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Virginia Civil Air Patrol responds to aircraft distress beacon in Manassas

September 14, 2020

The Virginia Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) successfully located an aircraft with an active Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) at the Manassas Regional Airport in VA after being tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). On Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel Tim Day, CAP from the Prince William Composite Squadron had completed a renewal check ride when he was contacted by Colonel Dean Gould, CAP, the assigned Incident Commander of the mission, to find and take appropriate action to locate an ELT.  Prior to the flight, Lt. Col. Day and his check pilot, Capt. Ryan Dlugash, had heard the beacon on the emergency channel and reported it to air traffic control but were not assigned the mission.

After tracking down the beacon to one of two hangars at the Manassas Regional Airport, the airport operations manager contacted  the tenants of the hangars, and the tenant of one hangar had already confirmed it wasn’t their beacon. The other tenant came and gave access to the aircraft, where the beacon was found and silenced.

Safely returning home, Lt. Col. Day shared, “I credit Virginia Wing’s emergency services training program with preparing me to perform a variety of mission tasks, ground or air. The more diverse training a member has, the more they are prepared to serve their community, state, and Nation in any scenario.” In supporting the Virginia National Guard, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and local relief programs, CAP’s Virginia Wing continues to support the community while staying safe and following COVID preventative measures.

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