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New Hampshire Daedalian Reaches CAP IP/CP Milestone

Granite State Flight #53 Daedalian Flies “Extremely Rare” 1000th Civil Air Patrol Instructor/Check Pilot Sortie

by Mr. Peter D. Lennon

Portsmouth, NH — Granite State Flight #53 stalwart Col. Bill Moran, USAF (Ret), recently flew a milestone 1,000th Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Instructor Pilot/Check Pilot (IP/CP) sortie in the skies over New Hampshire.

In recognition of Bill’s achievement, the National CAP Senior Program Manager for Standardization and Evaluation, Mike Moyer, said flying 1,000 IP/CP sorties is an ”extremely rare accomplishment” among CAP Check Pilots.

Mr. Moyer praised Bill as “a consummate professional” who has taken the lead nationally within the CAP to increase CAP pilot professionalism and cockpit resource management (CRM).

Colonel Moran, a 26-year Air Force veteran, said it was “a long haul” that took him 15 years to rack up his 1,000th IP/CP sortie.  He said the achievement had not been a “personal goal” for him, but that he slowly came to realize he was approaching the milestone as he totaled his CAP flying hours for 2020.

Considering the COVID-19 restrictions that limited CAP flight operations in 2020, Colonel Moran said that the 1,000 number “blew me away.”

“I never expected such a big number of sorties, and I didn’t expect to reach 1,000 sorties in 2020 as COVID-19 caused many members to reduce their flying,” he said.  “However, we had to keep pilots trained and qualified for all our missions, and I flew another 80 IP/CP sorties in 2020,” he added.

Of his 1,000 (now 1,004) IP/CP sorties, Colonel Moran said that about 950 were for CAP Senior Members to check-out as Mission Pilots capable of flying search and rescue, disaster response, and cadet orientation profiles.  The remaining about 50 flights were to give CAP cadets their initial flight training.

The oldest pilot he checked out was a 75-year-old fellow Daedalian, and the youngest was a 16-year-old cadet.

John Desmarais, National CAP Director of Operations, said reaching 1,000 IP/CP sorties is quite an accomplishment. “Most active IPs and CPs fly 60-65 hours a year for us across all of their flying, with an average sortie being 1 to 1½ hours, and a lot of that time is for their own flying or missions, too,” he said. “Most probably fly 1-2 IP or CP sorties a month, maybe 25 a year,” he said.

About 75% of Bill’s IP/CP sorties have launched from Laconia Municipal Airport (KLCI) in New Hampshire’s scenic Lakes Region.  He also has used five other airfields throughout the state and even Westover Air Reserve Base/Metropolitan Airport (KCEF) in neighboring Massachusetts.

In addition to check rides, Bill flies regular CAP missions, which lately have included Forest Fire Patrol and aerial photography.

He is a former New Hampshire CAP Wing Commander who has belonged to the CAP for almost 20 years and has about 2,000 CAP flying hours.  He is now Deputy Commander of the NH CAP’s Mount Washington Flight.

In the Air Force, Colonel Moran amassed about 3,700 flight hours, most of them in the service’s then front-line bombers – B-52, FB-111, and B-1.

Bill has been a Daedalian for almost 30 years.  He joined the Order in 1991 while serving as the Commander of the 46th Bombardment Squadron (BMS) of B-1B’s stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.

Colonel Moran flew as a member of the B-1B Initial Operational Test and Evaluation team and also led the four-person crew that set time-to-climb world records at 10,000/20,000/30,000 feet for that aircraft class.