Area AFJROTC cadets take to the skies with Civil Air Patrol

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

Alice High School AFJROTC recently experienced the thrill of aviation, through orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) at the Alice International Airport.

CAP Pilot, 1Lt. Ken Carel, retired Navy, gave Cadet Vela and other cadets their first lessons about flying.

The cadets flew over the Alice for an hour each. Some were even allowed to take the flight controls and fly the Cessna 182, with an experienced pilot along side and only during the non-critical stages of the flight.

"This is the first time in many years that students partake in the CAP. I thought it was done this century, but I couldn't find anything. There seemed to be active flying with CAP in the 90s," said Lt Col. Clifford Moriarty, AFJROTC co-instructor. "Today, we are back in business with CAP. "

There's no flight training involved in the experience. Moriarty said the purpose is to acquaint the cadets to get a dose of flying.

Cadets Lisa Contreras and Juliann Trevino took to the blue skies after the pilot reviewed the plane's features.

 Cadets learn about navigation, weather, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers and more. The cadets' day began by helping pre-flight their aircraft. Fourteen cadets participated in the training. Cadets were Jonathan Vela, Allysa Luera, Lisa Contreras, Juliann Trevino, Robert Rodriguez, Juan Garcia, Gabriel Alaniz, Ebony Salinas, Seth Halloway, Joshua Johnson, Mellisa Albiar, Heaaven Lopez, Nathaniel Mullins and Julie Burgess.

The first cadet to go into the air with CAP 1Lt. Ken Carel, retired Navy pilot, was Jonathan Vela, a sophomore at Alice High School. Vela followed Carel around the plane as each part of the plane was pointed out and explained how it helps the plane fly, turn and land.

"It was scary at first especially with the (turbulence), but other than that it was fun," Vela said. "He taught me about the rudders. We went over things like what to expect up there, what not to expect and how easy it is to fly a plane."

Vela said he would definitely do take to the skies again.

Kali Aviation hosted the program and provided food, drinks and snacks.