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Prince William Commander re-earns his Wings

posted Jan 9, 2018, 7:59 AM by Kmberly C. Frady   [ updated Sep 29, 2018, 10:21 PM ]

MANASSAS, VA On a clear, cold January morning, Lt. Col. Tim Day, Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Paiten Frady, and Cadet Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Brown accelerated down the runaway and launched into a brilliant blue sky.  Earlier, Lt. Col. Day had briefed the cadets on the specific lessons of their five-part syllabus, then headed out into the chilly air to inspect the aircraft, a Cessna 182T with the Garmin G1000 electronic avionics system ("glass cockpit"). The flight was Lt. Col. Day's first as a Civil Air Patrol orientation ride pilot.

Prince William Composite Squadron’s newest cadet orientation pilot has anticipated this day since his retirement from the United States Navy in 2012.  A former P-3C Orion pilot, being qualified in the single engine Cessna provides the opportunity to eventually expand his emergency services qualifications from ground team leader to mission pilot - and to introduce  youth to the joys of aviation.

"Today, smiles are how we measure success because it means that a cadet might be considering becoming a pilot or at least embarking on a career in aviation," said Lt. Col. Day.

Civil Air Patrol allows cadets up to five powered orientation rides and five rides in gliders when available. The orientation ride program introduces America's youth the aviation and aerospace careers; by capturing their imagination aviation can serve as a stepping stone to other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

According to Lt. Col. Day, orientation rides happen only as a result of extensive teamwork. "While smiles are the visible outcome, what you don't see are all the people at the local, state, and national level who work hard to make this happen," he stated. From filing training records to providing flight instruction, to keeping the airplanes maintained, to ensuring pilots meet Civil Air Patrol's high safety standards, the team has to work together.

Today that teamwork paid dividends. After landing back at Manassas and taxing to a parking spot,  the cadets helped tie down the aircraft, working together to ensure knots were correct and the aircraft secure.  The cadets were thrilled and honored to be Lt. Col. Day’s first orientation ride crew and quickly posed for a photo to commemorate a dream achieved and horizons expanded.

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.