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Becoming a CAP pilot is not difficult, but does require dedication and you must be 17 or older. Here are basic steps to become qualified as a CAP pilot (note: some variations to the following steps will exist due to local requirements, however, they should track closely to the
steps presented below):
1. Join the Civil Air Patrol and get your CAP ID card.
2. Completed CAP Professional Development Level 1: Foundations
3. Contact your unit’s Operations Officer (Ops Officer) or Standardization and Evaluations (Stan/Eval or DOV) Officer to express your desire to become a CAP pilot, you will be advised to proceed with steps tracking very closely to the following to qualify as a CAP pilot.
4. Obtain a current copy of CAP Regulation 70-1 (CAPR 70-1), CAP Flight Management. Study it and become very familiar with it. CAPR 70-1 can be downloaded from the National Headquarters website and you will be expected to have a copy of CAPR 70-1 the day of your check ride.
5. Get a CAP approved flying uniform.
6. Local Unit’s Pilot Data Summary. There may be a local requirement to list your aviation experience and FAA certifications so that the unit DOV can have a better understanding of where you are, pertaining to, pilot qualifications, ratings and experience.
7. Become intimately familiar with the aircraft (C-172, C-182, C-182T-NAVIII, etc) that you will use for the check ride. This includes systems, emergency procedures, weight & balance, flight release, etc. Also, familiarize yourself with the CAP Aircraft Information File that is kept in the plane. CAP corporate planes are used for 99% of our flying.
8. FAA Airman Certification Standards (ACS) and Practical Test Standards (PTS). The minimum level of proficiency acceptable is that contained in the current FAA ACS or PTS for the certificate being exercised. If necessary, put in enough flight time with a CFI until you become proficient in ALL of those requirements. There may be some of the tasks that you haven’t performed for a while and may probably rusty on. If you are not familiar with what the ACS/PTS requires, a copy may be purchased from any pilot shop for about $5.00 or downloaded from the FAA website.
9. Follow Published guidance. Follow the procedures listed in CAPR 70-1, CAP Flight Management, and the Instructions on Page 3 of CAPF 5, CAP Pilot Flight Evaluation; and then schedule and successfully complete a CAP Form 5 Flight Evaluation.
Additional Steps for prospective CAP Orientation Pilots (Must be 21 or older or a CFI):
1. Obtain a current copy of CAP Pamphlet 52-7 (CAPP 52-7), Cadet Orientation Flight Syllabus, and become very familiar with it. You will be quizzed on it during your check ride. CAPP 52-7 can be obtained online from the National web site. Orientation Flights are a learning and motivational experience for the Cadets; CAP pilots are trained and prepared specifically to provide these flights.
2. Take the online “Cadet Orientation Pilot Quiz” located in the eServices website on the Learning Management System (LMS) link and print out a completion certificate. Give this to the Check Pilot on the day of your ride.
3. Advise your check pilot when you schedule with him or her that you would like to become an O-ride pilot. They will then tailor your ride accordingly. Along with a high level of proficiency, we are also looking for knowledge of the Cadet Flight Syllabus and smoothness in
your control of the aircraft. Many Cadets are flying for the first time and it MUST be a positive experience for them.
4. Complete your CAP Form 5 flight evaluation. CAP Check Pilots and Instructor Pilots can and will assist you during your preparation for the check ride. Keep in mind, that on the day of the ride, your Check Pilot is there ONLY to evaluate, NOT to instruct. Review the FAA PTS in advance, be prepared and proficient on the day of your ride and all should do well.
CAP Emergency Services (ES) Aircrew positions:
- Mission Scanner – uses a systematic method of looking for objects such as downed aircraft or missing persons. The Mission Scanner’s primary responsibility is to maintain constant visual contact with the ground while over the search area. This responsibility makes each scanner a key member of the search aircrew. Requires Specialty Qualification Training Record (SQTR).
- Mission Observer – is a scanner with expanded duties who usually sits in the right front seat. In addition to the primary duty of scanning while in the search area, the observer assists the pilot with planning, navigation, and communication. The observer may also serve as mission commander, ensuring that all mission objectives are met. Requires Specialty Qualification Training Record (SQTR).
- Transport Mission Pilot – Basic Pilot. Provides 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.
- SAR/DR Mission Pilot – Pilot who has also been trained as a Scanner. May have been trained as an observer (not required) aircraft commander and is responsible for the safety of the crew and the aircraft. The Mission Pilot must fly the aircraft precisely in order to execute mission procedures and search patterns so that the scanners have the best possible chance to achieve mission objectives.
Further Steps to become a Transport Mission Pilot or ES Aircrew (Must be 18 or older):
1. Obtain a current copy of CAP Regulation 60-3 (CAPR 60-3), CAP Emergency Services Training and Operational Missions, and become very familiar with it. You will be quizzed on it during your check ride.
Requirements (listed in CAPR 60-3) include:
• Be a current CAP Pilot (less than 12 months since your last CAPF 5 checkride)
• Have documented 100 PIC Hours (50 of those PIC hours must be cross Country time).
• Have a current CAPF 101 card (requires completion of Level 1 and online GES training/exams)
2. Become familiar with Specialty Rating Requirements and Performance Standards. For each specialty rating, SQTRs have been developed to train and qualify members in stages. The most current versions of the task guides for all specialties are found on the NHQ CAP/DOS
3. View the Aircraft Ground Handling Video.
4. Complete FEMA IS100 and FEMA IS700 (entered and verified in E-services)
5. Complete CAPT 116 part 1
6. Get General Emergency Services (GES) Certified
7. Apply online in e-Services for the addition of the Transport Mission Pilot to your CAPF 101.
To be a Search & Rescue/Disaster Relief (SAR/DR) Mission Pilot (Must be 18 or older):
*Note: If you meet the above requirements you will be eligible to proceed.
1. Be a current Mission Transport Pilot
2. Must be a current Mission Scanner
3. Must have 175 Hours PIC to be a Mission Pilot Trainee
4. Complete all tasks on the Mission Pilot SQTR
5. Complete Introductory Communications User Training (ICUT)
6. Must have 200 Hours PIC before taking the CAP Form 91, CAP Mission Pilot Checkout
7. Must successfully complete the CAP Form 91, CAP Mission Pilot Checkout