This is a list of past events (starting 2018) to offer the viewer a broad spectrum of programs offered here:
~ 3/6 The CAP Sugar Valley Composite Squadron hosted author Ray Haas, who talked about the poem “High Flight,” and the book he has written about the poem’s writer, John Gillespie Magee. His book, “Touching the Face of God,” explores the life of Magee and how he was able to capture the essence of flying in his poem: “Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…” Ray Haas developed a passion for aircraft and flying at an early age. He earned a private pilot’s license for both gliders and aircraft while serving in the US Navy as an electronics technician. He is a member of Civil Air Patrol and EAA, also a member of the EAA Speaker Bureau. This fascinating evening about history, aviation and one man’s mission to serve was open to public.
~ 1/30 The CAP Sugar Valley Composite Squadron’s annual Awards Banquet. This was the squadron’s time to honor the hard work and accomplishments of senior members and cadets in the past year. Along with great dining and some entertainment, family members and invited guests from other squadrons joined in fellowship and fun. Our keynote speaker was James R. Gorham, retired Brigadier General from the NC National Guard. He is the first African American to achieve the promotion to General in the NC National Guard. Most of his adult life has been in service to the country, as an enlisted soldier in the US Army, followed by serving in the NC National Guard as an officer.
Congratulations to our own “SVA local,” Lee Kosub, who on October 24th became an instrument-rated pilot, one who is certificated to fly an aircraft in conditions of reduced visibility, as in the clouds, depending primarily on instruments for navigation rather than on visual observation of external surroundings. She studied and practiced, practiced and studied with that tremendous focus and determination which are among her many gifts. She did this while being pregnant and having a toddler to raise, among other responsibilities. It was not a walk in the park. In fact, Lee admits that it was definitely more challenging and took longer than she expected.
However, as often happens when one is serious about pursuing a heart-felt dream, things magically line up, challenges are transformed into doors of opportunities and one is a step closer to the destination. Lee’s achievement is just another example of that “magical” process. Lee shared that behind her pursuit of the instrument training was her interest in becoming a flight instructor. Achieving an instrument rating is one of the requirements on that path. “Becoming a flight instructor was inspired by the gift and joy of flight and wanting to be a part of passing that on to the next generation. So many people have been so generous on my journey as a pilot. People in aviation want to see people learn how to fly and experience the joy of it. I'm looking forward to being a part of passing that joy on and paying it forward,” said Lee. She shared that with a lot of support and encouragement, she was able to achieve her instrument rating. “And when I say support, I mean way above and beyond what is ‘normal.’ Susan, one of the airport managers at SVA, took care of my 2-year-old daughter two mornings a week for nine months so that I could fly! Definitely not in the usual airport manager’s job description! And my instructor, Gary, really had to be as dedicated to my success as I was. He made time in his schedule to fly with me 4-8 hours per week for nine months. He had just retired from a successful career as pilot and trainer with American Airlines when I connected with him to start the instrument training. Not only did he make the time, but the instruction was absolutely topnotch. Better than money could buy. So the story is really about the people at places like Sugar Valley and the inherent generosity and good character in the aviation community. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of passing that on?” This is a well-earned and a significant achievement that is inspiring to many of us. May this story serve as an encouragement to all of us in navigating our paths towards worthwhile pursuits.
On10/21/17 Rowan Aero Modelers Society (RAMS) hosted a Fly-in for AMA members and guests at SVA. The Rowan Aero Modelers Society (RAMS) was chartered in 1968 and is the oldest Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sanctioned Club in North Carolina. RAMS leases property in eastern Rowan County for their home flying field. All members are required to obtain AMA membership. Throughout the year, many neighboring clubs host fly-ins at their own home fields and several of RAMS members are regular participants. RAMS hosts a few fly-ins at locations other than their home field, which includes Sugar Valley during Spring and Fall. RC flying out of a full-scale airport adds another level of uniqueness to this hobby.
RAMS welcomes any AMA member to fly with them at any of their off-site events. Any size and type of RC aircraft are welcome. Speaking of size and type: Model aircraft have really blossomed in recent years. Virtually ANY full-scale aircraft that has ever flown has been represented as a flying model aircraft. The advent of lithium polymer batteries and brushless motors has made fully-electric model aircraft a reality and with impressive performance. Gas/glow motors still have a healthy presence and have enjoyed improved performance and reliability. Real jet engines and electric ducted fans now make model jet aircraft an option for real adrenaline junkies.
CAP Sugar Valley Composite Squadron hosts monthly speaker series. These are open to public and cover a variety of topics.
