As a safety precaution during the covid-19 pandemic, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) postponed orientation flights, an exciting component of the cadet aerospace program. On April 18, the Silver City Cadet Squadron resumed offering this unique experience. Eight students, ranging in age from 13-17, joined CAP orientation pilots for flights out of Meriden Markham Airport.
“My favorite part of the flight was from the time we took off to the time we landed,” remarked Cadet James Nagbe. “It was a very fun experience overall.”
The 45 minute flights in single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more.
“I learned about the parts of an airplane, how to check that everything is in working condition, how to monitor air traffic, and put the plane away” explained Cadet Annemary Ummacheril.
The cadets’ experience began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. After takeoff, the cadets helped the pilots navigate east to Connecticut River or to the practice area over Durham for some maneuvers.
Cadet Mitchell Rivers appreciated having the opportunity to see firsthand what he have been learning about in ground school. “I liked doing the maneuvers I have been trying on my flight simulator in a real airplane!”
The additional area youth who participated in the flights were Abigail Gibas, George Roman, Paul Ummacheril, Justin Yan, and Layla Yan. The pilots included Major Oran Mills and 2nd Lt Josh Pattberg. CAP’s Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike.
“My son, Mitchell, has been active in CAP for several years now and he has loved the organization since the day he first started. The O-flights add to a great organization and give boys and girls a wonderful experience.” Explains Frank Mitchell. “Being a member of CAP has also given him opportunities at leadership that has been unbelievable.
Silver City Cadet Squadron Public Affairs Officer, 2nd Lt. Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, 203-233-0535 or Silver City Cadet Squadron Commander, Captain David Kania, 203-215-8899.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 58,200 members nationwide. CAP preforms search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC). Its volunteers also preform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of the federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to 23,500 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP has been preforming missions for American for more than 75 years. For more information on CAP, visit gocivilairpatrol.com.