Sunday, November 24, 2013

Nov 5, 2013 “All Hands” Meeting & Special Presentation

By Lt Col Juan Tinnirello, PAO

Lt Col. Juan Tinnirello and Maj. Steve
Renwick, Group 2 Commander
During this monthly meeting the following awards and Emergency Services Ratings were given to members of Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188.

Commander’s Commendation Award
Capt. Luis Rivas, 1Lt Gene Rugroden, Lt Col Juan Tinnirello.
Capt. Luis Rivas and 1Lt Gene Rugroden

Achievement Award
The Civil Air Patrol’s Achievement Award is given to a member when the circumstances of his or her performance are above and beyond those of the member’s peers.
2 Lt Robert Adams, Capt. Don Eichelberger, 2Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez, Lt Col Roger Glenn, 1Lt Jordan Hayes, 1Lt James Hipp, 2Lt Kenton Hoover, Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson, 2Lt John Stevulak.

Certificate of recognition for Lifesaving
The Certificate of Lifesaving is awarded to members of the Civil Air patrol who save a human life.
Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson, Capt. Jeff Ironfield,
Maj. Steve Renwick, Group 2 Commander
Capt. Jeff Ironfield, Capt. Chris Johnson, Capt. Kathy Johnson.

Level III- Grover C. Loening Award
The Grover Loening Award is given to CAP members who completed Level III of the Senior Member Professional Development program. It recognizes those members who have dedicated themselves to leadership and personal development in the CAP. The award is named for the aerospace manufacturer Grover Cleveland Loening.
Capt. Stephen Deford.

Charles E. 'Chuck' Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award
Seniors participating in the Aerospace Education Program for Senior Members (AEPSM) earn this award.
Capt. Yudis Coreas, SM Dan Lunsford.

Red Service Award
Awarded at the end of two years to members in good standing.
1Lt. James Hipp - 20 years, 2Lt Gregory Gai - 2 years.

Emergency Services Badge
1Lt Rex Beach, 1Lt Pat Bitz, 1Lt Gene Rugroden, SM Dan Lasford, 2Lt Adam Kelly, 1Lt Al Chavez, 2Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez, 2Lt Robert Adams, 1Lt Georgios Michelogiannakis.

1Lt Georgios Michelogiannakis, Maj Frank Riebli.

2Lt John Stevulak.

Group 2 Officer of the Year
Lt Col Juan Tinnirello

Special Presentation by Brian Brown
Capt. Brian Brown and his wife, Jayann
During the meeting Capt. Brian Brown, a member of the Consumnes Fire Department, related his 1966 model Cessna 172 trip on Memorial Day weekend.  His wife and younger daughter were on the trip to visit the older daughter in Iowa.  As it happens many times, the weather forecast was not as accurate as described and they were forced to make an unplanned stop at an airport 50 minutes away from the destination.  After they looked and believed the front had passed, they resumed the trip, but not too long later they found themselves surrounded by bad weather and forced to lower the altitude to see if they could find a way through.

Suddenly they were pushed by down drafts and hit a tree with the wing tip and then the ground very violently.  Miraculously, they survived the crash, but the following 15 hours of danger and rescue efforts were very dramatic. Finally, the rescue team reached them and they were taken from the mountain to a hospital.

Capt. Brian Brown and Maj Noel Luneau, Squadron 188 Commander
They wrote a book, called “Rescued” where all the details are recorded about this amazing story of a crash that could have been fatal, but they survived.

Thank you Capt. Brian Brown for sharing your amazing story and having your wife with you to participate in the recollection of the events.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Cessna 182 in its new hangar
The members of Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188 wish to thank California Wing (CAWG) for the generous opportunity to utilize a 2012 Cessna 182 with the G1000 cockpit. This report summarizes how Squadron 188 used this time and aircraft to train its pilots, promote CAP and fulfill its three primary missions.

Since the Cessna 182 was assigned to Squadron 188 and until the end of September, the Cessna 182 has flown 160 hours. The hours flown by the Cessna 182 in those six months is 74% higher than the California average, which is 91.85 hours calculated for the time period April - September 2013. This Cessna 182 is the fourth most flown CAP airplane within CAWG, and is within ten hours of the top three aircraft with the most hours flown.

G1000 for Mission Observers Course
Squadron 188 also organized a search and rescue exercise (SAREX) weekend specifically for Mission Observers to learn the G1000. This exercise and a number of others that the Cessna 182 has attended resulted in three new qualified mission observers for 13 total qualified mission observers, the second highest per squadron in CAWG. Our members have also flown the aircraft to numerous other SAREXs around California, and participated in the Evaluated Exercise. These missions, which included the Cessna 182, are key to encouraging members of Squadron 188 and other nearby squadrons to participate and earn or renew ES ratings. Their participation helps CAP members maintain proficiency in the various ES ratings required to support these missions, thus benefiting Group 2 and CAWG.

One of 300 young people introduced to CAP
In 2013, the Cessna 182 was flown to three air shows by members of Squadron 188 and used as a recruiting tool for the Squadron, as well as various Group 2 squadrons. The aircraft is a popular draw for the young and old, raised awareness among the general public, and played an important role in recruiting new members. An estimated 300 young people were introduced to the the Cessna 182 cockpit and gained a better understanding of CAP and aerospace education.

The Cessna 182 and Squadron 188 aircrew members played a key role in a real world mission when they were called to transport tissue from SoCal up to the Bay Area. This mission resulted in three life-saving awards for the crew members. The aircraft was also credited with two non-distress finds and flew a number of CD and WADS missions.

