Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pilots Wanted!

Pilots: How would you like to use your skill and abilities to serve your community, develop friendships with a team of dedicated volunteers, and gain opportunities to get more flight time? If this sounds good to you, Long Beach Senior Squadron 150, Civil Air Patrol would like to encourage you to join our team! 

Photo Credit: SM Rommel Anacan

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) owns the largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft (primarily Cessna 172s and 182s) in the United States and we use them to perform missions in emergency services, disaster relief, homeland security, cadet orientation flights, counter drug operations, training exercises and proficiency flights. 

How do I become a CAP pilot?

There are different levels of pilot qualifications in Civil Air Patrol, all with their own specific requirements. In all honestly, the road to becoming a pilot is not an instantaneous one…but it is worthwhile. 

Here are some of the basic qualifications to be a CAP pilot (and yes, these can change!)

Be an active CAP member at least 17 years of age
Possess a valid FAA private, commercial or airline transport pilot certificate
Possess a class III or higher medical certificate
Possess a current flight review IAW FAR 61.56
Satisfactorily complete a CAP flight check

Once you’ve met the minimum requirements you will then need to meet the specific requirements for the different types of missions that pilots fly in CAP.

Photo Credit: SM Rommel Anacan

Do I have to pay to fly?

One of the benefits of being a pilot for Civil Air Patrol is that there may be opportunities for you to receive reimbursements for some of your flying! Keep in mind, reimbursed flying is NOT available when first becoming qualified to fly in CAP. As a new member, you will be responsible for aircraft fuel and a flat rate per hour fee. This applies to the instructional flights one should have prior to taking the flight evaluation to become a CAP pilot, the evaluation itself and all flying after that until becoming mission qualified. 

(We told you…it’s not an instantaneous journey! But, remember it IS worth it!)

Once qualified as a Transport Mission Pilot you will be eligible for reimbursed flying during scheduled training missions and actual missions. Other opportunities to participate in reimbursed flying occur when you qualify as a Search and Rescue/Disaster Relief Pilot or Cadet Orientation Pilot. 

Because CAP is a non-profit corporation, you may be able to deduct expenses incurred as a result of your membership in Civil Air Patrol as a charitable contribution. (Please check with your tax advisor for more details.)

What is the benefit to me?

CAP is composed entirely of volunteers who have chosen to serve our communities. As a CAP pilot you may find yourself using your unique skills and talents to help find a downed aircraft, assist the US Air Force on a training mission, take a cadet up on his/her first flight in an aircraft, and more!

If you’d like more information please contact the following officers:

Capt. Lloyd Bumanglag, CAP
Squadron Commander

2d Lt. Paul Koons, CAP
Recruiting and Retention Officer

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Squadron 150 Members Participate in Search and Rescue Training Exercise

On a cold, cloudy and dreary morning, a handful of Airmen from Civil Air Patrol huddled around to hear the mission briefing. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) informed us that a small private aircraft was reported missing at 5:00pm the previous evening. The pilot did not file a flight plan for a leg of the journey, and the aircraft and crew could be anywhere from Hemet to Las Vegas. It was our job to find them.

Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182
(Photo Credit: SM Rommel Anacan)
Two aircrews were assigned, each one consisting of a Mission Pilot, Mission Observer and Mission Scanner. The Incident Commander assigned a specific sector for each crew to conduct their visual search missions-and it was now the job of the aircrew to plan their mission. Once the planning was completed, weather forecast checked (and checked again) and all information confirmed, the Cessna 182s took off in search of their target.

Both aircrews returned safely to mission base and debriefed on their respective missions; having logged several hours in the air conducting visual search in their respective areas.

While this wasn't an actual mission, the steps that we took to plan and execute the mission are the same. While we hope to never have to fly a search mission, our job is to prepare as if we could get that call at any minute. Since this was a training exercise the completion of our successful sorties resulted in a hearty lunch at a local diner!

Our thanks to the team who planned and executed this successful and productive Search and Rescue Exercise (SAREX). The SAREX included members from squadrons in South Coast Group 7, including our squadron (Squadron 150) and Group 7 units in Fullerton and Costa Mesa.

