Editor's Note: I had the pleasure of meeting Sydney, her sister and her Dad in Uvalde a couple of weeks ago. Her family recently moved to Fredericksburg from Connecticut. When she heard about the WGC being held in Texas, just an hour or so away, she told me that she begged her father to take her to see what it was all about. I bumped into them in the "Big Tent" before grid time and had a very nice chat with her about her recent soaring experience through the CAP. Later, she was able to come out to the grid before the launch and sit in my JS1 and see all the action up close. I presented her with a Soaring Cafe ball cap and made her promise to send me an article with photos. Her honored her promise and her story is provided below. -- WE
Civil Air Patrol cadet C/CMSgt Sydney Churchill Blain, age fourteen, was one of twelve cadets representing six states at the Northeastern Region Wing Glider Encampment at the Hartnesss State Airport in Springfield, Vermont. Ten cadets attended their first glider camp; the others, such as Blain, are returning veterans.
During the past two encampments, Blain has logged seven hours flying a Schweizer SGS 2-33 and a L-23 Super Blanik. She hopes to have her solo flight in the near future. When she isn’t flying gliders one can find her flying a Cessna 182 with CAP. Blain’s future plans include a wide variety of flying from dreams of crop dusting, search and rescue flights, to becoming a Civil Air Patrol glider instructor.
Civil Air Patrol offers severs glider academies each summer at different locations in the U.S. The academies are specifically designed for cadets who want to lean to fly. Participants receive formal ground instruction and cockpit time with a certified flight instructor, and some get the opportunity to solo.
This year the Civil Air Patrol will receive eleven TG-10B (L-23 Super Blanik) gliders from the U.S. Air Force Academy. The gliders, expected to be delivered near the end of fiscal year 2012, will replace CAP’s older gliders and will help modernize the existing fleet of 42 gliders.
There are more than 59,000 CAP members nationwide: approximately 25,000 cadets and 34,000 adult volunteers. They wear the Air Force uniform with distinctive CAP emblems and insignia. Members operate more than 5,000 privately-owned aircraft, 530 CAP-owned aircraft and nearly 1,000 vehicles in support of the organizations programs.
The Civil Air Patrol, a non-profit organization and the official axillary of the U.S. Air Force for 70 years, performs 90 percent of inland Search and Rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force in the Continental U.S. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center credited CAP with saving 54 lives in 2011. CAP has 61,000 volunteer members, 27,000 are cadets. These volunteers also perform official Homeland Security duties, drug interdiction, border patrolling and disaster relief missions at the request of Federal, State and local agencies. CAP received the World Peace prize in 2011. For more information about CAP visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com or for local information about joining call Shannon Blain at 830-992-5715 firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted by Lt. Shannon Churchill Blain, PAO Fredericksburg, Texas