Civil Air Patrol Pilot


(24 June 2015)

Becoming a CAP pilot is not difficult, but does require dedication and you must be 17 or older. Here are basic steps to become qualified as a CAP pilot (note: some variations to the following steps will exist due to local requirements, however they should track closely to the steps presented below):

  1. Join the Civil Air Patrol and get your CAP ID card.

  2. Completed CAP Professional Development Level 1: Foundations

  3. Contact your unit’s Operations Officer (Ops Officer) or Standardization and Evaluations (Stan/Eval or DOV) Officer to express your desire to become a CAP pilot, you will be advised to proceed with steps tracking very closely to the following to qualify as a CAP pilot.

  4. Obtain a current copy of CAP Regulation 60-1 (CAPR 60-1), CAP Flight ManagementStudy it and become very familiar with it. CAPR 60-1 can be downloaded from the NHQ web site and you will be expected to have a copy of CAPR 60-1 the day of your check ride.

  5. Get a CAP approved flying uniform.

  6. Discuss with the DOV your current Pilot qualifications.  The DOV will go over local requirements and your aviation experience and FAA certifications so that the Leesburg DOV can have a better understanding of where you are, pertaining to, pilot qualifications, ratings and experience. Together you will determine the best path forward.

  7. Become intimately familiar with the aircraft (C-172, C-182, C-182TNAVIII, etc) that you will use for the check ride. This includes systems, emergency procedures, weight & balance, flight release, etc. Also, familiarize yourself with the CAP Aircraft Information File that is kept in the plane. CAP corporate planes are used for 99% of our flying.

  8. FAA Pilot Practical Test Standards. The minimum level of proficiency acceptable is that contained in the current FAA Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the certificate being exercised. If necessary, put in enough flight time with a CFI until you become proficient in ALL of the requirements of the PTS. There may be some of the tasks that you haven’t performed for a while and may probably rusty on. If you are not familiar with what the PTS requires, a copy may be purchased from any pilot shop for about $5.00 or downloaded from the FAA web site.

  9. Follow Published guidance. Follow the procedures listed in CAPR 60-1, CAP Flight Management, and the Instructions on Page 3 of CAPF 5, CAP Pilot Flight Evaluation; and then schedule and successfully complete a CAP Form 5 Flight Evaluation.

Additional Steps for perspective CAP Orientation Pilots (Must be 21 or older):
  1. Obtain a current copy of CAP Pamphlet 52-7 (CAPP 52-7), Cadet Orientation Flight Syllabus, and become very familiar with it. You will be quizzed on it during your check ride. CAPP 52-7 can be obtained online from the National web site. Orientation Flights are a learning and motivational experience for the Cadets; CAP pilots are trained and prepared specifically to provide these flights.

  2. Take the online “Cadet Orientation Pilot Quiz” located in the eServices website on the Learning Management System (LMS) link and print out a completion certificate. Give this to the Check Pilot on the day of your ride.

  3. Advise your check pilot when you schedule with him or her that you would like to become an O-ride pilot. They will then tailor your ride accordingly. Along with a high level of proficiency, we are also looking for knowledge of the Cadet Flight Syllabus and smoothness in your control of the aircraft. Many Cadets are flying for the first time and it MUST be a positive experience for them.

  4. Complete your CAP Form 5 flight evaluation. CAP Check Pilots and Instructor Pilots can and will assist you during your preparation for the check ride. Keep in mind, that on the day of the ride, your Check Pilot is there ONLY to evaluate, NOT to instruct. Review the FAA PTS in advance, be prepared and proficient on the day of your ride and all should do well.