WKVI’s own Ted Hayes was given the opportunity to go airborne with members of Indiana’s Wing of the Civil Air Patrol last Friday as they conducted a simulated mission to provide aerial photographs of bridges along the Kankakee River. Col. Mark Reeves of Indianapolis was the Commander for the evaluation. Lt. Col Matt Creed, First Lt. Lindsay Shipps, and Captain David Sinn conducted the mission.
The mission was designed to simulate a scenario in which an earthquake accompanied by storms could have caused damage to bridges, so the Civil Air Patrol was called to photograph bridges along the Starke/LaPorte County line. This is a common scenario for the Civil Air Patrol, but Shipps mentioned that they are also often called in to look for downed aircraft.
“A lot of our business is to look for a plane that may have crashed or a plane that may have had an incident in flight,” she explained. “Sometimes we’re asked to help with that. That will involve different types of capabilities for us. We’re probably not going to be focusing on taking photographs that day. We’re going to be focusing on using our directional finding equipment to locate that aircraft as fast as we can and to make sure everybody is safe.”
The Civil Air Patrol is comprised entirely of volunteers and funded by taxpayers. Key missions assigned to the Civil Air Patrol include emergency services, such as search and rescue and disaster relief operations; aerospace education, and cadet programs. They also provide assistance to the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other civilian agencies, and often help law enforcement by performing flyovers of predetermined areas to identify and locate illegal substances.