SDWG Supports Region Flight Academy
South Dakota Wing’s aircraft N97947 is in Fremont, NE, in support of the CAP’s North Central Region Powered Flight Academy June 16-30. The academy offers eligible CAP cadets flight training and the potential to solo.
Flight academies are an important CAP program, geared to addressing a growing shortage of both Air Force and civilian aviation pilots nationally.
“The flight academies are important for feeding new pilots into the pipeline to continue to grow the aviation community and to replace pilots that are retiring from all areas in the aviation industry,” said Lt. Col Justin Johnson, CAP’s aircraft maintenance officer in South Dakota, who coordinated the delivery of 947 to Fremont.
“South Dakota Wing had been ready to support the cadet flight academy in Great lakes region (Oshkosh, WI) and rushed N97947 in for its 500 hour mag inspection early so the airplane would have plenty of time on it to support the academies,” he said.
The flight academy uses CAP-owned Cessna 172s, like N97947, because they are more suitable for beginning pilots than the Cessna 182s, which are more common in CAP. The South Dakota aircraft ended up not being needed for the Oshkosh academy, but the wing was able to respond promptly when the request came in from the region academy, Johnson said.
The overall goal of CAP flight academies across the country is to give cadets an opportunity to fly approximately 10 hours, weather and schedule permitting, and receive instruction from an FAA Certified Flight Instructor. Cadets receive appropriate ground and air instruction and opportunities to practice/perform assigned maneuvers. Additionally, cadets get the opportunity to work with aviation professionals, civilian and military, who share their expertise on how to prepare for a career as an aviator.