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Livermore Youth Return to the Skies With the Civil Air Patrol

March 7, 2021

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Livermore, CA. – Eight teens experienced the thrill of aviation through orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at Livermore Municipal Airport Saturday. The cadets flew a combined 8 hours in CAP’s sophisticated Cessna aircraft.

While every cadet shared excitement about their flights, one cadet summed it up simply. “That was pretty cool,” said Akaash Babu, one of the event participants. 

The hour-long flights in single-engine Cessna aircraft introduced the cadets to the science that makes flight possible. They also learned about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers, and more.

The cadets’ day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. Working with their pilot, they taxied their aircraft to Livermore Airport runway 25R, gave it full throttle and took off, climbing to 3,000 feet. While aloft, it was the cadets who were handling the controls, during the noncritical stages of the flight.

”It was great, I definitely would have never had this opportunity if it wasn’t for Civil Air Patrol,” said Will Hodges-Praske, another cadet participating in the orientation rides.

Once they reached their assigned altitude, the cadets turned southwest and navigated to Tracy or Byron airports, where they made a brief stop. Then it was another cadet’s turn at the controls for the flight home. CAP pilots repeated this round-trip throughout the day.

”One of the most important activities that we do with cadets in Civil Air Patrol is to take them on these orientation rides,” said Joe Spears, the activity organizer. “It was especially important to our cadets to be able to participate in this activity since COVID-19 has kept us from having in-person activities for nearly a year. Getting our cadets in the air is one of our squadron’s highest priorities right now.”Capt Keith Breton and 1st Lt Alex Arnoldy, both experienced pilots, volunteered their time while the Civil Air Patrol provided the aircraft and fuel at no cost to the cadets or the pilots. The aircraft used are the same ones that are used during CAP’s emergency services and disaster relief missions.

The area youth participating were Akaash Babu, Yusuf Choudhry, Joshua Gohres, Will Hodges-Praske, Sriya Katreddi, Scott Paterson, Samantha Wang, and Robert Watson.

CAP’s Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. Additionally, there are volunteer opportunities for adults, pilots and non-pilots alike.

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