Westchester, NY (3 February 2014) – Three area cadets, including one from Westchester Cadet Squadron 1 of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), ranging in age from 12 to 16 years old, experienced the thrill of aviation through orientation flights at Westchester County Airport on February 2, 2014.
Each cadet had the opportunity to fly in the front seat of a single-engine Cessna 182 aircraft under the supervision of an experienced CAP pilot. The three-hour flight introduced cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more. The orientation flights are free to cadets and are part of CAP’s aerospace curriculum. More flights are scheduled for the next couple of weekends, weather permitting.
The flight was piloted by Captain (Capt.) Rocky Cipriano, a CAP pilot and the Emergency Services Officer of the Westchester Hudson Senior (“Raptor”) Squadron, based at Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY. He began the orientation with a pre-flight inspection and emphasized to his cadet crew the importance of “safety first,” especially during flight operations. The walk around inspection included aircraft familiarization and assessing the condition of flight surfaces. Capt. Cipriano’s crew consisted of Cadet Airman First Class (C/A1C) Taiyo Spain of White Plains, Cadet Airman (C/Amn) Amanda Torres of New Rochelle and Cadet Airman Basic (C/AB) Benjamin Gershman of Armonk, NY.
Once the crew reached their assigned altitude, Capt. Cipriano demonstrated how to control the aircraft in flight as the cadets flew to airports in Bridgeport and Danbury, CT and then back to Westchester County Airport. While aloft, it was the cadets who were handling the controls during the non-critical stages of the flight. C/A1C Spain, who has previously attended NASA’s Space Camp, was excited to experience his first time flying in a Cessna. “I’m looking forward to the view” he stated before boarding. His father, USAF (Retired) and CAP Senior Member Tymon Spain was also excited for the cadets to experience this opportunity. “I am amazed that the cadets, at their ages, get to experience this. I am also grateful for Civil Air Patrol and the invaluable education it provides to our youth” he stated as he watched the take off.
These orientation flights are one of many opportunities available to cadets to fly as part of Civil Air Patrol’s curriculum, with cadets being offered flights in powered aircraft, gliders and even military aircraft. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done!” stated C/Amn Torres upon landing. “I’ve flown when I’ve traveled to many places for vacation, but nothing beats actually flying an aircraft!” To C/AB Gershman, whose grandfather flew B-17’s during World War II and is concurrently a member of the Young Marines, this was something different he would experience, and would recommend this to others.
Civil Air Patrol is open to youth aged 12-18, and has volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. Westchester Cadet Squadron 1 meets on Friday evenings at the New Rochelle Marina. For more information, contact SM Kathy Torres at kathyitorres@hotmail or visit their website at www.westcadets.org.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide, operating a fleet of 550 aircraft. 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 is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. 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 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 71 years. 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 or www.capvolunteernow.com for more information.
There are nearly 4,000 members of CAP in New York. The members of New York Wing participate in all 3 missions of CAP: Emergency Services (Search and Rescue), Cadet Programs and Aerospace Education. For information about CAP’s New York Wing, visit www.nywg.cap.gov.