Texas Wing Flight Competition exceeds expectations

San Marcos, Texas – On Saturday, February 25, 15 Civil Air Patrol officers took to the skies over hill country for a chance to win the first annual Texas Wing Flight Competition. The three person aircrew from Texas Group V (San Antonio region), who held home field advantage, ended up with the trophy after a rigorous day of flying, inspections and tests.

(L to R) Group V team members Lt. Col. Mike Duc and Lt. Col. Roger Corbin from David Lee ”Tex” Hill Composite Squadron and Maj. Jan Wagner from Bexar Senior Squadron proudly showing off their first place trophy.

(L to R) Group V team members Lt. Col. Mike Duc and Lt. Col. Roger Corbin from David Lee ”Tex” Hill Composite Squadron and Maj. Jan Wagner from Bexar Senior Squadron proudly showing off their first place trophy.

“Excellent flight planning, quickly accomplished in this high tempo and realistic environment, was key to our success,” said Lt. Col. Roger Corbin, the mission pilot of the winning team. Lt. Col. Mike Duc served as the mission observer and Maj. Jan Wagner rounded out the crew as the mission scanner. “Crisp inflight crew coordination won the day,” added Corbin.

Texas Wing Group III (Dallas region) came in second place for the competition, and Group IV (Houston region) finished in a very close third.

The big winner of the day, however, was the Civil Air Patrol as a whole.

“When we set this up, we envisioned a good competition with teams vying for points and winning a trophy,” said Lt. Col. Shane Lipson, Texas Wing standardization and evaluation officer, who was in charge of the contest. “It became clear early on that this was also turning into an amazing training event.”

Throughout the competition, situations arose that could potentially occur during real world search and rescue or disaster recovery missions. “One plane had the search equipment break down during flight, so they had to use other techniques to find the emergency transmitter,” Lipson said.

The events included a pre-flight inspection on an aircraft that had been purposefully altered, a quiz on the type of plane most often flown by the Civil Air Patrol, a mission to photograph a nearby dam, a search for a simulated emergency beacon, and a test which required the crews to calculate how much fuel and time would be consumed by their flight.

Operations flowed smoothly at the mission base, held in the hanger of the CENTEX Commemorative Air Force. “We’re thankful for our longtime friends here at the CAF for the assistance, as well as to Berry Aviation for keeping our planes flying,” said Capt. Bob Klett, a member of the local David Lee “Tex” Hill Composite Squadron and the logistics officer for the competition. “Couldn’t have done it without them.”

Many of the staffers at mission base were hopeful that other wings and the Southwest Region would use this event as an impetus to create their own. Lt. Col. Lipson’s counterpart at Southwest Region, Maj. Stephen Hundley, was in attendance to get a glimpse of the operation.

Later in the evening, Lt. Col. Lipson received a call. “Maj. Hundley had already talked to his hierarchy at region to discuss what we were putting together and is using us as a model for what to do.”

For more photos of the competition, click on the photograph below.

TXWG Flight Competition