Observers generally handle communications between aircraft and Coast Guard units, assist the pilot with navigation, keep records in the air, and focus their attention outside while searching.
Experienced Observers may be eligible to earn the Air Crew rating. The training for the Air Crew rating rounds out the Observer’s knowledge with more instruction on:
aviation and aircraft operations,
crew resource management,
aviation communications, and
There are three qualification levels for pilots, similar to active duty Coast Guard:
First Pilot, and
AUXAIR does not offer flight training for pilots. Rather, it builds on what certificated pilots already have learned. Pilot applicants learn about search and rescue (SAR) techniques and patterns, Coast Guard communications, and Coast Guard flight safety rules and procedures.