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Civil Air Patrol ignites local youths dream of flying

Dream coming true: Cadet Senior Airman Daniel Cornett pictured with Civil Air Patrol’s Lexington based Cessna 182 Skylane; photo by 2d Lt Kathy Mills (click to view full size)

If you are in the Lexington or surrounding area, please visit the Lexington Squadron on March 26th for our open house event 6pm-8pm at WestLEX Aviation - more information is located on our Open House page.


February 26, 2020

Civil Air Patrol ignites local youth’s dream of flying 

Article written by 2dLt Kathy Mills

LEXINGTON, Ky. –  On a crisp, bright day, Daniel Cornett, age 16, took his first flight through Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) Cadet Program (12-18 year olds). Cornett’s smile beamed wide across his face as he walked into WestLEX Aviation for the first time. He didn’t know what to expect because he had always thought of himself being at the yoke of an airplane as a sort of dream, something that was far off into his future, not here and certainly not now. 

On January 8, 2020, through the CAP Orientation flight program, he attained his initial goal of flying a plane making his dream of becoming a pilot closer to becoming a reality. “I can’t think of any better way to understand what it’s like to be a pilot flying in the field than to fly the plane on your own. It’s an experience that’s lit me on fire about being a pilot and reaffirmed any part of me that’s been questionable about that career path,” Cornett said of his experience. 

He now realizes that being a pilot is within his reach and that his dream of earning a pilot’s license can come to fruition. With his investment of time, work, effort and the resources and opportunities that have been set before him from the Civil Air Patrol, he will succeed. Cornett will be using the opportunities CAP offers to discover more about the principles of flight through CAP’s Aerospace Education program and by surrounding himself with pilots who offer diverse backgrounds, experience, and wisdom he can glean from to become a better pilot. 

Lexington’s CAP Squadron Commander 1st Lt Eddie Walter states, "Many cadets join CAP because they want to experience flying a plane but they walk away with so much more from their experience in Civil Air Patrol. These young men and women grow into leaders with the character training and know-how they need as they press forward into adulthood, college, military, and careers in numerous fields.”

Through CAP’s orientation flight program, each cadet can take advantage of five powered flights with the potential to take 5 glider flights. Summer flight camps and scholarships open a path to enable cadets to be immersed in all things flight-related for 1-2 weeks while propelling them further along towards their pilot’s license. 

In addition to aerospace, CAP inspires youth ages 12-18 to become the next generation of leaders in its Cadet Program. The program centers around its core values of integrity, volunteer service, excellence, and respect. They have the opportunity to develop a passion for flying, leadership, cybersecurity, emergency services as well as many other careers that they are exposed to while serving their communities.

The Van Meter Cadet Squadron and Blue Grass Senior Squadron are hosting an open house focused on Aerospace Education on March 26, 2020, from 6-8 pm. The Open House is being hosted at WestLEX Aviation at the Blue Grass Airport. The public is invited to come and discover more about CAP’s aerospace education program. Guests will have a chance to participate in aerospace-related activities, speak with youth cadets and adult members, and get up close to the CAP planes that our cadets fly during their orientation flights. 

For more information about the Lexington area Civil Air Cadet Program, please visit our website at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of more than 80 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information


Where it starts: programming Ryze Tello drones with Droneblocks. Pictured foreground, left to right: C/Amn Zupan, C/Amn Wells, C/Amn Middleton, C/Amn Story, C/A1C Jones, C/A1C Sproul; Background: C/Maj Valdivia, C/2dLt Wells; photo by 2d Lt Kathy Mills (click to view full size)


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