Local CAP Cadets Wrap Up Summer of Flight

Written by Maj. Matthew Congrove     August 23rd, 2015

1st Lt. J. Anthony Plattsmier, left, and Cadet Airman 1st Class Cody Beyer walk toward a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 for an orientation flight. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Tyler Hartwick and Lt. Col. Michael Duc discuss protocol during a pre-flight briefing. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)

  • Cadet Airman 1st Class Tyler Hartwick and Lt. Col. Michael Duc stand in front of a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 at San Marcos Regional Airport. (Photo by Maj. Matthew Congrove)


San Marcos, Texas — Eleven youth members of the David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron took to the skies over Hill Country this summer. The young adults, Civil Air Patrol cadets, were given the opportunity to fly as part of CAP's orientation flight program. "O-Flights", as they're called, are introductory in nature and teach cadets the basics of flying.

During the rides a Civil Air Patrol pilot will instruct the cadets on proper techniques and procedures, aircraft instrumentation, radio communication protocols and more. Cadets can partake in ten of these flights during their CAP career, each progressively more advanced in curriculum and responsibility.

Cadet Airman Angela Salazar experienced her first flight this summer, taking in the views and receiving an introduction to the cockpit. "We went around where my house was, to the high school, went around the country a little and flew back," she said. "It was very fun to be in there."

Her brother, Cadet Master Sgt. James Salazar, took his third orientation ride. He spoke of how the flights will help prepare him for earning a pilot license. "Once I start [my training], I'll already be familiar with the instruments, banking, and staying level."

The "Tex" Hill Squadron began the summer with basic ground instruction for the cadets before starting the airborne portion in early August. A total of eleven flights were flown in a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 172 airplane by three of the squadron pilots, accumulating over twelve hours of instructional time in the air.

Local flying wasn't the only way the cadets spent their summer break. Cadet 1st Lt. Chuck Baker, the squadron's cadet commander, also participated in CAP's National Blue Beret and Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course. National Blue Beret takes place each year during the world's largest "fly-in" in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where cadets from around the country hone their search and rescue, leadership, and aircraft marshaling skills. SUPT-FC, held annually at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, is a small window into the Air Force's 52-week SUPT pilot training course. Cadets undergo intensive ground training, simulated flights, and receive a ride in a T-1 jet training aircraft.


About Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 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 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.

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Contact Information

Lt. Col. Ron Diana, CAP
Squadron Commander & Public Affairs Officer
David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron, SWR-TX-435, Texas Wing
(512) 710-8435 | cc@texhillcap.org

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