Staff Sections

Main Content

Pitt Greenville Comp Squadron Enjoys Rocketry and Radio Controlled Aircraft Weekend!

Cadet glues rocket
1 of 5
C/SSgt Edward Tate Bennett gluing a section of his rocket. PHOTO CREDIT: 2d Lt Liz Dunster, CAP (click image to view full size)
Story Tools

Exciting Aerospace weekend held in Wilson, NC

9/17/2016––Eight cadets and six senior members braved the last of the sweltering North Carolina summer to participate in Pitt Greenville Composite Squadron’s aerospace weekend, held at the Wilson R/C Modelers field in Wilson, NC. According to Aerospace Education Officer, 2d Lt Robert Rimmer, “the focus of the weekend was twofold.  First, to complete some members’ rocketry badges and to get new members started in the rocketry program. Second, to expose our cadets to the world of radio controlled airplanes. “ 

Saturday saw members leaving Greenville for the field in Wilson, where they began the day by setting up camp in the Wilson R/C Modelers field.  For the new cadets, it was a learning experience setting up the tents for the camp. Lunch consisted of MRE’s – something which new cadets had also never enjoyed before, and there was great excitement at trying them out for the first time, while more experienced cadets shared their stories of previous MRE’s they had tried. Cadets spent the afternoon building rockets in the comfort of the mobile classroom – a trailer kitted out with tables, chairs and a portable air conditioning unit. For some cadets it was their first time building rockets and their first step towards their Rocketry badge, while others were building their 2 stage rockets with the goal of earning their Rocketry badge.  C/SMSgt Richard Green who had earned his Rocketry badge at Encampment was tasked with helping cadets who were new to rocket building.
When they had finished, they went hunting for firewood in the nearby woods, so that they could enjoy a campfire in the evening.  Rockets were launched in the early evening. Some went off very well, and some were less successful.  A line search was conducted to ensure that no rocket debris remained on the R/C field.
They enjoyed dinner roasting hotdogs over the campfire, while watching a member of the R/C Club doing a night flight with his radio controlled airplane, and then it was lights out.
Sunday started with a game of dodgeball, followed by breakfast and then more dodgeball.  One of the R/C Club instructors, Al Takatsch, supervised their learning on flight simulators in the air conditioned comfort of the mobile classroom.
Wilson R/C Modelers Association President, Bob Mattern, led a safety briefing before cadets and senior members were given the opportunity to try their hand at flying radio controlled aircraft under the guidance of instructors from the Association. C/SMSgt Richard Green noted, “it is interesting to see the difference in  responsiveness of the model aircraft in comparison to real aircraft.”
All too soon the weekend was over, and it was time to pack up, clean up, and conduct a line search led by Maj Nelson before leaving. Meanwhile 2d Lt Rimmer put his Typhoon quadcopter together and flew it, taking aerial footage of the cadets packing up.
Participants had many positive comments to make about the weekend. Cadet Shane Michael Weimar “liked learning how to set up and take down the tents,” thought “it was very well organized,” and described the rockets as “very fun to set up, launch and watch.”  C/Amn Jackson Games and C/Amn Wells liked flying on the simulators and the radio controlled planes the most. C/Amn Jacquel Holloway “loves Civil Air Patrol” describing it as “fun” - and says further – “especially this weekend!” C/SSgt Tate Bennett describes the weekend as “great”. C/TSgt Michael says he “liked this weekend because it was fun and was a learning experience for the new cadets that came.”   C/A1 Elks said that they had a “good time this weekend” and enjoyed “getting to know the new cadets”. 
The weekend was about more than learning though - Maj Dave Nelson says “they get so much more from the program by getting outside of the regular meeting format.  The program depends on our regular meetings, but its’ heart is the time spent in unit activities.”  His sentiments are shared by 2d Lt Robert Rimmer who described it as “allowing fellowship between new members and old.”  1st Lt Ethan Jacquin said they looked like they were “having a great time while learning about aerospace” and described the weekend as “valuable training experience”.  Capt Brian Hecker summarized it well: “Good fellowship, having some fun and adding new skills is ultimately the goal of most of our weekend activities.“
Bob Mattern, Club President of the Wilson R/C Modelers Association, thanked the squadron members for attending the weekend, and described it as something the club enjoys doing.  He went on to say that the club enjoys being involved in the community, and describes flying radio controlled airplanes as a “family oriented hobby and “the opportunity to work with youngsters is just a pleasure.”  He suggested that cadets could find more information at and look for videos of radio controlled airplanes flying on the YouTube Channel for the Club: .  
Pitt Greenville Composite Squadron is extremely appreciative to the Wilson R/C Modelers Association for providing the use of their facilities – and to their instructors and members for coming out, giving us flying lessons, and use of their airplanes.  A great weekend was had by all.
Pitt Greenville Composite Squadron meets on Tuesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the National Guard Armory, Greenville, NC.