Civil Air Patrol Calhoun Squadron Cadets (Front L-R)
Jada Osborne, Lauren Thomas, Hailey Norman, Grace
Vincent (Back L-R) Raven Story, Hannah Beckner, Levi Good

Submitted by Julie Beckner

The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadets of the West Virginia Calhoun Squadron WV-016 participated in their first orientation flight with the WV Wing. On August 31, Cadets Hannah Beckner (Gilmer Co.), Levi Good (Gilmer Co.), Hailey Norman (Gilmer Co.), Jada Osborne (Calhoun Co.), Raven Story (Calhoun Co), Lauren Thomas (Gilmer Co.), and Grace Vincent (Calhoun Co.) all had the opportunity to soar in the sky with WV CAP Pilots 1st Lieutenant William White and Colonel Rodney Moore.

As part of the Calhoun CAP Squadron, cadets are given the chance to fly in an airplane, and with the guidance of a CAP certified pilot, the Cadets are given the opportunity to fly the aircraft learning to ascend, descend, level out the plane and turn.

Cadets observe a pre-flight inspection conducted by 1LT William White

Several Cadets were nervous prior to the flight, but once the pre-flight inspections were complete, and Cadets were able to see firsthand all of the steps that are taken to ensure that an aircraft is safe before flight, nerves were calmed. The Cadets and pilots departed from Boggs Field in Spencer, WV and headed to where the Cadet’s live, allowing them to locate their home by recognizing landmarks from the sky. They then continued to the Mid-Ohio Valley Airport in Parkersburg, WV where they switched seats and another Cadet was able to take the seat beside of the pilot and fly back to Boggs Field.

When the Cadets were asked about their flight experience, some responses included "Amazing!", "Awesome!", and "It was so unbelievable!". Each Cadet was given the opportunity to sit beside the pilot and fly the aircraft with the pilot's oversight for one hour. This same opportunity is awarded to every Cadet that joins the WV CAP.

CAP Calhoun Squadron welcomes individuals ages 12 to 17 to become Cadets. Adults ages 18 and up can also join CAP and become Senior members in the Squadron. Vast opportunities await those that join CAP, including training for search and rescue, leadership skill development, aviation education, teamwork building, drug prevention, and so much more.

The Calhoun Squadron meets every Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at 413 North High Street, Grantsville. The Calhoun Squadron invites anyone that resides in Calhoun, Gilmer, Braxton, Roane, or nearby areas to attend a meeting and learn more about CAP opportunities. The Calhoun Squadron is under the command of Lt. Colonel Lewis Craddock. CAP is an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.

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