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CAP SAREX what to expect?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 21st 05, 12:43 AM
Robert M. Gary
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Default CAP SAREX what to expect?

I'm going to be getting my form 5 this week and alreay have my GES.
What can I expect from a SAREX? How many missions would I expect to get
for a weekend long? I believe I need to first be an observer, can I get
enough observer credits to start mission pilot in one weekend?

Thanks!
-Robert, CAP newbie

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  #2  
Old August 21st 05, 02:21 AM
Kevin Dunlevy
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You can expect good training and long hours. I've probably been to nearly a
dozen SAREXes. As a pilot, you need to complete Scanner training. If you
have 175 PIC hours you can begin training for Mission Pilot after you
complete your Scanner training. You don't have to do formal Observer
training, but you will need to learn how to use the CAP radio, ELT direction
finding receiver, and SAR GPS function. That equipment is often handled by
the Observer, but if the Observer isn't familiar with this equipment, you
will need to give the Observer instructions or operate it yourself.
Non-pilot Observers are generally less helpful with the CAP equipment and
navigation than pilot Observers. You will need to go to several SAREXes to
finish your Scanner and Mission Pilot training.

Long days searching grids low and slow in hot weather can be fatiguing. Be
sure to drink lots of water and carry some snacks in your flightbag. You may
need to open the cabin windows to cool off. The gray pants, blue polo shirt
uniform is more comfortable in hot weather than a Nomex flights suit.

The SAR GPS has tons of capability, so try to learn as much as possible.
Bumping around in thermals, twisting knobs and pushing buttons is the hard
way to learn, but maybe the most effective. Finding an ELT with the DFer and
wing nulling is an art more than a science, so try to fly with experienced
pilots to learn the techniques.

The number of sorties you have will depend on lots of things, like weather,
available aircraft and aircrews, scenario design and staff effectiveness.
It seems mission pilots are always in demand at SAREXes. I'd expect two to
four sorties during a full day SAREX, in addition to the inbound and
outbound sorties. There is also the possibility you will sit around waiting
for a sortie particularly at the beginning before the system is fully
functioning. While waiting for a sortie you can learn about SAR techniques
by hangar flying with other pilots. You can also use down time to learn the
paperwork, study the equipment and read training materials.

I really enjoy the formal and informal training I receive in CAP, and the
opportunity to use my flying skill to do some good. Kevin Dunlevy




"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
ups.com...
I'm going to be getting my form 5 this week and alreay have my GES.
What can I expect from a SAREX? How many missions would I expect to get
for a weekend long? I believe I need to first be an observer, can I get
enough observer credits to start mission pilot in one weekend?

Thanks!
-Robert, CAP newbie



  #3  
Old August 21st 05, 05:25 AM
Robert M. Gary
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Default

Thanks! I noticed that the one in Redding next weekend is two days. Is
that common. I'm not sure I can give up both weekend days. Can you just
go for one day?

-Robert

  #4  
Old August 21st 05, 02:38 PM
Kevin Dunlevy
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I often see SAREXes begin on Friday evening, go all day Saturday and most of
the day on Sunday. The staff members generally stay for the whole SAREX,
but not all mission crews do. Between work, wife and weather, I have not
been to many SAREXes this summer. I hope to go to one next weekend, but one
of the Ws will probably limit my participation to one day. Turnout is
typically higher on Saturdays than Sundays, and Sunday SAREXes are likely to
start later and end earlier than Saturday SAREXes. You are less likely to
have down time waiting for sorties on Sunday, because the staff is fully up
to speed by then and with fewer aircraft and aircrews, dispatching moves
more quickly.

I've mostly flown sorties as Mission Pilot, at first for my own training,
but now often to train Mission Pilots, Observers and Scanners. I've also
worked staff positions for Air Operations and Planning. In Air Ops I
briefed, dispatched and debriefed aircrews. In Planning, I took clues, used
resources like aviation charts, airport directories, and the internet to try
figure out where the missing aircraft might be and plan sorties. Then I
worked with Air Ops to dispatch sorties to look at the suspected areas.
Eventually, I intend to work up to Incident Commander, but I want to get
more experience before doing that. At this stage of my life, I'd rather fly
than work staff positions, but I understand that I should do what is needed
rather than what I want to make the system work better.

You will need to take a Form 91 checkride to become a Mission Pilot. The
Form 5 is like a PTS for a private pilot. The Form 91 is more mission
specific to CAP and includes more low level flying, use of the SAR GPS,
DFing, flying search patterns, and ground reference manouvers.

