MEMBER ALERT: AOPA will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from 2:30 p.m. Eastern Nov. 26 until 8:30 a.m. Eastern Dec. 1.We are thankful for all of our AOPA members. Happy Thanksgiving!
November 25, 2013
By Jill W. Tallman
A 21-year-old flight instructor says his successful aviation path is attributable to the mentoring and training he received through the Civil Air Patrol.
“I thought I would join and see what it was all about,” said Stephen Bloemsma. “I had completed some Young Eagles flights when I was 12 or 13 that initially sparked my interest in aviation. Then after joining CAP and completing my cadet orientation flights, I knew aviation was the career field I wanted to pursue.”
CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, has 61,000 members nationwide and operates a fleet of 550 aircraft that it uses for inland search-and-rescue missions. More than 26,000 young people participate in CAP cadet programs that introduce aviation through a 16-step program that includes aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness, and moral leadership.
As a CAP cadet, Bloemsma learned to fly airplanes and gliders and soloed at age 16. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and now flight instructs at Western North Carolina Aviation and as a mission pilot, cadet orientation pilot, and instructor at the Asheville Composite Squadron’s annual flight academy. “Going through the squadron’s first flight academy as a cadet and then being able to come back a few years later and teach it was quite the rewarding experience,” he said.
Bloemsma's career plans include flying for the airlines or a corporation once he has accumulated enough flight hours.
“CAP gave me an opportunity to fly at a young age and sparked that interest in aviation that led me to continue on in my training, and I am very grateful for that,” Bloemsma said.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
Search and Rescue,
Pilot Training and Certification,
An Arizona airport ramp usually packed with business aircraft was transformed to a venue for fun and joy for 135 special-needs children and family members.
Pilots and aircraft owners have volunteered to transport hundreds of sea turtles rescued in Massachusetts to facilities equipped to care for them.
The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is seeking the participation of pilots and businesses that rely on general aviation in two separate online surveys.
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