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Airborne Photographer

To become an Airborne Photographer, Civil Air Patrol members must hold certain prerequisites, master photography theory, then hone their skills through practical experience in the aircraft and in discussions with a skills evaluator. The steps to qualification are laid out below.

How view your progress towards Airborne Photographer

Like all emergency services ratings, you can view your progress in eServices on an SQTR (training record) under Operations Qualifications. Follow this link to learn how.

Commander Approval 

Several tasks in the SQTR state that commander approval is required. Contact your squadron commander or deputy for approval.

Key Prerequisites

You must already be an active Mission Scanner to start Airborne Photographer training.


Preparatory Knowledge

To gain the specific knowledge required to perform the duties of Airborne Photographer you may use any combination of three options. Self study, recorded webinar, or in person training at your squadron depending how you learn best. Once complete you should meet with a Skills Evaluator who will assess your knowledge and complete the preparatory tasks in your SQTR. Click here to learn how to find a skills evaluator.

Option 1: Reference text and self study

These two texts are the official reference, and SQTR task guide for Airborne Photographer.

Option 2: Webinars and Video

SQTR Task Video Link
O-2204, P-2201,  P-2202 Watch
O-2205, P-2203 Watch
O-2206 Watch
O-2207, O-2215 Watch
Solmeta GMAS GPS Geotagger - Quick Start Watch






(If prompted for a username password to watch the video, enter your KY Wing email username and password)

Option3: In Person Training

Contact your squadron Operations Officer, Emergency Services Officer or any command staff to arrange in person/group training.


Once you reach this point you are ready to fly and put your knowledge into practice. You will fly on at least two flights (sorties) with a Mission Pilot and skills evaluator (often the same person) on a simulated mission in one of the Civil Air Patrol aircraft where you will complete your SQTR. Contact your skills evaluator or Operations Officer to arrange these flights.

And remember, this is not a test! These are training exercises not examinations.

What's next?

Most freshly qualified Airborne Photographers go on to pursue Mission Observer, or if a qualified pilot with the required experience, Mission Pilot.


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