (straight and level, turns, etc.)
Flight Three - Advanced Flight Maneuvers (climbing/descending turns, slow flight, etc.)
Flight Four - Use of Instruments in Flight (attitude indicator, altimeter, airspeed indicator)
Flight Five - Weather in Flight (crosswind, effects of terrain, cloud types, etc.)

Five non-powered glider flights are also offered to each cadet. These are typically completed in the Columbus area during the summer months.

Pilots who perform orientation flights are volunteering their time and all expenses for the operation of the aircraft are covered by the Civil Air Patrol. This includes any ferry flight required to move the aircraft from its base to the location of the cadet orientation flights.

CAP Orientation Pilot Qualifications
Meet all applicable criteria to become a Civil Air Patrol pilot, with the following exceptions:
- Active CAP member at least 21 years of age (or age 18-21 with FAA CFI certification)
- Minimum 200 hours experience as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft to be used
- Demonstrate knowledge of the CAP Orientation Flight syllabus


So How Do I Get Started?

To get started as an aircrew member with the Civil Air Patrol, you must first become one of our volunteer members. Additional information can be found on the Officer Membership page of our website. If you have additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact Squadron 282.

Next, you will have to decide what kind of flight activity interests you, what duties you are qualified to perform, and how you would like to to support the CAP missions. From there the squadron staff will assist you in meeting all ground training requirements for the qualifications you seek. In addition, we will be able to point out other related opportunities that may be of interest to you.

We look forward to flying with you!