Civil Air Patrol Orientation Flights

  • Published
  • 35th FW/PA

Eleven enthusiastic teenagers from Misawa Air Base were given the extraordinary opportunity to soar through the skies with the Civil Air Patrol at Yokota Flight Training Center, Japan, Oct. 20-22, 2023.  

These cadets collectively logged an impressive 12 hours of flight time in Yokota's technically advanced aircraft. 

Cadet Senior Airman Hunter Davis, shared his elation, stating, "It was absolutely incredible! This was my first piloting experience, and I will look back on this pivotal moment for the rest of my life."

During the hour-long flights in single-engine Cessna 172 aircraft, these cadets delved into the intricate science behind aviation. They gained insights into navigation, weather conditions, aircraft instruments, flight maneuvers and more.

The day began with a comprehensive weather study and briefing, followed by a safety lesson that covered crew roles and responsibilities, sterile cockpit procedures, and navigation of the Kanto Plain. After completing these briefings, the cadets stepped into the hangar to learn how to prepare their aircraft for flight.

Working closely with CAP Capt. Jake Kadish and Maj. Steve Hawes, both pilots, each cadet experienced the thrill of taxi and takeoff with the complex rapid firing voice from Yokota’s air traffic control tower and ground in the background. The Cessna cleared for takeoff, taxied to Yokota's runway 36, lined up on the 10,000-foot runway and gracefully departed, climbing to pattern altitude before heading south and ascending to 3,000 feet.

While airborne, the cadets had the unique experience of taking control during noncritical stages of the flight.

Cadet Staff Sgt. Hannah Ayers, explained, "When I was first given the controls of the aircraft a few thousand feet above ground, I was nervous. However, I grew more confident in flying the plane. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget."

After reaching their designated altitude, the cadets navigated toward iconic landmarks such as the Great Buddha Statue, Tokyo Tower, Sagami Bay, and the majestic Mount Fuji. Following 45 minutes of hands-on flying, they turned north and returned to Yokota. On the ground, it was another cadet's turn sitting in the co-pilot’s seat, repeating this round-trip throughout the day and completing a total of 11 flights.

Kadish, Yokota FTC chief pilot, remarked, "I've been flying cadets for 10 years, and I still get excited to share the joys and challenges of flying with each new cadet."

Hawes and Kadish, both flight instructors at Yokota, volunteered their time for this special experience, while the Civil Air Patrol generously funded the aircraft and fuel, ensuring there was no cost to the cadets or the pilots.

This event was made possible through the support of the Yokota FTC, the 35th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 35th Maintenance Group, and the invaluable contributions of CAP adult volunteers.

CAP's Cadet Program is open to youth aged 12 through 18. For more information about the Civil Air Patrol and its opportunities or to volunteer for the program, please contact Misawa Civil Air Patrol Cadet Squadron via Facebook or visit