The hour-long flights in single-engine aircraft introduced cadets to the science that makes flight possible. Civil Air Patrol aerospace education curriculum is designed to provide hands-on lessons about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, and flight maneuvers.
The cadets’ day began by helping with pre-flight safety checks and an aviation weather briefing. Cadets observed their pilots during take-off, climbing to 3,000 feet. While aloft, cadets are given the option of handling the controls during the non-critical stages of the flight.
Once they reach their assigned altitude, cadets will assist pilots in navigating to neighboring airports for a brief pitstop. CAP pilots will repeat the round-trip throughout the day until each cadet is given the opportunity to fly.
Pilots from Indianapolis, LaPorte, and Terre Haute took part in orientation flights on Saturday. Four Civil Air Patrol aircraft flew eighteen sorties getting 28 cadets to experience the thrill of flight. Three Cessna 182T’s with G1000 glass cockpits and one Cessna GA-8 Civil Air Patrol aircraft were flown.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 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 80 lives annually. Its unpaid professionals also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years.