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Effingham CAP cadets take to the skies
0104 Effingham CAP
Effingham Civil Air Patrol squadron cadets under Capt. Richard Bush, left, took part in orientation flights at Plantation Airpark in Screven County. - photo by Photo provided

Cadets of the Effingham Cadet Squadron participated in orientation flights in a Cessna 172 at Plantation Airpark in Screven County in December.

As part of Civil Air Patrol’s aerospace education mission, cadets under 18 years old are allowed five front-seat rides in powered aircraft. Cadets who have had all of their front-seat rides can ride along in the back seat as many times as they wish until they turn 18. There is never a cost to the cadet or the cadet’s parents/guardians for cadet orientation flights.

These educational flights are funded by the U.S. Air Force and are designated as Air Force missions. How many 12-18-year-olds can go to school on Monday morning and tell their friends they flew an Air Force mission over the weekend? CAP cadets do it all the time.

The squadron offers cadet orientation flights as often as pilots and aircraft are available and as long as there are cadets in the squadron who have not taken all of the five powered flights available to them.

All flights allow the cadets to actually fly the airplane. The CAP pilot will fly during all critical phases of the flight — take-off, landing, ground maneuvering, etc., but once established in straight-and-level flight in smooth air, the cadet will fly the aircraft. Each flight lasts for approximately one hour. The CAP pilot will at all times remain the sole pilot-in-command of the aircraft.

The cadets also get to learn about how to check for structural defects, safety protocols, and how specific outer structures of the aircraft assist in the flying of the aircraft.

Aerospace education is just part of the program. The Civil Air patrol is a congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. CAP performs three main functions — emergency services, aerospace education and cadet training. The Effingham headquarters of the Civil Air Patrol is located at 226 Goshen Rd. in Rincon. Meeting time is on Mondays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. each week.

For more information, call Capt. Richard Bush at (912) 429-8050 or email Information can be obtained on the squadron Web site at or at its Facebook page.