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CAP Talk  |  Recent Posts
CAP Talk  |  Recent Posts
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 1 
 on: Today at 01:42:26 PM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by Live2Learn

I would say most CAP activities are low-risk. But most of the actual "field missions" (including training) are fairly high-risk, if you want to use those descriptions.


I don't consider our typical aerial photo missions or ELT searches high risk at all.

Now if CAP starts a crop dusting mission .... or maybe tree top level power line patrols.   ;D

I would agree with this. If the crew does their jobs, then there is not really a high risk. The issues arise when everybody wants to ignore their training and CRM and step out of their lane.

I agree some mission profiles are low risk.  Usually "O" flights are fairly benign.  So are transport missions (during day VFR) or most SAR/DR over non-forested agricultural and grasslands.  For example, when we fly over Kansas for nearly any mission.  Under those mission profiles should the engine quit or other mechanical issue (including fire) dictate an immediate landing we (usually) have  really good options that might ding up the aircraft, but that are entirely survivable.  Take the same mission profiles that involve low level SAR, DR (and even some AP missions) to Colorado, most of the PNW, lots of CA, AZ, NV, etc. and it's an entirely different story.  FWIW, transport flights (based on the NTSB record) are much higher risk under IFR or night conditions, regardless of the terrain below.  Even the 'best' technique and most prompt 'book' response to an unexpected mechanical issue often has very few "good" options for the pilot and crew when the aircraft is low energy (low elevation, inhospitable terrain) or visibility is compromised.  For example, some of the country I flew over this past summer in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon had NO good landing sites within glide distance, despite being 3,000' - 4.000+ AGL.  Throw in weather and smoke (yes, SMOKE - I'm sure many on forum recall the significant amount of smoke from wildfires in western states) and the risks rapidly begin to climb.  It's a stretch to say that good CRM inoculates against bad outcomes when our mission requires low level VFR or flight where potential emergency landing sites are few and very far between.  Yes, CRM is very helpful.  But...   FWIW, with the exception of a suicide and the glider tow mishap that resulted in three non-CAP fatalities that I gleaned from the past decade of NTSB accident reports (above), the three fatal/SI outcomes occurred on transport and SAR missions.  SEL IFR, SEL night are sorties CAP trains for and flys.  Both are  high risk given the elevated potential for a very bad outcome when we can't SEE terrain or locate where we might set 'er down with minimum potential for inadvertent loss of control (for example, when a wing hits something and initiates a cartwheel, or our choices are between landing uphill on a steep rock face or in the tops of a mature forest).  Let's not try to minimize the risks of CAP mission profiles.  There are several very good reasons why the US Department of Interior's Office of Aviation Services (https://www.doi.gov/aviation) and the USDA Forest Service prohibit SE FW piston IFR (day and night) and night VFR ops...

 2 
 on: Today at 12:57:26 PM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by THRAWN

I would say most CAP activities are low-risk. But most of the actual "field missions" (including training) are fairly high-risk, if you want to use those descriptions.


I don't consider our typical aerial photo missions or ELT searches high risk at all.

Now if CAP starts a crop dusting mission .... or maybe tree top level power line patrols.   ;D

I would agree with this. If the crew does their jobs, then there is not really a high risk. The issues arise when everybody wants to ignore their training and CRM and step out of their lane.

 3 
 on: Today at 12:17:49 PM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by etodd

I would say most CAP activities are low-risk. But most of the actual "field missions" (including training) are fairly high-risk, if you want to use those descriptions.


I don't consider our typical aerial photo missions or ELT searches high risk at all.

Now if CAP starts a crop dusting mission .... or maybe tree top level power line patrols.   ;D

 4 
 on: Today at 11:31:38 AM 
Started by Eclipse - Last post by cnitas
This will be the first year we didn't make the cut since it was initiated, and we have never intentionally tried to check the boxes. 

Reviewing the data we missed it by a hair.... There were 3 items we could have leaned on to pick up the certificate.  We were sitting at 41 cadets on Aug 31, and we met 5 criteria.  We missed the % cutoff on a couple of items by <5%. 
GES by 4% and O-Rides by 2%.  Basically if 1 more cadet had done both of those things we would have made it.   Additionally, we did our last AEX project last week, so not in time for the QCUA deadline.

This was our first overall cadet membership down year in a while, so I think that hurt the numbers.








 5 
 on: Today at 10:27:20 AM 
Started by Eclipse - Last post by Eclipse


See this link or the attached for the official list.  342 units won earned received the award this year.
https://www.capmembers.com/cadet_programs/library/quality_cadet_unit_award.cfm

So I'm curious.  For those units not receiving the award, what's the pinch point?

 6 
 on: Today at 09:31:21 AM 
Started by Ethan Larsen - Last post by TheSkyHornet
One problem is that during the training up to the Mitchell, most tests are open book. A quick Ctl-F <searchterm> will find the answer to the questions in the PDF.  NO prior reading required.
...
I've looked over a cadets shoulder when she was reviewing the questions after she failed the test for the sedond time.  Some of the questions are so "off the wall" and trivial that I don't know if I could answer enough Questions correctly to pass the test. 


Welcome to the era when answering the question correctly suffices over understanding the logic behind the question.

Can't say I'm not guilty of Ctrl-F a time or to on things I thought were a waste of my time. So I can't hold that over their heads. Our cadets don't see that the exact same way. There are some things that we just fail to see the importance of. Frankly, I don't think I'm necessarily wrong on those of those perspectives.

