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Posted: March 2, 2013 10:07 p.m.

Local youth take to skies with Civil Air Patrol

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Six area teens experienced the thrill of aviation, through orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol at Covington Municipal Airport last Thursday. The cadets flew a combined total of 6 hours in CAP’s Cessna aircraft.

“It was awesome!” said cadet Justyn Patterson.

“I have always wanted to fly and I am going to become a pilot!” cadet Rachel Dumas said.

“I was nervous at first, but when we took off everything was so beautiful, neighborhoods looked like little doll villages.”

The hour-long flights in a 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 cadet’s day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. Working with their pilot, they taxied their aircraft to Covington’s runway 10, gave it full throttle and took off, climbing to 3000 feet. While aloft, it was the cadets who were handling the controls, during non-critical stages of flight.

“It’s really fun to fly,” said cadet Daniel Higginbotham.

Once they reached their assigned altitude, the cadets turned southwest and navigated to Milledgeville Baldwin County Airport by lake Sinclair where the made a brief stop.

Then it was another cadet’s turn at the controls for the flight home. This round trip was repeated throughout the day.

“I’ve been flying for years and it’s always rewarding to see the smiles on the kids’ faces,” said CAP pilot Lt. David Holbrook who volunteered his time, while CAP provided the aircraft and fuel at no cost to the cadets or pilot.

The area youth participating were Rachel Dumas, Douglas Dumas, Daniel Higginbotham, Raphael Silva, Jonathan Sugg and Justyn Patterson.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is open to youths ages 12–18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. For more information, contact Major T.O. Benton at 770-786-7430 or visit GoCivilAirPatrol.com.

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