Lieutenant Colonel George C. Minnich
Director of Safety

Lt. Col. Minnich first joined CAP as a cadet in November, 1955 at the Kent WA Composite Squadron.  He was awarded the Cadet Certificate of Proficiency at his first encampment in 1956 at the former Geiger Air Force Base in Spokane WA.  In 1960 his civilian job transferred him to Anchorage AK.  While there he served as Cadet Commander of the Anchorage Composite Squadron from 1960-1962, and then at AK Wing HQ, briefly served as an assistant Communications Officer until receiving his draft notice in spring 1963.

He left CAP and joined the Alaska ANG in 1963 as an E-2 (due to his CAP training) and attended training as a Fuels Specialist at Amarillo AFB, graduating at the top of his class.  On return to his home unit, the 144th ATSM Alaska ANG, in September 1963, he was immediately promoted to E-3. 

In 1964 he moved back to the Seattle area and transferred to USAF Reserves, serving briefly in one of the former USAFR Recovery units at Sea-Tac Airport until that program was cancelled later that year.  He was then transferred to the 941 MAG at Paine Field then to McChord AFB, continuing as a Fuels Specialist.  While a Reservist, his unit was activated in January 1968 and he served 1 year of Active duty at McChord AFB during the Pueblo recall in 1968/69 including 3 months at RAF Mildenhall, England.

On February 2, 1965 he joined the King County, WA Sheriff’s Department, where he subsequently served as a patrolman for 5 years and learned accident investigations during that period.  He then managed the Evidence & Supply unit for the following 27 years.  While a Sheriff’s Deputy he was trained as an EMT in 1977 and also served as the Assistant Safety Officer and on the Equipment Review board of the Sheriff’s Department for 10+ years.

He returned to CAP in 1997 at the Renton Composite Squadron and was immediately assigned as the Unit Safety Officer.  In 2003 he was asked to also serve as Group V Safety Officer and in October 2004 assumed the duty as the Washington wing Wing Safety Director.

Though not a CAP rated pilot, as a student pilot he has over 300 hours in aircraft ranging from the DeHavilland Beaver, Piper Seneca and Cherokee, and Cessna 152, 172, 172RG, 182, and 182RG plus the Bell 206, Kiowa and Huey helicopters .  His training for a Private Pilot rating was delayed due to 911, personal non-flying injury in 2006 and currently, lack of time due to Safety Duties.)

In his years as both Group and Wing Safety Officer, he has investigated and reported on over 120 mishaps ranging from minor (BI) mishaps to major incidents such as a nose wheel failure on a C-182RG and an accident where a C-206 struck an a/c tug, and the ultimate destruction of that same C-206 6 years later during an engine failure.  During his tenure as Wing Safety director there have been no serious physical injuries in either Aircraft or Vehicle operations.

He was named Washington Wing Safety Officer of the year for 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008; Pacific Region Safety Officer of the year for 2006, 2008 and 2010, and also nominated for the National award in 2008.  He also won the First CAPSafe award when that program was first started.

On May 27, 2009 he was named by the FAA as a FAAST team representative.  (This program replaced the old FAA Aviation Safety Counselors) and has annually taken recertification courses to remain current as a FAAST team representative.  He took an active part in the joint recognition of CAP members getting credit through CAP Safety for participating in the FAA’s Wings training program and has arranged several joint training sessions at CAP events.  He still takes an active part with the FAA in their annual presentations at the Washington Aviation Exposition each February, the Arlington Air Fair and other FAA/CAP activities.  He remains in that position as of the current date.

He earned a “Master Safety Officer” rating on 14 May, 2007 and since then has also taken the new Basic, Senior and Master Safety Online tests as an example to others and self-refresher.  He also holds ES ratings of MSO, MS, MO, MSA, UDF, CUL, FLS and FLM and keeps all these ratings current.  He also has taken ICS 100,200,300,400, 700 and 800 training plus multiple other ICS courses.  He is also a trained Wing Walker (gliders) and has served as the launch Safety Officer at over 775 glider launches since 2003,  both auto-tow and aerial tow.  He has also actually flown as observer on aerial launches and an orientation flight in the Blanich Glider.

He has served as the Safety Officer for: 6 Basic Encampments, 14 Arlington EAA airshows, and 2 flight academies (all week long or longer activities) over 70+ real time or practice Search missions, 5 SAR-evals, and numerous other training activities including Model Rocketry.  

He attended Pacific Region Staff College in May, 2006, and was a graduate of the first CAP Safety College at Kirtland AFB in June 2012.  In May 2013 he completed the National Staff College at Maxwell AFB and attained his level 5.  He holds Gil Robb Wilson certificate # 3034.

He also has participated as an inspector at over 30+ SUI’s in the past 8 years, using that as an opportunity to visit units and bring Unit Safety Officers and Commanders up to date on safety requirements and changes.  He completed the Basic and Senior IG courses in Fall 2013.  He also serves regularly at numerous other activities requiring a Safety Officer presence.  He has taken an active part in regularly updating the Washington Wing Supplements to CAPR 62-1 and 62-2, plus reviews and recommendations to Region and National HQ on regulations pertaining to, or affecting Safety and participated in the Beta testing of various changes in the Safety system.  He currently is also attempting to create a training course on trailer (glider and utility) operation and safety.

In the past 2 years he has also received advanced Communication and been issued a Base UHF radio and regularly participates in twice weekly UHF radio net check-ins and other regional communications exercises.  The base radio issued to him is also maintained so that it can be utilized for communications in a mobile RV that he owns and makes available at mission sites.

(Current as of 29-Apr-16)