Aviation in Montana

Search Pilot Clinic

For nearly 40 years, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Aeronautics Division has held a search pilot clinic to train volunteer pilots to search for missing aircraft.

This year, the structure has changed with the search pilot clinic. Now, participating pilots and observers will receive a day and a half of ground instruction relating to electronic flight bag use, search practices, safety, terrain considerations, how the incident command system operates, and responsibilities of searchers. Dual flight instruction in the volunteer's aircraft will occur later, with an MDT Aeronautics Division-approved flight instructor and training syllabus.

This change is to allow more flexibility to volunteers to conduct their flight training at more regular intervals in their own aircraft. Additionally, volunteers will be selected based on geographic needs for search aircraft throughout the state.

This training is open to volunteer aircraft owners/pilots and observers who are committed to being available when search services are needed.

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