CAP Hunts Down Stray ELTs, Missed Flight Plans


Every pilot who flies into Wittman Regional Airport during AirVenture tries to put his or her best foot forward but some come up a little short. While there have so far been no major accidents or injuries at the show (as of Saturday afternoon) pilots do make mistakes and that’s where the Civil Air Patrol comes in. CAP crews were on duty throughout the event tracking down stray ELT signals and hunting for aircraft whose pilots forgot to close flight plans. “By [Friday morning] we had 32 ‘finds,'” said Lt. Col. Kathleen Wiley, of Biloxi, Miss., who was on duty in the North 40 aircraft camping area with Cadet First Lt. Kayla Galarneau, of Butte, Mont., and Cadet Capt. Warren Martin, of Roanoke, Va.

“We compete against the other patrols,” said Galarneau as she and Martin swung an antenna attached to a radio direction finder around trying to isolate an ELT signal. Most false signals result from hard landings. And most open flight plan culprits are Canadian, Wiley noted. Hundreds of CAP kids from all over the country help out at Oshkosh and most stay at a camp on the field.