Instructor Pilot 1st Lt George Michelogiannakis
Squadron 188 hosted two G1000 ground school seminars to help pilots transition to the glass panel platform. The result of the seminars, and readily available aircraft is that Squadron 188 now has six pilots qualified to fly the G1000 and seven others queued up for Form 5 checkrides. Squadron 188 has organized those trainees by matching them with instructors in order to expedite the training process, and we are proud to have six new CAP G1000 pilots, as well as a G1000 instructor, who will increase our capacity for training.

Oakland Hangar
In January 2013, Squadron 188 negotiated with the Port of Oakland for the lease of a large hangar on the North Field. Squadron 188 members volunteered many hours over four months painting and fixing up the hangar. The hangar not only shelters the plane from the elements, it also serves as a recruiting tool and a classroom. Members often practice their G1000 skills in the hangar with the aid of an APU.

Thank you CAWG for entrusting Squadron 188 with the newest Cessna 182.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Why I joined Civil Air Patrol

By SM Eric Choate, CAP
Asst Recruiting Officer and Mission Scanner
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188

California Wing

I was at Oakland Airport for 10+ years, and Hayward for 8+ before I even noticed the Civil Air Patrol.  How is that possible? And how did I become aware of the Civil Air Patrol let alone join?  Well, 445CP was hard to miss at the Hayward open house in May of 2013.

445CP at the Auburn SAREX with Capt Eichelberger,
SM Choate, and Lt Michelogiannakis.
She was so shinny and beautiful, I had to stop and ask "What does the Civil Air Patrol do?"  I was greeted by a guy named Ken who answered with "I'll show you", as he proceeded to guide me into the cockpit.

I thought "well, this will be a waste of time, I own a plane."  Then I saw it, like the sun shining down through the clouds, the most beautiful instrument panel I'd ever seen up close.  I thought "Why is he showing me this?  Don't you have to be Military to fly this?  I assumed since everyone was wearing flight suits or camo."

As I drooled over the G1000 glass panel Ken asked if I was a pilot.  I responded "Yes!"  To which he responded "You know, you could fly this..."  I said "What? How? Where do I signup?"  Well, after he demonstrated some of the cool features of the G1000, he introduced me to Chris Johnson.  Chris proceeded to explain what CAP did, and how he participated along with his wife, and how it sounded like CAP might be a good fit for me.  Chris struck me as a real stand up guy, so that night, with the image of that G1000 still fresh in my mind, I checked out the website. The more I read the more I couldn't believe it.

What an amazing organization and amazing group of people.  Shortly thereafter, I attended some meetings, completed my application and before I knew it I was attending a SAREX at Oakland, then another at Auburn, then the Watsonville airshow with 445CP.  I myself, a member for only 2 months, showed off her beauty to countless individuals both young and old.  Since then, I've continued to be amazed at the dedication and commitment of the squadron188 members.

I have yet to fly 445CP due to a backlog of pilots waiting to do the same, and can only imagine the wasted talent and enthusiasm for CAP in general and squadron188 in specific if 455CP is relocated.  I for one would seriously reconsider my involvement and level of commitment to squadron188 and CAP in general without 455CP.

This would be a loss for both CAP and squadron188 as I have already contributed my skills to help provide better reporting for squadron188, and help bring internet connectivity to the squadron188 hanger.

These contributions are only the beginning, as I'm also skilled in construction, auto repair, RC planes and helicopters, model rockets, and wilderness first aid.

Not to mention, I'd be happy to spend my weekends passing on my love of flying to our youth who in Oakland, more than any other city in the country, need to be exposed to something besides guns, drugs, and violence.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Livermore Airport Open House

CAP booth at Livermore Airport
By SM Eric Choate, CAP
Asst Recruiting Officer and Mission Scanner
Amelia Earhart Senior Squadron 188
California Wing

Amelia Earhart Squadron 188 members Lt John Stevulak, Lt Gene Rugroden, SM Eric Choate, Lt George Michelogiannakis, and SM Karin Hollerbach attended the Livermore Airport Open House on October 5th. It was a gorgeous fall day and a lovely way to spend the late morning / afternoon. Squadron 188 shared the booth with members of Cadet Squadron 18.

It was great having the cadets there, as they were impeccably attired and a pleasure to watch in their interactions with the public. CAP can be proud of their participation.

Mustang warbird display
A number of visitors stopped by our booth and asked about both pilot and non-pilot positions. For the non-pilots, the radios in the CAP vehicle were pretty cool! Not everyone realized that CAP has a lot to offer for both pilots and non-pilots!

We loved having parents and their kids come by to learn about CAP including its cadet and aerospace education programs.

SM Karin Hollerbach being interviewed by KKIQ
Several people were a bit shy about approaching, so reaching out to them as they stood, watching from a distance, was well worthwhile and gratifying. One young man (17) is hoping to join the Air Force and was thrilled to find out he could join CAP now.

Livermore’s radio station KKIQ came by the booth and did a mini interview, to help spread the word. These guys are great.

Classic cars on display
Wandering around the airport was a lot of fun, as there were cool cars and planes on display, not to mention a lot of friendly people (and dogs) hanging out.

All in all it was a great day. We recruited a number of Cadets for Squadron 18 and Concord, and a few Senior members too.

Audio from a KKIQ interview with SM Karin Hollerbach.

Pictures courtesy of SM Eric Choate