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Orientation Flights

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Orientation Flight Program is designed to introduce our cadets to general aviation through hands-on flights in single engine aircraft and gliders. The program is limited to those cadets under 18 years of age. The program is voluntary and is intended to be motivational and to stimulate an interest in general aviation an other aerospace activities.

The Cadet Orientation Flight Syllabus consists of ten flights, five in gliders and five in single-engine aircraft. For our squadron, flights in single-engine aircraft are conducted locally, primarily at Clow International Airport (1C5) in Bolingbrook, and occasionally at Lewis University Airport (LOT) in Romeoville or DuPage County Airport (DPA) in West Chicago. Glider flights would occur at other airports.

To receive credit for completing a syllabus flight, the cadet will occupy the front right seat and the flight must complete 80% of the objectives. Once a cadet has completed a syllabus flight, the cadet cannot repeat that flight from the front seat. However, there are no limitations to the number of flights a cadet may take as a rear-seat passenger. Cadets are encouraged to participate in these observation flights.

Standard Operating Procedures


The squadron has designated the third Saturday of every month as an orientation flight day. That may changed once in a while due to conflicts. The scheduled flight days are listed on the squadron calendar.

On the Tuesday meeting prior to the flights, the Air Operations Officer will open up reservations for those cadets wishing to fly. The number of cadets that can fly is limited by the number of aircraft and pilots available.

The Air Operation Officer will determine the scheduling regarding which cadet while fly when. Cadets with scheduling restrictions will be accomodated if possible, however the Air Operation Officer will always try to arrange the flight schudule to maximize the number of cadets we can get in the air.

Flight Cancellations

The flights can be canceled for any number of reasons, such as weather, mechanical problems with the airplane, an actual search mission requiring priority use of the airplane, or pilot illness, just to name a few. During the winter, it may be sunny without a cloud in the sky, but it may also be too cold (or too hot) to fly.

Conditions will dictate whether all the flights are canceled or only some of them. Changing conditions may cancel morning flights and allow afternoon or visa versa.

All attempts will be made to post a cancellation notice to the home page of this website. There will be a banner near the top of the page with a red background and large yellow text. It is prudent to check the website before leaving home regardless of the current weather conditions.

Contact Information

If for some reason the banner cannot be placed on the website, or for example, the cancellation is last minute, we will try to contact you by phone. When you sign up for a flight, you will be asked to provide a telephone number where either you (or someone who can contact you in a timely manner) can be reached. If we don’t get that number, we will try to use the phone numbers, if any, you provided on you membership application, which are stored in eServices or the WMU. If we can’t contact for you, you might show up at the airport and no one will be there.


The only requirement about uniforms is that all occupants in the aircraft must wear an approved Civil Air Patrol uniform. It doesn’t matter which uniform. If you wanted to wear your Mess Dress uniform, that would be ok, but obviously not advised.

It is strongly advised that outerwear appropriate for the weather conditions be worn. For cadets or pilots in a CAP-distinctive uniform, there are no outerwear restrictions. For pilots in USAF-style uniforms, appropriate USAF-style outerwear is mandated if worn (i.e. no civilian outwear).

The general guidance for determining whether, or the type of, outerwear that one should remain comfortable while walking a distance of 3000 (over 1/2 mile) feet in the expected weather conditions.

Flight Briefings

Briefing materials will be made available to the cadets to review at home prior to their flight. One or more briefers (who are pilots in the squadron) will be available at the flight location on the day of the flight to review with the cadet the aviation concepts to be demonstrated during the flight. The briefers will be able to answer any questions the cadet may have about the flight.

The cadet should arrive at the flight location 1 hour prior to the cadet’s scheduled flight time.

OPSEC Training

All members involved in cadet orientation flights must have Operational Security (OPSEC) training completed. If a member has not completed the training he/she will not be able to particpate. Go to the Links page to find the link to the online training. You must have your CAPID and the last four digits of your Social Security Number to positively identify yourself to begin the training.

Air Ops Officer Responsibilities Summary

  • Secure flight funding, mission number from Wing Cadet Orientation Officer
  • Accept flight requests from cadets
  • Generate schedule
  • Assign pilot(s) and briefer(s)
  • Report all flight information to Wing Cadet Orientation Officer as needed

Pilot Responsibilities Summary

  • Reserve aircraft in advance of flight date (if necessary)
  • Review flight date schedule
  • Prepare for flights
  • Obtain flight release
  • Wear appropriate uniform (and outerwear if necessary)
  • Ferry plane (as required)
  • Conduct flights per syllabus, track flight time
  • Ferry plane (as required), refuel and secure
  • Report all flight information to Air Ops or Wing Cadet Orientation Officer as appropriate ASAP after aircraft secured

Cadet Responsibilities Summary

  • Review briefing material for flight being flown. Can download Kneeboard-sized syllabus.
  • Check website for possible cancellation before leaving home
  • Wear appropriate uniform (and outerwear if necessary)
  • Have membership card with you
  • Arrive at flight location 1 hour before scheduled flight to review briefing material
  • Fly, Learn, Have Fun
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