Twenty cadets ranging in age from 14 to 19 from states as far away as Florida will attend ground school classes and fly twice a day for eight days as part of the academy. The cadets also will learn to be “wing-runners” — how to handle gliders on the ground to prepare them for flight, directing aircraft using hand signals and assisting glider crew members for their flights.
“Some cadets have not had any glider instruction,” said CAP Chaplain Major Elizabeth Tattersall, the academy director. “Most have had at least one glider ride. One cadet has his power private pilot’s certificate and instrument rating, and three cadets have already soloed.”
Gliders will also be launched at Silver Springs Airport using unique pickup trucks modified with harnesses and observers’ seats to launch gliders.
In addition to tow pilots and glider instructors, the academy staff includes 30 ground instructors, ground and air operations
supervisors, safety officers, drivers, logistics personnel and finance officers.
“Accomodations for out-of-town attendees will be primarily at David Walley’s Hot Springs Resort,” said Tattersall, “thanks to six timeshare owners who have generously donated a week’s lodging to CAP for the academy.”
Along with providing emergency services such as search and rescue and aerospace education programs, the CAP administers and conducts cadet programs. The cadet program is designed to foster leadership and good citizenship in America’s youth, using aerospace education, Air Force role models and emphasis on public service.
Cadets can participate in a variety of activities, including powered and glider aircraft orientation flights, gain rank and increased recognition in the program and receive benefits for participation in the program should they choose to enter military service. Most of all, it challenges them to learn and grow in ways they may not have had the opportunity to were it not for the program.
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. 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 was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010.
For more information, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com.