“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
[Photos on disc – I like #11) attached???]
A celebration of learning, success, and fun continues this month with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP)! CAP Second Lt. Michael R. Harris sent in the following report about a great training weekend.
One day while flying at Steen’s Sports Park, I was approached by a local Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Squadron Commander, Captain Andrew Lucas, who asked for help with the Klamath Falls CAP composite squadron. He asked if I’d put together a program so that his cadets could learn about and fly RC airplanes.
He invited me to attend the next CAP meeting. I was reluctant, but after attending a few CAP meetings, I realized how important its mission was to America. This is a place where young boys and girls learn about aeronautics, leadership, and safety. The CAP vision statement says “Civil Air Patrol, America’s Air Force auxiliary, building the nation’s finest force of citizen volunteers serving America.”
There are eight active adult senior members and 24 youth members ranging in age from 12 to 18—all following a mission statement of “Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.” I joined the CAP myself as the Aerospace Education Officer. There were a lot of things to learn about CAP, and my journey began.
With the cooperation from my club, the Yankee Air Pirates Aeronautical Institute (YAPAI), I was able to convince our board of directors to allow us to use the Skip Robertson memorial flying field, in Malin, Oregon. Plans started coming together and even the City of Malin got involved, providing park benches for our classrooms and eating arrangements.
With these respectful young men and young women and an easy program to follow, things went smoothly. With support from my new squadron commander, Lt. Col. Theresa Longley, we formed our own RC club called the CAP Flight R/C club, with 14 cadet members and five adult members.
We put together what was a fantastic weekend of camping, drill practice, and flying. With Rod Baker, Randy Sweigert, and me from YAPAI and Roy Rivskovsky and Bill Young from Flight Masters of Klamath Falls as trainer pilots, and several trainer airplanes, we were ready.
We set up our tents, RVs, and a camp kitchen. Our squadron safety officer, Second Lt. Hart, who was a former fire chief, looked for hazards and held a 20-minute safety briefing. After that we cooked dinner and some of our senior members entertained by doing some open flying.
We had 11 cadets in attendance. As the sun dropped below the horizon the cadets practiced drill and played a CAP game called Capture the Flag. Some of the cadets were on the two simulators that we had set up near one of the RVs. Each had roughly 30 minutes of simulator time, then at dusk we began flying our night aircraft.
Day two started early. The cadets rolled out of bed at 5:30 a.m. for physical training and more drill practice, while the senior members Victoria Namany, Kathy Burch, and the squadron commander prepared a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy.
` The training pilots started by warming up their airplanes with a little air show then the training classes began. Roy presented a 30-minute preflight lesson, pointing out that the differences between RC airplanes and full-scale aircraft were small. After that, I gave a 30-minute class on RC safety. Both classes were followed by 10-question quizzes they were required to pass before proceeding to the hands-on lessons.
Each cadet was allowed 10 minutes of buddy-box time before rotating to the next pilot for another 10 minutes of buddy-box time. By getting several different styles of training from each pilot, the education would be more in-depth. We flew session after session, stopping only to eat lunch.
The only incident was a crash resulting in the loss of a trainer. A battery came out of the bottom of one of the Next Star electric trainers because the battery wasn’t properly strapped in. Recovery proved that the crash was fatal but that didn’t dampen the fun; it just added to the depth of the lesson. All were having fun and it wasn’t long before there was laughter and successful flights by each of the cadets.
The day went fast and everybody was having great fun. Bill Young showed up and gave a UAS demo with his Fat Shark system on a Blade 350 QX quadcopter and he gave everyone a first-person view through the goggles. Several cadets needed steadying because they had a tendency to lean over when the quadcopter turned, but all enjoyed it.
Before the day began to slow down and it was nearly time to eat, Airman Eleanor Burch was able to focus and made the first and only successful landing for the weekend. Outstanding job, Cadet Burch!
Dinner was served and everybody was tired and content that we had pulled off a wonderful weekend. We slept well that night. The next morning, the camp was awakened by the sound of my twin biplane warming up. After breakfast it was flying time again with just a few buddy box attempts and more demo flights by the staff. It was a great time but now it was time to pack up the tents and put everything away.
I want to thank everyone who participated. The event was fun and much aerospace information was shared and learned. It was simple to put together this worthy event. I encourage everyone to try something similar. Join a local CAP squadron and bring together cadets and AMA. It is a worthwhile adventure that everyone enjoyed.
Fly and have fun![dingbat]