The tone of a SAREX is very different from an actual SAR. Things are much
more easy going at a SAREX than when you are actually looking for a missing
aircraft. Kevin Dunlevy


"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
oups.com...
Thanks! I noticed that the one in Redding next weekend is two days. Is
that common. I'm not sure I can give up both weekend days. Can you just
go for one day?

-Robert



  #5  
Old August 21st 05, 03:23 PM
Chris G.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I agree with both of your posts. I was in CAP for 5 years, both CAWG
and ORWG. In CAWG I was strictly a groundpounder, but in Oregon, I was
able to get my Ground Team Member, Observer, Scanner, Basic and Advanced
Communicator ratings. I've worked several positions at SAREXes. We
were doing a SAREX at 5J0 (John Day, OR) when we got alerted to a
real-world SAR that we based at UAO (Aurora, OR). The entire operation
was moved within 12 hrs and CAP located the crash site, but no one lived.

It was a shining example of how efficient CAP can be at times. I
dropped out of CAP in 2001 but will be looking to get back into it in a
few months when I have my PP-ASEL.

Chris


Kevin Dunlevy wrote:
I often see SAREXes begin on Friday evening, go all day Saturday and most of
the day on Sunday. The staff members generally stay for the whole SAREX,
but not all mission crews do. Between work, wife and weather, I have not
been to many SAREXes this summer. I hope to go to one next weekend, but one
of the Ws will probably limit my participation to one day. Turnout is
typically higher on Saturdays than Sundays, and Sunday SAREXes are likely to
start later and end earlier than Saturday SAREXes. You are less likely to
have down time waiting for sorties on Sunday, because the staff is fully up
to speed by then and with fewer aircraft and aircrews, dispatching moves
more quickly.

I've mostly flown sorties as Mission Pilot, at first for my own training,
but now often to train Mission Pilots, Observers and Scanners. I've also
worked staff positions for Air Operations and Planning. In Air Ops I
briefed, dispatched and debriefed aircrews. In Planning, I took clues, used
resources like aviation charts, airport directories, and the internet to try
figure out where the missing aircraft might be and plan sorties. Then I
worked with Air Ops to dispatch sorties to look at the suspected areas.
Eventually, I intend to work up to Incident Commander, but I want to get
more experience before doing that. At this stage of my life, I'd rather fly
than work staff positions, but I understand that I should do what is needed
rather than what I want to make the system work better.

You will need to take a Form 91 checkride to become a Mission Pilot. The
Form 5 is like a PTS for a private pilot. The Form 91 is more mission
specific to CAP and includes more low level flying, use of the SAR GPS,
DFing, flying search patterns, and ground reference manouvers.

The tone of a SAREX is very different from an actual SAR. Things are much
more easy going at a SAREX than when you are actually looking for a missing
aircraft. Kevin Dunlevy


"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
oups.com...

Thanks! I noticed that the one in Redding next weekend is two days. Is
that common. I'm not sure I can give up both weekend days. Can you just
go for one day?

-Robert




  #6  
Old August 21st 05, 03:25 PM
Seth Masia
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Posts: n/a
Default

I'd add that the nature of the flying, and the length of the missions,
depends in part on the size of your state and the type of terrain. Out of
Redding you may fly grid patterns over the valley, or contour searches in
some pretty wild mountainous terrain. The other SAREX mission profiles are
route search and, on a search with widely scattered grids, high
communications relay, which means flying a holding pattern way up there and
working the radios accurately, and continually, for three or four hours.

Grid pattern flying, ironically, can be the most fatiguing of all because in
the summer it's monotonous and precise flying in bouncy thermals. Scanners
often get airsick. Be prepared. When it's really rough, a two-pilot crew
can trade off time at the controls so as to settle the stomach. The
backseater is SOL.


"Kevin Dunlevy" wrote in message
...
I often see SAREXes begin on Friday evening, go all day Saturday and most
of
the day on Sunday. The staff members generally stay for the whole SAREX,
but not all mission crews do. Between work, wife and weather, I have not
been to many SAREXes this summer. I hope to go to one next weekend, but
one
of the Ws will probably limit my participation to one day. Turnout is
typically higher on Saturdays than Sundays, and Sunday SAREXes are likely
to
start later and end earlier than Saturday SAREXes. You are less likely to
have down time waiting for sorties on Sunday, because the staff is fully
up
to speed by then and with fewer aircraft and aircrews, dispatching moves
more quickly.

