Charlotte County Cadets Honored by Local VFW Post
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5 on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Author: Maj. Earle Bretz.

The Port Charlotte Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post 5690 has once again selected two cadets from the Charlotte County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol to receive the prestigious VFW Cadet of the Year Award. Cadet 2nd Lt. Cooper Whitten received the Cadet Officer of the Year Award and Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Taylor Varner was the recipient of the Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award.

The award, presented by VFW Commander Emil Venclik, is given on the basis of the cadet's progress and status in the CAP program in addition to how well they are doing with their school curriculum and grades achieved. VFW Post 5690 has supported the efforts of the Charlotte County CAP squadron to foster leadership and good citizenship in local youth for more than ten years. Their financial support has been extremely beneficial to our cadet program.

Lt. Whitten joined CAP in March 2013 and has moved up the cadet ranks as rapidly as the regulations would permit. He is presently the Cadet Deputy Commander. Flying as a career may be in his future. He has embraced the CAP program and taken advantage of every opportunity to fly when he can - he has completed nine orientation flights, four credited and five observing. He has also attended four encampments hosted by Florida WIng.

Sgt. Varner became a CAP member in September 2010 and joined the Charlotte County squadron two years ago after relocating to Florida from Colorado. His present duty is as First Sgt. in the squadron. He has seven instructed orientation flights and three observing flights to his credit. He is working hard to earn the grade of lieutenant before he becomes a member of the United States Navy in December.

“His experience in CAP will bring many benefits to his Navy career,” said Major Earle Bretz, public affairs officer.

The Punta Gorda squadron presently has 46 boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 year old.

“Cooper and Taylor are outstanding examples of our cadet group,” offered Bretz.



Patrick Composite Squadron Locate and Silence Emergency Beacon
Filed under Group 2 on Monday, May 23, 2016 by Author: Capt. Martin Percifield.

I was just sitting down for my second cup of coffee going through my to-do list when the call came in early Monday morning.  We have a mission!

At 8:38am, notification came in via multiple sources from CAP Incident Commander (IC) Maj Sam Chiodo.  The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) was receiving multiple pilot reports that an Electronic Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal was being heard on 121.5 MHz in the Melbourne area. 

In other words, CAP needs to mobilize air and ground Urban Direction Finding (UDF) teams and proceed to the Melbourne area to search, locate, and silence the active ELT – ASAP!  Now the work begins.

The urgency that there could be a downed aircraft and a pilot who needs our help feeds adrenaline into the body.  Putting my coffee down my mind shifts from the plans for my day, to the tasks required to successfully execute the UDF mission in the most expedient manner.  Remember “The Golden Hour”.  Grabbing my UDF Go Bag, I say goodbye to my wife and out the door I go.

First destination, the squadron to grab the CAP van, radios and additional UDF gear.  The other team members arrive.  We conduct a quick equipment check and safety briefing.  Now we are on the hunt and time is of the essence.

Stopping to make an initial check ten miles north and hearing no signal we proceed towards the airport.  A couple miles north of the airport we take another sounding.   Capt Denis Sullivan reports “BINGO”!  We pick up a weak ELT signal coming from the general direction of the airport.  We check again as we reach the northwest corner of the airport and now we have a strong signal.  Good, we’re closing in.

We need to break it down and start eliminating possibilities.  We make the choice to start on the North side of the airport and see what indications we get.  After eliminating a few obvious possibilities and making contact with airport security we take another sounding and determine that the signal is coming from the south tarmac.  There is a flight school, the main terminal, and several General Aviation (GA) hangars there.

Finally after clearing a large flight school and all the GA hangars we find the offending aircraft in a large hangar used by a local college for a newly established Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) course.

With the flick of a switch the eerie warbling tone is silenced and the emergency radio wave is clear once again.  We report the details back to mission base and they notify AFRCC that the beacon has been silenced.

CAP’s mission accomplished.  This time, no downed plane and no missing or injured pilot!  It was just an accidental arming of an ELT by a student in a hangar on a busy airport in Melbourne Florida.

If you would like more information about the Civil Air Patrol please contact us at (321) 494-6395 or visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com.  Patrick Composite Squadron meets every Wednesday at 6:30 pm, at 3560 Shearwater Pkwy, Satellite Beach, Florida 32937



SRQ Composite Squadron Cadets Host Open House
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5, Group 800, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Florida Feature on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Author: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll.

Cadets from the SRQ Composite Squadron of Civil Air Patrol (CAP) hosted an open house on Monday, 9 May 2016 at the Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota County. More than 60 attendees, including cadets, senior members, parents and potential cadets, learned about Civil Air Patrol and the many opportunities available for area youth.

“The cadet program relies on cadets,” said Cadet Capt. Gabriel J. Brink, Cadet Commander. “We had our open house to bring in more cadets because they are the future of Civil Air Patrol. Conducting ground teams, having instructors for the programs, and even having leaders to staff the whole chain of command requires cadets.”

The open house started with the presentation of colors by the cadet color guard, followed by a presentation by C/Capt. Brink on the history of CAP, CAP’s mission and the programs offered for cadets. Following the presentation, Squadron Commander Maj. William Hansen and Deputy Commander/Cadets Capt. Ann Marie Kozolski talked with parents while the cadets and future cadets went outside for interactive demonstrations of fizzy rockets, stomp rockets and urban direction finding (UDF) equipment.

