Montana Wing mountain search pilot Capt. Ed Sondeno is pictured in front of Livingston Civil Air Patrol’s Cessna 182 aircraft.
Livingston’s Civil Air Patrol Squadron has acquired a plane, but now it needs a place to park it.
Greg Brainerd, who helped to start the squadron this summer with his daughter, 18-year-old Heidi, said the Cessna 182 was given to the local Crosswinds Composite Squadron by Bozeman’s Civil Air Patrol.
The blue and white plane is a 1984 model with approximately 3,000 flight hours. It’s call sign is N6503E.
The plane has flown in several searches in the Paradise Valley already and has helped conduct dozens of searches in southwestern Montana.
“It’s one of the best behaved airplanes I’ve ever flown,” said Brainerd, the group’s commander. “It’s very stable, a very forgiving airplane.”
The plane currently stays in Billings, but the squadron wants to have it closer. It’s equipped with a sub-meter GPS, a locator beacon receiver and a multiband radio, which could be useful for search and rescue efforts, according to an email from Brainerd.
The Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. With a plane based locally, Brainerd said they’ll be able to assist Park County Search and Rescue and fly other missions, such as flood monitoring. The aircraft and a trained crew can be made available to local law enforcement at no charge, Brainerd said. The squadron has about a dozen members, with several cadets and seven senior members. The group currently meets at the National Guard Armory on Mondays at 6 p.m.
The Air Force takes on the cost of maintaining and fueling aircraft for Civil Air Patrols. They also cover expenses for training flights and search and rescue operations, but they don’t pay for hangars, Brainerd said.
In some places, planes are stored outside, but Brainerd said the harsh conditions here make that proposition less than ideal. It costs about $150 a month to rent space in a hangar, he said. The Civil Air Patrol is looking for donations to pay for the rent or a place to park the plane.
“I do a lot of outdoor activities, and I’d sure like to have an aircraft with a trained crew looking for me, so I’m paying the first month myself,” Brainerd wrote in an email.
To help, contact Brainerd at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 223-0134.
- Source: http://www.livingstonenterprise.com
Cessna 182R Skylane, N6503E: http://registry.faa.gov/N6503E