Both Lt Michelogiannakis and Lt Choate accomplished a number of flights each and were successful in received their accompanying sign offs. Lt Michelogiannakis achieved his Mission Observer wings and Lt Choate achieved his Mission Scanner rating.
|Lt Eric Choate standing in front of CAP445
CAP445's First Find
Written by Lt Col John Aylesworth
CAP445 was on a training sortie near the Sutter Buttes on Sunday 25 August with aircrew members Maj Randy Weatherhead (Mission Pilot Trainee), Lt Col John Aylesworth (Mission Pilot Mentor) and Chris Baker (Mission Scanner Trainee). The crew was re-tasked to land at Lincoln (LHM) airport to assist a ground team DF a "no play" 406 MHz beacon for a mission opened early the previous morning.
|CAP445 at Auburn Airport
After getting bearings in the air confirming LHM as the likely location the crew landed. While on approach the Becker/Rhotheta RT-600 direction finder indicated bearings pointing to the east side of the field from a group of hangers. After landing, the aircraft was taxied up and down hanger rows until they "had it surrounded" and pretty much pinpointed to one hanger based on bearings while on the ground and Intel gathered by the ground team from locals at the airport in nearby hangers.
The crew's procedure had been to taxi 10-20 feet and stop in an open intersection between hanger rows, wait until the next 50 second burst, then taxi another 10-20 feet and take another bearing, turning where appropriate in the indicated direction. This worked very well. After returning to base, the Incident Commander (IC) thoroughly debriefed the crew using Google Earth and asked them to describe procedures and bearings. The IC confirmed that the following morning the airport manager had accessed the identified hanger and found the 406 MHz beacon.
Congratulations to the crew and CAP445 on its first find!
Pictures courtesy of Lt George Michelogiannakis, and Lt Eric Choate