Group 5 Cadets take to the Skies
Thursday, April 5, 2018

By Capt. Madeline Kirsten, Commander, Student Leadership Academy Cadet Sqn.

VENICE, Fla., -

Five cadets form the Student Leadership Academy of Venice experienced the thrill of aviation through Civil Air Patrol's cadet flight orientation program. The cadets flew a combined five hours in the specially equipped CAP Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft.

The cadets’ day began by helping the pilots pre-flight their aircraft; working with their pilots, they taxied their aircraft to the designated runway, gave it full throttle and took off, climbing to 3,000 feet. During the non-critical stages of the flight, it was the cadets who were handling the controls, “I was surprised how much I was instructed to use the controls and fly the plane, myself,” said Cadet Natalie Hays, who was taking her second orientation flight.

The Civil Air Patrol cadets participating in Saturday’s flights were; C/SrA Natalie Hays, C/Amn David Kline, C/Amn Isaiah Domingo-Heart, C/Amn Travis Hilton, and C/AB Allison Lovley. C/Amn Kline, who was working on his third powered flight, preforming advanced flight maneuvers, remarked how painless the flying experience was because of his highly knowledgeable pilot. “Lt. Pysher helped to make my stalls experience easy and straightforward.”

The pilots donating their time and expertise to instructing the orientation flights were; Major Jimmie Ware, 1st Lt. John Haynes and 1st Lt. Mark Pysher. 1st Lt. Andre Bouchane, the deputy commander from the Student Leadership Academy school squadron, was also present at the Punta Gorda Airport for the cadets’ orientation flights.

The Student Leadership Academy is a tuition free, public middle school open to any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student in the communities of Venice, South Sarasota, North Port and Englewood. Students enrolled at Student Leadership Academy may elect to become part of the Civil Air Patrol school squadron and begin their own journey into the skies. For more information, please visit the following websites, or

C/Amn Hilton, C/Amn Domingo-Heart, C/SrA Hays, and C/AB Lovley are pictured in front of their CAP pilots, Major Ware and 1st Lt. John Haynes. (Photo credit: 1st Lt. Bouchane)

C/Amn Kline prepares for powered orientation flight in the front seat of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft. (Photo credit: 1st Lt. Bouchane)

Cadets Hilton and Domingo-Heart preform a preflight check with their pilot, Major Ware during cadet orientation flights at Punta Gorda Airport. (Photo credit: 1st Lt. Bouchane)
Photo Caption:  Cadets Hilton and Domingo-Heart preform a preflight check with their pilot, Major Ware during cadet orientation flights at Punta Gorda Airport. (Photo credit: 1st Lt. Bouchane)
Article Information
Reviewed by: Lt. Col. Jeff P. Carlson
Syndicated to: Region Hq, Florida Wing, Cadet Programs, Group 5
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Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 57,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.
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