There are many ways that one could spend a weekend-and if you're a member of CAP, flying around in a Cessna 182 may just be one of them! If you're interested in joining Civil Air Patrol, or would just like more information, please contact us!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Congratulations 1st Lt. Michael Wetsman!

by SM Rommel Anacan, Public Affairs Officer

Our squadron is honored to announce the promotion of Michael Wetsman to the grade of 1st Lieutenant. A commercial pilot for over 20 years, 1st Lt. Wetsman joined Civil Air Patrol in 2013 and has made a positive impact on the unit, in Group 7 and in CAP. 

He is currently a CAP Transport Mission Pilot, Cadet Orientation Pilot and he serves as Squadron 150’s Safety Education Officer-and in several other (uncredited) roles as well!

Capt. Lloyd Bumanglag (L) congratulates 1st Lt. Michael Wetsman on his promotion
(Photo Credit: SM Rommel Anacan)
1st Lt. Wetsman was recently awarded a “Commander’s Commendation Award” by South Coast Group 7 for “Outstanding Duty Performance” as Squadron 150’s Safety Education Officer, and he was named the South Group 7 “Safety Education Officer of the Year.”

Much of what we do as a unit would not be possible without his time, energy and efforts; and we are very fortunate that he is a part our squadron. 

"Congratulations! Your promotion to 1st Lieutenant is very much deserved. 

View the press release for 1st Lt. Wetsman's promotion. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Calif. Wing supports Air Force’s Super Bowl airspace security missions

The California Wing flew on Tuesday (Jan 26) in Fresno and (will be flying) on Feb. 3 in Oakland to help ensure the safety and security of airspace around Super Bowl 50.
In order to help train Air Force fighter aircrews and maintain their proficiency, Civil Air Patrol flies its Cessna airplanes into “restricted airspace” to simulate a trespassing aircraft while Air Force jet crews practice intercept techniques. The Air Force pilots fly alongside the CAP plane, make radio contact and guide it out of the restricted airspace.
Since the terroristic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration routinely implements “no-fly zones,” referred to as a Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR), around major events like the Super Bowl. Airspace around the venue is restricted from all general aviation traffic for a specified radius to ensure no aircraft enter. The TFR is enforced by the U.S. Air Force, which has fighter aircraft patrolling the area during the time of the restriction.
Two Cessna 182s from the California Wing will perform these missions when they fly as intercept targets for fighters from the California Air National Guard. CAP’s “low and slow” planes are considered ideal intercept targets for these exercises. A third CAP Cessna will fly “high bird,” handling communications from participants on the ground and other aircraft.
These missions mark CAP’s 15th year as a participant in North American Aerospace Defense Command air-defense exercises designed to protect the Super Bowl’s airspace. CAP is involved in similar exercises around the U.S. throughout the year to test airspace security.
The exercises, known as Falcon Virgo, are carried out as part of Operation Noble Eagle, launched by 1st Air Force/Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Along with CONR’s Western Air Defense Sector and CAP, the exercises are conducted in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and Customs and Border Protection.
“Civil Air Patrol is proud to again partner with the U.S. Air Force on this vital homeland security exercise. The opportunity to ensure safe skies around Levi’s Stadium is a mission CAP takes very seriously,” said Maj. Gen. Joe Vazquez, CAP national commander. “Our aircrews are trained to simulate either threat or duress flights that inadvertently or purposely enter into restricted airspace. The Air Force depends on CAP to ensure its readiness in guarding America’s airspace.”
“TFRs are a normal part of general aviation flying, and at any given time there can be 30-40 TFRs in various areas around the country,” said Col. Alan Ferguson, California Wing commander, “including whenever the president of the United States flies in Air Force One.”
CAP is also responsible for raising general aviation community awareness of TFRs. Aircrews from throughout the California Wing will fly to numerous airports to inform pilots about the TFRs and the penalties for violation.
A training flight will be conducted Feb.  3 at Oakland International Airport.
(This post is courtesy of Civil Air Patrol NHQ)