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Cadet Minck Calls Glider Academy "A Great Experience"

posted Aug 6, 2018, 10:16 AM by David Froiseth

In July Cadet 2Lt Isaac Minck participated in the South East Region National CAP Glider Academy at the Tullahoma, TN Municipal Airport.  Each year twenty cadets are competitively selected from across the country to participate in this week-long academy. These students are provided with formal classroom instruction on the principals of flight and a hand’s-on instruction in a glider.   

Cadet Minck said “it was a great experience, for many different reasons.  First of all, it taught me how to multitask in a high-stress, fast moving environment, such as the takeoff phase of a flight.  As the glider is towed down the runway and up to pattern altitude, the utmost attention to detail must be observed.  Judicious use of rudder is necessary to keep the glider in the middle of the runway, while using the control stick to keep the glider from rolling and striking the runway with the wings, which is a lot harder than it sounds!  The glider takes off sooner than the tow plane, due to its light weight, so if the glider flies too high above the tow plane on takeoff, the glider can pull up the tail of the plane and cause the propeller to hit the ground.  The work doesn't stop at takeoff!  The glider pilot must be mindful of his altitude constantly.  We called out to our instructor every time we climbed above the 200-foot mark, because 200 feet is the minimum altitude necessary to turn around and return to the runway in the event of a rope break or other emergency.  All of these factors made for an exciting, challenging, and rewarding experience.”

The academy, hosted by the Beechcraft Heritage Museum, was supported by the Soaring Society of America and the Arnold Air Force Base Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) Program which provided volunteers and materials for the cadets.  The academy included four Federal Aviation Administration rated glider instructors, four tow planes and four gliders.

“I successfully completed the requirements for my CAP Pre-Solo wings, and I hope to continue glider flight training and solo eventually” said cadet Minck.  “I left the academy feeling confident as a pilot, and much more knowledgeable about gliding.  I would highly recommend this activity!  I enjoyed my time in Tullahoma immensely.  I felt privileged to have been selected to go, and I hope that I represented the Gainesville Composite Squadron and Florida Wing well.”