Civil Air Patrol cadets take off in Nacogdoches

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The Civil Air Patrol Powered Flight in Nacogdoches is hosting students from all over the nation.

This is the first year the site has been designated as a national academy.

As the civil air patrol cadets takes off on their first solo flights, instructor Danny Graham is somewhat like a nervous parent.

"Any instructor who says that he does not get a little nervous when their student is in the pattern for the first time shouldn't be doing that business," Graham said.

There's a lot at stake for the pilots. The sixteen to nineteen year-olds rely on their instructors to reach CAP's goal of a safe and productive flight. A bit of nervousness is never a bad thing before a solo flight.

"I was a little bit the night before, but it was mainly as I was walking towards the airplane and then I started going through checklists and I just got a lot better," said California cadet William Edward.

"It was nerve wracking at first, but once I got up in the air, memory started taking over," Ft. Worth cadet Gracie Harrell.

As the pilots taxi in, there confidence jumps to a new level. Cap supervisors know that alone can go a long way.

"The impact is we build good citizens and I think we build leadership in citizens," said Lt. Col Bob McDonnell.

Once the pilots land they feel good about it.

"It's a simple process once you get the hang of it and [Graham] made sure I knew exactly what I was doing so everything was safe and everything was well executed," South Florida cadet Robert Traitz said.

The civil Air Patrol Texas Wing hosts a variety of flight academies at the A.L. Mangham Airport.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.