CAP Inspires Kids at Aviation Day

Written by Maj. Matthew Congrove     October 28th, 2015

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Daniel Pruitt shows a student how to turn the aircraft on a flight simulator. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Tom Roach)

  • Lt. Col Rich Ferguson helps a student during landing on a flight simulator. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Tom Roach)

  • Students greet the crew of a United Airlines Boeing 737 at the start of the aviation day in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Tom Roach)

San Marcos, Texas — Nearly 100 students of KIPP San Antonio, a college-preparatory public school for underserved communities, participated in an aviation-themed field trip to San Antonio International Airport. The David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron provided a booth set up with flight simulators to give the 6th graders an opportunity to try their hand at flying.

The event, held at Valero Aviation Energy's hangar and co-sponsored by The Dee Howard Foundation, was designed to give the students a glimpse into the opportunities of aviation careers. Numerous companies and organizations participated, including Redbird Flight Simulations, San Antonio AirLIFE, Hallmark University and United Airlines. Parked outside of the hangar and available for tours were numerous small aircraft, a helicopter, and a United Airlines Boeing 737.

The guest of honor was Terence "Tom" Henricks, a retired colonel in the United States Air Force and a former NASA astronaut. Henricks, who served on four Space Shuttle missions, spoke to the students about aviation, space and technology, reminding them that their generation will be the first to visit Mars.

Four cadets and two senior members of the "Tex" Hill squadron taught students the basics of flight on the simulators. Some of the children cycled through the line multiple times to improve their skills, with many eventually learning to take off, circle the airport and land on their own.

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 for more information.


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 |

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