Hanscom Composite Squadron

Civil Air Patrol - US Air Force Auxiliary

Mission Observer

This Guide focuses primarily on the initial Aircrew position of Mission Observer.  Your Delta Flight Commander, will provide assistance and guidance for a successful completion of this portion of your training.

Civil Air Patrol missions are flown utilizing the crew concept. The Observer is a non-pilot aircrew position that is required to be on board for a mission to be flown. The Observer has distinct duties. Missions are conducted to complete various objectives such as gathering digital images for local civil authorities, to searching for downed aircraft and many other missions as assigned.

The Observer sits up front to the right of the pilot. The Observer performs navigation, communication and electronic and visual search duties during the mission. As an Observer, you tell the pilot where to fly. The Observer assists the pilot with VFR See and Avoid requirements throughout the flight. You report the time information the Scanner is collecting by FM and VHF radio back to the mission base. The Observer operates the electronic search equipment attempting to narrow the search area when an aircraft or personal emergency locator transmitter beacon identified. In addition, after you assist the pilot navigate to the assigned location, you assist the Scanner by looking to the ground searching for the objective of the mission. During the mission, the Observe is frequent communication with mission base reporting your aircraft's location and relaying important flight time information. You will utilize the latest in aircraft navigation and communications equipment to accomplish your assigned mission.