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Minnesota Wing Aircrew Training: P-2007, P-2001, P-2028. Observer and Mission Pilot Duties and Responsibilities Crew Resource Management. Aircrew Team. Scanner/Observer Observer Pilot. Observer Duties and Responsibilities. Observer Duties and Responsibilities (during the flight).

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Minnesota wing aircrew training p 2007 p 2001 p 2028
Minnesota Wing Aircrew Training: P-2007, P-2001, P-2028

Observer and Mission Pilot Duties and Responsibilities

Crew Resource Management

Aircrew team
Aircrew Team

  • Scanner/Observer

  • Observer

  • Pilot

Observer duties and responsibilities during the flight
Observer Duties and Responsibilities (during the flight)

  • Primary Responsibility during searches: Visual Search

  • Sight and Identify Search Objective

    • You are the eyes and ears of the incident commander

  • Report Observations - Maintain accurate log

    • Maintain sighting log including precise locations, sketches, or other information on each mission

Additional observer responsibilities during the flight
Additional Observer Responsibilities (during the flight)

  • Assist in avoiding obstacles in flight

  • Assist in setting up and operating radios

  • Assist in setting up and operating nav and comm equipment

    • Allows the pilot to concentrate on safely and precisely flying the airplane

  • Maintain situational awareness

  • Assist in monitoring fuel status

  • Supervising/coordinating Scanners

Observer responsibilities before and after the flight
Observer Responsibilities (Before and After the Flight)

  • Wear appropriate dress for the mission

  • Ensure all credentials are current and carried during the mission

  • Complete sign in

  • Attend all briefings

  • Assist Mission Pilot with planning for the mission

Additional observer responsibilities before the flight
Additional Observer Responsibilities Before the Flight

  • Ensure all necessary equipment is available in the aircraft (properly stowed) before the mission

    • Mission kit with gridded charts, CAPR 60-3, plotter, flight computer, local road maps and binoculars, camera, clipboard, sunglasses, survival equipment, overnight kit, etc. Radio Communication.

  • Assist in avoiding obstacles during taxiing

  • Assist in filling out CAPF 104 based on sighting log

  • Report with the Mission Pilot to Air Search Coordinator for debriefing

Mp duties responsibilities
MP Duties & Responsibilities

  • Primary Responsibility: Pilot the aircraft in a safe and proficient manner, following all CAP and FAA rules and regulations.

  • Second: Remember that you are a pilot, not a scanner.

  • In addition to these duties, the pilot must perform some of the duties of the observer if no qualified observer is on board.

Mp duties responsibilities1
MP Duties & Responsibilities

  • In addition to the duties of Pilot-in-Command:

  • Responsible for obtaining complete briefings and for planning sorties

  • Thoroughly brief the aircrew before flight, including a briefing on their responsibilities during all phases of the upcoming flight

  • Obtain a proper flight release

  • Utilize CRM techniques and procedures

  • Enforce sterile cockpit rules

Mp duties responsibilities2
MP Duties & Responsibilities

  • Sterile cockpit rules; all unnecessary talk is suspended and collision avoidance becomes the priority of each crewmember.

  • Sterile cockpit rules focus each crewmember on the duties at hand, namely concentrating on looking outside the aircraft for obstacles and other aircraft.

  • The rules will always be used during the taxi, takeoff, departure, approach, and landing phases of flight; but the pilot or observer may declare these rules in effect whenever they are needed to minimize distractions.

Mp duties responsibilities3
MP Duties & Responsibilities

  • Fly search patterns as completely and precisely as possible; report any deviations from the prescribed patterns during debriefing.

  • Monitor the observer and ensure all events, sightings and reports are recorded and reported.

  • Fill out all forms accurately, completely and legibly.

Mp duties responsibilities4
MP Duties & Responsibilities

  • Know what goes into the observer’s log

    • to help inexperienced observers

    • to be able to keep the log when riding in the right seat

  • The log is maintained from take-off until landing

  • Includes all events and sightings with geographical position of aircraft noted

  • The Observer Log contains much of the debriefing information entered on the CAP Form 104

    • This info is passed back to the mission coordinator/incident commander

Team concept and communication
Team concept and communication

  • Pay close attention to all briefings

  • Understand the “big picture”

  • Watch for task over-load in yourself and other crewmembers

  • 67% of air transport accidents occur during 17% of the flight time - taxi, takeoff, climb, approach and landing. Keep casual conversation and distractions to a minimum during these phases of flight

  • Begin critical communication with instructions, then explain

Crew briefings
Crew Briefings

  • Mission Objectives

  • Route

  • Weather

  • Altitudes

  • Division of Crew Duties

  • Survival Equipment/Conditions

  • Seat Belts

  • Emergency Exits

  • Emergency Procedures

  • No Smoking Policy

Crew effectiveness
Crew Effectiveness

  • Good Communications

  • Clock Position

    • High, Low, Level

  • Maneuvers

    • Straight ahead

    • Stop turn

  • Small Corrections

    • 5 degrees right

    • 10 degrees left bank

  • External References













Observers log

Observer Log






Inflight Observations


Total Dist


Takeoff Time





Departure Pt.










