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New York Wing

New York CAP at work when disaster calls

While other civilian air traffic was grounded, a single Civil Air Patrol Cessna from the New York Wing was tasked with flying over Manhattan’s Ground Zero the day after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This mission threw wide open the doors to one of today’s major CAP missions — aerial photography. Since then, CAP’s aerial photo capabilities have been expanded to generate thousands of shots during a single flight, which are then threaded together technologically to provide panoramic views with precise GPS coordinates.

The wing’s aircrews were again documenting damage after Hurricane Sandy swept along the Northeast coastline in 2012. Wing ground pounders, meanwhile, helped out at shelter locations, loading and unloading supply trucks with food and clothing for the storm’s more than 22,000 affected households.

In 1970, upstate New York residents socked in by heavy snowfall were advised by radio to mark an “H” for “help” to alert CAP planes that assistance was needed. In 1996, the New York Wing responded to one of America’s worst air disasters when a TWA 747 exploded 9 miles off the Long Island coast. All 230 on board were killed, but CAP provided invaluable support to family members and recovery crews. And in 1998, when the Northeast experienced a devastating ice storm, wing members set up communications networks, transported officials and worked in Red Cross shelters.

Flying almost directly over the World Trade Center site, this is what the CAP aircrew saw a day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — debris on rooftops and an epicenter of destruction still smoldering more than 24 hours later. In the end, it took 99 days to extinguish the fire. This piece of ground in lower Manhattan became the final resting place for nearly 3,000 people. Photo by Lt. Col. Warren Rattis, New York Wing
Flying almost directly over the World Trade Center site, this is what the CAP aircrew saw a day after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — debris on rooftops and an epicenter of destruction still smoldering more than 24 hours later. In the end, it took 99 days to extinguish the fire. This piece of ground in lower Manhattan became the final resting place for nearly 3,000 people. Photo by Lt. Col. Warren Rattis, New York Wing
In the days and weeks following the destruction wrought to the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Delaware by Superstorm Sandy, New York Wing members from throughout the state responded to fly aerial reconnaissance photo missions capturing tens of thousands of digital images that were uploaded to the FEMA website. From coastal marinas and resort towns to inland cities, flooding and widespread destruction was documented and captured through the camera’s lens. On the ground, CAP image processing personnel downloaded and geo-referenced the images before uploading them.
In the days and weeks following the destruction wrought to the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Delaware by Superstorm Sandy, New York Wing members from throughout the state responded to fly aerial reconnaissance photo missions capturing tens of thousands of digital images that were uploaded to the FEMA website. From coastal marinas and resort towns to inland cities, flooding and widespread destruction was documented and captured through the camera’s lens. On the ground, CAP image processing personnel downloaded and geo-referenced the images before uploading them.
Civil Air Patrol started with civilian pilots who became “Minutemen of Aviation” in the early days of the United States’ involvement in World War II, patrolling the coastal waters for enemy submarines. From Costal Patrol Base 17 in Riverhead, CAP began what is now 75 years of service to the Empire State and America. Shown here, members of the nearby Westchester Squadron drill under the command of an Army Air Forces instructor at Armonk Airport.
Civil Air Patrol started with civilian pilots who became “Minutemen of Aviation” in the early days of the United States’ involvement in World War II, patrolling the coastal waters for enemy submarines. From Costal Patrol Base 17 in Riverhead, CAP began what is now 75 years of service to the Empire State and America. Shown here, members of the nearby Westchester Squadron drill under the command of an Army Air Forces instructor at Armonk Airport.
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