Maui News

Maui’s Civil Air Patrol Teaches Cadets/Future Pilots Joys of Flying

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Capt. Jason Torikawa-Domingo and Cadet SMSgt Jonathan participate in an Orientation Flight with the Civil Air Patrol on Maui. Photo Courtesy: CAP

Volunteers from the Maui County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol spent Valentine’s day weekend teaching cadets the joys of flying from their base at Kahului Airport.

In two of the Civil Air Patrol’s Cessna 182s, 13 cadets participated in orientation flights and two new squadron adult pilots were trained.

The Orientation Flight program is provided by funding from the United States Air Force and allows cadets to fly five airplane and four glider flights as part of Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Programs mission.  The goal of the program is to help America continue its aerospace supremacy by using cadet flight experiences to increase cadets’ comprehension of and enthusiasm for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics.

Civil Air Patrol Pilots — Capt. Dixon from Maui and Capt. Jason Torikawa-Domingo from the St. Louis Crusaders squadron on Oahu — supported the mission by teaching cadets basic private pilot maneuvers. 

This hands-on training provides for a better understanding of the concepts the cadets learned on the ground in their Aerospace Education training.  While aloft, with the help of their pilot mentors, the cadets were able to handle the controls during the non-critical stages of flight.


“We teach them to pay attention to the controls and see how they affect the airplane in flight,” Capt. Dixon said. “But once they get past that nervousness, the cadets really open up and you can just see the sheer joy on their faces, even through their masks!”

“We are so fortunate that the Air Force provides us with the funds to do these flights on a regular basis” Squadron Commander Lieutenant Ng said. “The cadets always end their flights with an enthusiastic attitude which is so rare to see nowadays.  We are so happy to provide them that respite and teach them something useful in the process.”

Capt. Torikawa-Domingo agreed: “It is just so much fun to see them excited when they take control of the plane. Most cadets are a little fearful of flying because it’s something new. But when they feel that freedom of flying, their fears disappear, and they transfer to us pilots that feeling of just being a kid again.”


The Civil Air Patrol offers programs in three missions: Cadet Programs, Aerospace Education and Emergency Services.

The Maui Squadron offers a youth program for kids ages 12-18 who are interested in Flying, Aerospace, STEM, Cyber, Emergency Services and Leadership. The squadron also offers membership for adults interested in volunteer Emergency Services as well as teachers interested in bringing Aerospace & STEM education to their classrooms.  For more information, visit their website at

Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit 501c3 organization tasked by the US congress to run programs to keep America at the forefront of advanced Air & Space technology through its three missions of Cadet Programs, Emergency Services, and Aerospace / STEM education.


The 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 80 lives annually.

CAP’s 58,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit for more information.


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