4/23/2012–Baltimore, MD–On April 1 two cadets in the newest squadron in the Maryland Wing experienced their first orientation flight. The pilot, Captain James Holcomb, flew C/AB Rasul Jones and C/AB Khalil Stanley from Martin State Airport to Easton, Maryland and back, with a stop at Bay Bridge Airport. A debriefing after the flight clearly showed the eagerness of these cadets to return to the sky in a Civil Air Patrol plane and, eventually, to gain a pilot’s license. Both cadets answered questions posed by Captain Holcomb about what they had done correctly and what they believed needed to be adjusted in their performances. All in all, Captain Holcomb gave them outstanding rating for their first flight.
Cadet Stanley could not stop grinning with delight. The grin began the minute his hands hit the controls of the airplane. Cadet Stanley hopes to become a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. That journey began on April 1. Cadet Jones also expressed his delight in flying, although his enthusiasm was curbed by the discretion of Captain Holcomb, who advised Cadet Jones that “you can’t go to the moon just yet” when he tried to fly straight up into the air.
Because of weather issues prior to the flight, Captain Holcomb took Cadet Stanley, Cadet Jones, and Cadet Tetsuo P. Stewart to the helicopter maintenance area to meet with a pilot, copilot and EMT trainee to discuss helicopter crew roles and to learn about the helicopter used for emergency medical evacuations. The helicopter crew members are all Maryland State Troopers and answered the questions posed by the cadets. Once the weather cleared, Captain Holcomb and SM Ernest P. Stewart, Jr. brought the cadets back to the pilot lounge at Martin State Airport to begin the preflight checks.
At the Baltimore Composite Squadron meeting held on April 2, 2012, Cadet Stanley and Cadet Jones received their “Certificate of First Flight” at the closing formation from Squadron Commander Linda A. Dominguez. Commander Dominguez expressed the hope that all of the cadets in the squadron would follow the example set by Stanley and Jones. Orientation flights are part of the aerospace education curriculum for cadets.
Civil Air Patrol, 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 was credited by the AFRCC with saving 54 lives in fiscal year 2011. 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 nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for 70 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.
More than 1,500 members of CAP serve in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information contact The Maryland Wing at www.mdcap.org.
The Baltimore Composite Squadron of the Maryland Wing meets on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Turner’s Armory, 1700 Argonne Drive, Baltimore MD 21251. Squadron Commander Linda A. Dominguez may be contacted by cell phone at (443) 416-1164 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.