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Become a CAP Pilot?

New - Become a CAP Pilot

See our new Video and PowerPoint series on becoming a CAP Pilot, here


Becoming a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) pilot can be rewarding and fulfilling, as a CAP pilot you are given the opportunity to fly aircraft that are part of the world’s largest fleet of Cessna aircraft.  In CAP’s status as the auxiliary of the US Air Force, the Air Force provides funds for us to procure aircraft to replace our aircraft as they age and to perform maintenance.  The Air Force expects all CAP members to respect the aircraft that we’ve been provided and treat them as their own.  In California, CAP’s fleet of aircraft primarily consists of C-172, C-182, C-206, and gliders, all of which you could get checked out in.

As a pilot, you’ll come into the organization as a VFR pilot but depending on your experience you can quickly move from VFR pilot to transportation pilot to mission pilot.  You’ll also have the opportunity to work with and fly cadets as an orientation pilot if that’s what you enjoy.  Some of these terms may be new to you but the information below will hopefully clear things up. 

Although getting checked out in a CAP aircraft can seem difficult at times, it really isn’t that difficult when you look at what you can do for yourself, your community, and the nation.  To assist you, the unit should provide a mentor to help you through the process.  If you ever have questions don’t hesitate to ask your unit leadership, they’re in the position of leadership because they value CAP’s mission and all its members.

Although getting checked out in a CAP aircraft can seem difficult at times, the following web pages will provide information on CAP’s tracking system, the Web Mission Information Reporting System (WMIRS), and a checklist of things to accomplish as you progress as a CAP pilot.

You can get a copy of the Pilot Onboarding pamphlet, CAPP 70-12 on the publications website at: Pilot Onboarding Pamphlet

If you haven’t already, the first thing you need to do is find a unit in your local area.  You can find a unit and point of contact by going to the “Join” tab located on the top ribbon of the website.


Below is a listing of the primary pilot qualifications. By clicking on the qualification link, you will be taken to a page that will step you through the qualification requirements.

In addition to the list above, if you are a CFI or CFIG you could possibly become a check pilot or check pilot examiner.

To find a local Squadron in your area use the Squadron Locator


The Majority of CAP Aircrew and Aircraft links are located under Programs/EmergencyServices at

These include:

Pilot Onboarding -

Aircraft Operations -

Education & Training -


Aircraft Garmin Training -

MISSION (SAR) RESOURCES --- Nearly ALL Mission Related Training Resources is located at the National Emergency Services Academy (NESA) under Mission Aircrew School Curriculum -


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