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Virginia Civil Air Patrol Members Assist with Overdue Aircraft Search

February 28, 2023

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Members of Civil Air Patrol’s Virginia Wing responded to support the Virginia Department of Emergency Management in locating an overdue aircraft early Tuesday morning. 

Civil Air Patrol received the state agency’s request for assistance from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center just after midnight. By 3 a.m., a direction-finding team was out searching for the aircraft’s emergency beacon. 

Another Virginia Wing search team was dispatched by 8:30 a.m., and by 9 a.m. three Civil Air Patrol aircraft were in the sky to begin aerial searches in partnership with State Police and the Department of Emergency Management. Using radio communications, the aircraft and the search teams were able to coordinate with each other and the mission base. 

Search teams were able to locate the aircraft’s wreckage. 

“Despite challenging conditions, our aircraft were airborne as soon after dawn as the weather permitted,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Shields, incident commander for Civil Air Patrol’s search effort “This response shows Virginia Wing's ongoing commitment to our search and rescue mission and external agency partners, and we will respond to any call, day or night. 


About Virginia Wing 

The Virginia Wing of Civil Air Patrol, with 22 squadrons spread throughout the Commonwealth, has approximately 1,800 members, 12 light aircraft, and 29 multipurpose vehicles. These assets are available to federal, state, and local governments, emergency responders, and law enforcement agencies to perform search and rescue, homeland security, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, and counterdrug missions. For more information on the Virginia Wing, visit the wing’s website at and Facebook page at 

About Civil Air Patrol 

Founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later, Civil Air Patrol is chartered by Congress as a nonprofit organization for the purposes of youth development, aerospace education, and to promote general aviation. In an auxiliary role as a Total Force partner of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training, and education. Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures. 


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