Future Alaskan pilots pass Glider Academy

Photo courtesy of: Civil Air Patrol, Alaska Wing Facebook

FAIRBANKS, Alaska Ten Cadets, ages 14 to 16 completed the Alaska Wing Glider Academy at Clear Air Force Station earlier this month.

The Academy, put on by Civil Air Patrol, featured participants from Tok, Delta-Junction, Valdez, Eielson Air Force Base, Anchorage and Texas.

Seven cadets achieved their first solo flight, the most the Academy has ever produced.

Previous graduates of the program have gone on to receive private pilot certificates from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Academy can help youth in the classroom as well, as wing gliding contains many aspects of STEM.

"I think it translates into better performance in school for these kids," Lon Kelly, a captain for Civil Air Patrol said. "They can see something that is meaningful, and say 'If I know this I can perform much better and if I don't know it I can't perform at all."

The program is conducted annually, initiated by Civil Air Patrol Lieutenant Colonel JR Holder of the Eielson Squadron.