12 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 14, 2003
RIGHT: Civil Air Patrol
volunteer pilot Kurt Layland
refuels the Cessna 182 at
Okemos Arport before heading
back to Ann Arbor.
INSERT: Layland shows Air
Force ROTC cadets Chris
Hoover and Nathan Evenson
the route map before the
BELOW: Ready to fly, the
cadets and pilots make their
first trek out to the planes
while at Ann Arbor Municipal
Airport on Nov. 9.
Sitting in the pilot's seat for the
first time, Daily photographer
Jeff Lehnert chronicles his
journey to the skies
in the Air Force ROTC.
a breezy, clear and sunny Sunday morning last week, I
rived at the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport with eight fellow
dets from the University's Air Force ROTC. The air, thick
ith excitement, foretold our anticipation - we were about
o 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.
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.