Civil Air Patrol Flight Event Makes Youth Soar
A cadet and instructor wait to launch a sortie while being connected to the tow line. (Source: 1st Lt. Tamara Shannon, CAP)
by 1st Lt Brooke Erikson, CAP
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla (August 17, 2021) –
Civil Air Patrol pilots and operations staff from across the state united together at two launch locations, Prague Municipal Airport and Pryor’s Mid-America Industrial Airport, to help provide cadets their first orientation flight experiences. Combined both locations hosted over 50 members at the event, which yielded 63 flights in total.
Civil Air Patrol’s AE mission is to empower members with opportunities and the resources to promote aerospace related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and careers.
The aerospace and STEM education programs serve adults and youth from pre-K through high school. CAP’s programs reach 700,000 youth each year with hands-on Aerospace/STEM lessons and resources.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for our Oklahoma cadets from around the state to come together and learn something about various forms of flight,” stated Lt. Col. Robin Rowden, who assisted with organizing the event. “Members join CAP for unique networking and training opportunities like these.”
Maj. Chris Rains helping a cadet plug in her headset during pre-flight. (Source: 1st Lt. Brooke Erikson, CAP)
Orientation Flights are introductory flights where cadets learn about basic maneuvers of an aircraft, aircraft instruments, weather and many other variables. Cadets under the age 18 are eligible for five powered flights in a single-engine aircraft and five non-powered flights in a glider. Every flight has a required set of maneuvers that cadets perform. These flights help encourage STEM careers. During special activities, cadets may be eligible for flights aboard military aircraft, primarily cargo aircraft, tankers or helicopters.
Cadets were able to network with one another during the event besides just learning to fly. At the Prague location mechanics who work at the airport showed the anatomy of a reciprocating aircraft engine. Participants were then surprised with a visit by a hot air balloon crew and were able to spend time examining the balloon.
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About Civil Air Patrol
Now celebrating its 80th year, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and more than 2,000 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives during the past fiscal year. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.