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Tar River Composite Squadron hosts cadet Orientation Flights

 Civil Air Patrol Cessna
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C/SrA Richard Green, C/SMSgt James Medlin and C/SrA Cameron Brie with the Civil Air Patrol Cessna shortly before take-off. (Photo credit: 2d Lt Nicholas Green, CAP) (click image to view full size)
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3/7/2015–– The Tar River Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol hosted cadet orientation flights at the Rocky Mount Wilson Regional Airport on March 7, 2015.

Five cadets participated in the flights piloted by Capt Andrew Vlack from Raleigh-Wake Composite Squadron, flying a Cessna 182. Four Tar River Composite Squadron senior members chaperoned the cadets.
Before flying, Capt Vlack explained the flight plan to the cadets.  They would be flying to Roanoke Island, then Kitty Hawke and Elizabeth City, before returning to Rocky Mount Wilson Regional.  The trip would be about 3 hours of flying.  Capt Vlack then took the cadets out to the aircraft and did the pre-flight checks, and they then taxied out for take-off.
For some of the cadets, it was their first experience flying, but all of them were excited to be going.  For some it was their second or third flight.  It was the 2nd flight for C/SrA Richard Green who describes the experience as follows:
“At the first takeoff the pilot pulled up quite steeply, and I thought feeling the minor G forces was fun. We ascended to about 3000 feet and then he told me to take over. He had me bring the plane up to about 4500 feet and then turn it onto the heading towards the next airport on Roanoke Island. He demonstrated elevator trim and how much easier it makes flying by turning it off, then slowly on again. With it off it requires a fair bit of effort to keep the plane flying level, but with the trim it works more or less by itself. When we neared the airport he had me take the plane down to about 2500 feet and he then landed it. At the airport there was a little museum which had some Civil Air Patrol artifacts, which was cool. It had old Civil Air Patrol uniforms and models of some of the old planes. And old bombs – maybe these had been mounted on early Civil Air Patrol ‘planes that were patrolling for submarines during World War 2. We left Roanoke and he then flew us over the Kitty Hawk memorial and circled it a few times for photographing.  I thought seeing the memorial was especially cool as I had seen it before when we visited it by car.  We flew along the coast to Elizabeth City.  We could see Coast Guard planes and helicopters from the air at the airport, and after we landed we taxied past them. Some of the planes were too big for the hangers, and I found it interesting that there were slots for the tails of the larger planes in the hangars that could not fit all the way. We stopped for fuel then took off again for home. When C/SMSgt Medlin was flying, he was allowed to do the takeoff guided by our pilot, and most of the landing too.  One day I would also like to do take-off and landing and be able to fly a plane by myself.”
Assistant Aerospace Education Office, 2d Lt Nicholas Green describes the response of the cadets to their orientation flights: “The first two cadets, on their first flight, climbed out of the Cessna after the flight grinning from ear to ear. Gratifyingly, the second group, three cadets taking their 2nd and 3rd orientation flight, came back looking just as happy and excited as the cadets from their first flight. This may well be due to Capt Vlack’s route. He wanted to make the trip interesting for everyone, and seeing as we are only an hour from the coast, he decided the cadets would fly to Roanoke Island, land there and visit the CAP museum on the island and then fly over (and circle a few times) the first flight memorial at Kitty Hawk. It turned out that all the cadets had previously visited Kitty Hawk, however none had seen it from the air, so his was a new and exciting perspective on Kitty Hawk.”
Commanding Officer, Maj William Hess expressed appreciation for the orientation flights: “I am extremely happy that Capt Rooks was able to get Capt Vlack scheduled on short notice after our initial plans fell through.  Capt Vlack did a wonderful job and I hope that we are able to have him provide future orientation flight for our cadets.”
Tar River Composite Squadron meets on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Rocky Mount Wilson Regional Airport.