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Anyone know about/been in Civil Air Patrol?

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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:22 PM
Original message
Anyone know about/been in Civil Air Patrol?
Edited on Wed Mar-24-04 03:40 PM by m-jean03
What can you tell me about CAP? Do you think people who volunteer with them are more likely to be called up in a special skills draft? Thanks. (m-jean is aspiring to a helicopter pilot's license & wondering what use to put it to.)

Edit: I just realized they fly "Homeland Security" missions. Yikes! That sounds kind of weird... Search and rescue could be cool, Homeland Security sounds like I might be stepping into the pages of a dystopia...
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mike1963 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
1. I have mixed feelings about the CAP, having been a commercial pilot
for 45 years. The occasionally do some worthwhile stuff (make that
-very- occasionally) but for the most part are a bunch of wannabe
'top guns' with a definite jingo bent.

Do you have a fixed-wing ticket now and are thinking to adding ratings?
In many ways it is easier to become proficient in choppers if you have no experience in regular airplanes than if you have a lot of hours because so much of the nuts & bolts of driving the machine are polar opposites from what become second nature after flying fixed wing.

As to the possibility of the sort of draft you mention, I can't begin to speculate. (I can fly a helicopter but never bothered to get a rating, I don't really like them - I'm also an aeronautical engineer and find it somewhat amazing that people willingly ride in a machine that is intrinsically designed so as to constantly attempting to destroy itself.)
:D
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Hmm, thanks mike.
Glad to have your perspective. Nope, no previous experience, but I've been up in a chopper a few times and have been looking into flight classes at the tech college here. I just love the machines and would like to be able to help people once/if I get a license. But that whole "homeland security" thing is sort of spooky. Would I be flying detainees to prison camps? Patrolling airspace over libraries and bookstores? :shrug:
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strategery blunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
2. Are you referring to Civil Air Patrol?
I have been in that. Some of us did receive specialized training in responding to things like airplane crashes. How ironic. A couple of members of my squadron had glider training; some also had flight training and pilots' licenses.

CAP is broken down into two parts--the cadet program (between 12 and 21 IIRC) and the program for senior members (adults, obviously). The cadets are primarily brainwaished in militarism, and they may receive emergency or "leadership" (think ROTC recruitment) training. There was one cadet in my squadron with glider training; I guess the requirements for flying gliders are not as strict as those for powered aircraft. Cadets can also do "orientation flights," or very basic flight training, though I do not know if the hours can actually be logged toward getting a pilot license.

Senior members can take the same training as cadets do, but they have more options, including more advanced flight training. They would probably be likely to be called up in a special skills draft as pilots and emergency responders. My squadron had a lot of National Guardsmen and Reservists, so a lot of them would be called up anyway.

As for me, I am no longer in CAP (my stepdad made me do it because he was in it when he was a kid). I have renounced freeperdom/militarism.
:D
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Yes, Civil Air Patrol
Oops -- I changed it. Is it really quite militaristic, then? I was under the impression it was a civilian operation. And as for the training, (for senior members) do you have to pay for it, or is it like the army where you get training but have to commit to a certain number of years service in return?
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strategery blunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I got out right at Nov 2000
Edited on Wed Mar-24-04 03:59 PM by chair094
but based on what I saw before that, (quite a bit of "Clinton hates the military") I would really hate to think of how militaristic it is now.

Technically, it is a civilian operation. But there is no rule against Reservists/NG joining, so a lot of them do. And people join it to be "patriotic"--you know what that means.

As for the training, 1) you pay dues and 2) you pay for the training, especially if you need to go to an encampment, bivouac, or if it involves flight training. Although O-flights might be free (I don't remember, but I think the pilots donate their time for those).

Edited for spelling
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thank you for the info
and insider POV.
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PatGund Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. I was a cadet
You mean Civil Air Patrol, the USAF auxillary, right?

Strongly doubt, based on most of the CAP members I remember, that the senior portion would have to worry about a "special skills" draft. Or, at least, they would be as likely as any other private pilot would be. As for the cadets, they would be as likely as any 18-yr old at being drafted.

While I'm not happy about their "Homeland Security" missions anymore, the majority of CAP work is SAR (Search and Rescue) And, I'm given to understand, one can donate their flying time without needing to join. (the instructor that I got my single engine and sailplane tickets from way back when wasn't a CAP member, but donated his flight time and plane to help CAP.)

I liked CAP. Then again, I went on to college AFROTC, and would have joined the AF after college save for my screwing up my knee bad enough to disqualify me. As with manythings in life, YMMV.

Good luck on the rotary ticket!
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m-jean03 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks for your perspective,
PatGund, and thanks for the good wishes.

What was it about CAP, in particular, that you liked?
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