Updated: May 16, 2019
Springfield VT May 11th 2019-
Ten 399th Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol cadets spent the day on Saturday at Hartness State Airport in Springfield Vermont soaring over the fields and valleys of Vermont. The Cadets departed Danbury in two Civil Air Patrol Vans for Vermont on Friday night. They spent the night close to the airport in Vermont and arrived early on Saturday to the airport ready to fly.
Upon arrival at Hartness State Airport the cadets had an operational and safety briefing where they discussed weather and operations of the Super Blanik L23 Glider. Civil Air Patrol Lt. Colonel Mark Farley gave the briefing and was the glider pilot for the day. The cadets received their flight order based on weight. They learned about ballast and ensuring that there was proper weight and balance and center of gravity distribution. After the initial briefing the cadets went out to ready the glider and perform a pre-flight inspection.
Cadets on glider flights wear sneakers because of how bulky the boots are in a glider and the sneakers give the cadets better feel on the rudder pedals. All cadets and senior members wear safety vests. Unlike flying a powered airplane glider flying has more "on airport" activity and it is very important to be visible. You spend most of the day actually on the side of the runway or taxiway. You have to constantly be aware of your surrounding. After the pre-flight the cadets started flying in the order they were given
To fly a glider the cadets all took a "Wing Runner" course online in advance of the trip to Vermont to learn the correct signals and positions of each member of the glider launch team. Each launch requires a glider pilot, (both instructor and cadet) a wing runner, a mirror (cadet who mirrors the actions of the wing runner within eyesight of the tow pilot, so the tow pilot can see what the wing runner is
motioning) and a tow plane pilot. All four jobs (five people) communicate in very specific ways using hand signals to effectively and safely launch and retrieve a glider. In addition to the regular positions we also have supervisors assisting cadets in their positions to add additional levels of safety. 1st LT. Heidi Salvail served as our safety officer assisting the cadets and monitoring the entire operation. She also had radios for Hartness State to monitor all airport traffic. Senior member Sam Coes III assisted the cadets in their Duties and Major Jeffrey Adams was the Tow Pilot.
In the end all 10 Cadets were able to get in the air for their glider flights. The cadets resoundingly agreed that they can not wait for their next glider O-Flight Day.
1st Lt. Mike Nolan of the 399th Composite Squadron organized the event for the cadets. "I think we had a great day today. The weather held out and we have introduced more cadets to glider flying. I think more than a few of them may have gotten the flying bug, based on the smiles on their faces."
The cadets who flew, in order of their flights, were. Cadet Zachary Cadovious, Cadet Airman Miguel Lock, Cadet Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Suess, Cadet Staff Sergeant Matthew Waldron, Cadet Airman Peter Cardenas, Cadet Senior Airman John Anderson, Cadet Airman Lizbeth Juanacio, Cadet Airman Gustav Neubohn, Cadet Airman Matthew Suess and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Kiefer Jenkins
Members of the 399th Composite Squadron meet on Tuesday's from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The Armed Forces Reserve Center, Danbury, CT.
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, 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 80 lives annually. CAP's 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP's Cadet Programs. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.comfor more information.