Omaha Composite Squadron Members take advantage of unusually warm January weather to go flying
On Saturday, January 24th, several Cadets from the Omaha Composite squadron took part in one of the most exciting aspects of cadet life: Cadet Orientation Flights. The cadets arrived early morning, and proceeded to meet their Pilot in Command, Maj. David Coover, who walked them through the standard Preflight Checklist of the Aircraft. The aircraft used for the Orientation Rides was one of the Squadron’s Cessna 182T NAV III Technically Advanced Aircraft.
Cadets learn the importance of inspecting all components and systems for safe operation of the aircraft. They also learn to apply the knowledge they have gained previously from extensive classroom instruction, and apply it during each of the five syllabus lectures that they will receive througout the Orientation Ride Program. Some topics include Aviation Weather, Traffic Pattern Operations, Aircraft handling and Aerodynamics. All cadets are eligible to participate in five glider flights and five powered flights before age 18. The program is provided at no cost to the cadets.
Once the preflight was completed, Maj. Coover reviewed the flight syllabus with each cadet, they all boarded the aircraft, and taxied towards the runway. In total, five successful Orientation rides took place on this unusually warm January day.
CADET ORIENTATION FLIGHT FACTS
What are the pilot’s qualifications?
CAP pilots are licensed by the FAA. Moreover, pilots must meet additional requirements set by CAP. For powered aircraft, they will have over 200 hours as pilot-in-command in the class of aircraft they’re flying, or 100 flights in the case of gliders. Further, all pilots will have passed an annual written exam that tests their airmanship, passed an annual check flight with a CAP check pilot, demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the cadets’ flight syllabus, and received the approval of their wing commander. In short, CAP requires much more from the pilots who fly your son or daughter than the federal government does.
Do cadets actually fly the plane?
CAP does allow cadets to handle the controls while aloft. Learning how planes fly is the main goal of the program. However, the pilot remains in command at all times, and only the pilot will fly the airplane during takeoff, landing, and other critical moments of the flight.
Do cadets fly in inclement weather?
No. Cadets fly only in fair weather, under conditions that the FAA calls “visual flight rules.”
THE FLIGHT ITSELF
What type of aircraft do cadets fly?
With few exceptions, most cadets will fly in a CAP-owned single-engine Cessna, or a glider. Each cadet is entitled to 5 glider flights and five Powered Aircraft flights.
How long is the flight?
In powered aircraft, cadets are aloft for 45 to 60 minutes. If two cadets fly at once, they share 90 to 120 minutes of flight time. In glider aircraft, the flight time will depend on the soaring conditions.
Where do the cadets fly?
A small airport near your hometown will probably serve as the day’s base of operations. The cadets may stay in the immediate vicinity, or fly to a nearby airport, land, switch seats, and return to the original airport.
What do cadets learn while aloft?
Each flight has a theme. Flights focus on basic maneuvers, aircraft instruments, weather, etc. A detailed syllabus guides the pilot.