Sunday, May 31, 2015

Groups 5+2 Airborne Photography Ground School

By 1st Lt Karin Hollerbach, photos by Lt Hollerbach

A total of 13 students completed the Groups 5+2 Airborne Photographer (AP) Ground School held at Oakland airport this weekend, hosted by Squadron 188. 

Capt Sullivan
Capt Eichelberger (while Teaching at
a Prior Ground School at OAK)
Capt Michael Sullivan and Capt Donald Eichelberger both flew up from Southern California to teach the Ground School on Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, following two consecutive evenings of webinars taught by Capt Dennis Gauci. 

Many thanks to all 3 of these dedicated CAP members who made themselves available for countless hours leading up to (and no doubt following) this training. 

The AP rating requires a fair amount of  dedication by AP-Ts and APs with in-depth training as well as ongoing practice to maintain proficiency. 

Members of the AP Ground School Class
Members of the AP Ground School Class
The AP rating requires members to be proficient in the use of DSLRs in addition to CAP-specific planning and implementation requirements. The study involves diverse subjects such as proficiency in handling several camera models and GPS devices, photography theory, sortie planning, coordination among the aircrew (including the Mission Pilot (MP) and the Mission Observer (MO) in addition to the AP her/himself)., in-flight procedures, and post-flight processing of images.  In addition, APs are trained to be aware of CAP regulations guiding the use of photography and other considerations.  No wonder the Ground School along is essentially 3 days worth of material!

The class also gave APs (and aspiring Skills Evaluators) Maj Maggie Wang and Lt Hollerbach a chance to help out with the class, in order to start getting our feet wet in teaching the Ground School materials. 

The students in this class came from Groups 2, 5 and 6, including 2 members from Squadron 188:  Maj Kathy Johnson and 1st Lt Gabriel Fletcher-Hernandez.  (Of course, we also like to remind ourselves that Capt Eichelberger used to be “one of us”, having been a valued Squadron 188 member prior to moving to Southern California.)  All students passed the Ground School requirements and will no doubt be looking forward to future hands-on practice in the air.  

The next opportunity to complete the airborne part of the current training will be in June at Sacramento Executive Airport, KSAC.  The instructors will select the candidates from among those students that successfully completed all ground-based requirements.  In addition to providing AP training, the DRE in Sacramento will enable qualified and trainee Base Staff and UDF members to train.

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