Civil Air Patrol


Hi everybody,

I went to a civil air patrol meeting yesteday. I’m not sure if I want in or not. I would like to find a cheaper alternative to renting but when not on a mission they youd pay $30 + fuel in a 172 which is then like $80. That is still a savings of about 20-30.

Just wondering what everyone’s thoughts are on the civil air patrol. I’m not a big military guy, I’m just looking for some fun flying group.



CAP’s not for you then. You will need to stick to the military way: short hair, clean, pressed uniforms, shiny shoes, etc.

I suggest you read the CAP web page to determine if your desire to fly cheaply is enough to have the discipline to be in a military organization.

Quite frankly, my opinion is that the ONE and ONLY reason a person should join the CAP is to help others and not because he can get rent an aircraft cheaper.


have you been a member of CAP?

its not just for the cheap flying, i want an aviation group that is fun. my home base is filled with a bunch of uppity people who dont have any fun.


Not a member but my uncle was a commander for many years. I’ve learned a lot about it from him.

If your home base is filled with a bunch of “uppity people,” how about starting your own group?

I’m sorry but when you say “I’m not a big military guy, I’m just looking for some fun flying group,” I really don’t think the CAP is for you. It is hard work and it is military oriented. While they may have fun, their main job is locating downed aircraft. This involves not only flying to locate the aircraft but also plain old grunt work on the ground.


I’ve been a member for 12 years. It’s much more than flying, but there are pleanty of members who just fly. They also have the cadet o-ride program where you take up a cadet and show them how the a/c works. Every CAP squadron is different, so it’s important to check more than one out and not judge based on one unit.

Their new Web site is


If you have any interest in Emergency Services, Aerospace Education (inside and outside of CAP) and Leadership training (for yourself and
youth in CAP) That would be the ONLY reason to join.

There are some VERY limited opertunities for COMM work, become a Ham Radio operator and join ARES for Emergency Services part in MY personal opnion.

If you are an adult and want to fly go find a good FBO and CFI to do your flying. The guys that join for those limited reason are happier going that route.

I am a PVT pilot MEL with IFR and do NOT fly in CAP. A number of reasons but mainly because there are a ton of folks that do the flying and my background is in the ES ground side of things.

I was a cadet until pulled kicking screaming to what the cadets call “The Dark Side” at 21 (required age to change) I wsa a cadet from about age 15 or 16. I stayed active until about 30 years old. I rejoined CAP when my son turned 13.

The point is DO IT for the Community Service asspect NOT the “I get to Fly cheap” point of view.

There are plenty of Flying Club types in CAP who forget completly the that there are THREE Main function that CAP serves … Aero Ed, Leadership and Emergency Services (Flying is not it’s own funciton it is part of ES and Disaster Relief.

Hope that was helpful.

No matter what you do be sure and attend several meetings as a guest or visitor at at least 2 maybe 3 squadrons. The on the lookout for units with Mom and Dad in charge and son or daughter as commander on the cadet side IT CAN WORK OKAY or it can be a disaster … where everything is done to fit what the kid (not the young adult but the KID needs on a resume. Ex Apollo)

For a fun flying group find a club or better yet JOIN a local EAA chapter ( and be SURE to go to AirVenture!!!

For cheap flying there are a lot of Cub type aircraft and the likes that use 5 to 8 gph and are a blast to fly! Remember “Real Pilots Do Not need a nosewheel” Sorry, had to add that one of my planes is a Piper J-4A 1939 Cub Coupe 5 gph at about 100 mph on 85 hp.



Its not just “to fly cheap.”

Its not even that cheap to fly the CAP aircraft $30 per hour + fuel. Thats just about how much I pay to rent.

I already have my private, I’m not just in it for training.

I was just getting general opinions on the CAP program from a senior member point of view. Weather it is worth it or it is just a bunch of people who want to pretend to be USAF


And that is exactly what you got … I am a current Senior Member and past cadet in Civil Air Patrol.

As the cadet oath says “be of service to my community state and nation” if that applies to you come on in … if not find some other group for fun flying … I recommend the EAA, I am a member and we always have a good time … and not all of it has anything to do with homebuilds.



It should not be a bunch of people pretending to be the Air Force. I’m a squadron commander and about half of my officers are also active duty. I also served on active duty, but I actually got more out of CAP than I ever did in the Air Force. The mission is “Citizens Serving Communities: Above and Beyond.”


Hello folks, new around these parts and saw this and felt the need to add my 2 cents to this discussion.

I am also in CAP but since I work in Europe currently am on Patron status (no grade just SM=Senior Member and in NHQ). Like some other people here I am ex-military (in my case Army). I have spent some time in training while at CAP and worked with some very fine cadets and Commanders in Utah, New Jersey, and Las Vegas.

CAP is very military-like and has regs, laws and rules simular to the Army and Air Force. Having said that it doesn’t mean that its not for you. It is not however an ideal option to only get to fly cheaply.

Cap does General Emergency Services which is also Search And Rescue, since I am a First Responder myself I can tell you that its alot more than “just” flying.
There is alot of responsiblity that also goes along with being a CAP officer or cadet and being in a drill, mission or exercise. I would like to believe that it helps cadets get a sense of direction from great Senior Members that work together to help the community. Like many things you get what you put into it.

Here are some suggestions to flying cheaply

1.) Join a Flying Club
2.) Buy a block of hours at your nearest FBO
3.) Get a home build kit (and build it) but also do this with a group of people that have either already built one or know how to.
4.) Join a glider club, either as a tug plane pilot or glider pilot, or both (this is the cheapest way to fly but also takes alot of time away from you and the family).
5.) Fly an ultralight or VLA

That’s my advice. In Germany and Europe in general I pay about 8 a gallon for normal unleaded gas, and about 190 plus tax an hour for a 152…

I also pay per landing around 20 $ depending on which airport I land at.


P.S. Hope this helps, if you need anymore info just email me.

P.S.S. If you have family or friends currently serving that need care packs let me know. (here is the website for Unit support–>


:laughing: :unamused:


Linkie no workie Sgt. Mike.

Are the 2AC sponsored soaring schools/clubs still open at Bad Toelz/Munich and Zwickau?




I was in the CAP for two years but eventually became tired of it. There were too many pilots and not enough aircraft in our squadron for everyone to get in some flying time and therefore there was a lot of competition amongst pilots, the cadets were even struggling, with O flights every 4 months when there should be O flights every month. Eventually I decided it wasn’t for me and moved on… the choice is up to you.