Dozens of Teenagers Take Flight in Old Town

Every year the civil air patrol program train’s our nations aspiring pilots. Eighteen young adults from around the country come to old town to learn how to fly a plane…in only 10 days.

Colonel Dan Leclair, Maine Wind Commander, said, “Usually it takes 6 months to learnt his program, but they east sleep and breath flying while they’re here.”

Students, ranging from ages 12 to 20 years old, get real hands on experience.

Nicole Peer, 17 year old from Texas, said “The first day they put us in the left side of the cock pit, where the pilot usually sits and were like, let’s go!”

It’s all a learning experience for these teens. Many of whom dream of being an united states air force pilot.

“We’ve been learning about airplanes, how to pre-flight then, which is one of the most important things. Making sure they work before we take off,” Peer explained.

One local cadet gets to see his home town of Machias in a whole new perspective.

Justin Paddock, 16, said “It’s kind of different because you have people from Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and everywhere around the nation. I’m just here in my home state, actually almost my home city. It’s pretty nice.”

The program last 10 days. but everyone has a goal for their last day to fly solo.

“I think it’s going to be a little bit nerve racking, but I think I can handle it,” Paddock said.

Although flying is the main focus of the program, instructors also focus on leadership, aerospace, fitness and character development.

“We like to think we make a different in the future of the next generation,” Colonel Leclair said.

The Civil Air Patrol Cadets make up about 10% of the new U.S. Air Force Academy class.

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