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Oklahoma CAP Cadets converge on Shawnee for Glider Flights

December 12, 2019

by 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw, CAP, Oklahoma Wing

Top: Wing Runner, Cadet Airman Evelyn Wolfe positions the glider for takeoff. (Photo: 2nd Lt. Eric Holtzclaw, CAP)


Shawnee, Okla. – On November 16, 2019, the Gordon Cooper Composite Squadron hosted glider and powered orientation rides for cadets new to the Civil Air Patrol. Several cadets were provided their first glider aircraft flights along with others finalizing their powered and glider orientation sorties. Twelve seniors and cadets participated in the event. New cadets under age 18 are allowed up to five powered and five glider flights as they progress in the orientation and training with the civil air patrol. Lt. Col. Robin Rowden, Commander, of Gordon Cooper and Lt. Col. Bill Rowden, Wing Standards and Evaluation Officer, have organized and provided these orientation flights for cadets several times a year for the past five years. Rowden stated “it’s all about the cadets and providing quality instruction and orientation within the CAP structure to youth coming up in the program is very important.”


Top: (L-R) Cadet Airman Evelyn Wolfe – Wing Runner, In front Seat of glider Cadet Senior Airman Declan Beasely; Pilot Maj. Mark Overman; Lt. Col. Robin Rowden and 1st Lt. Carl Johnson outside. (Photo: 2Lt Eric Holtzclaw, CAP)


The cadets learned how to launch the gliders by taking an online Wing Runners course and completed hands-on training mounting and dismounting the gliders, moving them, hand signaling the pilots and connecting the tow cables between the tow-plane and glider. 

Cadet Airman Evelyn Wolfe, of the Gordon Cooper Composite Squadron, performed duties as a Wing Runner for the gliders thought the orientation was exciting and fun. “I had the opportunity to do things today that I would not be able to if I had not got involved with the Civil Air Patrol. “It was nice to experience it all,” according to Cadet Wolfe. 

Top: (L-R) Wing Runner Cadet Airman Evelyn Wolfe ensures the tow harness is secured as Cadet SrA Declan Beasley and 1Lt. Carl Johnson prepare for take off. (Photo: 2nd Lt  Eric Holtzclaw, CAP)


“The cadets were able to perform both powered flights and gliders during the full day of operations. The weather was perfect and we accomplished a lot,” said Rowden.
The Gordon Cooper Composite Squadron schedules glider rides at least quarterly and interested squadrons should look for posted times on the wing calendar. Interested units can coordinate directly with Rowden.


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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for more information.

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