Texas JROTC Cadets Get a Taste of Flight
The San Marcos, Texas Civil Air Patrol (CAP) squadron is providing orientation flights to Byron Steele High School Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets in the squadron’s Cessna 172 airplane. Lt. Col. Michael Hinsch, USAF (retired) is the Senior Airspace Instructor at Byron Steele High School. He stated, “We teach our cadets a History of Flight (first year cadets) and Science of Flight (second year) and these orientation flights culminate for us those lessons. Most of my cadets have never flown a plane and it gives all of them exposure to flight. We also have cadets apply to AFJROTC Flight Academy and we have our first two select cadets attending this summer where they will earn their private pilot’s license. My cadets all share their experiences on their social media and it is the talk of their time in AFJROTC.”
The CAP pilots performing the orientation flights are Lt. Col. Roger Corbin, Lt. Col. Mike Duc, Lt. Col. Ed Garland, Capt. Mauricio Urquiola, and 2nd Lt. John O’Connor. Lt. Col. Mike Duc said “this is often the first time these cadets have been in a small plane. We try to introduce the physics and math involved in flight and apply it in the air. For example, ‘how we defeat gravity with lift’ and ‘what is a vector’? We talk about “stability” and how it applies to flight and then demo the stability of the plane in flight. I talk about Newton and some guy named Bernoulli? Then we just fly and I show them everything we talk about on the ground in the air. Most of the cadets are surprised at how stable the plane is and how calm and serene it is at altitude. I also discuss the different careers available in the aviation field including pilot/engineer/mechanic, etc.”
This has become an annual event between the San Marcos CAP Squadron and Steele JROTC. There will be approximately 40 cadets that will get to experience flight this year. LtCol Hinsch said that it is their Corps goal to have all cadets fly before the end of their third year.
Story by 1st Lt Roger Aylstock, photos courtesy of Lt. Col. Michael Hinsch.