Civil Air Patrol
  • Aircrew returing to base

Two Martin squadron cadets achieve first solo in aircraft

September 5, 2018 – MIDDLE RIVER, Md.  – Two Civil Air Patrol cadets from Maryland Wing’s Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron completed a major milestone in their flight training:  their first solo.

Cadet 2nd Lt. Nicholas Korotunow graduated from the 2018 Robert Ayres Memorial Flight Scholarship Program (formally Maryland Wing Solo School). Korotunow was one of six cadets selected for the wing’s expedited flight training program. Each cadet completes a weekend of ground school followed by a full week of flying and ground instruction. By the end of the week, Korotunow had logged over 12 hours of instruction and completed his first solo, completing three successful takeoffs and landings at Hagerstown Regional Airport in a Cessna 172. Before the week was over, all cadets also took the Federal Aviation Administration private pilot written test.

“I initially became interested in aviation when I was introduced to Civil Air Patrol,” said Korotunow. “The recruiters that I met with explained to me that I could obtain my pilots license through the program. Participating in orientation flights really strengthened my interest for flying.”

Korotunow will be attending Embry-Riddle University this fall to start his major in aerospace engineering. He plans to continue his flight training while in college and wants to attend Civil Air Patrol national cadet special activities Blue Beret and Cadet Officer School. His long-term plans include earning an instrument rating and to work for SpaceX, Boeing or Lockheed Martin.

Cadet 2nd Lt. James Demonte-Weckle attended the National Flight Academy – Glider, Fredericksburg, Penn., in 2017 and 2018. Cadets spend an entire week learning to fly an airplane without an engine. Gliders are towed into the air with a powered airplane and released at 3,000 feet. Depending on weather conditions, flights can range from 20 minutes to over an hour. Cadets learn preflight requirements, basic maneuvers and emergency procedures, such as what to do if the tow cable breaks during launch. During the 2018 academy, Demonte-Weckle completed a two-year total of 30 launches and completed his first solo launch and landing. His interest in aviation started when his sister returned from a flight academy in Wisconsin.

“She came home so excited and convinced me how great flying was. I was in the program at the time, but too young to attend the academies.” Demonte-Weckle continued, “When I finally turned 14, the closest I could get to soloing was attending a glider academy where I could solo with only 30 flights. After the first year, it really boosted my interest into the idea of flying and achieving my solo.”

Demonte-Weckle will be starting 11th grade at Perry Hall High School this fall. He plans to continue his training and hopes to have his glider rating complete when he turns 16. He plans to apply to the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard academies, earn a degree in aerospace engineering and be a professional pilot. Demonte-Weckle wants to attend a few more national activates and is very excited about the other opportunities CAP has to offer.

Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron meets every Thursday from 6:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Martin State Airport. For information on the squadron, including meeting address and contact information, visit Follow the squadron on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit for more information.


Photos (L to R):

Cadet 2nd Lt. Nicolas Korotunow with his flight instructor, Lt. Col. Pete Loewenheim, following Korotunow’s first solo during the Robert Ayers Memorial Flight Scholarship Academy in 2018.

Cadet 2nd Lt. James Demonte-Weckle with other CAP cadets during the National Flight Academy – Glider, Fredericksburg, Penn.


Lt. Col. Christopher Roche, CAP
Public Affairs Officer
Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron


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