Civil Air Patrol cadets experience flight firsthand through the efforts of CAP adult volunteers, aviation enthusiasts eager to share their love of flying. Often, it is through CAP that a young person receives the first flight of his/her life. Aviation education is delivered in both the classroom and the cockpit. Cadets gain an understanding of the complex forces that cause an aircraft to achieve lift and other fundamental topics such as navigation, engines and aerospace history.
Orientation Flights: Through orientation flights in powered and glider aircraft, cadets develop a love of aviation at no cost to them. Paired with an experienced CAP volunteer pilot, cadets help preflight the aircraft, observe takeoff procedures and while aloft actually manipulate the controls and perform basic flight maneuvers. The program also enables cadets to learn about meteorology, navigation and aircraft instrumentation and technology. Cadets fly approximately 16,000 hours in powered aircraft and 7,000 sorties in gliders each year.
Flight Academies: Having experienced the wonder of flight, advanced cadets pursue formal flight training. During powered and glider flight academies, CAP provides cadets with reasonably priced flight instruction in an age-appropriate learning environment. As evidenced by their camaraderie and teamwork, cadets help one another master the complexities and sobering responsibilities of flight during an unforgettable week of intense training. Each summer, approximately 200 cadets learn to fly at CAP flight academies.