Civil Air Patrol pilot assists the Meteorological Office
Civil Air Patrol pilot Tony Cowan has been asked by the UK's Meteorological Office to assist with the trial of the new National Severe Weather Warning Service (NSWWS) Responder Trial which runs for a month from the 6 November to the 4 December 2017. Each day Tony will receive test emails with PDF attachments and test SMS messages from the Met Office HQ at Exeter to see what the new service looks like and to provide feedback.
Weather warnings are of particular value to the UK's Civil Air Patrol as they permit its members to plan reconnaissance flights for the emergency services and local government emergency planning departments with near real time aerial imagery of significant flooding, together with significant damage to buildings and infrastructure. The importance of this 'visualisation' was highlighted by Sir Michael Pitt in his report, the '
The Pitt Review - Learning lessons from the 2007 floods
' which followed the very serious floods of 2007 which claimed 13 lives and caused millions of pounds worth of damage. Subsequently, in 2014 and in 2015 the Civil Air Patrol responded to the flooding of the Somerset Levels and to the significant flooding in Cumbria and Yorkshire following the passage of Storms, Desmond, Eva and Frank in December 2015.
Tony Cowan has been involved in aviation for most of his life. First with the Royal Air Force, where he flew the C-130 Hercules and the BAe Nimrod, and then as a police pilot with the former North East Air Support Unit and as an air ambulance pilot with the Scottish Ambulance Service. In the latter roles he flew the ubiquitous BN Islander light transport aircraft. During his RAF service he and his crew, Crew 7, No. 201 Squadron were credited with the longest operational maritime patrol, 19 hours and 5 minutes, during the Falkland's conflict. In 1997 he led Exercise Northern Venture, an RAF expeditionary flight which circumnavigated the Northern Hemisphere with 2 DHC1 Chipmunk elementary training aircraft and a BN Islander support aircraft, via Russia, North America and the North Atlantic. He currently flies a Cessna 182 and. Cessna 208B Grand Caravan at the Peterlee Parachute Academy and he has a part share in a Victa Super 150.