CAP pilots volunteer for ‘target’ pratice

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It’s a beautiful day to be flying your Cessna above Maryland’s scenic Eastern Shore, taking in the view of the Chesapeake Bay, when — out of nowhere — an F-16 fighter jet suddenly pulls up beside you because your plane has no business being there.

Charlie Martinez, Rick Mickerand Robert Bolling know the feeling. Recently the trio — MITRE colleagues and members of Civil Air Patrol’s Congressional Squadron — flew a CAP Cessna 182 to pose as intruders in restricted airspace. In effect, they were targets, giving U.S. Air Force Air Defense F-16 fighter pilots charged with defending Washington, D.C. a chance to practice their intercept procedures.

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