[Editor’s note: We agree with this reader’s analysis.]
Hello. Following your publication of the Civil Air Patrol Lagrange Glider ruling and other stories, we now have a public admission that members reporting to you are beginning to have an impact. Look at what Schmiddy [Mark E. Smith, Civil Air Patrol National Commander] just put out. You are free to highlight and edit as you see fit.
OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL COMMANDER
CIVIL AIR PATROL
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AUXILIARY
MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, ALABAMA 36112-5937
20 September 2017
MEMORANDUM FOR CAP REGION AND WING COMMANDERS
CAP REGION AND WING DOs AND DOVs
SUBJECT: Role of Stan/Eval and Check Pilots in CAP Aircrew Professionalism
1. As members of CAP, we are called to be professionals in all that we do. Our stakeholders – ranging from the Air Force to the parents of our cadets to our customers – expect nothing less. And we should expect it of ourselves and from each other. Aircrew professionalism is a highly visible and key component of our emphasis on professionalism. It is important to ensure that our aircrews operate at a high level of excellence and the entire team – commanders, operations staff officers, instructors, check pilots, flight release officers – play a key role in making this happen.
2. There have been a number of situations recently in which our aircrew members have not seemingly performed at the level of excellence expected of CAP pilots. Some of these situations have drawn scrutiny and undesirable public attention, a blemish that tarnishes the credibility of everyone in CAP, not just those involved. Many of these situations may have been avoidable because a check pilot was on board, but sadly, they still occurred.
3. I need your help to turn this around and it starts with those charged in ensuring the readiness and quality of our aircrew members. First, in concert with commanders, the operations staff at all levels, including our DOs, DOVs and their assistants, should ensure that those individuals serving as instructors, check pilots and examiners are high-performing pilots who can make the tough calls and who epitomize the higher standard our customers demand of us. Don’t pass a pilot on a check ride when the pilot does not meet our standards. Rather, ensure that the pilot receives the remedial training necessary to perform to CAP’s level of excellence. Second, let’s make sure that our instructors, check pilots and examiners are maintaining a high level of flying proficiency, which can be a challenge when they spend a large portion of their time in the right seat. Finally, our individual pilots have a personal obligation to be ready for their check rides, flying proficiency sorties as needed to ensure they are able to perform in a highly qualified manner.
4. I also ask your assistance in ensuring the same quality of professionalism is delivered by our flight release officers. As many of you know, our flight release program will see improvements with the upcoming release of CAPR 70-1. Our FROs are expected to ask the hard questions, use sound judgment and make the tough calls too.
5. I have full confidence in our aircrew members but there’s always areas where we can improve. Help us to make a difference in the level of our aircrew professionalism. Make sure we have the right people serving as instructors, check pilots and examiners, ones who are willing to uphold our standards. Help our check pilots to maintain proficiency. Ensure our pilots are ready for their check rides. Together, we can all make a difference and raise the bar a little more.
MARK E. SMITH
Major General, CAP