|Civil Air Patrol cadets receive flight time in glider|
|Written by News Desk|
|Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:29|
For the last three weeks cadets from the Civil Air Patrol have enjoyed this view from the cockpit of a glider. Cadets have been flying over the River Region on training flights based out of the Wetumpka Municipal Airport recently.
Photo contributed: Capt James Locke, CAP
Special to The Indy
For the last three weeks the skies over historic Wetumpka Airport have been busy. A Civil Air Patrol glider, one of forty-two operated by the service, has been flying CAP members and US Air Force personnel on orientation and introductory flights.
The Wetumpka Airport was selected, according to CAP Capt James Locke of the Maxwell Composite Squadron, for the glider operation due to its excellent facilities and proximity to so many area CAP members.
"Civil Air Patrol cadets and senior members from Muscle Shoals, Gadsden and Auburn, as well as from the local area, came here to fly the glider," Locke said. "This is an excellent location and facility and we hope to establish glider flights here permanently," Locke said.
Maj. Randy Crowder, Ground Operations Director for the glider flights, observed, "The hospitality of the local pilots at Wetumpka Airport, along with it being a perfect layout for glider operations, contributed to a safe and successful three weeks of flying. As an aviation historian I find the airport personally fascinating and I worked some of its history into my briefings to CAP visitors."
Photo: CAP Lt Robert Griffith explains glider controls to Cadets Timothy and Thomas Cleveland of the Gadsden Composite Squadron before their glider flights.
Photo contributed: Capt James Locke, CAP
The event resulted in fifteen Civil Air Patrol cadets flying twenty-four flights, thirteen senior CAP members having forty flights and six US Air Force active duty personnel assigned to CAP taking six flights. In total, there were thirteen days of flying with seventy glider flights over the three-week period.
"We were thrilled with the soaring conditions here," observed Lt. Robert Griffith, one of the pilots. "Capt. Locke and I had a flight that lasted 2.7 hours one afternoon, and we flew with two Bald Eagles. It was amazing. After briefly sharing a thermal with them we followed as they dove towards the river by Wetumpka. But they're pretty capable fliers and we couldn't keep up," Griffith added.
After releasing from a tow plane that carries the glider aloft, glider pilots look for lift, or rising air called thermals, to stay airborne. Thermals are the result of the sun heating the ground, warming the air which then rises. Gliders can fly without landing for as long as the sun creates thermals. Flights of several hours are not unusual.
For cadets like Elliott Tolar, who drove to Wetumpka from Muscle Shoals, Alabama to experience glider flight, the experience was amazing.
"I just flew for an entire hour. We were able to stay up using the thermals all around here, we flew over to Prattville, down near Montgomery, all in a glider. Plus, I got to fly it and climbed two-thousand feet in a thermal myself. Amazing," Tolar said.
The Civil Air Patrol was formed one week before the bombing of Pearl Harbor by civilian pilots interested in contributing to defense efforts. Its members are credited with sinking three German submarines in US waters. Today, CAP membership is comprised of senior and cadet members who perform search-and-rescue and disaster relief missions, further aerospace education and serve cadet programs. Membership is open to pilots and non-pilots alike. Cadet members are ages twelve to eighteen.
|Last Updated on Friday, 04 October 2013 10:00|
Coosada Baptist Church presented its "Christmas at Coosada" program last Sunday. Pictured above: Zack, Jennifer, and Henry Burr portray Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus during the program. Coosada Baptist Church will hold their Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on December 24th, at 4:00.
Special to The IndyRead more...
Photo: Pastor Richard Russell (standing) at the appreciation service.
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