Hampshire, Ill. – When most people think of flying they immediately think of powered aircraft such as airliners or general aviation aircraft. However, for nine cadets from the La Crosse Composite Squadron, they recently had the chance to experience flying in unpowered gliders at the Sky Soaring Club in Hampshire, Illinois.
The flights were free of charge to the cadets as part of the Civil Air Patrol orientation flight program which allows cadets to receive five glider and five powered orientation flights at no cost to the cadet. These flights, flown by highly trained and certified Civil Air Patrol pilots, allow cadets to learn progressively about how each type of aircraft flies, handles, and lands. “It was fun,” commented Cadet Captain Michael Cunningham who is currently a powered flight pilot-in-training, “the difference between flying with and without power was pretty neat to see.”
For each of the La Crosse Composite Squadron cadets, these flights represented the first time any of them had flown in an unpowered glider. The gliders the cadets flew were donated to the Civil Air Patrol in 2012 by the United States Air Force Academy. During the day each cadet received at least two flights where they learned about take-off, stalls, stall recovery, turns, and landing a glider.The flights were flown by Captain John Baker and Senior Member Michael Vaughn, both of which are Civil Air Patrol Glider Check Pilots.
A glider is similar to a powered aircraft except that it lacks a propeller and engine. Cadets were towed by a tow plane to 3,000 feet and then the glider was released. The gliders stayed aloft for nearly twenty minutes per flight.
The La Crosse Composite Squadron meets at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings at the CAP Center located at 2906 Fanta Reed Road on the east side of the La Crosse Municipal Airport. Prospective cadets, ages 12-18, and their parents are always welcome. Adults seeking mentoring opportunities or opportunities to serve are invited as well. For more information visit http://lacrossecap.org or call Major Todd Mandel at 608-633-1496 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milwaukee, Wis. - A pilot’s mind should always focus on safety as a way to manage the inherent risks that come with flying. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized two Civil Air Patrol members with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for the professionalism and skill that have allowed these two pilots to maintain safe operations for more than 50 years.
Receiving the recognition were retired Civil Air Patrol member Warren Baumgart and Major Clement Dahlke, currently assigned to the 10th Senior Support Squadron in Milwaukee.
As part of the award, each pilot received a plaque from the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as a “Blue Ribbon Packet” which consists of a bound pilot’s logbook detailing the pilot’s long careers.
Mr. Wesley Hakari, a member of the FAA’s Safety Team, joked that Major Dahlke’s logbook, “read as long as War and Peace.” The spouse of each pilot also received a special pin from the FAA.
For Dahlke, this is his second FAA award for aviation excellence. He was awarded the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award in 2011. In his acceptance speech, Dahlke commented, “It’s been a good 59 years, and I would surely do it again.”
On hand to help celebrate the achievement were friends and family of the pilots as well as Civil Air Patrol cadets and senior members from the Timmerman Composite Squadron. Both pilots have served Civil Air Patrol for over 40 years.
Baumgart, a skilled World War II pilot, served as a CAP flight instructor for many years after the war. Dahlke served CAP as a flight instructor and oversaw aircraft maintenance.
The two pilots received nominations from fellow aviators who wrote letters of recommendation acknowledging their service. Major Tom Mescher, a pilot for the 10th Senior Support Squadron and master of ceremonies for the ceremony, cited them as “shining examples of what it means to be patriotic volunteers of their community – our area is remarkably better off for all their efforts.”
Appleton, Wis. – Civil Air Patrol members from Hayward recently returned from three days at Appleton, Wis. in support of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2013, the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.” The ten members were part of the newly formed Wild Rivers Composite Squadron’s emergency services team that helped with the Air Force assigned mission.
The Appleton airport is one location near Oshkosh where CAP members from all over Wisconsin help provide support to pilots and passengers attending the show. On a daily basis, over 200 CAP volunteers work this 17 day mission logging tail numbers, locating and disabling electronic locator transmitters, helping pilots close their flight plans and if needed, help secure perimeters around aircraft at four locations.
