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Thread: CAP anyone involved?

  1. #1
    Member hntr's Avatar
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    Default CAP anyone involved?

    I'm a low time pilot that moved here recently that is interested in learning more about flying up here. I tried to get involved with the Birchwood Squadron but it seeemed that no one there could even take the time to tell me what I had to do to get into a plane. Is anyone involved in the polaris squadron in Anchorage? Are they more receptive to new people?

    There was a ton of experienced guys there which is the kind of company I'm looking for (learn from the other's experience). Just didn't seem all that organized or interested in helping new guys get started.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    There has been a problem with various squadrons across the State with the good-old-boys treating their squadron like a private flying club.

    The reduced number of actual SAR missions during the last year has not helped morale much either. The Troopers are trying to justify the money they have poured into AST aircraft and thus are not very quick to call upon the CAP for missing persons, missing hunters, boats and snow-machiners. They only call after they can't find anything. By then it is usually too late.

    Another problem with keeping members interested has been a flood of odd-ball paperwork during the last couple of years. It is really not all that hard, but we all have a few folks in our squadrons who refuse to do it, and insist on dragging everyone else down the tube with them....

    The Squadron at Merill Field is pretty active and they meet once a week. Not all of them, but a good number. They have always treated me well when I visit and seem to be a group of go-getters..

    Don't be discouraged and try again. Maybe there was something odd going on right then, "like some sort in in-house tension" or who knows what.

    If you lived closer to Homer I would have you in our squadron right flippin now...

    If you still get the run around, send me an e-mail at dragonfly@alaska.net
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  3. #3
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    Default Birchwood

    I'm surprised to hear you had that problem at Birchwood. I was a member of the Brichwood Squadron for several years, during that time the squadron had a "mentor" program to address that very problem. When a new member joined they were assigned to a veteran member that would decode the CAP process. Unless your completely turned off by your experience at Birchwood I'd give them another try. Wes Erb is the commander at Birchwood now and you'll not meet a nicer guy. He's a captain for Fed Ex so he's gone quite a bit but go back and talk to him about your experience and see if he will get one of the members to help you out. Polaris squadron at Merrill field used to be really bad about ignoring new members. We would get a new member at Birchwood about once a month saying they had tried Polaris and were turned off. I think things have changed at Polaris, new people running things. Just be sure to tell someone you're needing some help on the next step, and trust me there are lots of next steps when figuring out the CAP.

  4. #4
    Member hntr's Avatar
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    I think I'll give them both another try

  5. #5
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    Default CAP Flying

    Hello,

    I'd first like to say as the current Birchwood CAP Squadron Commander, I truly apologize if your experience at Birchwood was less than what you had hoped. Actually, we take great pride in welcoming folks in from all different backgrounds, pilots or not, and try very hard to make sure everyone who takes the time to come by gets a warm and heartfelt welcome. Obviously, we must have had an off night, sometimes we get distracted by the details of the squadron and let our hosting skills go slack. The pilot group at Birchwood is made of all kinds, low time Private pilots to seasoned airline types to veteran Bush rats, all of whom bring their skills to the table to support the community through their favorite hobby. It's a great group, and I truly hope you will give us another chance to meet and show you what we're about. We've distilled our initial training program now to a 10 step process that is easy to follow and largely online.

    We meet every Tuesday at 7:30pm at the Birchwood CAP hangar, and I can be reached anytime to show you around the place. As mentioned in the previous post, I'm gone frequently, but we have a great cadre of folks that would be happy to give you a nickel tour if you're ever inclined. Or just stop by on a Tues night to say Hi again, we'd love to see you.

    Fly safe,

    Wes Erb
    Birchwood CAP Sq Commander
    akcavok@gmail.com
    (907) 441-2382

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