The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has a fleet of over 500 airplanes, and is the largest single-engine aircraft customer for Cessna, on average, purchasing 20-25 aircraft per year. In 2017, two new airplanes were assigned to the Florida Wing and one was assigned to the Marco Island Senior Squadron.
With its sophisticated computerized cockpit, this brand-new plane enables more precise, safer, more accurate, and faster search and rescue, and disaster-related missions. “It provides for more safety of flight with on-board weather and traffic avoidance systems and a latest generation autopilot. It improves the aircrew’s awareness of the in-flight situation and reduces the workload,” said Flight Operations Officer, Major Richard Farmer.
The aircraft is equipped with a Garmin G1000 “glass cockpit” installation, which contains two LCD displays (one acting as the primary flight display and the other as the multi-function display) as well as an integrated communications panel that fits between the two. The primary flight display shows the basic flight instruments, such as the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, the heading indicator, and course deviation indicator.
Marco Island’s geographic location is adjacent to the wilderness areas of the Everglades, and the Ten Thousand Islands, which are heavily used by kayaks, canoes, and small boats. For this reason, the Squadron performs weekly coastal patrols of this area. Their purpose is to keep these boaters and campsite users safe. Beyond members’ funds and volunteer hours, the Marco Squadron relies on community donations to meet essential annual operating
The Marco Island CAP Squadron is involved in Search & Rescue, Disaster Relief, Cadet and Aerospace programs and is aligned with Homeland Security performing twice-monthly flight operations missions. The squadron participated in the photoreconnaissance mission in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, and was the first air sortie dispatched to take pictures of the affected coastline. In total, CAP flew for four days, utilizing over one hundred aircrews and took over seventeen thousand pictures for FEMA and the Florida Emergency Management department.