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Dungeness Cadets Reach Aviation Milestones

August 16, 2021

On August 10th 2021, Civil Air Patrol Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Kade Kirsch, of Dungeness Flight, flew solo in a Cessna 172 out of Rite Brothers Aviation in Port Angeles. The “solo” is a major milestone in a student pilot’s training. The pilot traditionally completes a lesson with his or her instructor, receives their solo endorsement, then takes off from the airport and completes three full-stop landings before the flight instructor cuts their shirttails- a long standing tradition in aviation signifying that a student doesn’t need the instructors help in order to fly safely anymore. Cadet Kirsch is 16 years old and started his flight training in March 2020 before the pandemic struck.

Cadet Kirsch’s powered solo comes just two weeks after he soloed in a glider at the CAP Desert Eagle Flight Academy in Ephrata, Washington. At Desert Eagle, cadets could apply to fly either powered aircraft or gliders. The training consists of formal ground school lessons, simulator time, and dual flight lessons with instructors.

These two accomplishments from Cadet Kirsch exemplify his dedication to aviation and his perseverance in achieving his pilot’s license.

Three more CAP cadets also marked milestones in their aviation careers: their first orientation flight with Civil Air Patrol. Cadet Basics Genna Nickel of Joyce, Joseph Maggard of Port Angeles, and Reilly Sue of Sequim completed the first of five Orientation Flights that Civil Air Patrol provides in powered aircraft. Captain John Weidman of Peninsula Composite Squadron in Bremerton flew the Orientation Flights out of Sequim Valley Airport on August 8th 2021. The first Orientation Flight, also known as an “O-Flight” introduces cadets to aircraft systems, airport operations, and the aircraft preflight. The cadet gets a chance to fly the aircraft during cruise and learn about how the flight controls relate to the control surfaces. The series of five O-Flights progresses to provide cadets a strong foundation in the general aviation world, with the hopes that they will be a recipient of a Cadet Wings Scholarship.

The Cadet Wings program provides full funding for Civil Air Patrol Cadets to receive their private pilot’s licenses. It is a highly competitive program that has helped over 120 cadets earn their wings in the last two years since its inception.

In addition to the Cadet Wings program, Civil Air Patrol provides additional scholarship opportunities. Cadet Kirsch received a full scholarship to the Desert Eagle Flight Academy for his glider training.

Civil Air Patrol is the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, founded in 1941. CAP has three missions: Cadet Programs, Emergency Services, and Aerospace Education. Additional information can be found at https://wa091.cap.gov. Dungeness Flight is the local unit of Civil Air Patrol, based in Port Angeles.

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