Delaware Wing
Main Content

Becoming a Pilot in CAP




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 provide and treat them as your own.  CAP’s fleet of aircraft primarily consists of C-172's and C-182's all of which you could get checked out in. Civil Air Patrol operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft and needs a steady stream of pilots, observers, scanners, photographers, ground crew, and others.

As a pilot, you’ll come into the organization as a VFR pilot but depending on 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 help 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

The following guide was produced by the Stan/Eval shop of PAWG

Disclaimer: Per FAR 91.3 & 91.103 the Pilot in Command (PIC) is responsible for the operation of the aircraft. This office will exercise due diligence to it’s utmost ability to ensure the data herein is current and accurate. Ultimately the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the PIC.
2.  Obtain your CAP ID card and your CAP uniform (minimum blue CAP polo shirt, gray pants, black shoes).
3.  You must complete Level 1 Orientation, Cadet Protection, Equal Opportunity, Operational Security, and the Aircraft Ground Handling Safety Video prior to becoming a CAP Pilot.
4.  As a basic qualification, you must be an FAA licensed Private Pilot or above, hold a current class 3 medical certificate and be current to carry passengers.
5.  Your logbook must contain a current flight review, in accordance with FAR 61.56.
Study this material
  1. CAP Flight Management – CAPR 70-1
  2. Cadet Orientation Flight Syllabus, only if you wish to become a Cadet Orientation Pilot (requires at least 200 hours PIC). – CAPP 60-40
  3. AFROTC MOU, If you wish to fly funded AFROTC flights (requires at least 300 hours PIC) you will need to review the AFROTC MOU.
  4. Refer to the POH for the desired aircraft type – Read the POH and know the Aircraft’s Speeds, Emergency Procedures Bold Face items, and Systems.
  5. If your WMIRS skills are weak contact your Squadron Operations Officer or a CAP IP/Check Pilot for a review.
Complete these Tests
For an initial or annual CAPF 5 flight check, take and pass the current online CAPR 70-1 Form 5 Annual Examination–Powered.   
You must complete it not more than 60 days before your flight check.  Print the completion certificate and bring it with you to the flight check.  This examination is not required if you have a current CAPF 5 and are simply adding a new aircraft qualification.
If you are or wish to become a Cadet Orientation Pilot, also take and pass the current online Cadet Orientation Pilot Quiz, either with or without ROTC. This is also an open-book test and can be found on e-services LMS. Print the completion certificate and bring it with you to the flight check.
Complete these Documents
Download and print two copies of the CAP Form 5.  Fill in all of the top boxes except the Additional CAP Endorsements section.  If you anticipate flying a CAP aircraft in IMC then check the Instrument box and be
prepared to demonstrate instrument proficiency. If you have 200+ hours PIC time, then check the Cadet Orientation Pilot box so you can fly cadets on Orientation Flights.

Prepare for the Flight Check
AIRSPEED Video – How to Pass Your CAP Form 5 Checkride
Your CAPF 5 oral evaluation will be based mainly on the following regulations, so you should refresh your knowledge of them before the flight check.
  • Parts 61 and 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.
  • Aeronautical Information Manual.
  • CAPR 70-1, CAP Flight Management.
  • CAPP 60-40, Cadet Orientation Flight Syllabus, if you wish to become a Cadet Orientation Pilot (requires at least 200 hours PIC).
  • AFROTC MOU, If you wish to fly funded AFROTC flights (requires at least 300 hours PIC) you will need to review the AFROTC MOU.
  • Take the CAPR 70-1, CAPF 5 Annual Examination within 60 days of your check ride.
  • Review the CAPF 5, Attachment 5 to CAPR 70-1, and the current FAA Private Pilot Airman Certification Standards for the class of airplane to be used. If you are instrument rated and plan to seek instrument privileges in CAP aircraft, you should also review the current FAA Instrument Rating Airman Certification Standards. These documents will tell you how the flight check will be performed and what maneuvers you may be required to demonstrate. If you are not sure how to perform a maneuver, consult a publication such as the FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook or Flight Training Handbook, Gleim’s Private Pilot Flight Maneuvers, or ASA’s Visualized Flight Maneuvers for High-Wing Aircraft.
  • Review the Emergency Procedures section of the checklist for the aircraft you will take the checkride in.
  • eServices validation:  Enter in all of your FAA Pilot qualifications using eServices->My Operations Qualifications->FAA Requirements links.  Then use the link->Checkride/Questionnaires for entering questionnaire and checkride information.
  • Upload the scanned copies of the FAA Documents documents using eServices->My Operations Qualifications->Pilot->FAA Questionnaires->View/Upload Documents->Pilot link and eMail the Squadron Commander to let him know that they are awaiting validation.  This must be done before you fly.
Schedule your Form 5

If this is your first CAP Form 5 check ride, your CP will have to get the flight release, but he will question you on the proper procedure during the oral portion of your exam.
Bring to the Form 5

Aircrew Uniform
  • Wear an approved CAP uniform (Minimum blue CAP polo shirt, gray pants, black shoes).
  • Be prepared, relax and have a successful check ride. (Remember that the CP is only there to evaluate your flying skills, this is NOT an instructional session).
Post Form 5
  • Remember, you are not yet a CAP Pilot, and cannot act as PIC in CAP aircraft, until the Squadron Commander and/or Stan/Eval Officer has copies of all your paperwork, validated all of your pilot qualifications and you are approved as a CAP VFR Pilot in e-services. Once this is all done, you can then act as PIC and can wear the CAP Pilot aeronautical rating (wings).  Go to eServices > My Operations Qualifications > Checkride/Questionnaires > Airplane for entering the questionnaire, Statement of Understanding, and checkride information.
  • Upload the scanned copies of the CAPF 5 using eServices->My Operations Qualifications->Pilot-> Checkride/Questionnaires->Airplane->View/Upload Documents->Pilot link.
  • When you have completed your Form 5 check ride and all of your information has been validated you will then able to be released to fly CAP aircraft. All flights are required to be entered into the Web Information Reporting System (WMIRS). You will need to obtain a user ID and Password to gain access. Once you have access, you may log on and review the WMIRS Instructions which will detail how to enter the information on your flights. WMIRS can be accessed through eServices.
Mission Pilot
Contact the Squadron Emergency Services Officer (ESO) to begin training for Mission Pilot.


Pilot and Aircrew Links





© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.