Nearly 200 Civil Air Patrol cadets from across America will learn to fly at a National Flight Academy (NFA) this summer. CAP is holding eight national flight academies this year, each specifically designed for cadets who want to learn to fly either powered aircraft or gliders. The first NFA, a glider academy, is already underway in Mattoon, Ill. Other glider academies are planned in Rome, Ga., and in Pagosa Springs, Colo., in July.
The first powered flight academy opens Saturday in Oshkosh, Wis. A second powered flight academy begins June 17 at Camp Ashland, Neb. Powered flight academies are also planned in July in Augusta, Maine; Shawnee, Okla.; and Blackstone, Va.
“I can assure the cadets that they will enjoy an incredible opportunity in addition to expanding their leadership skills,” said Col. Gene Hartman of Virginia, who has been a part of the National Flight Academy in CAP’s Middle East Region for the past 14 years. “They will be challenged to the maximum, as this is an intense training opportunity and potentially one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.”
The student pilots will be given 10 hours of dual flight instruction with a certified flight instructor and 30 hours ground instruction, which will help them as they work toward obtaining their private pilot licenses. NFA also provides many participants the opportunity to solo.
“I have been activity director for the NFA in Oshkosh off and on since 1997 and I am always amazed at the dedication and perseverance of the cadets we receive for this program,” said Lt. Col. Marcia Cunningham of Wisconsin. “Their enthusiasm for flight and Civil Air Patrol keeps me coming back year after year.”
The eight flight academies are among 30 National Cadet Special Activities sponsored by CAP this summer. These activities allow cadets to hone their skills in a variety of areas – including search and rescue, flight and emergency services, science, leadership fundamentals, citizenship and military courtesies – and to explore aerospace technology and aviation careers. In 2009, more than 1,100 youth participated in CAP-sponsored summer activities.
Through its cadet program, CAP builds strong citizens for the future by providing leadership training, technical education, scholarships and career education to young men and women ages 12 to 20.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with 59,000 members nationwide. CAP performs 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited with saving 72 lives in fiscal year 2009. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 24,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 68 years. For more information: GoCivilAirPatrol.com.