The Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is hosting the “Shirley Martin” Powered Flight Academy at A.L Mangum Jr Airport this week. 10 CAP Cessna 172 aircraft and 16 CAP flight instructors will be here until next Sunday to teach 18 CAP cadets the basics of flying. The Powered Flight Academy’s goal is for participants to not only solo an aircraft but also pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s Private Pilot Computerized Examination, which is part of the school. “When you get to solo, that indicates to other people that you have the attitude and the aptitude to fly an airplane,” according to CAP Capt. Lucinda McFarlin who is the Operations Officer of the Academy. “We try to get them to that milestone but not every cadet does solo. Even for flight academy participants who choose not to pursue the pilot path, important lessons are learned. “They walk away with a better understanding of flying an airplane,” McFarlin said. For admission to the academy, cadets must meet a series of criteria — a Gen. Billy Mitchell Award recipient, completion of five orientation flights and a “C” academic average in schoolwork, as well as medical clearance. Applicants must also submit a resume’ and an essay on how they would apply the training in life and be interviewed by a panel, to test their commitment to aviation. Thanks to funding from the U.S. Air Force, CAP cadets can pursue their private pilot certificate through the organization’s new Cadet Wings program and continue their training in a future program, hoping to earn their instrument and instructor ratings. CAP is also working to find ways to encourage senior members to work as mentors and instructors for young pilots.