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Civil Air Patrol Takes Young Cadets Into Sky

The Emerald Composite Squadron, of the South Carolina Wing of Civil Air Patrol, conducted a session of its First Flights program on Jan. 24 at Greenwood County Airport, with Lt. Steven Askew taking a pair of local cadets -- 13-year-old Tyler Lewis and 12-year-old Hunter Johnson -- into the sky aboard a single-engine airplane. Maj. Kay Dowling, of the Civil Air Patrol, says the civilian arm of the United States Air Force has a three-fold mission, including aerospace education and the cadet program. "We are working with the cadets on their orientation flights. This is the second flight for these cadets. We are a stepping stone for these particular cadets who are interested in the Air Force." Askew prepared the cadets for the flight, providing the Brewer Middle School students with a detailed explanation of the plane's parts and controls. "We have shown them, mechanically, how the airplane performs in the mechanisms that make a plane turn, climb and descend," Askew says. Once the plane takes off, Askew joins them on the controls and lets them "do turns, climbs, and show[ing] them how the airplane operates." Each cadet makes four flights as part of the orientation program. "Each syllabus has different items we cover each time, so it is progressive learning," Askew says. "We'll go up and accomplish a little more each time." Askew says he enjoys teaching young people to fly. "I love to share the joy of flying," says Askew, who has been flying planes for more than 30 years.

January 24, 2009

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