Civil Air Patrol Cadet Clay Dellinger earned his solo wings during an eight-day flight academy conducted by the CAP at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, July 15.
Dellinger piloted a CAP Cessna 172 aircraft.
“It’s awesome to fly a plane by myself before I can drive a car,” Dellinger said.
The CAP annually conducts National Flight Academies across the U.S. where cadets receive formal flight instruction leading to a solo flight in a single-engine aircraft or glider, as well as individual instruction from a Federal Aviation Administration certified flight instructor.
In addition to flight instruction, cadets received classroom education on aerodynamics, weather, aviation physiology, navigation, and regulations. Cadets are also given an opportunity to fly approximately 10 hours with weather and schedule permitting.
Dellinger’s experience included two to three daily instructional flights, hands-on training on basic aircraft maintenance and airport operations.
“My dream is to be a military pilot,” Dellinger said. “I hope earning my private pilot’s license will help me reach that goal.”
Student pilots must be 17-years-old in order the take the private pilot practical test. Dellinger hopes to complete his training in Germany shortly after his 17th birthday.