Cadet Aviation

Civil Air Patrol cadets experience flight firsthand through the efforts of CAP adult volunteers, aviation enthusiasts eager to share their love of flying. Often, it is through CAP that a young person receives the first flight of his or her life. Aviation education is delivered in both the classroom and the cockpit. Cadets gain an understanding of the complex forces that cause an aircraft to achieve lift and other fundamental topics such as navigation, engines and aerospace history.


Orientation Flights: Through flights in powered and glider aircraft, cadets develop a love of aviation at no cost to them. Cadets help their CAP volunteer pilots preflight the aircraft, observe takeoff procedures, and while aloft actually handle the controls. During their flights, cadets learn about meteorology, navigation, and avionics. On average, cadets fly 16,000 hours in powered aircraft and 7,000 sorties in gliders each year.

Flight Academies: Having tasted the sky, advanced cadets pursue formal flight training. During powered and glider flight academies, cadets receive reasonably-priced flight instruction in an age-appropriate setting. Cadets help one another master aviation’s sobering responsibilities during a thrilling week of training. Each summer, approximately 200 cadets learn to fly at CAP flight academies.

Flight and College Scholarships: Aviation is prohibitively expensive for most youth. In partnership with charitable organizations and colleges, CAP helps cadets pursue flight training and/or post-secondary education through scholarships. Over $300,000 is available annually.


By inspiring in youth a love of aviation, CAP develops tomorrow’s pilots, engineers, mechanics and aerospace enthusiasts. That affection for the airplane helps fulfill the Wright brothers’ century-old dream of an air-minded citizenry.

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