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Bowie Composite Squadron Cadet Completes First Glider Solo

February 3, 2022

Cadet Staff Sergeant Caleb Smith completed his check ride Cadet Staff Sergeant Caleb Smith - Bowie Squadron

Bowie, MD -- On 14 November 2021, Cadet Staff Sergeant Caleb Smith completed his check ride and earned a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) private glider pilot certificate at Skyline Soaring Club, Front Royal-Warren County Airport, Front Royal Virginia.  According to WUSA TV, Washington DC, this remarkable accomplishment made Cadet Smith, the youngest private glider pilot in the United States at just 16 years old.  This was made possible after Cadet Smith won a scholarship from the Skyline Soaring Club last year and with just 33 training flights, he successfully completed his first solo glider flight on July 18, 2021. 

C/SSgt Smith is a member of the Bowie Composite Squadron (MD052), Maryland Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. He is an avid aviation enthusiast and plans to go on to complete an FAA private pilot certificate in powered aircraft.  Cadet Smith regularly shares his flight training experiences with his fellow cadets and looks forward to realizing his dream of becoming a commercial pilot.  

Nearly 1,500 members serve in Civil Air Patrol’s Maryland Wing. Last year, wing members flew 13 actual search and rescue missions. Overall, the Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland, flying 2,245 hours in all mission categories, and was credited with four finds.Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook. 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 more than 2,100 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) and performs about 90% of all search and rescue operations within the contiguous United States 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 107 lives last year. CAP’s 56,000 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 over 23,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs.

For More Information:

Michael Frazier, Major, CAP
Commander / Public Affairs Officer
Bowie Composite Squadron

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