On a breezy, clear and sunny Sunday morning last week, I arrived
at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport with eight fellow cadets from
the University’s Air Force ROTC. The air, thick with
excitement, foretold our anticipation — we were about to do
something many people only dream of: fly an airplane. We met the
pilots from the Civil Air Patrol, the program that was allowing us
to fly, and then divided up into groups. Though flight instruction
normally costs about $100 per hour, the flying time is free for any
student taking the University’s Air Force class and
laboratory. We were given brief instructions, shown the planned
route, and subsequently were in the air. We were flying. The flight
took us all the way from Ann Arbor to a small airport near Saginaw
where I switched positions from the back seat to the front seat and
took the controls. Afterwards, we then took off again and flew all
the way to a small town near Mount Pleasant named Clare where the
entire group ate lunch at a quaint restaurant. Not soon enough, we
were back in the air and having the time of our lives. For many of
us, the thrill of piloting an airplane for the first time was
almost euphoric, and so the trip was amazing. Aside from the
flying, we were also able to hear the many stories from the
volunteer Civil Air Patrol pilots, who came from very diverse
backgrounds, but all have one thing in common: a love of flying. At
the end of the day, the nine of us, exhausted and drained of the
adrenaline that had fueled our flying endeavor, climbed out of the
airplanes and back into our cars. The experience was over, but our
love for flying had only grown.

John Becic
Hoover, sitting in the back, enjoys the view of the Michigan terrain as Cadet Nathan Evenson (not shown) sits at the controls. The Cessna 182 flew an average of 4,000 feet above ground.
John Becic
Ready to fly, the cadets and pilots make their first trek out to the planes while at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport on Nov. 9.




























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