Easton Cadet Earns Glider Solo Wings
March 19, 2021 – EASTON, Md. – Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Henrick C. Hammons received his glider wings earlier this year, less than one month after his 14th birthday. Hammons, a Cadet from the Easton Composite Squadron soloed his glider under the tutelage of Civil Air Patrol Flight Instructor and retired US Air Force Colonel Brian Collins from the Eastern Soaring Center located at the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.
Lieutenant Colonel Archie DeJesus presented Hammons with his wings during a private ceremony in Easton Airport and commended him for his hard work. “This is quite an achievement for someone at your age, and it is one that I know you will build upon,” said DeJesus. “Even though the pandemic has presented units in our organization with unique challenges, I am proud of the fact that you showed initiative by taking advantage of the many opportunities Civil Air Patrol also offers outside the local area.”
Hammons, who additionally attended events sponsored by the Aviation Career Education (ACE) Program at Easton Airport, first received exposure to gliders in 2019 when fourteen cadets from the squadron travelled to West Virginia to attend a two-day camp for CAP glider orientation flights. Student pilots may solo at a minimum age of 14 with a student certificate endorsed for solo flight at the discretion of a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor for Gliders (CFIG). Generally, 30 to 40 flights with a CFIG are required to solo. This is roughly equivalent to 10-12 hours of flight time and is dependent upon the progress of the student.
Established in 1941, Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine Cessna aircraft and 1,944 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. Often using innovative cellphone forensics and radar analysis software, CAP was credited by the AFRCC with saving 130 lives in fiscal 2020. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. As a nonprofit organization, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace education using national academic standards-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Members also serve as mentors to about 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. One of the premier public service organizations in America, CAP benefits the nation with an estimated economic impact of $209 million annually. Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information about CAP and https://www.facebook.com/eastonsquadroncap for details about the Easton Composite Squadron.
Prepared by: Lt Col Archie DeJesus, Commander Easton Squadron, MDWG, CAP