The North Carolina Wing’s Richard Augur National Powered Flight Academy recorded CAP's first cadet solo of the summer 2021 season April 27 – the first such solo since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the organization's national flight academies in March 2020.
Cadet Staff Sgt. Henry Broadbent of the Hickory Composite Squadron took control of the CAP airplane and flew around the pattern through the guidance of his instructor, Capt. Don Briola.
Broadbent said, “At 8 years old I fell in love with the idea of flying on a trip to Hickory Airport with the Cub Scouts. Then O-flights with CAP just made the possibility of flying real. I would like to thank CAP and Capt. Briola for making my dream come true.
“My future is with the Marine Corps (he left for boot camp May 10). I will be working in the Aviation Wing being an avionics technician. My long-term goal is to become a pilot in the Marines. Becoming a solo pilot is the first step in a long journey."
CAP hosts National Flight Academies every summer, providing cadets about 10 hours of dual instruction and requisite ground training. If weather and skill permit, the flying culminates in a solo flight – the first step toward achieving a private pilot certification. Many cadets finish the academy and go on to compete for scholarships and financial assistance to fund future flying.