Civil Air Patrol

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Program Update (April 2021)

SWR sUAS Officer Staff:
SWR POC/DOU: Captain Don Fry, (Don is an AZWG member)

AZ Wing sUAS Officer Staff:
AZWG POC/DOU: Lt John Moore,
AZWG Deputy DOU: Lt Brett Seidell,

AZWG sUAS Email List & Monthly sUAS Meetings
In an effort to limit SPAM, we are setting up a new email list for seniors/cadets interested in CAP’s sUAS Program. Please sign up through the linked Google Form to receive all future AZWG sUAS notifications, such as: Special Meeting Invitations, Updates, Training Opportunities and more! You can also sign up for the monthly AZWG sUAS meeting and the monthly SWR sUAS meeting through the form. At the last SWR meeting, drone manufacturer Skydio attended and talked shop!

SWR CAPF 5U Google Classroom
AZWG worked with partners in the SWR (and beyond) to build a Google Classroom that puts students on a clear path to successful CAPF 5U Evaluation (Drone Check Ride). The Beginner and the Aviation Veteran will both find what they need to succeed. Join the classroom anytime using the steps below:

  1. To access the Classroom, you will need to have (or set up) a “Personal” Google account or an “” google account. Internal IT reasons we can’t change won’t allow access using “” or “” accounts. Watch this tutorial if you need help creating a Personal Google Account:
  2. When initially accessing the Classroom AND when accessing it in the future, be sure you’re ONLY signed into your Personal or AZWG account. This trips people up, since Google allows you to be signed into multiple accounts at once, and this will create conflict.
  3. Log into your google account and follow this Classroom link to get there directly:
  4. Occasionally, the above link gives some people problems, but using the Class Code 3jrtzi to access the classroom generally resolves those problems. Watch this video for instructions on using the code:"

Upcoming AZWG CAPF 5U Virtual Ground School
AZWG is deploying a Virtual CAPF 5U Ground School beginning May 4th and running 4 weeks on Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30pm Arizona. The Ground School instructs directly from the SWR CAPF 5U Google Classroom. Afterwards, we will individually schedule you for Virtual Oral/Preflight Evaluation, then in-person Flight Training, then in-person Check Ride. Distant members can schedule flight training/checkride at the same time, but expect a longer day.

Ground School Qualification Goals

  1. Pilot in Command – Designation as a CAP Qualified Recreational sUAS Pilot in Command (PIC) with Rotary Wing Endorsement. This authorizes you to fly a wide scope of Recreational Operations as PIC within CAP while using CAP corporate sUAS. Typical recreational operations might include: manual flying, autopilot missionsFPV, flying in controlled airspace (with LAANC authorization), flying in uncontrolled airspace, practicing NIST evaluation maneuvers, mapping and more!
  2.  Lead From Where you Are – Students will learn how to establish and lead Insured sUAS AE Flying Events at their Unit, in accordance with all appropriate CAP regulations and AZWG guidelines. Spark interest in sUAS at your Unit by leading an event!  

CAPF 5U Prerequisites?
Join class at any point, but at time of evaluation:

  • Seniors must have level 1 complete.
  • Cadets (of any age) must have Level 1 (Curry) complete.
  • Trainees must have 1 hour of flight time accrued (we can provide that to you).

After the Ground School Ends, Shift Gears – CAPF 5U Study Group
Once the Virtual Ground School is complete after 4 weeks, we will shift format into a perpetual CAPF 5U Study Group on Tuesdays from 6-7:00pm Arizona. Existing or newly inbound AZWG CAPF 5U Google Classroom students can come to ask questions and get quizzed on CAPF 5U content. AZWG Virtual Ground School students and members who signed up for AZWG sUAS emails will be provided the link.

Need A Drone?
Squadrons who produce CAPF 5U Recreational Pilots, but do not have drones, will be assigned a commercial off the shelf (COTS) drone. That said, you should concurrently pursue CAP’s RTF Quad, R/C Airplane and R/C Simulator STEM Kits with help from your Unit’s AE officer. Possession of multiple STEM kits will not count against COTS drone entitlement.

Does everyone need Qualification to fly?
No, but members without qualification MUST be under supervision of a PIC that is current and qualified to the standards of CAP/FAA. Some non-CAP members are authorized to fly under supervision: AEMs, Teachers on an sUAS TOP flight.

What about non-recreational, Emergency Services (ES) operations with sUAS?
Once you move to the ES side of CAP operations, sUAS Pilots need to be certified under 14 CFR 107 FAA rules and must complete the UASMP SQTR. UASMP trainees are also permissible, under supervision of a UASMP.

Is sUAS Training for ES planned?
Yes, it’s scheduled for a Fall-Winter timeframe. Members interested in piloting sUAS for ES should attend the CAPF 5U Virtual Ground School, since 5U evaluation is a prerequisite for UASMP.

I don’t want to fly, but want to be part of an sUAS Team!
We need Visual Observers for Recreational Operations and UAST’s for ES operations! Fall-Winter timeline still applies for UAST training.

I don’t want to be a VO/UAST/UASMP, can I help some other way?
Yes, sUAS Teams can benefit from other support. MSA’s, MRO’s, Missing Person Behavior Specialists, Local Area Guides, Land-Use Gurus, GIS Technicians, AZWGGT; the list goes on!

For more information on the Civil Air Patrol’s national sUAS program, visit this link.

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