10:13 AM

N.C. Pilots Train for Mountain Flying

Maj. David Hartman
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Asheville Composite Squadron
North Carolina Wing

Voice of experience

Flyhing above mountainous areas was the focus when the Asheville Composite Squadron hosted a training session for 13 pilots from across the North Carolina Wing.

Eight instructor pilots trained the participants in conducting search and rescue and disaster relief operations in conditions over mountainous terrain.

Flight operations in mountainous areas present unusual challenges. Participants received over three hours of ground training to learn how to calculate aircraft performance when flying from high-altitude airports and how determine the effects of mountain weather.

The pilots flew training missions to practice search patterns and techniques as well as operations from high-altitude airports in western North Carolina including Macon County and Jackson County.

Maj. Scott Stevens, Asheville Composite commander, oversaw the event. “The challenge of flying in mountains requires specialized skills,” Stevens said. “Pilots who live here know these challenges and practice these skills often. Pilots who live farther away may not get as much practice with mountain flying.

“It is important for CAP pilots from across North Carolina to practice these skills, because our aircraft are vital tools for finding people lost in difficult and rugged terrain,” he said.

More than 45 members supported the training activities in various roles, including ground instruction, radio communications, flight scheduling and flight line operations. Cadets assisted by directing aircraft to parking, securing the planes and cleaning them in preparation for the next flight.

Photos by Maj. David Hartman