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SAR Mission Pilot

If you are over 18 years old, a CAP member, and have more than 175 hours as pilot in command, you could be a valued asset to the organization by becoming a Search and Rescue Mission Pilot Trainee.

If you are not a pilot, or if you are a pilot with less than 175 hours of pilot-in-command time, consider becoming a Mission Observer.

The steps to become a pilot are often confusing to a new member. I have summarized them here in an attempt to make it easier for you than it was for me. Even with this guidance, it will take a significant amount of work and real dedication to get qualified. But with some help from your local unit commander, your local emergency services (ES) officer, and your local mission pilots, you too can join the proud rank's of CAP's rescue pilots.

Note: some units have procedures that differ in minor ways from those set out here. When in doubt, consult current CAP regulations, specifically CAPR 60-1 and CAPR 60-3. If you don't have copies of these, download them from the National HQ web site or order them from Vanguard ( ).

Before you begin, download  and print out the ones for General ES and SAR/DR Mission Pilot.

1. collect the following regulations. Borrow copies of them from other members of your squadron, download them from national HQ, or order them from Vanguard ( ).

CAPR 60-3
CAPR 55-1 (OLD version, dated 1992)
CAPR 60-1  (dated 4 Nov 01)

2. Take the "CAPT 116 part 1 questionnaire", a.k.a. "ES Part 1 test". It's a open-book, multiple-choice exam. You don't need to take a course; just sit down with the CAPR 60-3 and take it.

3. When you pass it, fill out a CAPF 100 ("form 100") to apply for a CAPF 101 with "General Emergency Services" checked off.  This is a small paper card ("101 card") that lets you participate in missions.

4. Take the CAPT 116 part 2 questionnaire" a.k.a. "ES part 2 test." It's an online, open-book, multiple-choice test. You'll need to have the following regs in front of you:

CAPR 60-3
CAPR 60-4 all volumes

5. Get a "form 5 ride" (basically a private pilot checkride) in your airplane or the local CAP airplane. Depending on how current you are, this may take some preparation on your part to get your piloting skills back up to Private Pilot standards.

6. Sit down with a qualified mission pilot and get "classroom training" on how to be a mission pilot. The subjects you need to cover are listed in CAPR 60-3, attachment __, and in the OLD CAPR 55-1, attachment 4.

7. Once you have the 101 card, have passed the "form 5 ride," have passed the "ES part 2 test," and have the classroom training, then you fill out a form 100 and apply for a "101T card" to be a mission pilot trainee. You will find the 101T-___ in CAPR 60-4 volume __

8. As soon as you have the 101 card and the 101T-__ card, you can now start flying missions (both practice missions and real missions) as a "SAR/DR Mission Pilot Trainee." Fly three sorties, demonstrate the tasks required, get the necessary signatures on the 101T-__, and then submit a form 100 to become a qualified SAR/DR Mission Pilot.

Check other parts of my web site for information on becoming a mission observer, uniforms, used uniforms, and where to get a used flight suit.

Good luck!

Malcolm Dickinson

SAR/DR Mission Pilot


Information on this page may become outdated as CAP regulations and procedures change. If you found an error or broken link, please let me know.


Old resources (not sure if they will be updated to comply with the new regulations):

Gerry Baumgartner's CAP Emergency Services Qualification Checklists
Training syllabuses from the Georgia Wing web site.