Local youths take to the skies with the Civil Air Patrol

Ready for takeoff are Cadet/TSgt Evan Platteel (front) and Major Paulo Costa.

NASHUA – Seven Nashua area teens experienced the thrill of aviation, through glider orientation flights with the Civil Air Patrol at Hartness State Airport, Springfield, Vt., on Sunday, April 23. The teens are members of Civil Air Patrol’s Greater Nashua Composite Squadron and Humphry Cadet Squadron. These cadets flew a combined 3.2 hours in CAP’s sophisticated Blanik L-23 glider. This was the first glider flight for most of the cadets.

Glider instructor pilot, Major Paulo Costa, instructed the cadets in the basic safety rules around the glider, then each cadet took an approximately 30-minute flight in the glider, over the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. Each glider was towed into the air by a Maule MT-7-235 tow aircraft. After reaching an altitude of 2000 feet over the ground, the glider was separated from the Maule by pulling a lever, cutting the line from the Maule. This operation was completed by the cadets. As the Maule descends slightly and initiates turn away from the glider, the glider instructor maneuvers the glider to ensure a safe separation. At this point the glider cockpit becomes peacefully quiet as the aircraft rides the air currents for the next thirty minutes with the cadet at the controls during the non-critical stages of the flight. The instructor pilot then brings the aircraft in for a smooth landing where it is prepped for the next cadet.

When the cadets were not in the cockpit, they were assisting with ground crew tasks that included: ensuring the tow cables were properly connected and configuring the aircraft for


The Civil Air Patrol provided the aircraft and fuel (for the tow plane) at no cost to the cadets or the pilots.

The area youth participating were Chris Kelly, of Pelham; Nick Hodge, of North Chelmsford, Mass.; Pedro Guerra, of Pelham; Molly Blast, of Groton, Mass.; Melanie Baxter, of Merrimack; and Cyril Leo and Evan Platteel, of Chelmsford, Mass.

For more information, contact Lt. Col. Russ Morin at 289-6656, or visit nashuacap.org, facebook.com/nh016 or GoCivilAirPatrol.org.

– Submitted by Civil Air Patrol

Greater Nashua Composite Squadron