Tallahassee, Fla -
The 315th Air Wing out of Charleston, South Carolina invited members from the Tallahassee Composite Squadron and the Marianna Composite Squadron to participate in an orientation flight on a U.S.A.F Boeing C-17 Globemaster during a planned training exercise in February.
Cadets from both Tallahassee and Marianna arrived to the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) eagerly anticipating their ride in one of the biggest aircraft in the U.S.A.F. fleet, and they weren’t disappointed.
Captain Ken Jacobs, Commander of the Tallahassee Composite Squadron, and Major Bruce Adams of the Marianna Composite Squadron, led 28 cadets and senior members went through numerous safety briefings before the flight and then boarded the massive aircraft for a scenic tour down the west Florida coast.
Capt. Jacobs said, “This is a massive aircraft and when we parked our Cessna 172 in front of this huge plane for photographs, it looked like a dwarf in comparison.”
The Globemaster has a maximum gross weight of 580,500 lbs. and is capable of flying nearly anywhere in the world, and this particular aircraft has. Normally it operates with a crew of three but for this special mission the crew totaled six members.
During the flight, each Civil Air Patrol member was allowed to ascend a set of steep stairs to the upper deck to the cockpit of this remarkable aircraft. Upon completing the one-hour flight, cadets and senior members were able to tour a special exhibition of a vintage P-51 Mustang from the Tuskegee Air Force which was also visiting Tallahassee. While at the exhibit, cadets from both squadrons were asked to give a briefing to the crowd assembled to see this acclaimed World War II aircraft.
According to Maj. Adams, “I don’t think we’re going to be able to wipe the smiles off the faces of our cadets. And that’s why we love being in the Civil Air Patrol.”