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Cadets soar through the sky as part of Civil Air Patrol Academy

One of the 20 cadets who participated in the Southeast Region National Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy July 12-20, prepares for takeoff at the Tullahoma Municipal Airport. (Courtesy photo)

One of the 20 cadets who participated in the Southeast Region National Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy July 12-20, prepares for takeoff at the Tullahoma Municipal Airport. (Courtesy photo)

A cadet takes flight during the Southeast Region National Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy at Tullahoma Municipal Airport. The academy, hosted by the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, was July 12-20. (Courtesy photo)

A cadet takes flight during the Southeast Region National Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy at Tullahoma Municipal Airport. The academy, hosted by the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, was July 12-20. (Courtesy photo)

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- During the Southeast Region National Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Glider Academy from July 12-20, 20 cadets from 11 states completed about 200 glider flights.

The academy, hosted by the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, was supported by the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Program.
One of the cadets returned to participate a second year and another was a second-year cadet from the 2018 Northeast Region Glider Academy. Eight of the cadets earned full scholarships to attend this year’s academy.

Due to some bad weather during the week of the academy, only one cadet earned his Solo Wings but 12 others earned their Pre-Solo Wings, which shows they can handle a glider without assistance but accompanied by an instructor per FAA or CAP regulations.

When not completing glider flights, the cadets stayed busy with classroom activities and worked with glider simulations. The simulations offer a realistic experience and can be entered into their flight logbooks as training as well. One of the simulated trainings included a virtual reality headset. Another valuable lesson the cadets learned was how to make tow ropes. Assisting with this activity was a guest staff member of the Air Cadet League of Canada.

In addition to the 20 CAP cadets, the academy included Federal Aviation Administration-rated glider instructors and several volunteers.

“The Civil Air Patrol has such a great, experienced group of instructors and support staff to assist these cadets with their goals of becoming young aviators,” said Olga Oakley, the AEDC STEM coordinator. “The students learned so much and it was a great week for all involved.”

Oakley helped to close out the week, serving as the special guest speaker at the Glider Academy graduation July 19.

Those with the SER National Glider Flight Academy thanked the Beechcraft Heritage Museum for the use of their facilities and Tullahoma Municipal Airport for their work in support of air and ground operations.