Check Points




Observers Log

  • Provides a record of

    the flight

    • Preflight calculations

    • Record of observations

  • Basis for debriefing

  • Used to complete CAPF 104

  • Information is forwarded to Incident Commander to guide mission management

  • Good logs can be combined from several sorties to give the Incident Commander a better picture of how the search is going


  • Note both Positive and “Negative” results

  • Don’t Hesitate to Volunteer Info

  • Types of Clues Investigated

  • Use the back side of CAPF 104

  • Used to determine how effective the search was

    • Weather — shadows, visibility, snow cover

    • Terrain — open flat, mountainous, rough

    • Ground Cover — barren, forest, scrub, sparse, dense

    • Other information — hazards, changes from plan

  • Used to calculate the “probability of detection” which is used for subsequent search planning

Crew resource management

Purpose:Understand attitudes and skills that allow each crewmember to participate as part of the team

Properly trained aircrew members can collectively perform complex tasks better and make more accurate decisions than the single best performer on the team.

An untrained team's overall performance can be significantly worse than the performance of its weakest single member.

Crew Resource Management

Crew management goals

Maximize human performance

Understand group dynamics

Assess, mitigate, and manage risk

Manage workload to avoid task saturation or complacency

Improve communication inside and outside flight deck

Maintain situational awareness

Crew Management Goals

Human performance
Human Performance

  • Managing Fatigue

    • Scanning is physically demanding work

      • Consider using search pattern turns as opportunities to stretch muscles

    • Duty day rules apply to scanners and observers as well as pilots (CAPR 60-1)

      • 14 hour duty day max

        • Duty Day is defined as beginning when reporting to work or the CAP activity, whichever occurs first. It ends at engine shut down.

      • 8 scheduled flight hours within a duty day max

      • Under no circumstances will flight time exceed 10 hours

      • 10 hours rest between duty days minimum

Other human performance factors
Other Human Performance factors

  • Turbulence

  • Heat / Cold

  • Light / Contrast

  • Boredom

  • Empty Field Myopia

Group dynamics

Types of authority / Leadership styles


Hazardous Attitudes






Get There It-us

Group Dynamics

The error chain
The Error Chain

  • A series of event links that, when considered together, cause a mishap.

  • Should anyone of the links be “broken,” then the mishap will not occur.

  • It is up to each crewmember to recognize a link and break the error chain.

Workload management
Workload Management

  • Little things can make a difference

    • Help the pilot manage charts, checklists, etc.

    • Manage the CAP radio

  • Consider when to apply sterile flight deck discipline

  • Think ahead

    • use idle time to prepare for next busy activity

Improved communication
Improved Communication

  • Entire crew should participate in briefings and debriefings if possible

    • Otherwise the pilot should thoroughly brief the team

  • Pilot should plan sorties with the participation of the aircrew

  • Don’t be afraid to volunteer information in the air and on the ground

  • Don’t be afraid to ask relevant questions

Situational awareness keeping a mental picture of what is happening and about to happen
Situational AwarenessKeeping a mental picture of what is happening and about to happen

  • Don’t’ fixate, scan the big picture

  • Project ahead and consider contingencies

  • Rotate attention between the crew, the plane (current situation), and the path ahead

  • Speak up when you see SA breaking down

Task saturation
Task Saturation

  • Too much information at one time

  • Too many tasks to accomplish in a given time

  • Usually occurs when an individual is confronted with a new or unexpected situation. Loses SA.

Regaining situational awareness
Regaining Situational Awareness

  • Reduce workload: Suspend the mission.

  • Reduce threats:

    • Get away from the ground and other obstacles (e.g., climb to a safe altitude).

    • Establish a stable flight profile where you can safely analyze the situation.

  • Remember: “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”

How do we get it back
How do we get it back?

  • Trust your gut feelings

  • “Time Out,” “Abort,” or “This is Stupid.”

    • Pilot establishes aircraft in a safe and stable configuration, and then discuss the problem

  • Sterile Cockpit

    • Limit talk to the minimum necessary for safety.

    • Taxi, takeoff, departure, low-level flying, approach, landing


  • Successful missions hinge on each and every member

  • Learn how to use the procedures and tools available to you, and use them correctly

  • Never stop learning

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

  • Never criticize someone for asking questions

  • Practice, practice, practice