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Pell City Squadron Alabama Wing Civil Air Patrol

April 2010
May 1st-2nd 6th 8th 8th-9th 13th 15th 20th 26nd NCPSC AUO Cadet meeting 1800-2030 Commanders Call MXF 0900 TCL Air Show (Blue Angels) Cadet meeting 1800-2030 Officers Meeting 1830-2030 Squadron FTX/BSA Troop 514 Tng Cadet meeting 1800-2030 Cadet meeting 1800-2030 Officers Meeting 1830-2030

Commanders Corner:
Keep in Touch.
You have heard this advice all of your life. Everyone is always telling you to keep in touch. This is good advice. Keep in touch, stay connected. This advice is good even when you are flying. Not long ago, I was working with one of our CFIs doing my Flight Review. We had finished the ground portion and were going to go flying. As soon as we had taken off, my instructor switched the radio to Cheaha repeater and reported CAP 161 monitoring Cheaha. The response was immediate, CAP 161 can you accept a mission to search for two beacons going off near Mobile? We were able to accept the mission and flew over five hours, helping to locate two different beacons. The FM radios installed in CAP aircraft and ground vehicles give us the ability to communicate over large areas. The closest repeater to us is on mount Cheaha. The Cheaha repeater has the largest usable area, or footprint, because Cheaha is the tallest mountain in Alabama. This allows us to communicate over a very large area using one channel. There are other repeaters strategically placed throughout the State to give us the service area that we require. We have become accustomed to operating the FM radio while operating on a mission or during a SARX.

Checking in, or Keeping in Touch, anytime you fly gives aircrews practice using the equipment. Sometimes you can talk with other aircraft or ground units. It also gives Mission Planners and Incident Commanders real time information on which aircraft are flying and in which area they are operating. This is critical information when an emergency occurs. The goal in an emergency is to task the closest available units to the emergency. When you factor in the time to travel to the airport and preflight the aircraft you realize that an aircraft already in the air saves a substantial amount of time. This is not the first time that a situation like this has occurred. In this situation they were in the process of contacting a closer aircrew and we reported we were in the air. We had two mission pilots on board so we were able to accept the search mission. If we had not had the capability to accept the mission due to not having a crew or some type of aircraft limitation, we would have reported that and awaited further instructions. This functionality allows us as an organization to respond quicker to emergencies. This is one of our primary goals. But this goal can only be realized if we all get in the habit of Checking In on the local repeater anytime that we are flying.

Stay in Touch

Captain James T Gosnell Squadron Commander, 118



First Lieutenant Ron Harlan

Safety Corner:
I subscribe to several aviation periodicals, partly because I am interested in it and partly because I get some good safety ideas and info from them. Such is the case in my recent FLYING magazine where I found an article on the Air Forces Safety Program. Fiscal 2009 was the safest year for the USAF since it came into being, as we know it, in 1950. The first full year of the new USAF, they had 1,744 Class A Mishaps. In 2009, they had just 17. A Class A Mishap is any accident that involves a fatality, a permanent disabling injury, or damage to property over a certain dollar amount. The 2009 performance gave the force a 0.8 rate per 100,000 flight hours for this type of mishap. A quick comparison to the General Aviation rate for fatalities of 1.17 per 100,000 hours shows that this is good. But since the Class A Mishap includes accidents that dont include fatalities, the best GA number to compare it to is the accident rate, which in 2008 was 7.1 per 100,000 hours. To characterize this in general terms; the USAF had an accident rate that was only 1/9 of the GA rate. Considering that the type of flying done by the USAF, training often in low flight over mountainous terrain and other high risk operations, this is very remarkable. True, the force has some very modern equipment but it also has C-130s, U-2s, and B-52s that have been in service for 55 years. So what is their secret? Well, there is no one thing. The safety culture, if you will, is propagated from the highest level of the organization and there -2-

is a well-coordinated unit called the Safety Center within the USAF that helps get the message out. One clear difference in the force is that all air force accidents are investigated by the air force itself. Another difference is that all accident investigations must be concluded and published in only 30 days. Those of you familiar with the civil equivalent of this process know that you rarely get even a statement that the accident happened in that length of time. Additionally, anyone involved in the mishap that works with the investigation team is immune from disciplinary action as a result of the investigation. Furthermore, no findings of the safety board can be used against them. GA does not enjoy that type of immunity but filing an Aviation Safety Reporting System report on an incident in which you are involved may get you some protection. Incidentally, in case you are wondering, CAP accidents are covered in the GA reporting not the Air Forces. So what can we learn from the Air Force? Firstly, our safety efforts must be systemic; they cant just come from a safety officer or the commander looking over our shoulder. Our procedures, from flying on a routine photo mission to a cadet campout, must always incorporate the items that keep us all safe. The USAF is big on Operational Risk Management and we should be too. And remember; the best safety device in the world is the one you see in the mirror every morning!

Stay Safe! Ronald Harlan, Safety Officer/Squadron 118

Cadets Page

the Pell City Ground Team. Thanks, guys for all you did to make WESS run smoothly. During the month of May we have two events scheduled. The first is to attend and help the Tuscaloosa squadron with a recruiting booth at the Blue Angels airshow on May 8. Also, we will be assisting a local boy scout troop to obtain their emergency preparedness badge. This training will be done the weekend of May 14-15 and we will also introduce them to what CAP does with some limited ES work. The Cadet Oath I pledge that I will serve faithfully in the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program and that I will attend meetings regularly, participate actively in unit activities, obey my officers, wear my uniform properly, and advance my education and training rapidly to prepare myself to be of service to my community, state, and nation.

April brought Easter this year and also brought promotions. During the last 30 days we have had nine promotions. The following cadets were promoted to Cadet Airman: Tiffany Chandler and Nathan Howard. Promoting to Cadet Airman 1C were: Allaina Howard, Allison Howard, Michael Norwood and Christian Norwood. Daniel Smith promoted to Cadet Senior Master Sergeant and John Daniel Smith promoted to Cadet Staff Sergeant. Peter Randolph also promoted to Cadet Captain and was presented his Earhart Award by our Wing Commander Col. Lisa Robinson. This month was the final weekend of WESS training for the 2009-2010 cycle. We traveled to Maxwell to do make up tasks and participate in the graduation exercise. During this cycle Wess Morris obtained his GTM-3 rating. Welcome aboard Cadet Morris to the Pell City Ground Team. Also, during this cycle, Cadets Daniel Smith and Brian Scott concluded their advanced team training and received their GTM-1 and UDF qualified ratings. Congratulations are also due to 1 Lt. Eddie Shurbutt for toughing out the ground team leader training course to receive his GTL qualifications AND for being the Distinguished Graduate of the Ground Team Leader School. Way to go guys!!! I would like to also mention that Cadets Rachel Shurbutt, Peter Randolph, Trent Johnson, and Jerrod Finlay also attended this WESS cycle and were part of the support staff that helped with the training. They are all GTM-1 rated and members of -3-

Capt Cindy Bennett AL-118 DCC

Cadet Jessica Ernest sitting and Cadet Wess Morris