Civil Air Patrol Southwest Iowa Youth Program Has A Busy Summer | Local News


Stacy Condie and Mary McBride Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron – Civilian Air Patrol

The youth program had a busy month!

On June 11 and 12, you may have seen a white Cessna 172 flying over Harlan and the Atlantic. When you heard that sweet sound of this small motor plane, you could hear the flights of eight cadets aged 12 to 16 flying them.

The Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron of Atlantic, Iowa serves the entire southwest region and has cadets who travel up to an hour each way to weekly meetings . A very big benefit of being in the Civil Air Patrol as a Cadet is…. flying! In order to qualify to fly, a cadet must attend three meetings, enroll in the program, and complete a few training modules. Once in uniform, they can perform their first orientation flight, also called “O-Flight”.

The squadron has not been able to conduct O-Flights since November due to weather conditions, aircraft down for maintenance, or pilot scheduling conflicts. The Southwest Iowa Composite Squadron recently signed a member and received all certifications to be a Civil Air Patrol Pilot. The cadets were excited because it meant they could continue their O-Flights – eight cadets were able to fly right away! This was the first orientation flight for three of these cadets.

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Over the course of two days, Lt. Matt Riley, a resident of Red Oak, piloted our eight cadets for 11 total flights. Each flight has a pre-flight checklist which is mandatory for all pilots in the organization. “A pilot’s life is all about checklists,” Riley said.

C/Amn Bissen of Harlan was one of the first-time flying cadets. He really enjoyed his experience and said his favorite part was “the landings and taking the controls to steer the direction of the plane”, and the worst part was the turbulence – “so bumpy!” Atlantic’s C/Amn Gary and Kimballton’s C/Amn Reinhardt both had their first O-Flights. C/Amn Reinhardt has flown with a family friend before, but still had a great experience. “My first flight in this program was very enjoyable and I learned a lot,” he said.

Atlantic’s C/SSgt Johnson was able to complete its third and fourth flights. The more flights the cadet has completed, the more exciting things become. “I have to do some tight 60 degree turns,” she said. “It was really cool to feel the g-force effect…” She flew over her farm on all of her flights and enjoyed getting aerial photos of their area each time. Atlantic’s C/TSgt McBride also got its third and fourth flights. He said of his third flight: “There were a lot of cool experiences that I was looking forward to for a long time, like tight turns and stalls. It was still my favorite flight!”

On June 14, cadets helped 8-ball Aviation on their Father’s Day Fly In in Harlan. They demonstrated the drill in front of a crowd, spoke to many civilian air program attendees (including Iowa Rep. Steve Holt), and got to watch many planes land and take off. They also served pancakes, eggs and bacon to attendees.

On June 18, the aircraft mechanics program at Iowa Western Community College welcomed the cadets. Part of Civil Air Patrol educates cadets on careers related to aerospace and aviation. Todd Lemense gave the cadets a tour of Council Bluffs facilities and briefed them on the program. Cadets also got to see and ride inside several planes and helicopters, including Huey Helicopter, Cessna 182 and a Piper Cheyenne.

From June 24-26, C/CMSgt Hopkins earned the Ground Crew Leader qualification at IESA. The Iowa Emergency Services Academy is designed to take an inexperienced member and fully train them in the field of Ground Crew Three, Ground Crew Leader, Small Unmanned Aerial System Technician or small him an air system mission pilot. This year, the Iowa Wang led her class June 24-26 and hosted 21 ground crew members three, two ground crew chiefs, seven small air system technicians and four pilots. Major James McLaughlin, Iowa Wing Emergency Services Ground Training Officer, said: ‘This has been the first class for over a decade and has shown the need for member training. We will definitely do it again.

On June 26, Cadets Johnson-Atlantic, Rhoads-Harlan, McBride-Atlantic, Gary-Atlantic were flight marshals for Red Oak Airport during the Fly In Breakfast. This is a high-level experience adventure for cadets. They had to go through a lot of training on how to properly guide a landing plane and direct them to the parking lot. This is a very important role in ensuring the safety of pilots, aircraft and ground personnel. Cadet Bissen and senior members worked at the information table sharing their experiences with many people who stopped to visit and learn more about CAP


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