Civil air patrol to host open house

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By Special to the Monitor

His eyes quickly focused on the glowing digits of the clock, which read 4:30 a.m., as he grabbed the ringing handset.

The voice at the other end of the line said, “Mark, this is the State Rescue Center. A day hiker was reported missing last night in the mountains east of Taos. We need you off the ground at first light, find the hiker and vector in the jet chopper to get him out. Can you do it?"

Mark Peters quickly slipped into his fireproof Nomex flight suit and jump boots, threw his survival gear and flight equipment in the back of his Miata convertible, and headed up the dark road to the airport.

Four hours later, he had spotted the hiker, vectored in the chopper and was winging his way back to his day job at Los Alamos National Laboratory with a satisfied smile on his face.

Most people would never know.

Sounds like something out of a Tom Clancey novel? It does, but in this case it’s the Los Alamos Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at work.

“For every real search and rescue mission, I fly 30 or more training missions. But the Civil Air Patrol gives me a way to apply my love of flying to a valuable and exciting community service,” Mark said.

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