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CAP History
The Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the USAF, began on 1 December 1941. During WWII, CAP aircraft carried bombs and depth charges, and successfully sank 2 German U-Boats off the US coast. CAP presently has 4 missions: Aerospace Education, Operations (formerly Search and Rescue), Cadet Programs, and Homeland Security. On September 11, 2001, CAP aircraft flew over the World Trade Center site taking damage assessment photos. CAP presently maintains the nation's largest fleet of single-engine piston aircraft, and has many opportunities for pilots.

How CAP Can Help You Get Flight Training Minimize

Aerospace Education: As a CAP Cadet, you will be required to learn the physics of flight, how engines and aircraft systems work, how to read aeronautical charts, airpower history, etc. in order to be promoted. This is a great way to learn everything needed for the FAA Private Pilot's Written Exam. Additionally, CAP senior members are often pilots with lots of experience and a great willingness to share their knowledge with Cadets. CAP Senior Members are great resources for learning about flying- they can give you advice on everything, from explaining difficult concepts to helping you decide which CFI to use.

Orientation Flights: As a CAP Cadet, you are also eligible for 6 free orientation flights in CAP-owned Cessna 172/182 aircraft. These flights will be flown by experienced pilots who's job is to give you a basic understanding of piloting an aircraft. Most are not CFIs, so you cannot log the time, but it's a good way to gain an insight on how to fly an airplane. Most will let you fly for a while on each flight, too. Each flight has a specific syllabus. The first flight is a basic introduction, showing you how the instruments reflect flight attitude and how to do basic aircraft maneuvers (turns, climbs, dives, etc). As you progress in your orientation flights you will be exposed to more and more advacned concepts, including a navigation flight where you will become familiar with a flight computer, weather information services, planning a flight plan, etc. These orientation flights are great for giving you a taste of what basic private pilot flight training is like.

National/Regional Flight Academies: Special summer programs are available for CAP Cadets to receive flight instruction in either gliders (usually SGS 2-33s) or powered aircraft (usually C-172s). This is an intense two-week period where you'll attend ground school half the day and fly the other half, all with CFIs. You will be able to log your time and may even solo! The National/Regional Flight Academies are a great way to start your flight instruction. The cost is pretty cheap, too. The two-week program is usually about $700 all-inclusive.

Private Flight Instruction: If you find a CFI who is also a CAP member, he/she may be willing to volunteer their time to give you flight instruction in a CAP aircraft. CAP regulations state that flight instruction may be give to CAP members (both Cadet and Senior Member), under the stipulation that the CFI cannot be paid for his/her services. So, all you have to pay for is the plane! The cost per hour for CAP aircraft vary from unit to unit, but it is usually around $50/hour. This is probably the cheapest you're going to find it anywhere!

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