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.