C/TSgt Moitoza completes solo glider flight as ‘pilot in command’
May 23, 2020 — PETERSBURG, WV — Cadet Technical Sergeant Luke Moitoza of Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing’s Upper Montgomery Composite Squadron in Germantown, Maryland completed his glider solo flight in a Schleicher ASK-1 at the Grant County Airport (W99) in Petersburg, West Virginia. His parents watched while C/TSgt Moitoza was the pilot in command flying for fifteen minutes, completing the required launch, pattern, and landing. This marked Moitoza’s 79th glider flight and the culmination of more than a year-and-a-half of effort studying and training to meet the requirements to fly solo.
C/TSgt Moitoza’s first flight in December 2018, when he was twelve years old, was one of five orientation flights offered through the Civil Air Patrol glider program. He subsequently completed all five orientation flights and learned he could get his solo at age fourteen. Further, he eagerly pursued additional flight training with the Eastern Soaring Center in Petersburg, West Virginia, which utilizes a winch launch.
C/TSgt Moitoza commented that the thrill of the winch catapulting one into the air is a feeling like none other. Another exciting moment that day was an hour-and-a-half flight with his instructor that rode the thermals up to 4500 feet. Opportunities like these continue to inspire his desire to fly.
Flight instructor, Colonel Brian Collins, USAF Retired, congratulated Cadet Tech Sergeant Moitoza upon studying, achieving the FAA requirements, and pursuing flight instruction which leads to the awarding of his solo wings. Moitoza plans on continuing his training to achieve a glider pilot license when he turns 16.
Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a valued member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). It performs about 90% 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 82 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.
Captain Sherrie Weinhold
Public Affairs Officer Upper Montgomery Composite Squadron
Photo Credit: Lt Sherry Moitoza Upper Montgomery Composite Squadron