Cadets Soar Through the Skies in Iowa

by Marcia Moran

C/A1C Wichman prepares to launch in her first Glider orientation flight.

Saturday, Sept 19, 2015 was a beautiful day to take to the skies in Red Oak, IA. Seventeen cadets from three different Civil Air Patrol squadrons, including seven from the Omaha Composite Squadron, participated in what seemed like a day of non-stop glider flights. With a few changes in glider pilots, all efforts were made to ensure every cadet received a flight in this daylong event.

Cadet Morse from the Omaha Burke Squadron and LtCol Dan Peterson prepare for their flight.

The glider weighs only about 1300 pounds empty and has very long, thin wings. It was pulled by a CAP Cessna 182 with a tow rope, and took to the sky with ease. In fact, it didn’t take much runway or airspeed to get it off the ground, and that’s with a pilot and cadet sharing the ride. After the plane and glider reached an altitude of 3000ft, the glider pilot released the tow rope letting it glide through the air for about a 20 minute ride. The smiles on the faces of the cadets let everyone know the day was worthwhile!

The greatest reward after any flight:  a Smiling cadet!

But it didn’t stop there. Taking off from another runway at the airport were two other CAP planes, Cessna’s 182 and a 172, courtesy of the Omaha Composite Squadron. Pilots from OCS made sure that cadets received powered O-Flights as well. The planes didn’t sit for very long either. After getting refueled, they were back up in the air allowing cadets to get some time in front of the cockpit and a chance to take the controls.

A large contingent of Cadets and Seniors from both Iowa and Nebraska took part in the full day event.

A total of 28 cadets from four squadrons flew 35 glider cadet sorties, multiple power orientation flights, one form 5 for a Senior Member, plus 3 hours of cross country air-tows.

A HUGE thank you goes out to all who made this day possible, especially the pilots. Your tireless dedication allowed for an incredible adventure of new heights, and one that won’t be forgotten.

 

Additional Photos:

Glider flights – Sept 19, 2015

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