While the Aero Squadron is a volunteer organization, it is still a part of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and therefore members must meet eligibility requirements. These include:

  • Prove ownership or immediate access to an appropriately-insured aircraft with a current certificate of airworthiness.
  • Hold a current private or higher FAA Pilot Certificate with 750 hours Pilot In Command or 500 hours PIC with a current instrument rating, and a current FAA Airman’s Medical Certificate.
  • Be a U.S. citizen with good character and reputation able to be confirmed by a Sheriff’s Office background investigation.
  • Fly at least 40 hours per year (PIC) and attend regular meetings, required training and calls for duty.
  • Complete the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Application Process, which includes a background check, reference check and suitability interview.

Santa Barbara County provides Aero Squadron members liability insurance and County workers’ compensation benefits while on duty.
Squadron leadership consists of an executive board composed of the Sheriff, a Sheriff’s Office liaison officer, and elected squadron members who serve in a variety of capacities to fulfill the squadron’s mission.

Monthly dinner meetings provide interesting and relevant training topics crucial to squadron responsibilities. Joint flying exercises with other agencies, search and rescue teams, and emergency radio operators (ARES) contribute to proficiency and readiness to perform assigned missions.