Cadet takes advantage of CAP opportunities; flies solo

Published 1:49 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

By Cadet Major

Levi Gragg

Sugar Valley Squadron

Civil Air Patrol gives its cadet members incredible opportunities through the National Cadet Special Activities.

Civil Air Patrol trains the next generation’s leaders and encourages them to pursue careers in aviation at a young age. Civil Air Patrol supports its dedicated members through training and scholarships to assist in going after their goals.

I had the incredible opportunity to attend Civil Air Patrol Maryland Wing’s Robert Ayres Powered Flight Academy. This academy aims to help cadets achieve their powered airplane solo as well as to successfully pass the FAA’s private pilot written exam. It is located at Hagerstown Regional airport in Maryland and is a 14-day intensive training full of flying and studying.

I became interested in aviation at the age of 11 and began looking for opportunities to learn. I stumbled upon the Civil Air Patrol and attended a few meetings to see how I liked it. I ended up joining as a cadet in April of 2019 and have been an active member since.

I am the Cadet Commander for Sugar Valley Composite Squadron and have had the opportunity to be on staff for many Civil Air Patrol events in and out of North Carolina. I began working for Sugar Valley Airport as a summer job, which included flight lessons.

When I was too young to solo in a powered aircraft, but wanted to continue to advance my flying, I attended a glider flight academy through Civil Air Patrol in 2022 and joined Piedmont Soaring Society at Bahnson Gliderport in Farmington to learn to pilot a glider.

I have flown solo in both a powered aircraft and a glider as well as having accumulated over 50 flight hours and passed my written exam. This pretty much makes up about half the requirements for achieving my private pilot’s license.

I am planning to continue my pursuit of a career in aviation and achieve my private pilot’s license by summer of 2024. I am also interested in getting my glider endorsement.

I plan to attend Liberty University and study aviation science starting in the fall of 2025. After graduating, I want to pursue aviation in the military to build up flight hours before becoming an Air Transport Pilot (ATP) with the airlines.

To learn more about the Civil Air Patrol, visit 249 Gilbert Road, Mocksville. Meetings are every Tuesday evening from 6:30-8:30 and guests are welcome.

Founded in 1941 and established as the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force seven years later, Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit organization for the purposes of youth development, aerospace education, and to promote aviation. In an auxiliary role as a partner of the Air Force, CAP operates the world’s largest fleet of single-engine aircraft for search and rescue, disaster relief, training, and education. Civil Air Patrol is dedicated to serving America’s communities, saving lives, and shaping futures.

Photo: C/Maj Levi Gragg with his flight instructor, Maj Marty Sacks, CAP, after his solo

            hoto credit to PAO at Robert Ayres National Flight Academy