Local Youth Take to the Skies With the Civil Air Patrol

GraceFour teens from Clarion and Jefferson County recently experienced the thrill of aviation, through Orientation Flights with the Civil Air Patrol at the Clarion County Airport. Throughout the morning and afternoon, the cadets received briefings and flew in one of CAP’s sophisticated Cessna 172’s.

(Cadet Grace Fox receives her “First Flight” certificate from pilot, Master Sergeant Bill Story.)

“It was awesome!” reports Cadet Noah Ossmann, age 16.  Ossman and Cadet Grace Fox were on their very first CAP Orientation Flight, giving them the opportunity to handle the controls and see what flying is all about.

The hour-long flights in single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more.

The cadets’ day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. Working with their pilot, they taxied their aircraft to the Clarion Airport’s runway, gave it full throttle and took off, climbing to 3,500 feet. While aloft, it was the cadets who were handling the controls, during the non-critical stages of the flight.

“You really have to pay attention when you’re at the controls,” explained Cadet Adelle Aaron, 13, “but once you get past your initial nervousness, it’s amazing.”

Photo-02. Suggested Cutline: Cadet Noah Ossman receives his “First Flight” certificate from pilot, Master Sergeant Bill Story.

Cadet Noah Ossman receives his “First Flight” certificate from pilot, Master Sergeant Bill Story.

Once they reached their assigned altitude, the cadets turned east and navigated toward DuBois, where they practiced flight maneuvers before returning to the Clarion Airport. Then it was another cadet’s turn to take the front right seat for another flight. The CAP pilot repeated this round-trip throughout the day.

“I’ve been flying cadets for over twelve years, and there’s nothing that compares to this experience,” said the pilot, CAP Master Sergeant Bill Story of Franklin. Master Sergeant Story volunteered his time, while the Civil Air Patrol provided the aircraft and fuel, at no cost to the cadets or the pilot.

The area youth participating were Grace Fox, Adelle Aaron, Noah Ossmann, and Logan Markle.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. For more information, contact Capt Steve Aaron at 814-229-3523, or visit GoCivilAirPatrol.com.

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