The mission of the Civil Air Patrol is essentially what it has been since its inception in 1941, says Capt. Bill Cozine of the Brunswick Squadron.

While the patrol is no longer scouting for German U-boats off the Golden Isles, its reconnaissance missions to look for unusual activity are just as important, he said.

When in the air during its daily sundown patrol from McKinnon St. Simons Airport, pilots keep their ears tuned for requests from the U.S. Coast Guard and eyes open for distress signals from troubled boaters below.

On a recent sundown patrol, named for the time of day flights along the Golden Isles coast occur, Cozine and Civil Air Patrolman Roy Scarborough were looking for anything out of the ordinary from the cockpit of the single-engine, four-passenger Cessna 172.

The two checked on a controlled burn south of Brunswick and kept an eye on a slow-moving vessel in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.

Weather permitting, the patrol takes to the air just before sundown five days a week, Scarborough said. A full patrol includes a person in the rear seat acting as a scanner, using a laptop computer to triangulate possible distress signals from crafts.

Source: Louie Brogdon for The Brunswick News.

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