Soaring & Powered Flight

We recently caught Soaring and Powered Flight in their final days of the semester.

Most of the Cadets have completed their flights at both locations - just in time too with the weather getting colder and colder. We even had a big of snow last night giving us several inches on the ground today.

Sadly at Soaring, because of the weather and the way the cadets were completing their final flights we weren't able to catch them out by the gliders but we did get some group photos and indoor shots of them down at Soaring. At Powered Flight, we caught Cadets either finishing up their 9 Flights or almost done.

With the end of the semester drawing ever closer and the cadets preparing for finals and Christmas break, we are sad to see the semester end but we can't wait to continue to cover the airfield during the Spring Semester. So for those who's Cadets will be in Jump, Soaring, Powered Flight or RPA next semester - stay tuned!


Most of the Cadets we will catch during the academic year with our coverage of Soaring are the 4 Degrees, as they fly during the morning and into the afternoon, but more than likely with our afternoon coverage you will see more of a range of all 4 Classes. The reason being is that while the 4 Degrees are going through AM 251, the upperclassmen (mostly 3 Degrees) are going through Airmanship 461 or AM 461. 

AM 461 is a Cadet Instructor Pilot Upgrade program, which will run all semester long. Only a certain number of 3 Degrees are selected from the applicant process and those who are selected will be the next generation of Soaring IPs (Instructor Pilots). While the 4 Degrees in AM 251 only have to take 4 Flights, the 3 Degrees in AM 461 must complete a total of 80 or more flights, not to mention ground and flight evaluations. The Cadets who complete this program and get their wings are the Air Force's yougest instructor pilots. Once AM 451 is completed the Cadet IPs can take one of two programs. AM 472 where they would then become instructors for the AM 251 program. Or AM 473, where their main job would be to train the next group of cadet instructor pilots.

To read more about the USAFA Soaring Program click here to read one of our earlier blogs from this semester.



To view the rest of the pictures from our M and T Day coverage of Soaring go to; Galleries - Airmanship - Soaring. Or click the link below.




Powered Flight

The Powered Flight Program started back in 1974 and until 2012 it only saw small changes in flight paths. In 2012, because of airspace conflicts there was a complete redesign of USAFA's airspace and how it was structured. From there, the Air Force and the FAA coordinated and created the "safest possible approaches, departures, training areas and flight patterns for USAFA operations," which were finally put into action in early 2013. 

Powered Flight is a capstone course that serves as a culmination of a cadet’s aviation education. Lessons in Air Force heritage and principles of engineering are applied in real-life scenarios during nine flights in a single engine propeller driven aircraft. The training includes ground and flight instruction using T-53s, military instructors provide a basic introduction to Air Force pilot training and the experience of powered flight. Based on proficiency, approximately 50% of these students will solo. The training includes ground and flight instruction under an Air Education and Training Command (AETC) flying syllabus.



To view the rest of the pictures from our M and T Day coverage of Powered Flight go to; Galleries - Airmanship - Powered Flight. Or click the link below.

Powered Flight