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Flying Q and A

What are the different types of CAP flying?

Civil Air Patrol runs multiple types of missions, some are funded by the Air Force others are member funded.  

Michigan Wing operates under the following standard missions types: (Click on each one for more details)

  • Pilot Proficiency
  • SAR Training
  • Cadet Orientation Flights
  • CAPF5/91 flight evaluations
  • Maintenance ferry flights
  • New Pilot Onboarding
  • Annual B Mission
  • Annual CORP Misc Mission

What is an A, B or C Mission?

Letter designates status:

A & B = Air Force assigned mission (AFAM)
C = Corporate mission

Number designates the task to be performed

How are missions funded?
Typically A missions are funded by the Air Force while B and C missions are member funded.  Generally, fuel for A missions will be paid for by using a CAP aircraft specific credit card. This helps limit the out of pocket expense for pilots and air crews.

Pilot Proficiency

AFAM-approved Proficiency Flight Profiles are detailed in CAP STANDARD 71-4.  At minimum proficiency profiles require the pilot to be at least a Transport Mission Pilot (TMP) with the exception of PROFILE 7. Close attention must be paid to the prerequisites section at the beginning of each profile. Pilots must be CAP-qualified as described in the profile. Each profile has different requirements and must be reviewed prior to requesting funding for the flight.

Pilot Proficiency Funding

Air Force funded proficiency funding is available to all members meeting the CAP qualification as defined in each profile. Every MIWG pilot meeting the qualifications of the profile is per-approved for 1.5 hours of flying per calendar month.  You do not need to complete the sortie request form if you are only flying a single 1.5 hour sortie for the first time each month. This change is effective 6 October 2021. 

If you wish to fly longer than 1.5 hours or fly multiple profiles in a month, Michigan Wing has created an online form to streamline the funding request process.  Access the form on the wing website at https://miwg.cap.gov/emergency-services-operations/training-sorties

Pilots should submit their proficiency funding request via the online form no later than 24 hours prior to the flight. 36 hours is preferred when possible.

Members of the wing ops staff will review your request and send you an email with approval or follow up questions to ensure you are complying with the selected profile.  The wing staff will then create a sortie for you in WMIRS.

As the pilot you still need to ensure your crew is qualified to be on the flight and complete the sortie info and briefing section. Please ensure that all boxes are filled in and best practice is to use N/A when that field does not apply to the selected profile.

How many proficiency flights can I do?

Michigan Wing has per-approved 1.5 hours per calendar month per pilot.  This will typically be a profile 7.

You are encouraged to use common sense when requesting proficiency. Ex. Flying the same profile to the same airports once a week would not be an appropriate use of funds. If you are unsure please reach out to the wing ops team and they will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Do I need to schedule the airplane?

Pilots may wish to place an entry in the calendar scheduling module located in WMIRS to reserve the time for their requested flight. If you do please choose TBD under “Select Mission”. Do not add your own sortie until a few days prior to the flight. This ensures that funding is not locked up for weeks on end just to have a flight cleaned due to weather.

Example. You plan to fly a 1.5 hours sortie with a planned engine start at 1pm. When placing the hold on the aircraft schedule be sure to add enough time to complete pre-flight and post-flight actions. Adding a 30 minute buffer on each side will help ensure when the next crew shows up the airplane is ready to go and not waiting for a fuel truck.  Keep your scheduling module to the entire time block you will be using the airplane and the actual sortie as your projected wheels up / wheels down as the sortie affects the mission budget estimates.

We needed to make an unplanned stop during the sortie, now what?

CAPR 70-1 defines a sortie. Think of this as from take-off until the engine is shut down. After an engine shut down a new sortie is required to fly again.  If during a proficiency flight you need to land to add fuel, to use the restroom, or any other reason, the PIC is required to enter a new sortie and obtain a new flight release prior to taking off. Once you are done flying please send a reply email to your proficiency approval email letting them know you needed to add an additional sortie in the field.  Ensure that both sorties have the sortie info, briefing and debrief sections completed. It is important to write both sortie numbers and the total flight time on your fuel receipts.

What do I need to do after the flight?

Once you have completed the post flight check list, it is time to complete the paperwork. After recording hobbs and tach time in the Airplane Information File - AIF (white binder) best practice is to take a photo on your smart phone to ensure you have accurate numbers when returning home.

Once home debrief the sortie in WMIRS, Think of the debrief as your record of what you did on the flight. Some pilots find it useful to upload a print out of the proficiency profile with your notes from the flight to ensure all tasks were performed.

You will also need to upload your fuel receipt and ensure you have added the required information. See our receipt guide here.

Complete the debrief within 72 hours (24 preferred) of the flight ending

CAP National has created a user guide that specifically covers briefing and debriefing sorties. 


What is the difference between SAR Training and Proficiency?

SAR training funding is typically used when conducting task specific training towards a SQTR. This includes initial and requalification of air crew skills. If you have a fully qualified crew and the goal of the sortie is general SAR practice this is when you would want to use a proficiency profile such as profile #1, #2, #3, and #5.

How should I approach SAR Training?

One of the biggest areas of concern we see is members completing an entire SQRT in a 2 day period. Typically when this occurs members are not truly proficient at the new tasks which they are being evaluated on. Take your time and select a few related tasks to complete on the sortie. Then go out another day and practice these skills again and again until the become second nature. When called on to preform an actual SAR mission emotions are high and skills that are not often practice can be forgotten.  Just like learning how to fly, you don’t learn how to land the airplane in a single lesson. It is a life long journey of practice and repetition that leads to strong skills. 

Why does a mission show over budget?

WMIRS automatically estimates the budget of each mission based on the duration of sorties both pending release and released. If a pilot from the scheduling page is trying to block an airplane for ground training for 5 hours and they choose the option to “add sortie” it will lock up 5 hours of mission funding.  In this example that would be roughly $325 that is pulled from the budget because WMIRS was told you will be flying and incurring 5 hours of expenses.

Usually, a mission runs out of money when sorties are not flown and the sortie is not set to canceled or rescheduled to a future date.  Past sorties that remain in the pending release status count against the mission's budget.

Should I add sorties from the scheduling module?

As a general rule, you want to use TBD as the mission number and add sortie as “NO” within the scheduling module (calendar view). After you have blocked off the time you will be scheduling out the airplane you will then go into the specific mission you will be flying on and add a sortie on this page. This small workflow recommendation can have a huge impact in helping wing operations run smoothly and will help to ensure an airplane is ready and waiting for you when you arrive to fly.

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