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Gastonia Squadron in the Air and on the Ground

After a slight frost delay, the airplane arrives.
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After a slight frost delay, the airplane arrives. Photo credit: SM Derk R. Beutler, CAP, PAO, Gastonia Composite Squadron (click image to view full size)
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First Time O-Flights and Ranger Training


The light of a new day shines across the tarmac at Gastonia Municipal Airport as five cadets of the Gastonia Composite Squadron await the arrival of a CAP Cessna 182, based at the Concord Senior Squadron, with Lt. Gary Moore at the controls to take them on their first Orientation Flight.
In typical fashion the day started with some adversity -frost! Lt. Moore completed a seldom performed de-icing procedure and arrived in Gastonia slightly behind schedule. The first order of business was classroom instruction with the Cadets. The group discussed destinations, grid mapping, what makes a plane fly, spotting of aircraft during flight and how to point out those positions, and they reviewed the map from where they were through where the flight plan would take them.
With the classroom instruction complete, the Cadets began with the interior checking of the instrumentation, avionic cooling fans and disengagement of the control surface lock. Then onto the exterior pre-flight aircraft walk around which includes a 48 point check of four major areas: fuselage, right wing, nose and left wing. They checked the wing surfaces, gasoline quality and quantity, operation of control surfaces, checked the pitot tube, oil level and antennas to verify everything was in proper order. Lt. Moore quizzed the Cadets during the walk around on their knowledge of the aircraft.
The first group of two cadets buckled into the aircraft and prepared for their first opportunity to fly in a single engine aircraft, and to actually take control once airborne. The round trip flight would take them to the Rutherfordton airport, where they landed and exchanged the cadet at the controls, then back to the Gastonia airport. The weather was exceptional, with calm winds and clear skis - perfect flying weather. After a break for lunch, the second flight of three cadets performed a pre-flight check and then took to the skies.
The remaining cadets, including the ones that would not be able to fly due to available daylight hours, worked on completing their required physical fitness requirements for their Ranger III certification. Later in the afternoon cadets continued their training with online testing in categories which included FEMA IS-100, FEMA IS-700, Curry Achievement, and ICUT. Others cleaned, serviced, organized and reviewed gear requirements needed for the upcoming Ranger Training Weekend.
The return of the second O-Fight brought an end to an extremely productive day of activities, with the completion of first time O-Flights for five Cadets as well as two cadets completing and passing their Curry exam, successful FEMA testing, and passing of physical fitness testing. Everyone is excited for the next weekend opportunity for education, fellowship and camaraderie.
The Gastonia Composite Squadron would like to thank Lt. Moore for his time and instruction.