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October 08, 2007



This sounds like a great idea. I passed it along to my commander.


I used to do this when I commanded a squadron. I'd take my new officers up either in a CAP plane (when it was available) or a rental (which was the usual situation).

I would do one thing that you didn't that I thought was useful. I would have the new officer call home before we took off. I told him to tell his wife/mother/kids/whatever that we would be flying over his house in a few minutes and they might want to come out and wave.

I would fly over his house at 1000 feet, and circle his neighborhood. I would keep circling until he found his house and saw his family out there waving like fools. It would ALWAYS take several circles.

After we landed, I would ask him why he didn't see his clan on the first pass. He would usually mention that he didn't realize how little people looked at 1000 feet. I would then explain that 1000 feet agl is our standard search altitude, and ask him what if, instead of his family in his own neighborhood, he was looking for a lost flight crew or a troop of boy scouts.

They usually got the point. A search ain't just an airplane ride.

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