It was a crystal clear day with the temperature around the mid 80 degrees when I arrived at the Byron airport around noon. To my distress, I witnessed a CAP plane departing the runway. It was not a tow plane, so could it mean the event was already over?
|The cadets relocating the glider for take off|
As I reached the terminal, my commander’s pickup full of antennas on the roof was there, so I breathed easier. Capt Hayes was in the terminal. He informed me that the event started late and the first set of cadets departed on the CAP plane for their Orientation ride.
|The plane getting ready in position for take off|
The glider was already on its first flight and it should be landing shortly. I prepared my camera for pictures and proceeded to the active runway, where I could take shots of the first landing. The wind was light and across both runways, where powered aircraft took off and landed in both directions from the main runway. The glider concentrated on landing on the side, but taking off from the main runway.
|The glider is airborne|
Maj Fridell was the one who had taken off with two cadets for the first Orientation ride in the Cessna 182. 1st Lt Choate was the tow plane pilot, and Capt Warmkessel was the Glider pilot.
|Up, up and away!|
There were six cadets from Squadron 13 in Watsonville and three cadets from Squadron 44 in Concord that had lots of fun that day.
|Some of the cadets participating in the event|
|Double checking everything before take off|
All the cadets and seniors participating received the glider after it landed and helped to prepare it for the next flight. You could see big smiles on the cadets’ faces after each landing.
I had fun watching and I imagine the other participants had even more fun in the air!
The seniors participating were:
|The glider is moved into position for take off|
- Lt Col Juan Tinnirello – Ground Crew (Squadron 188)
- Maj Mark Fridell – Powered Orientation Pilot (Squadron 188)
- Capt Jordan Hayes – Ground Crew (Squadron 188)
- Capt James Warmkessel – Glider Pilot (Squadron 13)
- Capt Steven Mendoza – Ground Crew (Squadron 13)
- 1st Lt Eric Choate – Tow Pilot (Squadron 188)
- 1st Lt Chris Devine – Ground Crew (Squadron 188)
- SM Paul Rainville – Ground Crew (Squadron 188)
|Tow plane moving into position for take off|
|Double checking the tow rope before take off|