The Hayward team performed daily ramp checks at the three transit aircraft parking areas at the Appleton airport, logged tail numbers of inbound and outbound aircraft and entered the information into databases to help with overdue aircraft searches, conducted hourly ELT checks and assisted the TSA in monitoring the “blue line” between the passenger terminal and general aviation areas of the airport.
Two aircrew members from Hayward, Bergstrom and Steinhaus, also flew in five of the CAP air sorties during the mission. During down time, the team received training in various ground team, mission base staff and urban direction finding tasks.
This year, the Wild Rivers Composite Squadron in Hayward is celebrating 40th years of community service. Our newly formed ES team began training in June and is actively seeking additional members.
If you are interested in joining our squadron or would simply like to check us out, call 715-634-6835 or attend a meeting. Members meet every Monday at 6 pm at the hanger on the north end of the Sawyer County airport. Students, ages 12-20, as well as adults with or without flying or military experience, are encouraged to join.
Madison, Wis. – Members of the 153rd Madison Composite Squadron provided over 100 hours of volunteer labor at the Heavy Bombers Over Madison fundraiser event held in July at Madison’s Truax Field Air National Guard Base. World War II era aircraft descended on Madison and provided the public the opportunity to tour and ride the restored vintage aircraft.
Two of the 153rd Squadron members present at the event had a compelling curiosity about the World War II era bombers. Second Lieutenant LuAnn Vriezen worked the flight line, helping hold people back as planes arrived, refueled and took off again.
Her father, Second Lieutenant Wallace Wegner of the U.S. Army Air Corps, had been a navigator who flew on both B-17’s and B-24’s during WWII. She hoped to better understand her father’s war experience by touring the aircraft. “He never really spoke about his war experience”, she said. “He would answer questions if someone asked, but otherwise didn’t say much about it”.
Her son, Captain Michael Vriezen, came to Truax after volunteering at EAA AirVenture to see the planes with his mother. Both Vriezens had the opportunity to tour the B-24 Liberator, “Diamond Lil”.
Vriezen’s father flew a B-24 over the Alps on a mission for which he later received a Distinguished Flying Cross. The story has been told that the cockpit oxygen went out and that he ran to the back of the plane to retrieve more oxygen. The specifics had been a mystery to the family until now. The Commemorative Air Force B-24 crew at the site, explained that bottled oxygen was stored at the back of plane. If a bullet took out the regular cockpit oxygen, retrieving the bottled oxygen would allow the crew to continue to fly.
Many of those touring the Heavy Bombers event expressed a similar desire to see the plane in which a father, uncle or grandfather had served during WWII.
The Heavy Bombers event concluded Sunday afternoon, as the World War II aircraft made the final leg of their trip to EAA AirVenture. They left with less fanfare than they had arrived, but still inspired awe as the powerful Curtiss-Wright and Wright-Cyclone engines fired up and prepared to take off.
Wisconsin - National Night Out represents an opportunity for neighbors and residents in communities across America to learn about community programs, crime prevention strategies, and develop neighborhood camaraderie. This year’s National Night Out, held on the evening of August 6, saw members of the Rock County Flight manning booths in Janesville and Beloit to help introduce Civil Air Patrol’s Drug Demand Reduction programming to members of the community.
In Janesville, Majors David Deiler and Donald Peroutka manned a Civil Air Patrol Drug Demand Reduction booth sponsored by the Janesville Police Department as part of the community’s National Night Out celebration. At the same time, Lt. Col. Larry Ochowski and Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Adam Edmunds manned a similar booth at the Rock County Sheriff’s Department during Beloit’s National Night Out celebration.
During the four-hour event, the members showcased Civil Air Patrol to approximately 6,000 attendees between the two locations. Civil Air Patrol joined approximately 35 other organizations who assisted with the celebrations.
Attendees at the National Night Out events had the opportunity to participate in inflatable bounce houses, a National Guard sponsored rock wall climb, and static displays of equipment used by the state and local law enforcement organizations. Both sites also featured equipment and members of the local fire departments. The National Night Out provided families and residents with the opportunity for the entire family to get out, meet their neighbors, and learn about community programs.