4 CAP cadets fly high in first orientation rides of 2021

(Powell, WY) – On April 10th, the Wind River Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol sent four cadets to their first orientation rides of the year.

C/Amn Aquinas Lasnoski, C/A1C Matthew Stong, C/CMSgt Nicholas Stong, and C/SMSgt Timothy Stong, traveled 185 miles from Lander to Powell Municipal Airport to participate in CAP’s Cadet Orientation Flights.

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The cadet orientation flight program allows for flights in gliders, powered aircraft, and lighter-than-air aircraft, according to CAP Pamphlet 60-40. The powered aircraft flights include both front and back seat flights.

h/t Captain Karl Falken – C/SMSgt Elijah Swaney (center) teaches cadets how to inspect an aircraft (L-R) C/A1C Matthew Stong, C/Amn Aquinas Lasnoski & C/CMSgt Nicholas Stong

The orientation flight program is more than entertainment, shared Capt Karl Falken, Squadron Commander.

It involves five academic (cognitive) goals & objectives: science, aircraft, instruments, flight maneuvers, and weather. It also involved six attitudinal (affective) goals & objectives: a pro-safety attitude, disciplined airmanship, fitness, drug-free ethic, joy (yes, it’s fun!), and program activities.

The full program involves studying a syllabus that covers five orientation flights (O-rides).

For the powered aircraft syllabus these are:

  • Ground Handling, Preflight, Takeoff & Landing
  • Normal Flight Maneuvers
  • Advanced Flight Maneuvers
  • Use of Instruments in Flight
  • How Weather Affects Powered Flight
h/t Captain Karl Falken – C/A1C Matthew Stong watches, Lt Col Beverly Stong supervises while C/Amn Aquinas Lasnoski measure fuel level in wing tank of 182T

The pilot for this event was private pilot Lt Col Mike Carlson. The plane was a Cessna 182T with a Garmin G-1000 integrated flight instrument system and a Forward-Looking Infrared (FLIR) thermographic camera.

h/t Captain Karl Falken – C/SMSgt Elijah Swaney and C/A1C Matthew Stong examine display of sectional map on wall of FOB

All flights were out of the Powell Municipal Airport in Park County. Col Carlson has flown O-rides for about 10 years and typically flies 5-10 such flight per year and flew six sorties at this event. His wife, Lt Col Beverly “BJ” Carlson, also helped by organizing the event and doing the substantial but necessary paperwork. They are members of the Yellowstone Regional Composite Squadron based in nearby Cody which hosted the event.

h/t C/SMSgt Timothy Stong – View from O-flight over Park County near Cody, Wyoming

From the same squadron, C/SMSgt Elijah Swaney attended to support them and the
participating cadets.

“My goal here today,” Swaney said, “is to interact with cadets from outside my squadron. I believe this helps me to develop my leadership skills and assist the Senior (adult) members in managing the O-rides for the cadets.”

h/t SM Kunle “Francis” Obikoya – CAP N294CP Cessna 182T takes off on an O-flight from KPOY

He had planned on taking his fourth powered flight O-ride, but the scheduled plane and pilot were unable to make the event. So he stayed to support the event for the other cadets.

For Matthew Stong, it was his first time ever flying in an aircraft. “I have practiced flying on a simulator, but the real aircraft was quite different! The real Cessna 182 is more responsive than the simulated version. Flying a real aircraft is much simpler than I expected and the view from 2500 feet was amazing!”

h/t Captain Karl Falken – Participants (L-R): C/A1C Matthew Stong, C/CMSgt Nicholas Stong and C/SMSgt Timothy Stong, C/Amn Aquinas Lasnoski, Lt Col Mike Carlson, SM Francis Obikoya

Cadet Lasnoski has flown before, but not in the pilot’s seat, “My expectation was to travel here to participate in the cadet orientation flights as a passenger. What was unexpected for me was to actually be able to operate the controls, to steer and climb in the aircraft! This was not just a thrill for me, but part of the experience I need to become a pilot and advance my plans to attend the USAF Academy.”

h/t SM Kunle “Francis” Obikoya – C/SMSgt Timothy Stong sits in the co-pilot seat before his O-flight

“The best part of the adventure was that everyone returned home safely with new stories of their experiences to share with friends and family,” Capt Falken said.

h/t Captain Karl Falken – Lt Col Beverly Carlson & Lt Col Mike Carlson wrap up event with paperwork
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