Woodward, Okla. —
FLIGHTS AND CAP TRAINING HELP CADETS REACH THEIR GOALS
CAP leaders Col. Robert Castle, of Oklahoma City, and 2Lt. Paul Mitchell, commander of the Woodward Composite Flight, said that the Civil Air Patrol offers a variety of learning opportunities that can help Taylor and Sample reach all of their goals.
For example, Sample will have plenty of chances to overcome her fear of heights since each CAP cadet is required to go on at least 5 powered and 5 glider orientation flights, according to Col. Castle.
“The orientation flights help to familiarize them with the aircraft and their operations,” he said.
In addition, the colonel said the flights help the cadets take all the aeronautics information they are learning as part of the cadet program and “put it to use and see how it all works together to have a safe flight.”
“Each of the 5 orientation flights covers specific information, with the first flight including the pre-flight inspection, the parts of the plane, and going over the checklists we use to make sure we don't miss a step,” Castle said. “Then we'll make a normal take-off and once airborne, we'll show them how the flight controls affect the flight, including roll, pitch and yaw.”
As part of the initial flight, he said the cadets will also be flown over local landmarks, such as their houses, as well as flying over the airport itself to better understand it's layout before coming in for the landing.
In the later flights, he said the cadets will learn about various basic and advanced flight maneuvers, the various flight instruments and about how weather affects flights.
These orientation flights can also assist the cadets with their other goals, whether it's helping Sample learn the basics of flight as she considers pursuing a pilot's license or getting Taylor used to flying in different types of aircraft as he considers going into the Air Force.
Mitchell said the cadets also receive additional training that further helps them pursue their various goals.
For example, the flight commander said the students wear uniforms, work to advance to different ranks, and train in military drills, which can help both Sample and Taylor be ready if and when they do eventually enlist after high school.
Taylor said he already realizes what a bonus his CAP experience will be.
“It's going to give me more leadership experience starting out as well as drill and ceremonies experience, so I will have a little bit of a head start when I join the Air Force,” he said.
But regardless of whether CAP cadets pursue military careers, Mitchell said the program can provide the youngsters with “character development and professional development” that will help them throughout their adult lives.