7th Grader Co-Pilots an Aircraft

Two weeks ago Kyle was promoted from Airman-Basic to Airman in the Cadet Program of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), an accomplishment that usually takes months of work. But Kyle said he committed himself to the program and worked hard to advance quickly. “I studied and got done early,” he said. To be promoted, Kyle had to pass a series of tests, drills, and physical fitness assessments.

The CAP is America’s premier public service organization for carrying out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide. It has three primary missions: Emergency Services, Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs. CAP’s Cadet Program transforms youth into dynamic Americans and aerospace leaders through a curriculum that focuses on leadership, aerospace, fitness, and character. As cadets participate in these four elements, they advance through a series of achievements, earning honors and increased responsibilities along the way. Many of the nation’s astronauts, pilots, engineers and scientists first explored their careers through CAP.

Kyle said he was at an event a few months ago where the CAP had an information tent. A friend of the family recommended he give it a try. “I got interested in aviation a few months ago,” said Kyle. “I plan to stick with it. I feel really committed to this.”

Kyle was actually able to take the controls of a fixed-wing aircraft in recent weeks, keeping an eye on the gauges while the pilot controlled the rudders and the gas. “It was scary,” Kyle said. “There were two others with me. I had to listen to air traffic control instructing me on what to watch.”

In the coming weeks, Kyle will present to the Middle School on both his experience and the Civil Air Patrol program.

Congratulations, Kyle! Keep up the good work.