Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing receives a special aircraft

GA8 Cessna with pilot

CAP pilot check fuel on the Gippsland GA8 AirVan during Operation Iceberg Search and Rescue Exercise. Photo by Capt Ilse House

Civil Air Patrol Kentucky Wing receives a special aircraft in time for Aerospace Open House

Feb 28, 2019


What is Civil Air Patrol (CAP)? It is flying, a Cadet Program, Search and Rescue missions, and Aerospace. Kentucky Wing has nine aircraft in its fleet that are used to conduct search and rescue missions, transport of critical supplies during disasters, and provide aerial photography after storms or major events such as the Hopkinsville solar eclipse.

Kentucky Wing has taken possession of a unique aircraft. The Gippsland GA8 AirVan is an Australian aircraft designed specifically as a bush plane.  It can land on and take off from short unimproved airstrips.  It has seating for 6 passengers and two air crew members. The other planes seat two to four passengers.

Its six seats make it an excellent platform for carrying CAP cadets (ages 12-18) on cadet orientation flights. This is the first flight many youth will experience and can have a profound impact on their future goals. It is an important part of CAP’s cadet and aerospace education programs.

The six passenger sets can be easily removed, leaving a large cargo area capable of carrying 1,500 pounds. Cargo can easily be loaded through the sliding door located on the left side of the aircraft.  It can carry about 1,000 to 1,500 pounds more than CAP’s Cessna 182 and 172 aircraft. This makes it an asset for carrying emergency relief supplies during natural disasters.

The GA8 has the same ability to search for downed airplanes as CAP’s other aircraft and makes an excellent photo platform for CAP’s disaster relief missions.

It will be on display at the Northern Kentucky Senior Squadron Open House on March 7 at Lunken Airport. Civil Air Patrol is having a week-long Open House event that highlights CAP’s Aerospace Education Program in celebration of the Governor’s proclamation of Aerospace Day.

The Aerospace Program provides many opportunities for adults and youth to experience everything from rocketry, quadcopters, astronomy to flying in CAP aircraft.

In addition to aerospace, CAP inspires youth to become the next generation of leaders in its Cadet Program. The program centers around its core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect for ages 12-18. They have the opportunity to develop a passion for flying, leadership, cybersecurity as well as many other careers that they are exposed to while serving their communities.

In Emergency Services, both cadet and adult members train for disaster relief, search and rescue, and humanitarian missions. They develop skills in radio communications, first aid, and train to help our community in a state of crisis.

There are seventeen squadrons that are participating in a Statewide Aerospace Day Open House from March 4-13. Locations include Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Louisville, Lexington, Northern Kentucky, Danville, Somerset, Frankfort, Owenton, Owensboro, Kentucky Lakes, Fort Campbell, and Paducah. Please visit for more information.

Civil Air Patrol offers teens and adults with experiences that build skills while serving their community.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 26,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information

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GA8 Cessna

GA8 Cessna

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