5/18/2012–BALTIMORE, MD–Civil Air Patrol cadets Bradley Bonham, Ryan Dorsey and Michael Gibbs from the Osprey Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing took their very first flight in a Cessna 182 G1000 “glass cockpit” single engine aircraft recently in the skies over Baltimore.
The first flight consisted of cadets Bonham and Dorsey which them from Martin State Airport to Easton and back. Cadet Bonham remarked that he couldn’t sleep the night before because he was so excited.
The second series of orientation flights consisted of Gibbs and Cadet Cody Chenowith, who was having his fifth flight in the CAP orientation flight program. This flight’s route took them from Martin State Airport towards the eastern shore for more basic flight maneuvers this time landing at Cambridge Airport followed by a debrief before the cadets swapped seats and returned to Martin State Airport.
The pilot, Capt. James Holcomb, CAP, took each cadet through a thorough preflight check. This is a requirement that every pilot from a small Cessna to a commercial jet liner must do before takeoff and includes checking the entire body of the aircraft for any rips, tears or missing bolts to testing the control surfaces for functionality. This preflight also includes checking the fuel. Each cadet drained a small portion of fuel from each tank to make sure it is clean (no particles), blue in color (aviation 100LL) and dry (no water). When the fuel passed visual inspection, it was poured back into the wing tanks.
Each cadet took turns sitting in the right seat beside the pilot where they were given the opportunity to take over the controls and do a series of basic maneuvers to get a feel of the aircraft. During both flights the cadets noticed a brush fire and they asked permission to circle it to find out if it was a controlled or an uncontrolled burn. They also were able to see the Bay Bridge from a different perspective than most people are normally able.
As each flight landed at their first stop, they were able to visit the pilot shop, which is a store that contains maps and other gear a pilot may purchase for use in and for his aircraft. The best part about his flight, said Gibbs, was being able to actually control the aircraft.
The cadets were presented with their “Certificate of First Flight” on May 1st at the closing formation by Osprey Composite Squadron commander Capt. Karl Lotvedt and their orientation pilot Capt. Holcomb. Lotvedt remarked that the orientation flights are one of the most enjoyable and unique activities given to cadets and is part of CAP’s aerospace education program.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and was credited by the AFRCC with saving 113 lives in fiscal year 2010. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction 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 26,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 69 years. It is the largest sponsor annually of Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or www.capvolunteernow.com.
Nearly 1,600 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 29 search and rescue missions and were credited with 13 finds saving three lives. Maryland Wing flew over 160 missions for the State of Maryland for a total of 2,222 hours flown. Volunteers contributed services estimated at 4.2 million dollars. For more information contact the Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org.
Osprey Composite Squadron meets every Tuesday at 7:00 pm at the American Legion Lodge Post 38 at 3300 Dundalk Ave. in Dundalk, Md.