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Civil Air Patrol Aircrew Training

While the Emergency Services function of the Civil Air Patrol consists of both ground and air search and rescue operations, the Montgomery Senior Squadron focuses primarily on aircrew. A Civil Air Patrol aircrew consists of three team members in each aircraft; the Mission Scanner, Mission Observer and Mission Pilot.

Mission Scanner
The Mission Scanner is the "spotter" of the crew. This person rides in the back seat of the aircraft and keeps his or her eyes primarily outside of the aircraft. If the crew is going to locate a target, the Mission Scanner will most likely be the person who will see it first.

Mission Observer
The Mission Observer rides in the right seat of the aircraft and spends his or her time assisting the pilot in navigation, planning and executing search patterns, communicating with other CAP resources and scanning out of the right side of the aircraft for the target.

Mission Pilot
The Mission Pilot has to plan and fly the search pattern or route, manage the weather, communicate with ATC or other aircraft, and is responsible for the overall safety of the team.

Steps To Participating In CAP Aircrew

Level 1
Once you join the CAP, you will need to complete CAP introductory training called Level 1. This is required in order to participate in any of the CAP activities below.

General Emergency Services (GES)
After Level 1, you review CAP regulations and take an online test to qualify you to participate in the Emergency Services activities. Once this is complete, you bring your completion certificates into your personnel officer, and they will guide you into the next step. You are now ready to begin aircrew training.

Mission Scanner
You must first obtain your Mission Scanner rating. In order to obtain your Mission Scanner rating, you must receive approval from your squadron commander to begin training. You then must attend a Mission Scanner class room training program, where you will learn all of the detailed aspects of performing this function. Once you complete that, you move on to the advanced training. For this training, you will spend time flying as a Mission Scanner trainee and will be evaluated by an authorized trainer. Once you complete this, and participate in two actual or training missions, you become a Mission Scanner.

Mission Observer / Mission Pilot
Once you obtain the Mission Scanner rating, you can begin training for Mission Observer and/or Mission Pilot . You do not need your Mission Observer rating to become a Mission Pilot. The training for these ratings are similar to the training for Mission Scanner. However, there are a few additional steps before obtaining your Mission Pilot rating.

Mission Pilot
To obtain a Mission Pilot rating, you must have 200 PIC hours (175 to begin training) and you must pass a Mission Pilot checkride, called a Form 91 checkride.

For more information concerning the aircrew training, please email contact.mss@cfcmss.org.