But I, too, have cadets who take the same test repeatedly and just can't pass. You can only do so much to help them work through it.

 7 
 on: Today at 09:25:32 AM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by TheSkyHornet
That risk would change depending on the circumstances of the flight. Under ideal, textbook conditions, you'd have a risk that varies based on whether or not it's a standard training sortie dodging waypoints, an orientation flight, etc. Then factor in the hazards of stresses and fatigues of crew members, weather, environment, operational demands, and the risk fluctuates and builds.

I would say most CAP activities are low-risk. But most of the actual "field missions" (including training) are fairly high-risk, if you want to use those descriptions.

But any regimented, standardized organization that operates aircraft, or even ground teams for that matter, are more likely to counter those hazards because they are trained to a standard with stronger lines for reporting safety concerns/incidents and more oversight. But that does not negate the fact that those hazards still exist. If people start to get into that mindset of "It doesn't happen often, so it's very unlikely," the standard of safety begins to droop, and it becomes more probable that an incident will occur.

A lot of people get weary when things become so regimented and nothing adverse occurs. It's unfortunate that it usually takes an incident (or accident) to remind people why we need to stay frosty.

 8 
 on: Yesterday at 11:18:07 PM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by Live2Learn
I agree the CAP flying we do is NOT "low risk".  Apparently, that carries over into even training, check rides, and glider ops.

So what risk level is it?


Is CAP's incident rate higher then the norm for the general pilot population?  You can't compare orgs, because no
one else has as many planes or sorties in GA, so statistics are incomparable at that level.

Dunno if it's higher or lower given the absence of data on CAP  incidents and the somewhat challenging nature of pulling numbers together from public sources.  I've heard anecdotal accounts of maintenance issues like cracked cylinders and other engine problems that suggest it's a good idea to keep powerplant health in the forefront of consciousness.   I don't recall seeing or even hearing the conclusions of an engine issue study in my region that I was told was ongoing four years ago.  FWIW, I've seen some pretty good data elsewhere that quantifies the ratio of NTSB reported engine problems (consistently reported year after year by NTSB as number 2 or number 1 in what the agency calls "defining events").  The ratio is either depressing (it's about 5 engine failures per engine failure accident in the NTSB db) or very encouraging (because most engine failures are handled quite well... well enough to be 'non-events' as far as NTSB and FAA are concerned).  But that ratio is for the GA fleet, not the CAP fleet.  I don't know what the numbers are for CAP, and I expect not many other people do either.  They may be about the same as the GA wide numbers for SE, piston, production aircraft... or something different.  Again, the CAP numbers are opaque.  But, all that said, engine failures don't seem to be a really big problem for CAP in terms of accidents as reported by the NTSB.  But maybe it's just luck.  Consider this:  If we prang multiple CAP aircraft each year during engine out maneuvers in check rides are at least some of our pilots likely to respond sub par should the real thing happen?  I mean, Iwe EXPECT to do an engine out on a check ride!  How much easier is it to be successful then when we are primed, spring loaded, and ready with the 'right' responses?    I know of three (real) CAP total engine failures in the last five or six years where pilots landed successfully with minimal or no damage, and several more where a blown jug required superior piloting to get the aircraft safely on the ground (and without accident or incident).  Again, CAP doesn't publish the data, nor have I seen any substantive articles or summaries available to the aviating membership.    You are probably in a better position within CAP  than I am to understand why.

 9 
 on: Yesterday at 10:19:29 PM 
Started by ghost22 - Last post by Jester
I'd say:

- start with a CAPF 50-1 and go over what each rating means: https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/F501_039F5287C1BDA.doc

- take a uniform inspection scorecard and show them what they need to hit an "Excellent" in each category.  Show them how to military tuck a shirt, or show them shirtstays, or cardboard behind nametags/ribbons, how to shine shoes/boots, etc.  It's all out there for you to learn if you don't already know: https://www.capmembers.com/media/cms/Inspection_Cards__4up_E36E6839CE6C4.pdf

- You can also take the Cadet Oath and break it down piece by piece, going over what each line means, how it ties to Core Values, etc.

- We use a printed tracker for each promotion, which has all the requirements and they get them signed off as they complete them.  A quick review of this kind of document can help you hold them accountable to keep up their progression.


 10 
 on: Yesterday at 09:17:45 PM 
Started by mdickinson - Last post by Eclipse
I agree the CAP flying we do is NOT "low risk".  Apparently, that carries over into even training, check rides, and glider ops.

So what risk level is it?

Thousands of people fly gliders, learn to fly, and inhabit busy, controlled and uncontrolled airfields every day.
Incidents are news because they are rare, and "clusters", unless you can show otherwise, aren't actually "clusters"
because they aren't related in any way that can be compared.  They are just coincidental in the same way that prolonged
periods without incidents are.

6-8 months of the year cadet injuries are rare because most activities in the greater US occur indoors.  Come summer
the incident rates go up due to normal active-kids injuries.  You could call it a cluster, but it's really just a function of
ops tempo and probability.

The only thing CAP does that might be more "risky" then normal, is lower flying and circling an object, but it's not like
pilots don't do that all the time as well.

Is CAP's incident rate higher then the norm for the general pilot population?  You can't compare orgs, because no
one else has as many planes or sorties in GA, so statistics are incomparable at that level.

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