15:35 PM

Meeting Focuses on Possible Changes in Mountain Flying Practices

Directors of operations and standardization/evaluation officers from four Civil Air Patrol regions convened Nov. 4 with a purpose likely last pursued in the late 1990s — to discuss changes to the way CAP trains and flies in the mountains.

The North Central, Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Southwest regions were represented at the session in Ogden, Utah.

CAP has long provided regions and wings with the flexibility to develop their own mountain flying programs. The result has been a safe and effective program, but with little standardization from wing to wing and region to region.

That means flying between regions and wings with different training plans and requirements could create unintended risks. To address the issue, the participants worked to:

•  Standardizing minimum mountain flying training and certification requirements to ensure pilots can safely, efficiently, and effectively operate in and over mountainous terrain and operate from airports in mountains throughout the western U.S., and not just within their wing.

•  Provide insight to other regions with mountainous terrain to assist in updating their programs, if desired.

•  Generate recommendations to National Headquarters for possible implementation of national mountain flying practices.

Mountain matters

With those goals in mind, the team started from the ground up—by identifying mountain flying requirements for CAP pilots. They identified geographical areas where no mountain training is required, then identified a need to train transport mission pilots to fly into airports in the mountains and for mission pilots to operate within mountainous terrain.

The participants generally agreed to:

•  Minimum mountain flying endorsement ground and flight training task requirements for an initial and annual CAP Mountain Flying Endorsement.

•  Minimum mountain flying certification ground and flight training Specialty Qualification Training Record task requirements to complete an initial and biannual Mountain Flying Certification.

•  Documentation requirements for the Mountain Flying Endorsement Training, Mountain Flying Certification, CAPF 70-5 — CAP Pilot Mountain Flying Endorsement, and CAPF 70-91 —CAP Mission Pilot Checkout.

•  Route recommended changes through all CAP regions with mountainous terrain.

•  Make final recommendations for desired mountain flying changes to National Headquarters for possible incorporation at the national level

Participants, both on site and online, were:

National Commanders Squadron
Col. Mike Moyer, standardization/evaluation officer

North Central Region
Lt. Col. Jeremy Langrock, standardization/evaluation officer

Pacific Region
Col. Brian Bishop, director of operations

Rocky Mountain Region
Lt. Col. V. Scott May, deputy chief of staff  —operations
Lt. Col. Dave Novotny, standardization/evaluation officer

Southwest Region
Col. Joe Smith, director of operations  
Maj. Israel Perez, standardization/evaluation officer

Colorado Wing
Lt. Col. John Mitchell, Group 4 safety officer 
Maj. Rob Yusko, operations officer

Idaho Wing
Lt. Col. Scott Fisher, operations officer 
Capt. Andrew Jender, Mountain Home Senior Squadron operations officer

Montana Wing
Capt. Jake Ramirez, standardization/evaluation officer 
1st Lt. David Driscoll, operations officer 

Oklahoma Wing
Lt. Col. Mark Overman, standardization/evaluation officer

Utah Wing
Lt. Col. Ken Mattison, assistant operations officer 
Lt. Col. Kent Wright, assistant standardization/evaluation officer
Maj. Steve Holmes, operations officer 
Capt. Curtis Harris, assistant standardization/evaluation officer

Wyoming Wing
Lt. Col. Rod Burnett, operations officer 
Capt. Al LaPointe, standardization/evaluation officer

Matt Baugher, Rocky Mountain Liaison Region regional operations director
Lt. Col. V. Scott May
Deputy Chief of Staff – Operations
Rocky Mountain Region