Inside Telos: A Chat with Marty Sacks

By Tom Vernon on Nov 6, 2012 10:22:00 AM

Sacks at the controls of a CAP Gippsland GA-8All of us at the Telos Alliance share with our clients a fatal attraction to radio, as well as a passion for making great audio. But that's not all we do. Many of us have other hobbies and interests that might surprise you. From time to time, we'll profile members of the Telos Alliance and what they do when they're not inventing the next generation of broadcast audio gear.

Marty Sacks, Vice President for Business Development at the Telos Alliance has had a lifelong passion for flying, one that he reconnected with in 2003. "I was a lapsed pilot," explains Sacks. "I learned to fly in my 20s, then family and career demands took their toll, and I had to give it up. Another lapsed pilot told me about the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and it really sparked my interest." Sacks was bitten by the aviation bug early on. His father is a civilian pilot, with over 40 years’ experience, who occasionally flies with his son. At the same time he was learning to fly as a teenager, Sacks was preparing for a career in broadcasting by working at WAMU-FM in Washington, DC.

Sacks saw involvement with CAP both as a way to get back into flying, and as a great opportunity for two of his teenage sons. He adds that CAP is probably the best kept secret among pilots in the United States, and he has logged over 700 hours flying for CAP. "They have a fleet of well-maintained aircraft for members to use," he adds, "and it's as close to free flying as you can get."

Returning to aviation in 2003 after a 20-year absence, Sacks found that a lot of things had changed since he first flew in the early 1980s. "The world is a different place after 9/11, and one of the ways is how airspace is managed in the Washington, DC area. They don't take kindly to mistakes, or pilots not following directions." Instrumentation is another; he has logged most of his hours with CAP in a Cessna 182 with a "glass cockpit" - no gauges, all screens.

With a crew of CAP cadets attending orientation at Laughlin AFB.Sacks explains that there are three main missions of the Civil Air Patrol: Emergency Services, search and rescue, aerial photography of disaster areas and work with military aviation; aerospace education, informing the public about aviation issues; and the Cadet program, which trains youth age 12 to 18 about aviation, and teaches them to fly. As with scouting, the Cadet program has different levels as members gain new skills.

In addition to its other missions, CAP has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions. CAP also performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, such as local law enforcement and the American Red Cross. As of 2011, CAP has 34,800 senior members and 26,000 cadets in over 1,600 local units in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and at numerous overseas United States Air Force installations.

Topics: Technology

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