CAP’s cadet program introduces young people, from ages 12 through 21, to aviation. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, and many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).

Based at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, the SRQ Composite Squadron is one of more than 1,700 Civil Air Patrol squadrons across the nation. The SRQ Composite Squadron includes 93 members: 58 senior members and 35 cadets. Members put general aviation to its best use, dedicated to saving lives, flying counter-drug missions, participating in homeland security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and supporting America’s educators. For information about the SRQ Composite Squadron of CAP, visit www.capsrq044.com.



SRQ Composite Squadron Cadets Take Flight
Filed under Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, Group 4, Group 5, Group 6, Group 7, Group 800, Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, Florida Feature on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Author: 1st Lt. Christopher Carroll.

Emergency services, aerospace education, and cadet programs. Those are the three primary missions of the Civil Air Patrol. But which aspect of CAP captures the imagination of adolescents and inspires them to become cadets? Within aerospace education and cadet programs, it is the opportunity to fly that attracts cadets the most.

The Cadet Orientation Flight Program introduces youth under 18 years of age to general aviation through hands-on orientation flights in single-engine aircraft and gliders. Every CAP cadet is eligible for five flights in a powered aircraft. Each phase of the Orientation Flight Program is more advanced than the one before it. This way, cadets build upon their knowledge of aircraft and factors that affect flight.

“My first time flying was nerve wracking getting to handle the controls and knowing that there are three people’s lives in my hands. It is also the first time I have been in such a small plane,” says Cadet Natalie Putman.

In the first orientation flight, the pilot explains and demonstrates the use of flight controls and points out the airplane’s attitude in relation to the horizon. During the second powered flight, cadets learn how the effects of lift, drag, and gravity affect the airplane. Cadets experience the anticipated stalls during their third flight in a Cessna along with performing climbing turns and learning about collision avoidance. The fourth flight lesson covers the airspeed indicator and how attitude and airspeed are related. On the fifth and final orientation flight, the pilot explains the effects that weather has upon flying as well as discusses wake turbulence avoidance.

Cadets in the SRQ Composite Squadron have the opportunity to fly on Saturdays about once or twice a month, and do so out of Dolphin Aviation in Sarasota. Providing cadets with the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in aerospace education and general aviation is done so in part by making these orientation flights available. Cadets in the Civil Air Patrol receive many unique opportunities that most adolescents do not, and the Cadet Orientation Flight Program is just one of them!

CAP’s cadet program introduces young people, from ages 12 through 21, to aviation. Cadets progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership. Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology, and many others. Those cadets who earn cadet officer status may enter the Air Force as an E3 (airman first class) rather than an E1 (airman basic).

Based at the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport, the SRQ Composite Squadron is one of more than 1,700 Civil Air Patrol squadrons across the nation. The SRQ Composite Squadron includes 93 members: 58 senior members and 35 cadets. Members put general aviation to its best use, dedicated to saving lives, flying counter-drug missions, participating in homeland security efforts, providing disaster relief, advancing young people, and supporting America’s educators. For information about the SRQ Composite Squadron of CAP, visit www.capsrq044.com.



CAP airplane assigned to SRQ squadron takes off from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. (Photo Credit: Capt. Ann Marie Kozloski, CAP)



Former 'Bush Pilot' Shares Stories at Naples Senior Squadron
Filed under Florida Wing, Group 5 on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 by Author: 1st Lt. Don Binner.

The Naples Senior Squadron guest speaker program recently welcomed Rex Gasteiger to speak about his eight years' experience as a bush pilot in Papua Guinea. During the presentation, Gasteiger told stories about the cadre of ‎volunteer bush pilots and the dangerous conditions they braved flying supplies to remote villages.

The relief flights covered an area of about 1500 square miles and brought ‎fuel, supplies, medicine and equipment to the villages and were usually the only contact with the outside world. The planes flown were single or twin-engine aircraft that had only basic avionics to increase the payload. Most planes carried up to 1300 pounds of freight and had ‎about 15 cubic feet of space. Larger items were disassembled, stowed and later reassembled on-site. ‎

He described the dangerous jungle runways, ‎known as in/out runways, where pilots have only one chance to land or take off. The runways are typically designed with a slope. Pilots will land going uphill, helping to slow down the plane. To depart, the plane is turned around and the downhill slope accelerates the plane more quickly allowing the wings to develop lift in a shorter distance.

“There is no go-around for ‎a second try.”

Pilots flew ‘dead reckoning’ using the rivers, canyons and ‎ground structures to guide the way. There were no maps of the remote region and the aircraft did not have GPS. Gasteiger drew his own maps.

"The area served was ‎mostly jungle covered, and the villages and runways were hidden by the dense canopy," recalled Rex. “You had to know where the runways were ‎located because there were no maps of the remote areas.”

Gasteiger is owner of RexAir, a well-known ‎aircraft maintenance facility and flight school,‎ located at the Naples Air Authority.

He finished by saying: "It was a memorable and valuable experience." ‎





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