On Saturday 27 September 14 the Australian Civil Air Patrol (AusCAP) flew two training missions. The missions were to conduct continuation training and assess members for promotion to P1, P2 and allow observers to practice in flight procedures in accordance with multi crew operations and AusCAP SOP.
The two sorties were shark patrols. The shark patrol track allows AusCAP to train pilots in operations at low level and prepare them for further and more advanced flying techniques required during low level search patterns.
Crews for the flights were as follows:
P1: Graham Williams
P2: Georgina G
OBS: David Maiden
P1: Graham Williams
P2: Luke Burlovich
OBS: Jon Maiden
AusCAP flew two sorties and both flights were very successful. To enable crews to refine skills as necessary, the track chosen for the training was the shark patrol from Barrenjoey Light House to Manly Beach. There are still a few areas that require some polishing but this is what the training is all about.
Flight conditions were hazy due to smoke in the area this however, did not affect visibility. The cloud base was scattered at 4000 feet. We climbed to 2500 feet and remained there until time to descend to shark patrol altitude. The air was a little rough due to the low level cloud but nothing too bad.
The track took us out of Bankstown to Parramatta, Pennant Hills, Hornsby, to Barrenjoey Light House. We descended to 600 feet and commenced tracking south contouring along the coast. Due to the fact two flights had to be conducted the patrols were cut short at Long Reef and we completed a left orbit and tracked back to Barrenjoey Light House. At the light house we commenced a climb to 2500 feet for the return trip to Bankstown following the lane of entry.
I was particularly pleased with Georgina and Luke who both flew very well throughout the patrols. Flying the shark patrol track is a little different to the normal as we fly at 500 feet and at 80 knots with first stage of flap. The concentration levels for the pilot are very high. Georgina and Luke held the required speeds and altitude, a couple of little highs and lows but overall very good. Practice allows us to become more efficient at this type of flying and over the next few months this will happen.
We will be flying more shark patrols as we move into warmer weather. These flights are a great way to introduce pilots to the skills needed for low level and slow flight. They are a pre-curser to the more advanced techniques required for mountain search, sector and creeping line patterns. I will be trying to get aircraft into the air at least twice a month flying various types of missions to perfect skills of all crew members.
The Australian Civil Air Patrol