On 10/10/17 C/CMSgt Caleb Padiak presented “The Quiddity of Respect” as the topic for our October session. Padiak cited respect, one of the CAP Core Values, as the basis for the other Core Values of excellence, integrity, and volunteer service. “The premise of respect is to recognize value, which is good. We see amazing things happen when there is a lack of respect, and we see equally amazing things happen when there is strong respect.” Padiak gave the example of a young private in Iraq who threw himself over a grenade to save the other members of his team. And what about self-respect? “Self-respect is having respect for your future self. If you respect your future self, then you will be responsible and wise to the best of your abilities in everything.”
Padiak closed with this: “There is an inverse ratio between wisdom and the potential to act on it. Being in Civil Air Patrol is a great first step. To everyone, and Cadets especially, do not miss your chances to show respect.”
On Saturday, 9/23/17, First in Flight NC, a chapter of Women in Aviation International, along with Sugar Valley Airport hosted a memorable Girls in Aviation Day. First in Flight is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women in the aviation industry by providing support and scholarships to young women getting started in the aviation field.
Girls between the ages of 8 - 17 came out to participate in aviation-related events ranging from seeing a vintage aircraft display up close, flying flight simulators, and even enjoying their first flight in an airplane! The girls taken on Young Eagle flights were “wowed” and inspired. Their families and many volunteers from various organizations (Women in Aviation, The Ninety-Nines, Experimental Aircraft Association, and Civil Air Patrol, as well as Sugar Valley Airport) played a vital part in the success of the day.
Thank you all who attended and contributed to the wonderful experience for all!
C/ Capt Christopher Herman receive Amelia Earhart award from Col Jason Bailey.
The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron marked two milestones in its four year history at the July 18 meeting. The squadron held the first Change of Command ceremony and also recognized the first Amelia Earhart Award recipient. First, the Amelia Earhart Award was presented to C/Capt Christopher Herman by the NC Wing Commander, Col Jason Bailey. It is the third milestone of the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program. Serving as the Squadron’s Cadet Commander, C/Capt Herman has demonstrated leadership and integrity in structuring the cadet program and emergency services training activities.
Next, Maj Stephen Leighton presented Lt Col Eric Orgain with a plaque recognizing his outstanding leadership and service since the squadron’s beginning in 2013. Following this, Col Jason Bailey began the Change of Command ceremony. Lt Col Eric Orgain passed the command of NC-052 to Capt Tom Conroy, who accepted command of the squadron. Lt Col Ron Cheek, Group 4 Commander, spoke briefly after the Change of Command. The evening concluded by honoring Lt Col Orgain and Capt Tom Conroy with a reception in the Blue Hangar at Sugar Valley Airport. Sixty five guests attended, including squadron members and families and other CAP squadron members.
The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron NC-052 thanks Lt Col Orgain for his four years of dedication and service to the squadron, and salutes Capt Conroy as the new commander. Article and photos by: Lt Deborah Leighton and C/TSgt Michael Herman
How would you like to fly in an airplane? Or better yet, how would you like to get some practical hands on experience while flying, and even get to take over the controls? While flying a Civil Air Patrol Cadet Orientation Flight, cadets get to do just that. The primary goal of Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Orientation Flight Program is to introduce youth to aviation through hands-on orientation flights in single engine aircraft and gliders. Every Civil Air Patrol cadet under age 18 is eligible for five flights in a powered aircraft (usually a single-engine Cessna), five flights in a glider aircraft, and an unlimited number of backseat flights when conditions allow. In addition, all orientation flights are at no cost to cadets. The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron, located at Sugar Valley Airport in Farmington, offers cadets the opportunity to fly in an aircraft every month. Recently, Capt Sandra Smith flew six cadets for orientation flights in a single-engine Cessna. "Though there are hours of preparation to make an orientation flight possible, it is a real thrill for me as a pilot to bring the joy and wonder of flight to our cadets!" Five of the cadets who flew with Capt. Smith were new recruits to the squadron. For four of these cadets, it was their first time in a small airplane. One cadet commented: "You see the world totally different in the air as opposed to in a car!"
During their orientation flights, the cadets received one hour of flying time, plus time in the back seat, with a detailed syllabus of tasks for each cadet’s level of experience. Cadets also participated in the preflight of the aircraft. In addition, cadets that were waiting for their turn to fly were given the opportunity to fly a simulator.
The Sugar Valley Composite Squadron meets weekly at 249 Gilbert Rd, Mocksville, NC 27028 on Tuesdays from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.
This article, by C/1st Lt. Christopher Herman, first appeared in Davie Co Enterprise on 3/30/2017.