Pursuant to RCW 47.68.380, WSDOT Aviation Division has legal responsibility and authority for aerial search and rescue in Washington. WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services executes this mission, including training and qualification, in accordance with WAC 468-200. Much of the human and aircraft resources are provided by WAWG CAP and Washington Air Search and Rescue. WAWG CAP and WSDOT work closely together on training standards, events, and exercises.
CAP members may train to complete CAP ES aircrew qualifications solely under CAP authority. Those members may fly any CAP mission except actual search in Washington. Members wishing to participate in actual SAR missions must obtain WSDOT qualification. WAWG CAP and WSDOT conduct joint aircrew training that provides members the opportunity to earn qualifications for both CAP and WSDOT concurrently. WSDOT first requires completion of its Orientation Course.
Aircrew schools are a set of integrated classroom and flight events geared toward efficiently training and qualifying a batch of trainees to uniform standards.
Classroom training consists of 2-3 days (depending on the qualification) of lectures and exercises, culminating in a test.
Some courses include an additional 1-2 days of technology training on the equipment CAP and WSDOT use.
Flight training consists of 2 days of training culminating in a check ride.
The flight exercises are executed the same way an actual SAR operation is run, to indoctrinate trainees in the full group operations environment and allow qualified personnel to practice their proficiency. A full mission base is staffed and all procedures used in real operations are used in the training environment.