Airfield - Soaring & Powered Flight
We're back at the Airfield! The cadets in Soaring and Powered Flight both started their sessions last week but with the bad winds and weather most only just started getting their flights in this week and we happened to be there to catch them!
The weather was beautiful, sunny and in the mid 50's on Wednesday and Thursday when we stopped by at both locations - almost like summer. Compared to today's mid 30's with rounds of snow and rain. We caught both M & T day groups and we hope you enjoy the highlights below from our visit this week to the airfield!
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.
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.