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Asheville Squadron solos two cadets in one week

C/2Lt Morgan MacDonald first solo
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C/2Lt Morgan MacDonald completed his first solo flight, under the instruction of Maj Arnie Andresen, on August 5th at the Asheville Regional Airport. Credit: Nancy MacDonald, Cadet Parent (click image to view full size)
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Eighth year of Flight Academy sees success with two solo flights in the same week

8/8/2015–– For the past eight years, the Asheville Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol has organized a flight academy for any of their cadets who wish to pursue the dream of solo flight.  During that span, 25 cadets have finished the course and successfully completed a number of takeoffs and landings without the luxury of an experienced instructor beside them.  Solo flight is the first, and some would say the most memorable, step in what could be a long and illustrious aviation career.  During a single week this summer, not one, but two of Asheville’s cadets have reached that milestone.  

On July 31, C/1Lt Garrett Reeves, at the instruction of Lt Col Rich Augur, became the 24th graduate of the squadron’s flight academy.  He was followed just five days later, on August 5, by C/2Lt Morgan MacDonald, a student of Maj Arnie Andresen.  
Reeves, 16, lives in Old Fort and makes the commute to regular meetings at the Asheville Regional Airport at least once a week.  For him, the feeling of leaving the ground alone for the first time was not as stressful as one might imagine.  “Once the wheels leave the ground, the nervousness just goes away, and muscle memory kicks in,” he said.  
MacDonald, 16, travels from Brevard each week, and along with Reeves, both are active leaders of the squadron’s cadets.  “At first, you don’t think about how you’re alone, but once you have a minute to think about it, and you look over and see the empty seat, that’s when it hits you,” he said.  
Both MacDonald and Reeves intend to continue their training over the next year, to be ready as soon as they can.  At least one of them already has his first passenger lined up.  Reeves’ mother, Christy, said “I’ve already made him promise that when he gets his license, I get to be first.”