Civil Air Patrol

AZ Wing Crew/Plane Head to Texas

Will support aerial photography mission in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey

Aircrew members (l.-r.) 1st Lt Aaron Feller, 2nd Lt Brad Curcio and Lt Col Chris Erdos left Falcon Field in Mesa early on Sept. 6.

A Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182 with a crew of three Arizona-based members aboard left for San Marcos Regional Airport in Texas early Wednesday morning to support the CAP’s aerial photography mission in areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

The crew consists of Lt. Col. Christopher A. Erdos, CAP, the mission pilot, who flies with the William Rogers Memorial Senior Squadron 104 in Tucson; 2nd Lt. Bradley A. Curcio, CAP, the mission observer, a member of Willie Composite Squadron 304 in Mesa/Chandler; and mission scanner/aerial photographer 1st Lt. Aaron R. Feller, CAP, a member of Scottsdale Senior Squadron 314.

Erdos left Tucson International Airport at 6 a.m. on Sept. 6, arrived at Falcon Field in Mesa one hour later to pick up Curcio and Feller, and then left for Texas. After a refueling stop in El Paso, Texas, the crew expected to arrive in San Marcos by mid-afternoon.

Civil Air Patrol aircrews through Monday, Sept. 4, have flown 291.9 hours and generated 135,548 photographs of floods and damage in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, with 279 members from 33 wings participating in the overall mission.

Thirty-eight CAP planes and two full-motion-video planes are involved, said Lt. Col. Stephen Robertson, the Texas Wing’s representative at the Texas Emergency Operations Center. In all, 197 CAP members are deployed at the wing’s incident command post at San Marcos Regional Airport and at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base in Houston.

Arizona Wing’s aircrew will join CAP members from Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin, who are supporting the Texas Wing, along with National Headquarters, Robertson said.

The hurricane-battered area being photographed covers “roughly 255 miles of coastline from the Corpus Christi landfall impact zone to Beaumont and Port Arthur,” he said. “Our collection area goes roughly 90 miles inland, covering approximately 23,000 square miles, including the city of Houston and eight major rivers.” CAP is coordinating with a multitude of search and rescue organizations and other imagery providers through the Texas Air Operation Center in Austin to make sure flight paths don’t conflict.


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