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How to become a Coast Guard Auxiliary Pilot or Observer

by Malcolm Dickinson, 4/15/98

Note: this document reflects my (possibly incomplete) understanding of the process. However, it should be a good guide to get you started. If you find that any information here is inaccurate, please call me so that I may make corrections.

If you are a pilot and would like to become a pilot for the Auxiliary:

1. Join a flotilla. To do this you will need to study for and pass your BQ test.

2. Study for and pass your Air Operations test. When you take the test you must specify whether you want to be a pilot or an observer. 

3. Fill out the two forms to become a pilot, and mail them, along with copies of your pilot documentation, to the ADSO-AVQ, whose address is given below. 

4. Take an aviation swim test given by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. This test will involve the use of Coast Guard inflatable life vests as well as getting into a Coast Guard life raft. This test is given each year at the District 1SR annual meeting in March. 

5. Attend water egress training when it is offered. 

6. Attend classroom SAR training. This will cover patrol procedures, patrol areas, communications, and how to fill out patrol orders and mission reports. 

7. Obtain a flying uniform (blue jumpsuit or sage green Air Force flight suit). Used sage green flight suits are available for about $50 at www.olcnet.com . Sew on "Coast Guard Auxiliary" breast patch, U.S. Flag shoulder patch, and CGAS Cape Cod shoulder patch. Order leather wings nametag.  

8. Take one flight in each of our three patrol areas as an observer. 

9. After logging 10 hours as an observer and/or co-pilot, you can become a pilot by taking a SAR checkride with one of the District 1SR check pilots. Call the ADSO-AVO for more information.

If you are an airplane owner and want to be able to use your airplane: 

1. If you co-own or share an airplane, you'll need a signed agreement by your partner(s) allowing you to use the airplane on Coast Guard business. 

2. If your airplane is owned by a corporation, you will need to include a copy of the corporate resolution allowing you to use the airplane on Coast Guard business. 

3. If you don't have shoulder harnesses installed in the front seats, you'll need to have them installed. Keep an extra copy of the FAA Form 337 to submit with your aircraft paperwork. 

4. Along with the materials mentioned in step 3 above, also submit those listed under "Aircraft." 

5. The airplane must have an external antenna that can be connected to a handheld marine band radio. For most planes this means purchasing an extra external antenna and mounting it underneath the wing, then running a cable into the back seat area so the observer can attach it to the radio. Another option is installing a King adaptor in the panel which allows you to plug the handheld right into the panel. When you plug it in, it automatically disconnects your #2 comm radio and uses its antenna. It's a neat mod and doesn't slow you down like an extra antenna would. Either way, the cable should terminate with a BX jack so that it will fit onto the radio. 

6. The following will need to be mailed to the ADSO-AVQ: 

A. Forms Coast Guard form 2736B First District SR form 1DAB98-1A

B. Pilot materials Copy of pilot certificate Copy of medical certificate Copies of the last 2 pages of the pilot's log book, showing total time and PIC time Copy of the log book page showing most recent BFR Photo of pilot (it is not necessary for the pilot to be in uniform)

C. Aircraft materials 

Copy of airworthiness certificate 
Copy of registration certificate 
Copy of airframe, engine, and propeller log book pages showing the most recent annual inspection 
Copy of insurance policy 
Photo of aircraft 
Corporate resolution (if the airplane is owned by a corporation) 
Shareholders resolution (if airplane is co-owned or part of a share or club) giving permission to the member to use the aircraft as a Coast Guard facility 
FAA Form 337 for external antenna, if not already installed 
FAA Form 337 for shoulder harnesses, if not already installed

District Aviation Staff in D1SR: see www.netskeds.us for current list