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Local Youth Take to the Skies with the Civil Air Patrol

April 21, 2019

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Charleston, WV, 18 April 2019 -- Six area teens experienced the thrill of aviation, through orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol at Yeager Airport today. The cadets flew a combined 6 hours in CAP’s sophisticated Cessna 182. “It was awesome!” reports Cadet Dharma Thomas age 14, of Kenna. “I’ve always wanted to fly, and today, I got 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. Cadet Thomas at the controls.


The cadets’ day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. Working with their pilot, Captain Isaiah Smith of Parkersburg, they taxied their aircraft to Yeager Airport’s runway 5-23, gave it full throttle and took off, climbing to 3,000 feet. While aloft, it was the cadets who were handling the controls, during the noncritical stages of the flight. Once they reached their assigned altitude, the cadets turned northwest and navigated to Megs Gallia Airport, where they made a brief stop. Then it was another cadet’s turn at the controls for the flight home. CAP pilots repeated this round-trip throughout the day. “I was a CAP cadet and this is my way of giving back, and it’s always exciting just to see the look on their faces,” said Captain Smith. Captain Smith volunteered his time, while the Civil Air Patrol provided the aircraft and fuel, at no cost to the cadets or the pilot. The cadets participating were Gavin McGee, Dharma Thomas, Galen Sullivan, Caitlin Thomas, Omar Maraikayer, and Ethan Ralston. CAP’s Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike. 

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