I've mostly flown sorties as Mission Pilot, at first for my own training,
but now often to train Mission Pilots, Observers and Scanners. I've also
worked staff positions for Air Operations and Planning. In Air Ops I
briefed, dispatched and debriefed aircrews. In Planning, I took clues,
used
resources like aviation charts, airport directories, and the internet to
try
figure out where the missing aircraft might be and plan sorties. Then I
worked with Air Ops to dispatch sorties to look at the suspected areas.
Eventually, I intend to work up to Incident Commander, but I want to get
more experience before doing that. At this stage of my life, I'd rather
fly
than work staff positions, but I understand that I should do what is
needed
rather than what I want to make the system work better.

You will need to take a Form 91 checkride to become a Mission Pilot. The
Form 5 is like a PTS for a private pilot. The Form 91 is more mission
specific to CAP and includes more low level flying, use of the SAR GPS,
DFing, flying search patterns, and ground reference manouvers.

The tone of a SAREX is very different from an actual SAR. Things are much
more easy going at a SAREX than when you are actually looking for a
missing
aircraft. Kevin Dunlevy


"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
oups.com...
Thanks! I noticed that the one in Redding next weekend is two days. Is
that common. I'm not sure I can give up both weekend days. Can you just
go for one day?

-Robert





  #7  
Old August 21st 05, 10:55 PM
Chris G.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default



Seth Masia wrote:
I'd add that the nature of the flying, and the length of the missions,
depends in part on the size of your state and the type of terrain. Out of
Redding you may fly grid patterns over the valley, or contour searches in
some pretty wild mountainous terrain. The other SAREX mission profiles are
route search and, on a search with widely scattered grids, high
communications relay, which means flying a holding pattern way up there and
working the radios accurately, and continually, for three or four hours.



Ahhh, the "Highbird" I did that at the John Day SAREX a few years
ago and loved it. We tootled around at 10,000 MSL for 3.1 hrs on
station. I can remember that was a long flight, but it was a good one.

Chris
  #8  
Old August 22nd 05, 02:20 AM
Hotel 179
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default



--

"Robert M. Gary" wrote in message
ups.com...
I'm going to be getting my form 5 this week and alreay have my GES.
What can I expect from a SAREX? How many missions would I expect to get
for a weekend long? I believe I need to first be an observer, can I get
enough observer credits to start mission pilot in one weekend?

Thanks!
-Robert, CAP newbie

----------------------------------------reply----------------------------------------------------

Robert and Everyone,

You have some great answers already as to what you can expect. We have some
guys in our Wing that "have the tee-shirt" and they are wonderful to talk to
and to fly along with. Be sure to arrive before the general briefing so
that you can sign-in and find all your buds for a quick hello before getting
down to business. If you forget to sign-in then you are not covered by the
insurance plan so go there first. Be in uniform. This may sound like a
no-brainer but there have been instances when folks show up with variations
on the uniform not published in 39-1 and have to make arrangements in order
to participate.

Carry your 101 card, CAPID, sectionals, pen and paper for taking mission
notes. Since you are doing a Form 5, don't forget your 60-1 test score,
current 60-1, aircraft checklist and pilot data summary, current medical,
your ticket, proof of BFR and currency in passenger carrying as you'll be
PIC during the ride. If you are going to be flying to the mission base, be
sure to have the Form 71 filled out along with a 104 for the inbound leg.
As we often say, "We don't fly until the weight of the paper equals the
weight of the plane." Monitor the ELT practice frequency on the way there as
sometimes those sneaky planners want to see if you'll fly right over a
target and not pick it up.

Have a great time...

Semper vi.,

Stephen
AL112
Foley, Alabama



  #9  
Old August 22nd 05, 02:16 PM
Trent Moorehead
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Posts: n/a
Default


"Seth Masia" wrote in message
...

Scanners often get airsick. Be prepared. When it's really rough, a

two-pilot crew
can trade off time at the controls so as to settle the stomach. The
backseater is SOL.


I got pretty queasy in the back of a C-182 during my scanner training. It
was the first time I ever got airsick in a small plane, but I didn't throw
up. Thank God for those soda can air vents in those Cessnas; the fresh air
was all that saved me.

Riding in the back takes some getting used to and I was surprised at the
difference there is in riding in the front vs. the back. Bring a sick sack.
You may not need it, but it's good insurance.

-Trent
PP-ASEL


 




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